Onik, The Ultraviolet Rebel

The name has been circulating the art scenery for the past 6 years. Met Onik, most probably the only artist in Indonesia who loves exploring the ultraviolet-based materials for his art work. At a glimpse, you would guess that Onik is a “bomber” with a lot of markers and spray paints. But look closely, those aren’t regular sprays and markers, those can glow in the dark. And just when the thought wows you, have a look at his work of arts. Standing majestically, or aligned perfectly or randomly, zig-zaging, Onik’s art work –wherever the location is or whichever the size is– definitely stands out among the rest.

His recent artwork was a room full of pipes with fluorescent sprays and markers, entitled Batas Berbatas for Wave of Tomorrow event on Oct 19-28, 2018, at The Tribatra Grand Ballroom. Rony ‘Rebellionik’ Rahardian is currently busy as a creative director at his own studio, ONX Idea Studio. In the studio, his team is always creatively engaging with a heap of artistic concepts. During our interview session, we dug deeper with the mastermind behind Ultraviolla Project and tasted a cuppa coffee at his own coffee shop, Ruang Seketika.

Let’s do a background check first. You explored the architecture realm prior and now you completely took a chance by immersing yourself in the art world–, what’s the challenging part that makes you ‘you’ right now?

“I majored in architecture back in uni, that was before I realized that I didn’t belong there, it wasn’t something that I really wanted to do. I followed my guts and took a chance to be a designer, and even a commercial photographer. I spent quite some time being a designer and an artist, basically settling in to partake in the creative industry. Truth be told, most of my artworks have that architecture touch to it and I don’t see that as a problem. And dwelling with both –I don’t feel that as a challenge, there’s a sense of pride to be able to put multi-disciplines into an artwork. At the end of the day, my background and my current occupation support each other.”

Does Rebellionik count as your alter ego? And what’s the different between Rony Rahardian and Rebellionik?

“Rebellionik is my stage name – whenever there’s an artistic process, that’s when Rebellionik appears. It was actually given by my wife circa 2009, combining my nickname and my rebellious-self into my stage name. I become Onik whenever I’m working in ONX Idea Studio, and when I do commercial use.”

All of your arts have a touch of vibrant color as UVs. Is it safe to say that UV rays listed as your art identity right now?

“Absolutely. Vibrant color, neon, and shocking colors are indeed my kind of art color. I’m digging those colors. But looking back a little, I recognize those colors when I was back in college. In freshman year, we got this mission to make a musical theater at the end of the year. I got to work on visual part. From that, I got to know more about those colors, fell for it completely, and I explored more and more on those part. Until now, I still use ultra violet colors and it somehow becomes my art’s identity and technique.”

What kind of narration you try to show and tell people in your UV ray-based arts?

“Well, here’s the thing: there’s no hidden message that I want to convey. It’s purely all about my color preference. Many people said that my artworks are an eye-candy, in which they don’t have to understand about what lies behind it. I mean if they wanted to know, they can come to me and we can talk about the whole art together. My artworks are simply meant to be enjoyed.”

Not even a symbolism?

“Symbolism wise, I usually made an art based on the thoughts I have on certain subjects. I want to express the thoughts without having to say them out loud. I express them through the work. It’s kinda like a secret message but only I know what it is about.”

How do you deal with criticism though?

“I like to think I take it well. The way I see it, criticism is just a different side of praise. I don’t mind with people’s critics because I’m learning which part that I lack of and need to improve on further.”


Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Editor: Galuh Tathya
Photographer: Vicky Melly
Videographer: Iqbal Syafei
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin

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