The Institute of People Oriented Culture Taring Padi was founded in 1998 by a group of progressive art students and activists in response to the Indonesian socio-political upheavals during the country’s reformation era. As such, Taring Padi’s artistic practice is always part of and contextualised within their socio-political and cultural solidarity and action.
Street protests, woodcutting workshops, art carnivals, and exhibitions in unorthodox spaces are typical of Taring Padi’s practice of producing collective and individual works. Diverse ad hoc political alliances, farming and fishing communities, as well as their own localities are places where Taring Padi work and learn together. Banners, woodcut posters, and wayang kardus (life-sized cardboard puppets), as well as the ever popular Dendang Kampungan music group are Taring Padi’s artistic formulas to agitate, educate, and organise themselves, their community, and diverse solidarity actions they are involved in. In 2002 Taring Padi became a collective in order to further inclusivity and to facilitate personal dynamic of its members, whilst maintaining its progressive and militant character in realising the potential of art as a tool for social change.
For documenta fifteen, Taring Padi has continued to practice its three core principles—organize, educate, and agitate—under the theme of Bara Solidaritas: Sekarang Mereka, Besok Kita (Flame of Solidarity: First they came for them, then they came for us). Through workshops in the run-up to documenta fifteen—with urban, migrant, and street artist groups, as well as schools—in Germany, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Australia, they have collaboratively created a variety of new artworks that convey local socio-political issues. These include a mural, five to ten large-scale banners, and around a thousand wayang kardus displayed around Kassel’s city center and activated in an on-site carnival and musical performances. At the Hallenbad Ost, Taring Padi presents more than 100 artifacts, including banners, woodcut posters, and wayang kardus from the past 22 years of their practice.
Recently, Taring Padi produced a series of woodcut posters campaigning for a fair Indonesian general election (2018/2019) and two large scale banners on Papuan and human rights issues within the Black Lives Matter movement (2020). In 2019 Taring Padi participated in the Polyphony: South East Asia exhibition at the Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts.
Here you can find a Contextualization of Taring Padi’s works (as of: August 25, 2022).
Fitriani Dwi Kurniasih
Nur Seto Setiawan
Lidija Triana Dewi
Dhomas Yudhistira Sugijanto