Indieguerillas take an epic approach in populating their artistic world with nuance and character. In ten paintings, three objects, and an animation video featuring music by Yogyakarta-based sound artist-DJ Ari “MidiJunkie” Wulu, they parody ancient folklore. Not only do they mine the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics, Javanese myths and legends, they also adopt the cult legends of today. Alongside court-jesters Gareng and Petruk, don’t be surprised to meet an American rap-artist. “While visualizing Limbuk, I don’t know why but Missy Elliot kept popping up in my mind. So I tailor-made a character to represent her, carrying a basket full of spray-paint cans.”— Santi Ariestyowanti of IndieGuerrillas
Wayang shadow-puppetry of South East Asia may no longer be perceived as popular among the younger generation, but Santi & Miko—the husband & wife team of audio-visual and kinetic artists better known as Indieguerillas—beg to differ. While most shadow puppet performances use archaic forms of local tongues—often difficult to understand across ethnic or generation divides, Indieguerillas create updated versions. They aim to popularize wayang among youth with new visuals, back-stories and even names. The demon Buto Cakil, for instance, is reintroduced as the suave Chuckil.
Humor is the vehicle of delivering wisdom in traditional storytelling: it is the court-jesters providing comic relief who have the audacity and artistic license to critique the elite and speak of taboo issues. “Fools’ lore is an intentional slip-of-the tongue appropriate for their tendency of exploring folk tales, subverted for different uses,” explains curator Sudjud Dartanto. “It emphasizes an intensity of fooling around and highlights surprise, symptomatic of creation. As much as they can, Indieguerillas are moving away from any stability of meaning.”
BIASA Artspace is proud to present the first Indieguerillas solo exhibition. Santi Ariestyowanti and Dyatmiko Lancur Bawono (Miko) joined forces as IndieGuerillas in 1999. Both had graduated from the Fine Art Faculty of the Indonesia Art Institute, Yogyakarta; Santi in Visual Communication Design while Mike in Interior Design. Inspired by local culture and daily events, Indieguerillas work with video, digital art, wood, glass, resin, as well as acrylic on canvas.
Through pop yet provocative and brave designs, they bring exploration of techniques and a seemingly endless stream of fresh ideas to the fore. Their unique touch is visible in popular culture: several published books, numerous magazines, as well as livening up chart-topping music bands Sheila on 7 and Padi.
Indieguerillas caught the attention of curators, critics and media, both national and international for providing new alternatives in terms of medium, ideas, and technique. Invitations to prestigious events soon followed: “Neo Nation” Jogja Biennale 2007, CP Open Biennale, among others. Indieguerillas also exhibited their works alongside French design front-liners at Cemeti Art Space. They were invited to contribute in the book Latex for Fun, Stop the dictatorship of vinyl : Designer Toys for the People published by Die Gestalten Verlag, Berlin, Germany.