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 hardboard 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.
Recently, Taring Padi produced a series of woodcut posters campaigning for a clean and fair Indonesian general election (2018/2019) and two large scale banners on Papuan and human rights issues within the Black Lives Matter movement (2020). Taring Padi participated in the Polyphony: South East Asia exhibition at the Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts (2019).
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