Whether it has been a conscious decision or otherwise, I have been injecting death imageries and motivations in my recent works. It might have started from the not-so-distant news about the execution of prisoners convicted of drug smuggling in early 2015. A section, in fact quite a large of it, of my constructed Gordius narrative involves drugs, recreational or supplements, as a pattern reflected in the works. It definitely has a personal history of using recreational drugs and as much as I hate to say this, it is without a doubt a huge part of queer- or I should address it as gay culture today. So the execution has very little nationalistic impact towards me other than its indirect 'gay' connotation which somehow can be further addressed through visual culture. Aside that as well, I personally do not believe in killing, especially for the reason of deterrent which unfortunately the then Indonesian president, Jokowi had been backing his pro-captial punishment stance. 

Hence, cutting long development of ideas short, I proposed a work which I have planned several years ago that deals with death and ethics which brought me to a question brought forward by a manga which I could never forget since I read it back in early 2000. 

Why is it wrong to kill humans?

Satsuki Yatojui, one of the villains who excels in computer programming (in fact she has a relationship with a robot called Beast) asks this question when she destroys one of Tokyo's thirteen barrier in Shinjuku to one of the manga;s protagonist, Yuzuriha Nekoi. As a simple young girl, Yuzuriha can not think of an answer which resulted in the death of her spirit wolf, Inuki. In fact, as a reader back in early 2000, I could not think of an answer, or even, I find the question irrelevant. When Satsuki manages to beat Yuzuriha and destroys Shinjuku, a fellow villain comments that it is truly a difficult question but he answers (which now I think as a pretty perfect answer) with: 

Because somebody will feel sad. 


My interest upon this theme of death, ethics and morality is followed by subsequent amazing manga I managed to come across, most of which portray attempts of depicting a utopia. X by CLAMP is followed by titles such as Death Note by Tsugumi Oba and Takeshi Obata, Gantz by Hiroya Oku and PSYЯEN by Toshiaki Iwashiro. All of the manga mentioned are considered to be shonen manga or seinen which are intended for boys or young men as violence and sexual themes are common. These narratives question degrees of which killing humans are considered acceptable, or even resetting the world by allowing humans to die or extinct in order for the earth to start anew. 

I will elaborate more on the narratives and how they will or may not affect the end product of the work that I am developing.

However, I am also interested in the use of BBS system that is often used by mangaka to communicate with their fans. Within the stories, BBS or Bulletin Board System is also often used in apocalyptic manga as it suggests computer-based human relationship which might also suggest certain kind of technology and artificial intelligent. BBS on the wider context can also be visual or screen-based anonymity which in itself is a reflection of how the world today functions. 

My proposal to Tokyo Wonder Site is to create a website that proposes a BBS-inspired mechanism that allow netizens to answer the question above. I have designed a simple webpage and sample is as followed. 

I will also be focusing the project based on selected characters from the mentioned manga which I will provide more information as the project develops in Tokyo.   

Meanwhile, it is exciting to be in the city with culture that brings us amazing narratives and I am hoping to develop an interesting piece during my three months residency.