Balada Romi dan Basuki

Found in:

Artwork by

Agung Kurniawan


charcoal & soft pastel on paper

drawing collage, a total of 225×270 cm (15 pieces):
50×65 cm (14 pcs)
25×33 cm (1 pc)


Balada Romi and Basuki is not only a story of impossible love between two men from different religious background and cultures, but also illustrates the life aspects of  Indonesian society where the social tense strongly felt in their struggle to find a new balance in democracy, individual freedom and human rights issue.


Once upon a time in Indonesia, there was a young but conservative muslim, named Basuki. Many times he felt alone and frustrated, as his wife went to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help earn some money for the young family. Someday he met a sympathetic young man from West Timor, called Romi Fernandes Roi Timu. Although Romi too was poor, and had difficult time to make the ends meet, he never complained and always looked happy. Romi’s positive attitude caught Basuki’s attention and soon he befriended him. Despite their different religions (Romi was Christian, while Basuki was Muslim) they felt strongly for each other. Before long, they realised they were actually more in love with each other as their friendship not only emotionally deepened but also became more carnal. Unfortunately, the young couple were caught by the religious and conservative villagers, who went on beating the men. Romi managed to escape, but convinced that Basuki was beaten to death by the angry mob. Sad and revengeful, he sneaked into the village at night and set the houses ablaze. Big fire broke and burnt down many houses, including Basuki’s house. Little that he knew that Basuki was still inside, albeit bed-ridden. Basuki died tragically in the fire, as Romi watched from afar the village reduced to ashes.

Additional information

Dimensions 60 × 80 × 10 cm