Title: M. Raffi Wijoyo, 11 years old, from the series The Soul of Autism
Digital print, mounted to panel
Dimensions: Image / Panel: 35 3/8 × 35 3/8 inches (89.9 × 89.9 cm)
Acquired through the Jarett F. Wait, Class of 1980, and Younghee Kim-Wait Endowment for Contemporary Islamic and Middle Eastern Arts
Amran Malik Hakim, a graduate of Jakarta Art Institute, first became interested in autism when working as a teacher. The opportunity and challenges of engaging several of his students with autism led him to some very fundamental and meaningful understandings about the nature of being human. Until President Suharto fell from power in 1998, after a reign that lasted thirty years, children with disabilities were largely ignored, even shunned. In Hindu Bali, it might have even been worse; people with disabilities would be seen as paying some karmic debt.
Hakim’s portrait is photographed with a simple black-and-white technique so that the head of the child appears in full frame. His perspective is unflinching, and yet also without judgment. He described the experience of shooting the photograph as making him consider “the meaning of life, the meaning of responsibility, caring, and excellence.” ("Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography," co-curated by research associate Brian Arnold and Ellen Avril and presented at the Johnson Museum January 21-June 11, 2017)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.