Overview participating exhibitions

Making Oneself

Making Oneself

Agan Harahap

Mardjlker Photo Studio (2015)

The Indonesian photographer Agan Harahapmerges the colonial past with the postcolonial present in his MARDJIKER PHOTO STUDIO,a fictional indigenous commercial studio operating in the colonial era. Working within the archive’s mnemonic function by using the language of appropriation and parody, MARDJIKER PHOTO STUDIOspecialised in inter-mixed portraits: Westerners dressed and posed like locals and vice versa. Harahap regularly shares works from the Mardjlker’s Studio through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Under the name of Sejarah_X, Harahap has almost ten thousand followers in total. This online interaction reveals different levels of knowledge of colonial history and material among followers: some are totally deceived by Harahap’s skilful hoaxes; others perceive his absurd scenarios as trivialising the colonial past. In this interactive process, Harahap interrupts the authority and integrity of the archive by asking viewers to think twice about what it is they see and to question the authorship and ownership of the colonial archive.


Agan Harahap (Indonesia, 1980) began his career as a painter and illustrator when he was a graphic design student at STDI (Design and Art College) in Bandung, Indonesia. He worked in the Tarzan Photographic Studio, Jakarta as a digital imaging artist manipulating photographs. He was a finalist for the Indonesian Art Award in 2008, and his first solo exhibition was with MES 56 in Yogyakarta a year later. A full-time artist since September 2011, his works have been exhibited in Southeast Asia, Korea, Japan, Portugal, Colombia, and Australia.