It was two days before Independence Day when I first visited the Museum Nasional in Jakarta. The Merah Putih (the Indonesian flag) was proudly displayed though hung limply in the stillness of the day. The Museum, along with most of the buildings on our taxi trip there were festooned with huge swathes of red and white fabric in readiness for the Independence Day celebrations. It gave a festive dimension to the portico of the grand white neo-classical facade.
In the forecourt of the museum a magnificent swirling wave like installation sculpture captured my attention. The expressiveness of the hard grey metal of the vortex set against an overcast sky compelled me and many passers-by to peer into the vortex. Inside you could see figures of people melded into the sculpture. It had an eerie watery feeling especially when you noticed that the sculpted people were being pulled in to the vortex. They didn’t seem perturbed. At the time I wasn’t sure what it meant but I kept recalling my feeling of wonder.
There didn’t appear to be a label for the work. Nearby was a rock lettered with the words Ku Yakin Sampai di sana. I didn’t know what it meant or that it was related to the installation.
Some weeks later I was still thinking about the sculpture and started looking for information. Ku Yakin Sampai di sana was designed by I Nyoman Nuarta, a Balinese artist born in Tabanan in 1951. He studied Fine Arts at the Bandung University.
Ku Yakin sampai di sana is a song by SBY. Ku Yakin Sampai di sana can be translated as ‘I believe I will get there’. It was performed by 150 Jakarta students at the farewell to SBY and welcome Jokowi at his inauguration. Here are some of the words to the song.
Ku Yakin sampai di sana
Meskipun berat mesti kulakukan
Kupilih jalan yang kukakini
Jangan paksakan yang tak kan mungkin
Hidupku mesti lurus dan benar
Seribu jalan menuju Roma
Entah mana yang paling baik
Ada begitu banyak pilihan
Engkau lah yang kan menentukan
T’lah kupilih jalanku sendiri
Dalam prinsip kehidupanku
Meski tak selalu akan indah
Aku yakim sampai di sana
This is an English translation.
Although it’s difficult, I must go through it
I chose the path I believe in
Don’t force things that are impossible
My life must be honest and right
There are thousands of ways to Rome
Uncertain which one is best
There are just too many options
You will be the one deciding
I have chosen my own path
With my life principles
Although it won’t always be beautiful
I believe I will be there