Handiwirman Saputra: Ujung Sangkut Sisi Sangkut/Suspended Forms
Stepping out of his rustic studio in Yogyakarta and entering Singapore’s dense urban landscape for the six-week residency at STPI, Saputra’s acute observations of his new surroundings led to the creation of life size print casts of passageways. ⅓ Dari Lorong Ini (⅓ From This Corridor) reveals traces of the concrete surface that eludes one’s eyes and prompts the artist to question, “Why follow the path set before us? Why not take the road less travelled?
Unusual constructions of the artist’s curious imagination manifest in works such as Hisap – Keluarkan (Inhale – Exhale), where Saputra creates a pair of “paper lungs” where audiences can “breathe” into the work by stepping on wooden paddles to inflate flesh tinted, “paper lungs” built into an elaborate mechanical structure.
Saputra’s innate ability to convey a peculiar perception of reality, translates the visual traces of discarded paraphernalia, such as trash bags, zinc sheets, H-beams and tree trunks into austere, minimalist, paper pulp drawings in Ujung Sangkut Sisi Sentuh (Suspended Forms). Inversely, the artist incorporates fabric scraps, clumps of sponge, thread and rubber into pristine, white paper cast pieces in Tutur Karena-Melihat (Seeing).
Juxtaposing the relationship of positive and negative visual elements are Jalan Berbalik (Moving in Reverse) where “paper birds” thrust out of heavy “graphic slate” made of densely layered, black pigmented paper and the mysterious presence of black and white heads of Tutur Karena – Air Mata #01 & #02 (Tears #01& #02) constructed out of Papier-mâché using strong but highly malleable Japanese Kozo paper.
In bringing his unusual, instinctive and tactile way of working on this project, Saputra together with STPI workshop team successfully transformed the conventional use of paper exploring its rich physical potential as a medium and object. Through Saputra’s interplay with light, form, textures and colours with paper, this new body of work aspires to evoke beauty and wonder in overlooked, everyday experiences that are taken for granted.