February 2021

Only one rumah ikan survived the monsoon season. Restless tides and moons fold in. Rumah ikan bend and fold too, ropes snap, kayu bakau buckles and untethered becomes a floating driftwood kayu hanyut ecosystem riding the currents before coming to rest on neighbouring beaches.


a photo of rocks at the cape ︎︎︎


Pak Uning sends videos of each step of constructing rumah ikan - selecting nipah palm, showing the new bakau wood structures he is experimenting with - triangular this time, to withstand the currents - loading rumah ikan onto his boat and taking them out to sea. Drawings of rumah ikan beneath the sea, of the routes he takes to fish at each location - bako 1, bako 2, bako 3, bako 4. I wanted to attach a go-pro to the rumah ikan, to see its worlds. An impatient insistence on seeing. But rumah ikan insists on opacity, is already present in its inaccessibility, shows itself partly by what it yields: fish, curiosity, dolphins, encounters, stories and videos that bounce between phones and the conversations that move in circles around it.