Bambang 'Toko' Witjaksono
In his creative process, Bambang 'Toko' Witjaksono starts from social matters around him without focusing on certain themes. His keen interest in comics since childhood affects his way of visualizing narratively. The spirit of comics was then chosen as the vehicle for his creative method. In his work he uses the text and imagery - sometimes related to each other and other times not at all – from the comics he made early on in his career. The visually-narrated social matter in his work is spiced-up with a cheeky mastery of wordplay. In many conditions, the meaning turns into something completely unexpected. This is his way of criticizing, alluding, parodying or making fun of situations that bug him.
A renowned pioneer from a generation of artists to emerge in the late 1990s, Bambang 'Toko' Witjaksono's works reflect the social issues that surround him. He primarily creates graphic works, painting large-scale versions of comic book images reminiscent of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s, particularly the works of American artist, Roy Lichtenstein. However they are significantly different.
Born 1973 in Yogyakarta, he graduated in graphic art from the Faculty of Fine Art and Design at the Indonesia Institute of the Arts (ISI) in Yogyakarta where he has been a lecturer since 1999. To enrich his practice Bambang completed his master's degree in 2004 from the Faculty of Fine Art and Design at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and participated in artist residency programmes in Liechtenstein (2003), New Delhi (2006) and Darwin (2008). He is one of the founding members of Apotik Komik (Comic Apothecary), a collective whose distinctive murals are immediately recognisable on the streets of Yogyakarta and he continues to play an active role in the Indonesian art scene. His most recent role as curator of ArtJog12 (Art Jogja 2012) is testament to this. Bambang lives and works in Yogyakarta.
Work by Bambang has been the subject of solo and group exhibitions in Indonesia and abroad. Selected solo shows are Jakarta Art District (2010); Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur (2009); Darwin Visual Art Association, Darwin (2008); Toimoi Art + Design Gallery, Jakarta (2007); Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta (2001) and the French Indonesian Society, Yogyakarta (2001). He has participated in a plethora of group exhibitions at Piccadily Place, Manchester (2011); Korea Art Fair, Seoul (2010); Abu Dhabi Art Fair (2009); Art Taipei (2009); Art HK (2009); CIGE, Beijing, China (2008); Singapore Art Fair (2008), Langgeng Gallery, Magelang (2008); Valentine Willie Gallery, Singapore (2008); Shanghai Art Fair (2007); KHOJ Studio, New Delhi (2006) and LOFT Gallery, Paris (2005).