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Angki Purbandono, Fighting Negative Stigma as an Ex-Inmates Through the Art of Scanography (Part 1)

The Second Chance Foundation had the opportunity to chat with an artist Angki Purbandono via telephone call. During the corona pandemic, Angki spends more time working at home. However sometimes, he also stops by the studio that he calls his second home.


"Also the house and studio are separate, right. So sometimes I go to the studio, as the studio is a home for me too. I work with the help of an assistant. Thus, I`m still active and working from home because we`re using a computer, we work indoor and not leaving the house, so it's safe," he explained.


The name Angki Purbandono is famous in the Indonesian and international art world. He is one of the Indonesian artists who brave to develop photographs not with a camera but with a scanner. The machine used to scan documents shift to take pictures of various objects that attract his attention. This technique is known as Scanography, derived from the words scanner and photography.

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(Left to right) The scanography artworks from Angki Purbandono entitled Andi Warhorse and Art Soju # 1

Source: Angki Purbandono documentation

"I use a scanner, the method is called scanography. A two-dimensional work produced from a scanning machine, which is then printed on paper or other media. And finally, because I use a scanner, the object is limited to things and not a human being. Scanography is a technique where we put objects on a scanner, and then they are recorded, edited and printed," said Angki.


Angki's move to popularize scanography was also criticized. They criticized Angki for not using a camera as a medium to produce photographs but instead using a scanner. Scanography is a form of Angki's response to this criticism.


"There are many criticisms, especially not from the arts community. My question is, do the photography works and concepts have to be taken with a camera? Does the power of the conceptual content of photography have to be done with the camera? Through this scanner, I am trying to prove that there are other tools that we can use to produce photographs. We are introducing a new tool to give a photographic concept or idea. As I understand, the key to photography is on the events or moments,” he said.


As an artist, Angki participated in various art activities at the national and international levels. Some of them are the 1-year Asian Artist Fellowship residency; Changdong Art Studio, South Korea, 2005-2006; LIVE and LET LIVE exhibition: Creators of Tomorrow; 4th Fukuoka Asian Triennale (2009); Jakarta Biennale XIII 2009 ARENA: Battle Zone, Jakarta (2009).


Angki also held solo exhibitions in various places, such as 2 Folders from Fukuoka, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan in 2010, and Gray Area, Bangkok University Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand in 2017.


Behind his long career journey as an artist, Angki was once languishing in prison for tripping over a marijuana use case. He was detained at the local police detention center in Yogyakarta before being transferred to the Class IIA Yogyakarta Narcotics Correctional Institutions.


"My sentence was 12 months, December 2012 to October 2013. But I got a remission for two months, one from Independence Day, the second one from Idul Fitri Day. The first three months, I was detained at the local police, then moved to the Class IIA Yogyakarta Narcotics Correctional Institution," said Angki.


While in prison, he must obey the rules there. However, the prison environment is friendly for him. Slowly, he began to interact with some wardens and prison officials. He expressed his desire to spend his spare time doing work that he felt capable of.


"So I have an idea if I tell a story with one or two prison officials. I met Mr. Yoga. He was the Head of Security at the Class IIA Yogyakarta Narcotics Correctional Institutions. Then we shared, we talked, I introduced myself to him as a photographer, and it turned out that Mr. Yoga also has the same interest in photography, and he wanted the image of prison changed through art," said Angki.


Continued to Part 2…

The second part of Angki Purbandono's edition will discuss his journey in developing scanography in correctional institutions to developing Prison Art Programs (PAP) after being released. 


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The East Tower lt. 33

Jl. DR. Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung No. 2 

RT.5/RW.2, Kuningan, Kuningan Tim., Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12950

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+62 21 579 00701

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