Natasha TONTEY

Natasha Tontey, Indonesia

Natasha Tontey is a graphic designer and an interdisciplinary artist based between Jakarta and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Her artistic practice predominantly explores the fictional accounts of the history and myths surrounding “manufactured fear.” Focusing on any possibilities of other futures that are projected not from the perspective of major and established institutions, but a subtle and personal struggle of the outcasted entities and beings. Her recent works have been featured in exhibitions across Europe and Asia, including the 2022 Singapore Biennale.

Garden Amidst the Flame revolves around the cultural history and cosmology of Minahasan, an Indigenous nation in the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia. It unfolds as a fantastical coming-of-age story of a group of young Minahasan girls. These girls participate in the Karai (a rite of passage among the Minahasan people, typically forbidden for females, especially during menstruation), where they gain invincible armor, repositioning gender roles within their community. Their interactions in various contexts, including enjoying the traditional breakfast of “Tinutuan,” visiting ancestral burial grounds, and encountering the coelacanth, imply discussions on gender, youth, ecology, as well as conflicts between tradition and modernity. Simultaneously, this narrative reflects the changing power dynamics and economic paradigms within the globalized Minahasan society. (J.W)

  • Garden Amidst the Flame

    2022, Single Channel Video, 27’50”