Azisa Noor

Azisa Noor

  • Studied Architecture at ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung), Bandung
  • Works as a freelance architect and lives in Bandung/West Java
  • Member of the Indonesian Heritage Society (Jakarta) and Bandung Heritage Society (Bandung)

I think there is a certain traditional and mystical nuance infused into each of my work.

Let’s get this straight. She’s a freelance architect, who’s still playing violin and or cello for the ITB student Orchestra, Bandung Institute of Technology... but Azisa Noor’s truly passion is into the sequential arts of comics. “I started thinking seriously about actually living as a comic artist during my first visit to an Indonesian comic festival. That period of time could be considered a period of comeback for the Indonesian comic scene, which previously have been in a state of dormancy for many decades. Seeing rows upon rows of people who are actually making comics day to day and are highly passionate about it when I have seen none before more or less sealed the deal for me. I am going to spend the rest of my life making comics!”

As a member of Indonesian Heritage Society (Jakarta) and Bandung Heritage Society (Bandung), Azisa has a certain long-standing interest in historical studies and legends/folklores/mystical things. This clearly reflected in her published comics: Legenda(2006), Asa (2007), Bandung Faerie Project (2008), Crossroads (2009), Satu Atap (2009), Ramadhan 200 H (2009), Perempuan di Atas Pohon (2010), Satu Atap 2 (2010), Mantra (20110, and Kaki Lima (2011). Currently, she is working on a long-running personal project, a comic featuring old and historical places in Bandung and the respective stories and urban legends surrounding it.

Azisa is a well-known comic artist not only for her achievements in Indonesian comics competitions, but also on her approach in creating comics that may seem a little bit rare these days: she paints her comics manually using watercolors. For her, it’s about identity. “Visually, I think I’m one of the few comic artist in the local industry left using mainly manual means – basically it’s because I am hopeless with anything digital, although there is a certain almost-alchemical joy in actually getting your hands all dirty with paint and ink. But apparently it sets a certain identity about my work for other people.”

As we all know, for there are many different groups of people... there are many different kind of comments and critiques. Over the years, Azisa has taken to categorize comments into certain ‘groups’ of differing priorities and applicabilities. Although she keeps that in mind that every feedback is useful and valuable, she has learned to treat each differing feedbacks accordingly and contextually to then use it to slowly improve her works.

“Idealistically speaking, I want my work to make people think – or in some cases, rethink - their idea of certain things that they might usually pass up or take for granted. Not in a relevatory sense, but in a slow, gentle, nudge you gently with an elbow- kind of way. But then again, if it’s not a certain reader’s cup of tea for that kind of reminiscing, I’d be really happy if my work can at least make people smile or have a good time while reading it.”

Imansyah Lubis
Curator, Comiconnexions
is lecturer in the field of sequential art, hopelessly addicted to comics and occasionally writes about the medium. Currently, he reviews local comics for a free Indonesian comic magazine, Comical Magz.

Copyright: Goethe-Institut Indonesien
September 2011

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