Taring Padi

Taring Padi is a community of underground artists in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. They formed in 1998 during the general upheaval following the fall of Suharto.

Taring Padi are well known for the production of cartoonlike posters embedded with political and social justice messages, using the cukil (woodcut) technique onto paper or canvas. In addition to their print work, they also create kinetic sculptures, street theater performances, punk rock and techno music.

After the fall of Suharto, Taring Padi occupied an abandoned art school, which they use as a residence and workspace for creating art, music and theater. Post the 1996 Yogyakarta earthquake Taring Padi has been based in their studio in Sembungan village, Bantul, Yogyakarta. They are well known among international art collectors and underground communities—such as the Just Seeds Artists Cooperative.

Works by Taring Padi have been shown in many formal and non-formal settings including Indonesia's National Gallery in Jakarta and at the 31st Century Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Taring Padi was also included in the group show Sisa: re-use, collaborations and cultural activism from Indonesia at the University of Technology, Sydney gallery.

In 2004 a film about Taring Padi by filmmakers Jamie Nicolai and Charlie Hillsmith, "Indonesian Arts, Activism and Rock 'n' Roll" was screened on SBS. A short cut of this film can be seen at YouTube. Filmmaker Rohan Langford has made a brief profile of Taring Padi artist Aris Prabawa, who in 2010 held solo shows at the Asia Australia Arts Centre (4A) and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney, Australia.

Taring Padi regularly run workshops at their studio and undertake collaborative projects with communities and national and international art and political groups. In May 2010 Taring Padi and networks, together with the victims of Siring Village and surrounds, collaborated to make a commemoration of the 4th anniversary of the Lapindo Mud disaster. They held etching, screenprinting, painting and singing workshops, culminating with a carnival and a people's stage on the edge of the dam containing the mud. A film documenting this project can be seen and downloaded at engagemedia.org.

In 2010 in Chiang Mai, Thailand (hosted by Empty Space) and 2012 in Yogyakarta (hosted by Taring Padi), Taring Padi collaborated with Thai and Myanmar artists in the project Under, After and In Between. Under, After and In-Between focused on the different circumstances of each country and group and how they can influence the purpose of artistic work. The projects culminated in performances in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Yogyakarta and Kulon Progo. The third installment of the project is scheduled to be held in Yangoon, Myanmar in 2014 hosted by ThuKhuma Khaye Art Theatre.

Taring Padi published its book "Senii Membongar Tirani" (Art Smashing Tyranny) in 2011 in Indonesian and English covering 10 years of the collective's work, including art work and academic articles. This book was launched in a number of cities in Indonesia in 2012, including Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Bali, Makasar, Sulawesi, Medang & Padang Sumatera & Bandung.

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