The Visitor

Iwan Effendi

2019, 2020
Rattan, wood, paper, washi, charcoal on paper
Installation dimensions variable

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Enter Effendi’s series The Visitor and skeletal rattan puppet figures greet you with their individual static emotion, or as the artist would refer to as a ‘daydreaming face’. They are not characters derived from any particular narrative, unlike what Effendi is accustomed to when designing characters for Yogyakarta puppet theatre, Papermoon. In Papermoon productions, every puppet figure is designed to adhere to details such as a character’s age, gender, size, and the choice of puppeteers. In The Visitor, Effendi takes a deliberate reversal from this usual process, when he realized that a static face could show so many emotions, supported by gestures, lighting, and sounds. The faces of each figure dominantly define the ‘life’ of the puppet: from the composition of the eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, facial contours, and angles, a daydreaming face is a very bizarre and enigmatic expression – we all do it, but we never really pay too much attention to how we look when we daydream. We are not aware when we’re doing it.

About the Artist

Iwan Effendi (b. 1979, Yogyakarta, Indonesia) studied at the Department of Visual Art in Indonesia Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta, Indonesia from 2002 to 2004. In April 2006, Effendi and his wife, Ria Tri Sulistyani, founded the Papermoon Puppet Theatre, and in 2020, he founded Ing Printmaking Studio. His solo exhibitions to date include "DRAWING withdrawing" at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (2020); "Face to Face" at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (2019); "Lunang" at Lir Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2013); "Eye of the Messenger" at Yavuz Gallery, Singapore (2011); and "Two Shoes for Dancing" at Valentine Willie Fine Art (Project Room), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2009). He has also participated in group exhibitions in Bulgaria, Singapore, Australia, The Netherlands, Philippines, France, Japan, United States, and Mexico. He has undertaken residencies with the Museum of Art in Kōchi, Japan (2015); Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia (2014); and Asian Cultural Council in New York, USA (2009-10) researching on puppetry, visual, and performance arts. Effendi lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Iwan Effendi will be presenting his works at Mizuma Gallery.