The identity of Indonesian art and culture is a very important thing, even a necessity. However, what needs to be pointed out is that in the meaning of identity, it is always within the frame of the process of becoming a format, so that it always requires continuous efforts. In the framework of the process of seeking identity, meeting with other identity entities, especially in the context of this global era, is another inevitable necessity. What is noted later is that as far and as complex as any other encounter with one another, it should not be self-destructing. In Javanese terms it is termed ngèli hananging ora kèli, so that you don't lose your orientation of sangkan paraning dumadi. Therefore, any encounter with culture, including with the West, should not have the effect of eliminating the existence and identity of Indonesian arts or cultural identity, but rather being more able to enrich it. Because it is existentially that every cultural text, both Western and Eastern, always carries the potential for authenticity both strengths and weaknesses. Just how this nation is able to manjing sakjroing kahanan. As stated by Prof. Dr. Kasiyan, M.Hum in his inaugural speech as Professor of Modern Art Studies at the Faculty of Languages and Arts, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta. The speech entitled "Art, Identity, and Postcoloniality" was read before an open Senate meeting at the UNY Auditorium, Saturday (7/18). Kasiyan is the 155th professor of UNY.
Kasiyan said that one of the reasons that is considered fundamental when art is worth taking into account throughout the history of civilization, among others is because of its power potential which is relatively capable of acting as what is termed by the poet The Peacock, Willibrordus Surendra Broto Rendra as a house of "testimony", a path of partiality for the hopes of survival of life. The noble role is carried out by the arts, especially when hearing voices, screaming injured creatures, and when living a decent life must be defended. Such is the affirmation of Rendra, as used as the song lyric of Kantata Takwa group. In the context of this partisanship or defense of life, therefore the position and strategic role of art is significant, as emphasized by Professor of FBS UNY, Suminto A. Sayuti namely as a path of civilization and humanization. Such an idea, it is very likely that it will soon be seen as problematic and even naive excessively. Especially when placed in the context of the discourse of modern civilization, where the universe tends to be managed with mainstream logosentrism based on objective rationality, which is different from art, which is at the level of intuition and subjective emotionality. Two poles of the opposition, whose entities are very difficult to unite in peace.
Art can be one of the authentic proofs of the meaning of an unspeakable culture. Reflecting from this thought, an understanding of the identity of a nation for example, can also be seen through the reflection of its artistic identity. The problem of Western hegemony in Indonesia is very difficult to solve, because it has happened very long even since this nation was still in the period of the Dutch East Indies colonization. The same thing happened to art apparently. Western influence in the era before independence occurred since the pioneering period, Mooi Indië, and Persagi. Meanwhile, in the post-independence era, Western influence was dominated through its key infrastructure, scientific institutions.
In a broader context as a nation, it is also the same, Indonesia has now lost its Indonesianness, including its artistry. When the West has assumed as "the milk well of civilization", and on the other hand the East, as the "well of civilization honey", then the dialectical encounter of both, can be attributed as a new thesis about the potential for perfect symbiosis of mutualism. With the hope that the outcome will be, a civilization which not only presupposes the presence of "truth" because it is strongly supported by the power of reason and logic, but beyond that is also the charm of the values of "good" and "beauty" because there is also the fullness of the domain of intuition and taste. A group of ideas, which might be worth implementing in the whole praxis of civilized consciousness, both now and especially in the future. For the sake of caring for the hope of the belief that in fact science and art together remain the best path for the jihad of civilization and humanity. (Dedy, Tj.Lak)