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Bancaan Rupa, An Art Exploration of Salt Material

REMBANG, lasem.id – From November 16 to 18, 2023, Tambak Gede, Dasun Village, Lasem, Rembang Regency, held an art event entitled Bancaan Rupa. This event was an art collaboration between Eggy Yunaedi, an artist and cultural activist born in Rembang, with salt farmers and residents of Dasun Village.

The collaboration resulted in the creation of a giant painting that uses salt as a painting base on the pond. The 21-by-33-meter work is believed to be the first and largest salt painting on a pond in the world. Complementing the process and exhibition of the salt painting was a workshop and entertainment show.

Foto udara lukisan raksasa yang digagas oleh Eggy Yunaedi bersama pemulia garam desa dasun berjudul “Ambengan” Bancaan Rupa"
Foto udara lukisan raksasa yang digagas oleh Eggy Yunaedi bersama pemulia garam desa dasun berjudul “Ambengan” Bancaan Rupa”

The giant salt painting took three days to make, and was done by ten salt farmers from Dasun Village together with Eggy Yunaedi, who was assisted by two assistants, Sofyan Kancil and Imam Bocah. They made the painting by sprinkling salt on the ponds, creating lines and planes that formed a monochrome painting on three plots of ponds.

alt=Foto udara lukisan raksasa yang digagas oleh Eggy Yunaedi bersama pemulia garam desa dasun berjudul “Ambengan” Bancaan Rupa"
Foto udara lukisan raksasa yang digagas oleh Eggy Yunaedi bersama pemulia garam desa dasun berjudul “Ambengan” Bancaan Rupa”

The white sprinkling of salt grains on the color of the pond land will bring out the figure of a salt farmer surrounded by ornaments depicting the earth, sun, water and wind as well as gunungan, dragon and hong bird and Islamic ornaments.

The symbol of the four elements of nature and three elements of culture is also embodied in seven salt cones symbolizing prayer and gratitude to the Almighty for the nature and culture that provide livelihood to salt farmers and the people of Dasun.

Collaborative Work

In this Bancaan Rupa, Eggy Yunaedi again chose a collaborative work pattern with the local community as an effort to make the work more contextual. For Eggy, the salt pond in Dasun Village, Lasem is a space that has its own history and narrative. Eggy believes that local symbolic capital must be taken into account in working on a work. For him, the local people are the ones who have the most sovereignty to define their space. Therefore, from the beginning, Eggy placed this work in the perspective of salt farmers and Dasun residents.

Proses pembuatan lukisan raksasa yang digagas oleh Eggy Yunaedi bersama pemulia garam desa dasun berjudul "Ambengan" Bancaan Rupa, foto: Ragil Kuswanto
Proses pembuatan lukisan raksasa yang digagas oleh Eggy Yunaedi bersama pemulia garam desa dasun berjudul “Ambengan” Bancaan Rupa, foto: Ragil Kuswanto

Eggy immerses himself in a perspective that views the event as a bancaan, an activity to offer prayers and gratitude through sharing. The bancaan this time was special for the salt farmers and dasun residents because the ambengan they served was not a sensation for the consumption of the taste buds, but a visual ambengan in the form of a painting.

After the workshop, in the afternoon a bancaan was held led by the religious leaders of Dasun village to mark the inauguration and completion of the world’s largest salt painting. The bancaan began after Sutejo, an artist from Rembang, performed a performance art depicting the glorification of salt. The audience present at the Tambak Gede location watched the finished painting from the tawang tower built by Dasun villagers. The children’s lion dance group from Lasem performed attractively to enliven the atmosphere.

Bancaan Rupa was fully supported by the community and government of Dasun Village, Lasem as well as other communities in Lasem and Rembang. Sujarwo, the Head of Dasun Village, welcomed the event and stated that it was carried out in a spirit of volunteerism. Baskoro Pop, a Lasem heritage activist, sees Bancaan Rupa as a very interesting event. It celebrates Dasun’s cultural heritage landscape of ancient salt ponds that are still honored by the community in a beautiful participatory way.

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