Bambang ‘Toko’ Witjaksono’s solo visual debut will be open for public on September 19. Darwin Experimental Art Foundation Space, Darwin, Australia, will exhibit Bambang’s printmaking and paintings until October 4. The exhibition will present Bambang’s works during his two months residency at Charles Darwin University . The class of 2005 graduate of Bandung Institute of Technology has previously carried out six solo exhibitions before. The latest ones are: “Sweet Dreams” at TOIMOI, Jakarta, “Gareng – Petruk (Tribute to Tatang S.)” at Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta, “Mas Makelar” at Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta and “Totally Smoked”, at Le Centre Culturel Français de Yogyakarta. His current solo exhibition is titled “Pigtography”.
Bambang, who was born in Yogyakarta, 1973, stated that the pigs (in his latest works) were personifications of people he met in life. Using printmaking and painting techniques, Bambang drew on various media, such as multiplex boards, dog’s matt trampoline, rounded triplex board, wooden toilet seat cover and second-handed materials he found in several dump shops in Karama, Darwin. The interconnection between his pig characters and Australia is not built as premises through his works during this residency program. “Pigtography” offers you Bambang’s perspective in seeing people.
Yes, these works are themed in pigs. Pig, as a character which personifies human, appeared in Bambang’s work for the first time in 2001. It was a superhero character named Abdul Toyib (an Arabic name which is commonly used in Indonesia ), a Moslem pig. Abdul Toyib wore a superhero costume with Arabic writings written on his chest, instead of certain symbolic logos, which translates into ‘halal‘ (literally translated to English as: kosher). As for me, I see Abdul Toyib as a character that represents critiques and contradictions. Hidden under the naughtiness and jokes are multi-layered social critiques (to Indonesian conditions). The smart packaging of character usually makes the audiences enjoy, only, the fun and funny parts.
Starting form Abdul Toyib, this young man, who was one of Apotik Komik’s (a well known street art group back in 2000) founders, gets more intense in using pigs as characters. Of course, latter, those characters are no longer named Abdul Toyib. The wittiness’ and satires in social critiques he sent throughout his characters are sharpened each day of his career. Bambang, who had joined two residency projects before (in New Delhi , India, and Liechtenstein, Switzerland), continue to personify pigs, today, in his latest solo exhibition, Pigtography. His exhibited works are:
- Vote Me!, color etching printed by Leon Stainer;
- Dora Goes to Darwin dan Babi Genit (literally translated as: Dora Goes to Darwin and the Coquettish Pig),color lithography printed by Gertjan Forrer;
- Paintings on second-handed materials:
- Happy Family, Lady Pig, Heavy Metal Pig, Boy Pig and Carilah Dua Babi yang Sama!(literally translated as: Find the Two Identical Pigs!), on multiplex boards;
- Let’s Drink!, on dog’s matt trampoline;
- Babi Bersodara (literally translated as: The Pigs Siblings), on rounded triplex;
- Berkacalah (Look into the Mirror), on wooden toilet seat cover;
PIGTOGRAPHY: Bambang ‘Toko’ Witjaksono
Darwin Experimental Art Foundation Space (Dawin Visual Art Association), Australia
17 September – 4 October 2008