In 2005, photographers Indra Ameng and Keke Tumbuan were both invited to exhibit their works by UNKL 347, a clothing brand based in Bandung, as the first exhibition at their new gallery, Galeri #1 (R.I.P). However, while checking out each others works, they noticed a distinct similarity in style as well as in theme. Both their collection predominantly consisted by photos of uninhabited places or spaces, taken as they were. In other words, neither set-up nor styled.
They then decided, instead of doing separate installations, to collaborate in one project; and in one of their after after midnight meetings, agreed to name the exhibition “The Diary of The Secret Places… And The Secret Agents”. “The Diary of The Secret Places” has since developed as their main ongoing project, and has been exhibited in numerous art events, one of which was the Jakarta Biennale 2009 (elaborated in an installation called “The Secret Lobby”).
The duo have, up till now, continued in working on photography based projects, and other delightful activities, under the name “The Secret Agents”; which is taken frivolously from the title of their first exhibition.
In 2008, The Secret Agents became more involved in their next favourite thing in life beside visual art, which is Music. They started to organize a monthly live music event they named “SUPERBAD!”, thus making them a rather well-aknowledged duo in the more independent side of the local music scene. There are plenty of musicians who don’t even know that The Secret Agents started off in the art scene! A more detailed information relating to “SUPERBAD!” can be obtained at www.superbadjakarta.wordpress.com or www.superbadgig.weebly.com.
They also became the chief curators for an annual music festival that is organised by the artists’ initiative ‘ruangrupa’ (www.ruangrupa.org) called RRREC Fest (ruangrupa Records Festival) since the second one, in 2011. More detailed info of this festival is at www.rrrec.ruangrupa.org
It has been quite obvious that the kind of Photography exercised by this duo insomniacs are far from what we usually refer to as “Decorative” works. Nevertheless, due to their desire in dealing more often in the practice of photography; while, at the same time, profiting on the activity; they agreed on another venture that will accommodate this new craving.
Introducing… The Secret Agents Photo Bureau.
And the story continues….