Ugo viewing artwork on paper, comics, and mother

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In the exhibition which took place in Galeri Kertas Studiohafani, there are four types of works by Ugo Untara such as Marang Ibu comics, origami mi mi with recycled paper medium, newspaper and carton. (photo: IO/Aldo)

IO, Jakarta – The work of art is a story that serves the artists to tell stories of the past or the artists themselves. As was done by Ugo reflecting comics as an intimate friend who accompanied him to grow in mind and thought, a small child who is always open and plain to receive and inquire. Furthermore, he referred to the comic as the first form of known artwork, in addition to other childhood friends namely dolls, puppets and cartoons. Ugo is a avid fan of comics, one of which by Jan Mintaraga, the comic maestro from Yogyakarta in the era of 70-80s. Covering comic romance, martial arts, adventure stealth fighters to the country and Evils, to comics history.

Language pictures in the comic story inspired him to write anything and draw anything beyond formal education.

“I like to write since I was a child, future goals of becoming a painter actually came about when I went to college in ISI (Institut Seni Indonesia) Art Institute in Yogyakarta,” said Ugo.

However, Ugo recognized desires and ideals are always changing as a warrior who is always on an adventure.

“My goals are actually to be a comic artist, a poet, a novelist, a journalist, an archaeologist and basically all sorts”, said Ugo.

Comics have built Ugo’s imagination infinitely and deeply as the foundation of thinking and working. Even when reality allows Ugo when making choices as an artist, it could be a comic turned into a medium that can accommodate the entire imagination and ideals is manifold in the comic. Via comics also, of course, Ugo recognized paper and made it one of the main material in his works. Ugo like paper because apart from it being easily obtained, on paper he can express his honesty and without any burden, regardless of the demand for exhibition and the work that must be good and should be, different from canvas.

Although the paper is seen as the work of a fragile material or “not salable” for sale, Ugo ignores the presumptions.

“Yes it is a risk, when we choose our materials, we have to be prepared to take the risk,” says Ugo.

It could be the same as when we doubt the era of paperless society exalted by Frederick Wilfrid Lancester since 1978. The proof, library books until now has not been replaced by a digital library. Ugo often takes advantage of the rest of the papers in some of his works such as using a series of stuffed paper to cigarette packs. As in the work of the previous exhibition “Melupa” (2013) and “Passage” (2015).

Ugo, comics and the paper has proven his loyalty which has proven to exceed as a childhood friend. All three co-manifest intimately in a solo exhibition “… marang mother” in the Gallery Paper Studio Hanafi. In this exhibition there are four types of paper works: comic marang mother, origami mi mi, pile the day and untitle with medium recycle paper, newspaper, cardboard etc.

Marang mother, I think personally represents comics as a medium for artistic medium to the story with a a poetic charm. Twenty-four comic paper, each one supported by the installation of iron in a semicircle, in every paper mounted lights.

Each work begins with writing down then describing it. The first sheet marang mother begins with a marker of time, space and events of the past through the expression: people in sarongs, temples, a sword, a dagger, horses, elephants, swords, spears, keris, forests, valleys, mountains, rivers and others. Impression that I first observed was reminiscent of the history of the bas-reliefs which could also be called “comic rocks” with a fine series of stories outlining the life and spiritual teachings and impressions both reminiscent of the concept of belief in spiritual beings and souls in anthropology called animism in primitive EB Taylor culture in the concept, which is still purely ancient not restrained.

A belief in something spiritual. Looking through their perspective, not the perspective we are already within the realm.

“Life in that era was like, why the tree is worshiped. What’s the reason we created the myth was so that it is actually preserved and guarded, thus, the myth was created, “he said.

In addition to text, hatching-shading, lines and objects that are painted with a felt pen on this comic is complementary. This does not appear inside or outside. Chalking and relationships intertwined with the story before and after. Meet each other, interlaced and similar fabrics of creating the life you want Ugo conveys.

Which is visible from the comic “marang mother” is where Ugo tries to define and symbolize life and divinity on natural phenomena and mother in the representation of the earth and the land. Ugo tries to criticize the human situation today with the phrase “we like boarding on earth and are more concerned in creating plots in the sky, but we will go back to the ground, earth”. Actually, the original idea of marang mother is a representation of him personally.

For Ugo, art is a process of depth and honesty, achieving something essential to contain the core and the reduction process. This comic he also made gradually from 2017 and he proceeded back for the exhibition. Ugo relates that he has began to often return home to Purbalingga to see his mother after his father died in 2015.

“My mother needed a friend, she feels I am a picture of my father, replacing my father, that’s why I often come home. It is not as a task, but as my responsibility”.

Mother and returning it into an idea that evolved into the capital as a manifestation of the earth. So marang meaning mother in refined Javanese language means “to mother”, even as a homecoming. “When I feel distant and lost, I find my way home”.

Comic marang mother has not been fully completed. Ugo ended the last sheet to write about memory, rain and nature in a quarter of the paper. Hopefully, like the rain that became the medium of meeting heaven and earth to cultivate the life, the work of marang mother may also continue to grow. (aldo)