• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2380

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    25 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 17

    I NYOMAN MASRIADI (b. Indonesia 1973)

    Badanku Kurang Besar (My body is not big enough)

    Price Realised  


    I NYOMAN MASRIADI (b. Indonesia 1973)
    Badanku Kurang Besar (My body is not big enough)
    signed and dated 'MASRIADI/21 Des 2001' (lower centre); signed and dated again and titled (on the reverse)
    mixed media on canvas
    56 3/4 x 78 3/8 in. (144 x 199 cm.)

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    Witty, sarcastic and humerous, My body is not big enough encapsulates the essence of Masriadi's narration. The protagonist is characteristically stylized which remains faithful to the artist's signature caricature style. Once again the title of the work My body is not big enough forms an integral part of the narration. The message is both cynical and humorous as the enormous torso of the protagonist is contrasted with the out-of-proportionally small bottom part of the body and the effect is immediate and right in one's face.

    Very often in his works, Masriasdi reveals a distinct interest in navigating between the terrain of addressing the social conditions of contemporary Indonesia and the pondering of human's Mentality and Morality. It is this tendency towards the metaphysics that renders the work so very appealing as ones glances pass the apparent and the skin-deep. Masriadi approaches his subjects through the incorporation of mirth, iconic images amassed from the popular literature and media and last but not least, his own creation.

    It is also notable that the artist has adapted a caricature style for his works. Masriadi is after all an artist growing up the great age of comics and the popularization of television. The great American pop artists have long seen the affinity of Modernity with comics and cartoons. However, instead of blindly following the Great American/Western visual vocabulary, Masriadi as a young Indonesian artist is looking for his equivalent of a Superman that would be emotive for his peers and audience in his immediate environ. This great, bloated figure always carrying a mocked expression seems to the artist's answer for now in his search of a hero for his narration.

    The striking red under pant attached with a tag shows the hero is in a contest of bodybuilding. In spite of the apparent build, the artist is telling us that the hero is feeling insecure and dissatisfied, and with his cutlery he is very determined to eat more and further builds his body. The subjugation of individualism or perhaps more appropriately, the conformity of an individual in a community of uniform education bombarded by televised advertising reduced our muscular hero to a twit, squeamish and half-witted and thus poignantly conveys the message of the artist.