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Nusantara Archive Project #10: Ismal Muntaha – Paririmbon Investasi
January 16th, 2019TYPE: Event

In Jatiwangi, Majalengka, there are more and more rice fields and vacancy areas which have being transformed into factory buildings now. The Majalengka government is ready to make Jatiwangi a large industrial district, supported by the infrastructure like the international airport and toll roads that have just been built to connect this district with big cities and ports. Jatiwangi has become part of the wave of global investment. Most of the factories that have been established in Jatiwangi are owned by Investors from Taiwan. It fits the fact that the Taiwan Government is starting to think about making Taiwan more ‘green’ by moving factories to Southeast Asian countries, and Indonesia is indeed one of the most promising investment targets. The state then facilitated through an investment reform policy from the Government of Indonesia, which provides a faster and simpler investment licensing service, also providing more attractive incentives and facilities for investors.

In relations between different countries or between capital that manifest in this wave of investment, can we (artists’ community) take part in it? Titled as “Paririmbon Investasi”, the project tries to speculate the supernatural dimension of Taiwanese society towards investment behavior through a feng-shui and astrology approaches, which is indeed an important part in the daily lives of Taiwanese people.

Ismal Muntaha is interested in adding a supernatural duty to the investors through the application of these approaches; extending the investment process with a variety of ethical practices, linking various cultural aspects that exist around the area of investment, as a consideration of the investment perspective. All of these will be summarized into an investment guidebook for Taiwan investors who will invest in Jatiwangi. This book will be compiled in a participatory and collective manner through a series of workshops in Taiwan and Indonesia invloving various kinds of participants; artists, curators, researchers, business people, farmers and of course fengshui masters and astrologers. This book is designed as a companion to the investment guidebook prepared by the state. We will also try to collaborate with KDEI (Kantor Dagang dan Ekonomi Indonesia di Taipei, or Indonesia Economic And Trade Office in Taipei) to distribute this Paririmbon Investment.


Di Jatiwangi – Majalengka, hamparan sawah dan tanah kosong kini menjelma menjadi bangunan-bangunan pabrik yang jumlahnya terus bertambah. Pemerintah Majalengka siap menjadikan Jatiwangi sebagai kawasan Industri besar, disokong oleh infrastruktur Bandara International dan jalan tol yang baru saja dibangun untuk menghubungkan kawasan industri ini dengan kota besar dan pelabuhan. Jatiwangi telah menjadi bagian dari gelombang investasi global. Pabrik-pabrik besar yang telah berdiri di Jatiwangi sebagian besar dimiliki oleh Investor dari Taiwan. Cocok dengan kenyataan bahwa Pemerintah Taiwan mulai berpikir untuk membuat Taiwan lebih ‘hijau’ dengan memindahkan pabrik-pabrik ke Negara-Negara Asia Tenggara, dan Indonesia memang menjadi salah satu sasaran Investasi paling menjanjikan. Negara kemudian memfasilitasi dengan kebijakan reformasi investasi dari Pemerintah Indonesia yang memungkinkan para investor mendapat kemudahan proses perijinan investasi serta berbagai insentif pajak bagi para investor.

Di dalam hubungan negara antar negara atau modal antar modal yang mewujud dalam gelombang investasi ini, bisakah kita ikut serta menjadi bagian di dalamnya? Dinamakan “Paririmbon Investasi”, sebuah proyek yang coba menspekulasikan dimensi spritualitas masyarakat Taiwan terhadap laku investasi melalui pendekatan Feng Shui dan Astrologi, yang memang menjadi bagian penting dalam keseharian masyarakat Taiwan.

Ismal Muntaha tertarik mengeksperimentasikan pendekatan ini untuk menambah beban supernatural kepada Investor. Memperpanjang proses Investasi dengan berbagai laku etis, Menghubungkan berbagai aspek kultural yang ada sekitar wilayah investasi, sebagai pertimbangan cara pandang dalam berinvestasi yang lebih melibatkan. Kesemua itu akan dirangkum menjadi sebuah buku panduan investasi bagi para investor Taiwan yang akan berinvestasi di Jatiwangi. Buku ini akan disusun secara kolektif melalui rangkaian workshop di Taiwan dan Indonesia bersama berbagai macam partisipan; seniman, curator, peneliti, pebisnis, strart uper, petani dan tentu saja Fengshui Master dan Astrologi Master. Buku ini dirancang sebagai pendamping buku panduan investasi yang disusun oleh Negara. Kami juga akan coba bekerjasama dengan KDEI (Indonesia Econoc And Trade Office to Taipei) untuk mendistribusikan buku Paririmbon Investasi ini.




Ismal Muntaha is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, and curator who lives and works in Jatiwangi, Indonesia. He actively worked with artist collective, Jatiwangi art Factory, in many local and international contemporary art activities, such as festival, exhibition, workshop, video, music, research, etc. Currently, he runs a collective work called “Badan Kajian Pertanahan”, literally means “Land Affair Study Agency” (a mimic of the official “National Land Affairs Agency”), a cultural landscape research collective through artistic investigation. He also runs a cinema in Jatiwangi called Jatiwangi Sinematek, which experiments with the idea of curating moving image as parts of daily event in public space. Since 2009, he organized Village Video Festival, an annual international video residency festival in Jatiwangi. As an artist, he is interested in collaborative works; by doing so, art is capable of activating various parties through various cooperative movements. Thus the meaning of aesthetics not only dwells in the realm of formal composition but also directly leads to creating forms of imagination through activities that embody the socio-historical needs of the society.



Fiona Cheng is an art writer based in Taichung and Chattogram. Researched art festivals in the countrysides of Japan, influenced by the surrounding environments and the context of the places, and knowing that receiving any knowledge is a privilege. As art critic or artist, she participated in the short-term residency of Ruangrupa ArtLab (Indonesia), Jog Art Space (Bangladesh), and Expression Expedition 2018 (Nepal), Beppu Project (Japan). She is also the founding editor of an art writing website:


No Man’s Land Residency & Nusantara Archive project (The 1st Year):

Organizer: No Man’s Land; Digital Art Foundation
Associate Organizer: ET@T, Open-Contemporary Art Center
Observation Team: Fiona Cheng, Wu Ting-Kuen, Posak Jodian, Alice Ko (supported by National Culture and Arts Foundation)

Host Ismal Muntaha/ 鄭惠文
Date January 24th, 2019 19:30-20:30