Another backlog post (☉౪ ⊙)
Comic Frontier (or Comifuro), a visual art market event where local artists and consumers meet (think Comiket). What makes it interesting? For me, it is the “market” atmosphere. Imagine a large mildly air-conditioned (which means quite hot) and mildly decorated room with a lot of artists and large mass of consumers. Each of those artists is given the same desk (as big as school desk) and chairs, which the artist has to decorate (or not), and that is it; not even a booth. Walking around a bit and you can find a lot of comical decorations, made creatively with dirt cheap materials (ex: elementary grade picture drawn with color pencil on an A4 paper). And the participating artists are there personally, with no corporate PR involved. What will you encounter? A lot of doujins, posters, key chain, pins, and home-made games. Oh, and cute artists too 😛
I personally think that Comic Frontier contains some interesting symbolism. First of all is the fact they are using SMESCO UKM building (maybe they will move to other venue next year, I do not know). At one side it symbolizes that doujin-making (and similar visual art making) is more than just a mere hobby, it can also become a source of income with significant demand in the market, and at the other side, by choosing a modest venue (and with UKM title), it also emphasizes that the popular visual art market is not dominated by big profit-hungry corporations, as the grassroots producers, the artists themselves, who create to express their aspiration, are still a considerable force in the market (*cough, not like AF#). Second, the rise of fujoshi and public showing of risqué visual arts. You can say that those are the signs of decadence, but I would like to look it in another light. They signify the progressive transformation of Indonesian people into an open-minded society where everybody may express their creativity without fear of persecution. Do you not remember the sign of Italian cultural renaissance? Naked statue (it is a joke).
To sum it all up, I recommend Comic Frontier for people who want to get in touch directly with local aspiring visual art creators with “market” atmosphere. There is very little amount of third-party meddling here, so you can be sure that your purchase goes straight to the creators (or their friends who tend the stall), which makes the whole experience less like “purchasing” and more like “appreciating”.