The Jakarta Post
Colorful little octopuses “swim” with a school of little yellow fish around eye-catching coral reefs. The octopuses are the "children" of Mogus, an octopus-shaped monster figure and alter ego of Indonesian artist Mulyana, who is known for his crochet works.
The work described is part of a collective exhibition titled Musim Kawin (Mating Season), initiated by Mulyana himself.
The exhibition is part of Monster Day, an event that runs from Aug. 6 to Sept. 8 at Mulyana’s own studio, Mogus Lab, Yogyakarta, featuring artists Addy Debil, Atreyu Moniaga, Alam Taslim, Iky Z, Evan Aditya, Uncle Joy and Mogus.
Mogus gave brands from Jakarta, Surakarta and Yogyakarta the opportunity to pitch their products and sell them at free-of-charge tables at the exhibition.
Filled with little monsters, Mogus Lab is colorful. Four monsters created by Alam Taslim, called “Igor Satumangkok”, appear in the form of fried noodles with sunny-side-up eggs as eyes.
Alam used a quilting technique to assemble fabrics, filled with dacron, to create the monsters. His art represents the imagination of a child who only feels happiness inside their mother’s womb.
“The name of my monster is Igor, short for mie goreng (instant noodles), because I really like this food,” Alam told The Jakarta Post, adding that fried noodles also characterized Indonesian citizens as it was dubbed the nation’s favorite food.
Alam, who is also the one in charge of the exhibition, said that the previous Monster Day event was held in 2015. Now that the monsters have finished “hibernating” for a few years, it is time for mating season and for them to have children, hence the theme.
Not too far from Igor stands a legless monster with long arms and a boxy body. This monster’s name is “Yoyi”, a creation of Mochammad Fajar.
Yoyi is described as a shy but mischievous monster who likes to get to know people and inspire others to always be cheerful. The monster entertained an audience of children on Aug. 18 and will have another performance in early September.
“I created Yoyi when joining the creative process in [puppet theater group] Papermoon’s Pupapuppetlab,” said Fajar.
There is also a group of little monsters called the “Intertwined Red Thread of Fate”, created by Show the Monster’s Evan Aditya, and “Lust for Life” made by Iky Z.
The monster creators hope to send messages to the public through their works. Uncle Joy, the creator of a monster puppy named “Kuluk”, for instance, hopes that people will change their unfavorable attitude toward Kuluk, an old dog breed originally from Bali that is now often treated as a pest.
Overall, the exhibition gives excitement to its visitors. Nanda Giri, who visited from Jakarta, said it was rare to find such a monster exhibition, and so it intrigued her.
“I am curious about how long it takes to make them […],” said Nanda.
Meanwhile, Ayunda Adhisti from Surakarta, Central Java, expressed gratitude for having joined a monster costume-making workshop, where Mulyana taught her to knit plastic ropes with her fingers instead of using knitting tools.
“[…] I am now able to pass the knowledge to my friends in the village. After they know how to knit, they can take orders to make bags from the plastic ropes,” said Ayunda, who has already been invited to give classes as well. (mut)
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