Angki Purbandono, one of the founders and frontman of Yogyakarta’s Mes 56 artists’ initiative, is regarded as one of the most significant visual artists dealing with photography from the contemporary perspective. Angki’s works have always challenged the common principles of photography or at least, what the common audience (or photographers themselves) view as what is and what is not regarded as ‘photography’. This is very related to the whole artistic journey of Angki, the way he treats images beyond the myths of photography and the camera.
With ‘happy scan’, a collection of series created along the way from his 2006 Korean residency to April 2008 in Yogya, Angki is provoking our conventional perceptions of the photo medium. ‘happy scan’ is his first exhibition exclusively exhibiting his creations of images by using perhaps the most popular (yet also underrated) tool of creating photorealistic images after the camera: the Scanner.
This choice of medium, again, is provocative since scanners, though very commonly used in creative industry, have always been considered as a one-dimensional, limited and instant (no skills required) instrument in creating images. Angki attempts to prove that this tool, which essentially has the same function as the camera – i.e. to capture real images, can also be a valuable media to create a vast range of artistic expressions. ‘Happy scan’ is another of Angki Purbandono’s ‘disturbances’ to the medium that he loves, photography. Technology may always progress and as it has already been happening nowadays, almost everyone can claim themselves as a photographer with the growing access and affordability of obtaining a camera and the digital magic, yet, it is the person behind the tool and not the tool itself who is able to seek out the undiscovered, unlimited range of creative possibilities offered by the photo medium.