2022,Kaputuren Residency,Wet Java,Indonesia
In the summer of 2022, I returned to Jatiwangi, contemplating how to engage with the local community through art. With the introduction from Jatiwangi Art Factory (JAF), I visited Kaputuren village, where many former overseas workers who had been to Taiwan reside. This allowed us to communicate effortlessly in Chinese.
After living in Kaputuren for a while, I discovered that there was no clear waste management policy in place. Due to Indonesia's vast expanse, waste policies are established at the local level rather than centrally, resulting in variations from one place to another. In Kaputuren, there were no garbage trucks, so residents had to manage their household waste themselves.
Due to the inconveniences in daily life, I thought that by integrating local aesthetics, constructing small centralized incinerators in each settlement might offer a partial solution to the air quality issues. After discussing with the village chief, he found this approach feasible. Consequently, in collaboration with the villagers and adopting Indonesian architectural styles, we built a small garbage incinerator. Upon completion, we organized a kiln-opening ceremony and a celebration, bringing joy to the entire community. This initiative not only improved the local air quality but also fostered a greater awareness among the residents about the environment they inhabit.
At the ceremony, I also shared with everyone how waste is managed in Taiwan and discussed how human behavior impacts the environment, ultimately emphasizing our responsibility.
The Sumptuous Feast
For Indonesian friends, the most formal way to host a Feast is to serve a variety of Indonesian dishes, such as turmeric-infused rice, tempeh, dried fish, etc., put on banana leaves. The tradition involves using one's hands to grab and eat the food. Initially, I felt uncomfortable, but eventually, I found joy in the experience and learned the art of grabbing food without getting my hands sticky!