Few months back I attended Bungkus Vol. 2 presentation which was held in Bandung, for those who isn't familiar, Bungkus is a bi-monthly Photography zine from Bandung and the theme for volume 2 is aptly titled "Journey".
I had a few talks before and after the talk with the founder of Bungkus; Sandi Jaya Saputra (Useng), Gyaista Sampurno, Sari Asih and Arif Setiawan as well as the participant of the second volume of Bungkus to get the idea of what are the things that they wanted to achieve, why Bandung specifically and how's the future of Bungkus looks like.
From the conversation I kinda get the idea that Bungkus is a little bit different from the other platform existed in this country, even though they are the latest who announce themselves. They already had their mission, their roadmap to go along and what are they trying to make Bungkus of in the future. This is made possible because Bungkus is managed by people who are experienced and educated in the fine art and/or photography, they also had the experience of working in a collective thus ensuring its sustainability (Thank you Rony Zakaria for this input). I have to make note though, a collective might not be a correct term however to call them just a zine is an understatement as well.
So why Bungkus and why Bandung?
Like any other collective it is started out by meeting of some close friends and colleagues, shared some ideas over drinks and suddenly it was born. What makes them different is; instead of focusing the collective around themselves, they wanted to focus on the photographers from Bandung, who made their project in Bandung or outside Bandung OR Non-Bandung Photographers who made the project inside Bandung. The reason is simply that they wanted to put Bandung Photography on the map (Bandung is already well known for their creative athmosphere and the birth of several art movement)
Bungkus started distributing the theme into the internet via facebook (first is called Home, second is Journey and the third theme is History), the editor would set the deadline and then ask the participant to submit at least 20 pictures depicting their interpretation of the theme. Over the submission period the editors would release several ideas of how other photographers interpret the theme. Once the submission is collected then they would start to select the works and try with the photographer to edit the work down to 20 pictures. Once it's all final, then a slideshow would be set up and generally it's a presentation night with a lot of Q and A Session.
Now here's my thoughts on the current model of of the Bungkus.
The first thing that I noticed when I watched the slideshow is that there's a clear gap between the people who understand editing (usually the editor of Bungkus) and the people who doesn't, and in between there are people who use the most basic sequencing, that is to sequence it chronologically. When I confirmed this, the editors did said that the presenter is the one who fully responsible in sequencing the photograph, with little or no help at all from them. I personally thought if this were to continue, the presentation at would mostly be consisted of half baked slideshows that needs more touch. I also noticed that some of the photographers are sometimes not sure why they selected certain pictures to be incorporated in their slideshows.
But I suppose it's about to change, for "History" the editor had decided to prolong the deadline of the submission as well as conducting a seminar session with Primanto Nugroho to dissect more of a perspective pertaining "History", this albeit only a few hours discussions and presentation would still throw in ideas to the photographers on how to approach the theme.
It was already exciting to see how people interpreting the theme and putting their own personal touch which came up as a photography presentations on the second volume and it will be getting more exciting in the future with the addition of the seminar and the prolongations of the deadline. Looking at it I personally believe that there are more to come from Bungkus, especially if they decide to educate photographers on how to create an essays or by the least to sequence photograph for presentations.
With that I conclude by inviting those who are interested to come to Bandung on 2nd March 2013, to watch how the photographers interpreted "History", I bet that there would be some interesting work to be watch.
Bungkus Volume Three: History Presentation will be held in 2 March 2013, starting at 18.30 at Kamones Workshop & Gallery, Jl Cigadung Raya Barat 28A, Bandung
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