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21st of September 2017

Gaya Hidup

Artist FX Harsono Exposes the '48 Mass Killings of the Indo-Chinese Community in Debut Film | Jakarta Globe

Tjoa continues to live by selling traditional cakes. She now lives with her son and daughter in-law, Ong Hok Kioe or Hendri Sukendro, and Oey Djie Nio, or Sujiarti. 

Harsono said he intends to expose this story because not many people know about it. Nevertheless, "The Last Survivor" is not his first attempt in doing so.

In 2013, he created "Rewriting on the Tomb," a series of digital prints on textile that depict inscriptions from the mass gravesite markers of the 1948 killings. Harsono found that between 1951-1953, families of victims in East Java sought dead bodies to bury them properly. There is also a Ceng Beng (tomb sweeping) ceremony that takes place every April 5th to commemorate the victims.

In the same year, he also made a short video, titled "Pilgrimage to History," that follows the making of "Rewriting" prints that can also be seen as his own homage to that dark chapter in Indonesian history. 

In 2016, Harsono made "The Light of Spirits," a combination of plastic electric candles, LED bulbs, sand, cement and wood to replicate a single mass gravesite marker.

"For the past ten years, I have made artwork to expose this issue, but art can only present a small fragment of the truth," Harsono said. "I have been enjoying making this film because I get to give people the bigger picture."

According to Harsono, there is a notion of positivity because these survivors manage to go on with their lives. The most important thing is that there is hope that the tragedy will not happen again in the future.

Harsono aims to complete his 70-minute film by August 2018. "The Last Survivor" is produced by Amerta Kusuma from KawanKawan Films.

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