Tri Wahyudi (Popok):
Sweet Melody from the Trumpet of the Grand Democrat

(Lagu merdu dari trompet demokrat yang agung)

Presentation in »Denkzeichen 4. November 1989«, illuminated billboard on Berlin's Alexanderplatz

Tri Wahyudi, or »Popok,« is part of a young generation of Indonesian artists which has been confronting the national and international public with humorous, political art since the mid 90's. Some of this work (including pieces from Popok) can be seen in the exhibition »AWAS! Recent Art From Indonesia, « being held at the Asian Fine Arts/Prüss & Ochs Gallery in Berlin from January 17 - February 16, 2002 (Sophienstraße 18, in the district of Mitte).

As a member of the artists' group Apotik Komik (Comic Pharmacy), Popok has taken part in art-actions in public space. In recent years, the group has excited attention again and again in its home city of Yogyakarta with large comic-book style commentaries on political events and everyday problems placed on billboards or building facades.

Popok's individual works also show unmistakably the stylistic influences from comics and cartoons. Daily politics, tradition, everyday life, and the international art scene belong to his thematic starting and reference points. In the work »Sweet Melody from the Trumpet of the Grand Democrat« conceived specifically for the »Denkzeichen 4. November 1989« on Berlin's Alexanderplatz, Popok caricatures the role of the globally active mass-media from the perspective of a »Third World« inhabitant. Personified in the large figure in the center of the picture, the media appear as instruments for the propagation of a notion of democracy that is in no way as altruistic as it is said to be, but rather is seen in connection with selfish power interests.

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© uinic - Pat Binder, Gerhard Haupt


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Denkzeichen 4. November 1989