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Sense of [escavator version]
600 cm
fiberglass, electroplating chrome, oil paint.

Sense of
150 cm
fiberglass, electroplating chrome, oil paint, TV.

Budi "Swiss" Kustarto

Budi “Swiss” Kustarto (born 1972 in Karangbawang) studied at Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Yogyakarta, majoring in sculpture (1993 – 2003). From 1996 to 1998, he worked as an illustrator and mural artist at CH Discothek, Wettingen-Sissach, Switzerland. In 2005, he held his solo exhibition titled “Budi” at the Nadi Gallery, Jakarta. He has joined several group exhibitions, such as “Meta Etalase” at Galeri Semarang (2005); “Equatorial Heat” at Sichuan Art Museum, China (2004); “Mc(row) Media” (contemporary sculpture) at Langgeng Gallery, Magelang (2003); “Percakapan di Tengah Padang” at Erasmus Huis, Jakarta (2001); and “Indonesian Expression” at the Sobin Art Gallery, Singapore (2000).

In my work, I bring forth the issue of the body—my own. In the beginning, I posed the general questions on the existence and self-identity, focusing on the “who.” The questions grow and turn to focus on the “what.” Finding answers about the “what” makes the situation become complex, intricate, and vacuous—but simultaneously interesting. There are many discourses on the body that the experts have been analyzing. We find the body as a network of many interests—social, political, economic, cultural—and of a myriad of ideologies. It is highly probable for the body to become co-opted culturally and structurally. The body becomes a grand text, or an important thing in my art. This then gives me the option to make a casting out of my own body using gypsum. When the body resisted the gypsum, reacting chemically on the body, creating heat, shriveling; when I breathed consciously under the highly limiting conditions; when the body, the head, and the face are all covered by the gypsum… These all become a memorable experience. There was a test and judgment on the senses, which I tried to link with the question often arising as I searched for the essence of things. I thus remembered death. This did not scare me the least; instead, it made me more aware about life, and reminded me to live to the fullest. I make the body as a locus for the search for values. Albeit having created a casting out of my own body, I in fact wish to talk about things outside the self—because it is the exteriority that precisely strengthens the existence of self. However, it is from our own body and self that we create the lines of perspective toward a vaster network of constructions.

My work is about the defeat against the bigger currents. This is the situation that I then portray in sense of [eskavator version]. (Artist's Statement)

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