Monthly Archives: September 2008

Yue Minjun – Cynical Realism

” Laughter is a moment when our mind refuses to reason. When we are puzzled by certain things, our mind simply doesn’t want to struggle, or perhaps we don’t know how to think, therefore we just want to forget it.

Artists are the kind of people who always like to reveal to the simple, innocent and humble souls the never-ending illusion of our lives.

I paint people laughing, whether it is a big laugh, a restrained laugh, a crazy-laugh, a near-death laugh or simply laughter about our society: laughter can be about anything”

So this is how it all began: I was thinking that the image of a laughing face ought to be perceived as an assurance that things would get better: that a future life could be as rewarding and meaningful as the Buddha promised. I decided that my laughing faces would be my own personal reminder of our situation, and which would be easily understood by people around me, and ordinary folk, too, who had learned to laugh because they understood that any other response was futile” Yue Minjun

Yue Minjun is widely acclaimed as one of China’s leading painters—one of the four modern-day Chinese masters known affectionately and humorously as the “si da jingang,” or the four cornerstones of contemporary Chinese art, an elite which includes Wang Guangyi, Fang Lijun, and Zhang Xiaogang

Budi Ubrux – other works





“Clowns will be Clowns”

Budi Ubrux’s ‘mediated reality’

I appreciate artworks with attention to detail and visual commentary. It reflects dedication, patience and intellectual thought, the three fundamental ingredients (in my opinion) to be successful in anything that you do. During my recent visit to Tujuh Bintang Art Space in Jogjakarta, I came across ‘Merdeka’ by Budi Ubrux.

budi ubrux


Budi paints figures that are mummified in ‘daily newspapers’, expressing his concerns that if we were to rely literally on the information carried by our daily newspapers (which are often sensationalised) we will be absorbed into mediated realities, blinding us from the truth and blocking us from a balanced interpretation of the real world.

I marvel at his patience and technical proficiency in meticulously detailing the ‘text lines’ and capturing the light and shadows to project the crumple, crease and irregular folds of the body-wrapped newspaper. 

He has also intelligently chose the right headlines and pictures to subtly communicate its sensationalized and dramatic nature.

My interpretation of this work is a group of men posing to celebrate their phenomenal conquest (or success), or what they perceived as such, in mediated reality. The reality or truth is in the fish, who is being conquered and being used as an object of pride and will end up being consumed.


Tujuh Bintang Art Space ROCKS !

Tujuh Bintang Artspace, a new art gallery in Jogjakarta celebrates its maiden exhibition by showcasing 38 contemporary Indonesian ‘all-stars’ artists. Log on to for more information.