I am joining a collective art & illustration exhibition held by Summon Studio as a part of Kemang Art & Coffee Festival 2014 (November 28-30, 2014). The participating artists/illustrators were given ‘Pain is Good’ as the main theme, which meant that we were supposed to create works about our hurtful past, about something painful we have experienced earlier.
My interview as one of the participating artists can be found in here.
And in this post I will share the story behind my artwork, ‘Buah Bibir’.
Happiest people are, indeed, the saddest.
While I might not be the happiest person that anyone had ever known, I often received some cynical opinions about how easily I am living my life.
‘You are not the one to talk, Synta. You haven’t been through what I’ve been through.’
‘It’s easy for you to say that. That same sentence won’t come from people with my experience.’
‘My life is not as easy as yours.’
Which sounds really silly, to me, personally. Because those words showed me nothing but the fact that I have concealed my bitter past quite impressively. Yes, I do have a piece of a bitter experience in the past. And also yes, I’ve stopped talking about it since the day that it happened. And yes, I did not want anyone to know that I had been through that particular phase.
But it turned out that, concealing is, indeed, exhausting. Everything about it, from being perceived as a person who never experienced the lowest point in life to having to put up fake laughs every time anyone makes jokes about that particular subject—every-single-thing about concealing—is exhausting.
I was too afraid to become the object of people’s talk. You know, the kind where people will say ‘Yeah, I know her. She once ‘ditched something’, right? Wait. You don’t know that? Oh, I can’t believe this! I thought everyone who knows her knew about this!’
I was too afraid to be labeled as a ‘bad person’, but apparently, being labeled as a ‘good person’ or ‘happy person’ suffocated me, too.
My life is never as easy as how they were picturing it. It was awful, like really, really awful. I did something, once, that I cannot stop regretting up until this day. It was not the kind of ‘sacrifice’ that you all could brag about and be proud of. It was humiliating and dehumanising on so many levels.