Artist Residency : Jakarta Ceramics Biennale 2016

During my Indonesian Ceramics Biennale artist residency I was sent to "Sango", the biggest ceramics producer in Indonesia for tableware and sanitary products. 

It was the sanitary products department that attracted my attention during my first visit to the factory. The shapes and forms of future closets and sinks were drying upside down on special shelfs. They looked like creatures from science - fiction movies. Some of them reminded me of human heads inclining towards one another as though in some kind of inaudible dialogue.

For my artist residency at the Sango factory for Jakarta Ceramics Biennale I decided to combine industrial production and artistic craft and conceptions: by turning the usual closet upside down, I altered its functionality. This changed both the meaning of the object and how it was perceived. I used the specific technical environment of the factory as well as its stock of decal images.

The factory's surroundings and environs also inspired the project. I reflected on the factory workers, the mopeds they used to get to and from work (largely because of the limited public transit system), their helmets, and the multicoloured batik shirts and hijabs (headscarves) worn by the female workers. 

My project turned the most common type of the squatting basin in Indonesia upside-down by transfiguring it into an imaginary 'human' head. There are female and male CLOBOTER types. While the male CLOBOTERS resemble race car drivers, the female CLOBOTERS wear traditional Indonesian batik patterns. Using the new technology at the factory I was able to change the original colors of the hardware (basin) and software (decals) to create bright and glossy colours, which are rare in a creamics industry. 

Working at the decoration department of the factory I was able to observe the daily life and working conditions in the factory.  I realized soon that my intuitional choice of the closets and parallels to a human being helped me think about the conditions of workers developing countries like Indonesia.

My idea for this special project for Jakarta Ceramics Biennale 2016 was to convey and communicate these impressions of Indonesia as it was my very first time in this country.