Popomangun Discusses the Meaning of Home in the House of Home Exhibition

ARTLOKA proudly presents Popomangun's solo exhibition, titled House of Home, which explores the personal meaning of home. In the curatorial text, Popomangun writes that home is a safe space for its inhabitants and a place where they are fully shaped as individuals. Speaking to Grafis Masa Kini, Popomangun revealed that this solo exhibition stems from his unease regarding his relationship with family, which shaped his perception of the meaning of home itself. Transitioning from living with parents to becoming a parent himself prompted Popomangun to create visual works centered around the concept of home. "Being a parent has no school or curriculum; thus, all behaviors and adaptations in the form of communication, anxieties, and warmth are actually recorded in the feelings and thoughts that we call home," expressed Popomangun.

The patterns and colors in Popomangun's works in the House of Home exhibition depict his memories of home. In terms of form, the houses in his works are drawn from various memories, including his relationships with his parents, in-laws, wife, and children. "All of these are illustrated in depictions of houses in various forms," explained Popomangun. The selection of warm and cool colors within the same frame reminds us of the emotional dynamics within a home. Memories in the corners of the house are translated by Popomangun into symbols and silhouettes unified within a single visual narrative. The curatorial text states that for Popomangun, aside from being representations of memories, these forms and patterns serve as both figures and landscapes depicting how he survives by building a "home" amidst the chaos of life.


In this exhibition, Popomangun's distinctive patterns are poured onto canvas in various sizes, each representing a narrative about home from different perspectives. "Like my work entitled 'Weekend with My Son,' this is my first collaboration with my son, Kanigara Hafuza Al Mangun," revealed Popomangun. In this piece, Popomangun incorporated many textures inspired by memories of his son's childhood, when he introduced various textures to aid sensory and motor development. "This process of formation became a fun ritual that we always did together every weekend," he added. Through his Instagram account @popomangun.png, the artist also shared the story behind a piece titled "House of Dream," stating, "The question arises when turning three in your mind, when your child grows up, when you age, and when the most liberating place for you to rest is the house you dream of, it turns out it's all in your mind." In the same text, Popomangun himself stated, "the 'home' that liberates is the feeling of being the most human."

Although memories of home are deeply personal and familiar, Popomangun encountered challenges in designing works for this solo exhibition. The artistic research process triggered memories of the meaning of home for Popomangun. Through profound steps in each stage of his work, the artist grew closer to the people he cherishes at home. This exhibition serves as a reminder for Popomangun that he always has a home to return to. "In the midst of the research process for this exhibition, I realized that I'm not just creating art, but more than that, this exhibition also brings me back home, closer to my family," said Popomangun. The meaning of home in this exhibition is not only significant for Popomangun himself but also intended to be shared with every visitor. Feeling at home, according to Popomangun, makes us fully human amidst busyness, fame, positions, and all worldly matters outside the home. "(At home) you will still be the husband your wife asks for help in lifting the water jug to the dispenser. You will still be the father ready to play with dinosaurs when your child asks, and even as you age, you will still be the spoiled child in the eyes of your parents at home."

Popomangun's solo exhibition reignites our memories of home and how we personally interpret it. The public can visit the House of Home exhibition at ARTLOKA, Jakarta Art Hub, Wisma Geha 3rd Floor, Jalan Timor No.25 Menteng, Central Jakarta, until May 19th.

About the Author

Alessandra Langit

Alessandra Langit is a writer with seven years of diverse media experience. She loves exploring the quirks of girlhood through her visual art and reposting Kafka’s diary entries at night.