Woman Who Calms the Longing

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    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - “I don’t believe people who like to show off their happy family..” is the string of words that opens a poem entitled “The Happiest Family Portrait”.

    “I don’t have family portrait,” said M. Aan Mansyur, the poet writer during the launching of his poem book ‘Melihat Api Bekerja’ (‘Looking at the Fire in Action) at Edwin’s Gallery, Kemang, South Jakarta, just recently.

    The book is a compilation of 54 poems written by M. Aan Mansyur and 60 illustrations by painter Muhammad Taufiq a.k.a. Emte. Interestingly, both artists have just met in the launching. They had compiled the book through internet communication.

    Family portrait is one of Aan’s favorite illustrations because it depicts his family condition. In the portrait, Emte drew a group of faceless human with vaporizing heads.

    As for Emte, he admitted that he favorites Aan’s poem entitled ‘Menenangkan Rindu’ (Calm the Longing).

    “Aan’s poems are very instinctive, therefore [I draw] lots of women,” said Emte.

    When reading Aan’s poems, said Emte, he often feels like he is talking to a woman. Of the 60 illustrations, only 42 are displayed at Edwin’s Gallery.

    Although Emte is mostly known as freelance illustrator and graphic designer who likes to play with colors, his works on the book are only consisting of white and brown.

    “I am now entering two-color phase, and by chance I am working on this book,” Emte explained.

    But be convinced, that same colors can look quiet and cheerful at once.

    On the contrary, Aan’s poems represent many colors. And he offer as many interpretation to his poems as possible. He writes about lovers, haste, and anger. He admits that his ‘Melihat Api Bekerja’ indirectly represents angers of his mother, father, and anger towards public issues. One of his poem is even talks about traffic congestion in Jakarta.

    For Aan, poems are his mean to communicate with his mother. He always read his poems each time he calls his mother. If two weeks go without a call, his mother would call him back and ask if he has no new poems for her.

    “That’s how my mother is. She has never said that she misses me,” Aan said.

    She is a woman who is able to calm the longing.