Adine Halim – aka Aharimu – caught our eye with her wild and wacky art and attitude to life. The Yak encountered her in her virtual studio.
Full name, rank and serial number please!
Adine Halim. My alias / artist name is Aharimu. I just feel like using an alias because I don’t want to be too serious. Aharimu has a nice ring to it. I grew up in Jakarta, in the Pondok Indah area. Born, raised, and now live in the same neighborhood. I lived overseas for eight years, but always went back to Jakarta.
I grew up pretty content. Since I was young I always grasped things quickly, I never needed to try too hard at school, hence I had the time to focus on my little interests. For example when I was amused with praying mantises, painted my own bedroom, and found pleasure in watching fountains. My parents took me on a drive around Sudirman just to watch fountains.
Paint and drawing and stuff. When did that start for you, and well … why art and not economics?
Growing up I tried many things, but art was the one that stuck with me, and I’ve never viewed it as a chore. It was just super easy and I always knew what to do with a piece of paper and a bunch of crayons. Other disciplines still feel like a chore to learn – music, language, maths. Doesn’t mean I’m bad at those, it just needs more consciousness to learn it. Economics is a chore and will always be for me.
Who / what are your inspirations?
Many people. Everyone has an aspect that I think, “wow, that’s a cool side of you” and I always try to analyze why it works for them and how it could work for me. Art-wise, those artists who make art with so much honesty and vulnerability that I just feel their soul in their art.
What medium do you most enjoy working in?
It may be an unpopular choice, but my favourite medium is my phone. I take pictures of things I like as inspirations for mood, composition, colour, texture study, and then later translate them into another media. But for the final result, I’m currently most comfortable with oil-on-canvas painting or experimental film.
Do you do commercial work as well or just like, art?
I do video directing and production for half of my time. I love the balance of creating things for other people and creating things for myself.
What’s your Number One most famous painting in the world and why?
I can’t pick one to be honest . . . what makes a painting famous?
You’re at a dinner party with Pablo Picasso … what do you want to ask or say to him?
Hi, fuck the party, let’s draw.
Is this a lifetime calling for you or will life just take over when you marry and settle down with a Pug?
I have a cat. I didn’t adopt him, he adopted me. He just decided to stay in my house. Now I have a weasel. He also just decided to crash. Life just happens, my art is my life, I didn’t pick it, it just comes to me. And when it’s there in front of my eyes, in my daily life, I see and think of it everyday. I take care of it, until perhaps it is time for it to be over. I believe it is also applicable with the husband or the pug.
What does money mean to you, and how does it relate to the life of an artist?
I lie if I say money is not important. I love getting paid well for the effort I make. When the artist is more comfortable, they create better art, because the intention is no longer that it has to sell soon.
Money sometimes acts as a token of appreciation for things whose value can’t be measured. For example, the experience of making the artwork, the amount of energy the artist put into the art, and the artwork’s meaning to the artist. However, too much money sometimes dilutes the gratitude for little things as well. As an artist, we have to keep in touch with the ground.
To be honest, I dislike people who negotiate the price of an artwork. Either you purchase it, or you don’t.
How do you incorporate diversity into your art and is that important to you?
There is a threshold at which creating a similar thing over and over starts to feel draining. When that happens, I have to shift to a different medium with the same theme, or keep the same medium but with a different theme.
I experiment in a lot of mediums, and I’m very open to new perspectives. For example, the collaboration with Wedoo Workshop, that was the first time I worked with the whole team to create one artwork – though the theme is similar to my oil on canvas, the result is completely different. What each person and each tool can offer contributes a lot to the final look. Glad it turned out looking good. I can say that was one of the landmarks in my art-making process, and I learned so much from it.
Who will you be when you are old?
A better artist, I hope.