Yoppy Pieter

Eastern Comma

Eastern Comma is a new chapter of Saujana Sumpu, a five-year project that explores the Minangkabau phenomenon of “Merantau” in a forsaken village named Sumpu, located in the vicinity of Lake Singkarak, West Sumatra, Indonesia. The term “Merantau” refers to the act of migrating to bigger urban populations to gather experience, to learn new skills and, ultimately, to prosper. In this new chapter, Yoppy Pieter explores the memory of Eddy Joniwar, who left Sumpu four decades ago to start a new life in the Indonesian Java Island. The project questions a new definition of “Merantau” through family stories, identity, desire, fragility, and the longing for the home the migrants have left behind.

The road in rural Indramayu, West Java, that connects Cikamurang and Indramayu city.

Rafi Ahmadi sits on the shoulder of his older brother, Roni Oktavian. They are the sons of Rosnita and Zainal Zen who grow up in Indramayu. Part of a migrant family, they believe that their identity is Minangese, and Indramayu is their home.

A portrait of Talitha, Sasnidar and Eddy Joniwar’s granddaughter. Within the matrilineal concept, she will inherit the family line of her mother.

Sumpu migrants in Indramayu collectively bought this land in 2013 to be their last place to rest.

See the project on Witness

See more work by 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass participants here