Anak Gawang at RK Gallery
A Football Memorabilia Exhibition.
by Ken Jenie
Football fever has taken over the globe. With the group stage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil well underway, fans of the sport all over the globe have their eyes glued to televisions watching their favorite teams compete in what is arguably the sport’s biggest tournament. Indonesia has obviously caught the football fever as well.
Even though the half-a-day difference in time zones makes the World Cup a difficult watch, many Indonesians stay awake until the wee-hour of the morning so they can witness the games live. Some businesses even stay open for extended periods of time so people can come in and watch – the reason, simply a love for football.
A small gallery in South Jakarta is celebrating the World Cup their own way with a collective exhibition. Rumah Kebagusan Gallery and Art Shop (RK Gallery for short) is currently holding an exhibition called “Anak Gawang” (literally meaning “child of the goal post”), where eleven artists (Which I suppose makes them the RK Gallery FC) exhibit their collection of football memorabilia.
A bit about RK Gallery – Rey Nandi, a member of the gallery explained that the space is the initiative of the Indonesian Street Art Database (ISART – an initiative by street artists to document their work in Indonesia), who wanted to create a space where they can create exhibitions as well as a shop where they can display their work. The space made its debut in early 2014 and has held 3 collective and collaborative exhibitions already, as well as workshops where the gallery would invite the neighborhood kids to play and learn the arts – such as the upcoming screen print workshop. Located in Jalan Raya Kebagusan (near Ragunan Zoo’s east entrance), the graffiti-laden gallery already have programs ready until fall of 2014.
Anak Gawang was the idea of the RK Gallery collective. As some of it members grew up passionate about football, the group wanted to share their enthusiasm for the sport by exhibiting the various memorabilia they have collected throughout the years.
Football Jerseys and scarves from local and international teams grace the walls along side of free-posters from magazines as well as spray-painted grafitti and an Argentine flag. A pair of Adidas sneakers with a curiously written “Maradona” and “Pele” on each shoe rests on a box display. Tables and stools hold everything from newspaper and magazine clippings, trading cards, novels, comic books (although, to this writer’s surprise, Captain Tsubasa was no where to be seen), to cups and bar glasses.
The small exhibition hosted the randomness of being a football fan, and with it, the passage of time dedicated to the sport. Most items displayed have the mark of aging and use – the yellowing of paper, the creases and worn down leather of sneakers, the ripped edges of posters – a bit of reminder of the time when the artists gotten their memorabilia.
Also, this isn’t an exhibition where you will find thousands of collectible cards in mint condition. The artists are fans, not obsessive collectors (judging from the collection). It seems like they are people who enjoy football, and the sport as well as certain clubs are part of their lives, but collecting the many memorabilia associated with the sport isn’t the center of their fanaticism. As people of all backgrounds and interests have experienced, one will occasionally splurge for a personal interest, and this is what viewers can gather from Anak Gawang.
The personal aspect of the exhibition is perhaps the most intriguing. Certain team memorabilia are larger in numbers – indicating a favorite, and the obvious use of objects such as the sneakers show that at least a few of the artists played the sport casually. The memorabilia in Anak Gawang plays with the idea of being a fan of the sport and the team as certain objects such as the scarves are geared towards a favorite, while others such as the comic books are more neutral. The exhibition really emphasizes the personal side of being a fan, as different fans will collect different objects for different reasons.
The modest size of RK Gallery also help emphasize how personal the exhibition is. Having the posters on the walls as well as the newspaper clippings on tables, stools and low-rise displays makes the atmosphere intimate – one can imagine the memorabilia decorating the walls and furniture of someones bedroom.
To celebrate the end of the exhibition (June 27), the gallery will be holding a Playstation Football tournament where the entry is 5000 Rupiah and the winner takes all.
As the football world’s attention is focused on the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil, RK Gallery’s playful Anak Gawang exhibition is a nice reminder of why so many love football and what fans do for the sport.
A Football Memorabilia Exhibition
Rumah Kebagusan Galeri
Jl. Kebagusan Raya No. 15B
(Pintu Timur Ragunan)