Celebrating Yogyakarta’s Lively Creative Publishing Community with Yogyakarta Art Book Fair: Pilot Edition

From the 1st to the 3rd of March, 2024, Ruang Pamer, on the third floor of Gedung Pavilion, JNM Bloc Yogyakarta, played host to the Yogyakarta Art Book Fair: Pilot Edition. With 40 participating publishers, the event was a vibrant celebration of creatives and independent publishers based in Yogyakarta and beyond. 

“Our joint aim is to develop publishing as a form of cross-disciplinary artistic practice with exceptional work. Starting in 2024, this Pilot Edition begins with the commitment to experiment by creating a meeting space to push the distribution of artistic publication,” stated the Yogyakarta Art Book Fair (YKABF) team.

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© Ichlasul Amal

As the concrete definition of what is regarded as an art book is currently experiencing cultural fluctuation, for this edition of YKABF, the team is defining art books as “publications and print products that carry minor themes often taken on by independent publishers'' with the varied artistic approaches and production techniques setting them apart from conventional, mainstream publications. Another defining factor for the YKABF team is the distribution system utilized by these publications which often use organic networks as well as alternative distribution channels, including art book fairs.

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© Ichlasul Amal

The 40 participants were made up of a majority of publishers local to Yogyakarta, as well as friends from beyond the region including, Bandung, Bekasi, Cirebon, Jakarta, Semarang, and Surabaya. This diverse range of creatives of 10 tenants and 30 open table exhibitors presented a variety of publication delicacies including artist’s books, zines, graphic books, design books, comics, poetry, illustrations, publications on graffiti, records of local history, screenplay publications, and many more. 

Attracting crowds of over 1000 visitors, the event also played host to workshops held by Agent OH (Kunci Copy Station), Maria Uthe, Vitarlenology, Ganis & Gisela Maria, on drawing, zine making & book binding and risograph printing. Each day of the event, YKABF24 also held Talk & Book Presentation sessions wherein publishers and writers would do a deep dive on specific publications or topics around the publishing world. These sessions include talks and book presentations from Publizing, Piring Tirbing, SOKONG!, Petrikor Books, Terra Bajraghosa, Writing Passion, and Zine Think & Cakapuan.

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About the Author

Kireina Masri

Kireina Masri has had her nose stuck in a book since she could remember. Majoring in Illustration, she now writes, in both English and Indonesian, of all things visual—pouring her love of the arts into the written word. She aspires to be her neighborhood's quirky cat lady in her later years.