Cindy Ishimine and Ary Aditya represent a new creative frontier in Bali: positive, Indonesian, creative and at it.
SHOULD I ask who’s the boss here?
Cindy: I’d say we both are.
Ary: … there, my boss already got the answer.
Seriously, where are you from and how did you grow up? Who or what has influenced you in life thus far?
Cindy: I came from a mixed-cultural family of Indonesian, Dutch and Japanese. I was born in Indonesia but after high school I left for Osaka and then to Holland for eight years. So I would say I’ve spent my adult life abroad. Life inspired me to live the dream, but what keeps me going is the support from the people who love me.
Ary: I’m authentic Sundanese; I grew up in Bandung, West Java, 29 years ago. Bandung is such a creative city – almost 60 per cent of young entrepreneurs are in creative businesses like publishing; the clothing industry; indie advertising; and guerrilla marketing. I like being in the creative industry, working with creative people and making experimental projects. It’s always been my passion to make something from an idea into reality. I live my dream.
You’ve both been involved in one of the most exciting musical projects in recent times here in Bali, namely the Gorillaz Sound System party at GWK. How did that come about, and how were you both involved?
Cindy: We were part of the Head Brewers production team for this event. I did promotion and marketing. I was very excited to take part in it, and always wanted to stage an audio-visual event at GWK. It’s such a beautiful venue.
Ary: I did the design and made the official video for GSS, I was so excited with this event because it was a very attractive show with a massive visual stimulation.
Had you ever done anything like this before?
Cindy: I’ve been involved in many events, and was involved with a music festival in Ubud last year with one of Indonesia’s great composers, Franki Raden – it was small but I must say that we were proud to be able to pull it off without any sponsorship, and very lucky we had so much support from the artists, community and government.
Ary: A couple of times I’ve been involved in indie community events. It’s fun to see local artists with their own unique music sound. In 2004 my friends and I released four DVD documentaries about the local music movement called Noise Maker Video Magazine.
Why is Bali suddenly attracting so many cool acts?
Cindy: Bali has always been THE island, THE paradise, it’s like being watched by the world. Who wouldn’t want to visit and perform on this beautiful island … right? And many people living here are looking for more entertainment and excitement. This makes it more possible to bring great acts to Bali. Bali is well known, but there is more to Bali than just traditional dances, temples, surfing, and so forth. There are other sides to Bali … new media art! Contemporary art and even punk/grunge bands that people are not aware of.
Ary: Bali is fun but it’s boring if you do nothing. I really respect the local artists – they are very talented. But we need really big shows here.
Leading up to the day, what were the challenges in putting on the Gorillaz show?
Cindy: I have to say that the biggest challenge was to convince people that the event was for real.
What else are you into?
Cindy: I love design, music, technology and art. I created PopArtFair.com which is an online gallery where everyone can send their artwork – everything from paintings, sculptures, product designs, fashion, installation, videos etc. Pop Art Fair is about fun and living … we love to collaborate. I’m also in a process of creating my own fashion line, I love every single thing that I do.
Ary: I’m a geek and techno freak, I’m always excited about design, video, art and technology. I founded a creative company called Revolta Motion. I do motion-graphic and video editing stuff … almost all my jobs have to do with hardware & software but all this technology is useless if we can’t find creative and talented people to work with it.
It seems to us Bali is one of the last frontiers for music … how do you find the local music scene, and how do you see it developing?
Cindy: Music and movies are developing slowly in Bali. The local music scene is good for rock/punk music. I think we need to introduce other genres. Bali is not like in Jakarta, Bandung or Jogjakarta, where people are creatively competing … and that’s very productive and positive for the young generation to start innovating.
Ary: Listening to music is such an enjoyment. I’d like to hear more musical genres here too. Bali has a big community and an underground scene. If there was one big music festival with various styles of music it would be more interesting.
It’s also one of the burgeoning creative hotspots in Indonesia … how does the talent here stack up against other parts of Indonesia, do you think?
Cindy: There are many great Balinese artists if you look for them, but if you’re talking about new media artists – such as video and motion graphics – most of them are out of Bali because chances are bigger in Jakarta than here.
Ary: Balinese talent is superb, but the creative industry is still growing.
You’re both from outside of Bali … what do you think you’ve brought to the island in terms of creativity?
Cindy: This is just the beginning. I see that we’ve triggered creativity, and we’re still in the process of bringing it all together. Hopefully from this interview we can get more supporters who share the same vision.
Ary: I love the mix of cultures here. Working with various people from around the world, I can see everything from different perspectives, and in unique ways – the experience is priceless.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Do you each have a personal philosophy to life?
Cindy: Making dreams come true … life is customizable – design it the way you wish.
Ary: I thank God I’m alive … let’s do some crazy stuff every day, and make some money from the things we like doing …