The Artists of 2023: Tromarama
By HG Masters
The Jakarta- and Bandung-based trio of Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans, and Ruddy Hatumena, who have worked together since 2006 as the collective Tromarama, are fascinated by the hyperreal intertwining of digital media and technologies in our daily lives. With humor and pathos, they attempt to untangle the wires and URLs that connect us to alternative virtual realms. In the installation Contraflow (2023), for instance, shown in their May solo exhibition at Hong Kong’s Kiang Malingue gallery, a wall of Himalayan salt lamps—reputedly boosters of energetic calm—blink whenever someone tweets #power, while in Pacupicu (2023), a latex horse’s head affixed to the end of a tripod emits children’s voices when anyone tweets #contest. The digital world is one of continuous, added disruption.