The Breeder

Eko Nugroho

6 May 2003

2’ 51”

Eko Nugroho’s work draws from the world of comics and cartoons. The artist works indifferently with still or moving images, whether drawings or paintings, murals or large-scale embroideries. His part man-part machine characters are often accompanied by bizarre and ironic statements in speech bubbles or t-shirt slogans. At times, they can be menacing; in others, they come across as scientific experiments gone wrong, where humans mutate into alien-like creatures. Imbued with macabre humour and satire, Eko’s work may come across as seemingly straightforward –often a central figure standing against a simple background, presented as a series of simple scenes from a larger narrative. Eko’s narrative is rooted in Javanese culture and his encounters with the everyday. Politics, the social conditions of his surrounding and the contradictions of human nature are among the rich sources he draws from. The chimney is a recurring theme in the artists work: derived from Indonesia’s current landscape, it is a symbol of industrialisation. However, for him, it also carries a deeper meaning, and marks the de-humanisation of Man as we become more machine-like and unfeeling, as our daily lives become more and more regimented, bound by the pressures and expectations of society at large.