Tuwis Yasinta or known as Uncle Twis is a young Indonesian artist, whose work is focussed on using low technology and analogue systems characterised by the imagery of a red rambutan. His work involves the playful modification, deconstruction and re-construction of objects. Previous performance works have utilised animation, film, graffiti, DIY/found sounds and objects.
Tuwis just underwent a one-month-residency programme last March, also as a part of residency programme series from UK/Indonesia 2016-18. He went to Cove Park, Scotland to do a residency with Cryptic.
We chatted with Tuwis about the work he developed while he did the residency in Cove Park as well as his creative process which was influenced by the place he was in and the objects he found.
Hi, Tuwis. You’ve just finished a one-month-residency in Cove Park, Scotlandia and now planning to create a music instrument from found objects while you’re having your residency. How do you come up with the idea? What’s the inspiration behind it?
Actually, the idea of using found object as an artwork material is a thing that I’ve done frequently in my previous works. It sorts of become a habit and ritual in my creative process. I’m used to responding to the space that I was currently in, in a process that embodies reconstruction, deconstruction, and playing with found object as materials, I come to truly enjoy the process – I enjoy choosing the object, trying to understand the characters of the object and translate it to an artwork. During the residency programme, I felt like my work developed organically, along with the ideas and the whole concept of the artwork. It becomes a communication and interaction process between the environment (Cove Park) with me. In the process, local wisdom concept that I carried as my creative idealism blend perfectly with the found objects provided in Cove Park. So, I decided to create an artwork with the concept of ‘Tree of Life’, an interactive meditative stone instrument that could create a music.
So, what are the objects that you found while you’re in Cove Park? How do the Cove Park’s environment and the found objects influenced the creative process of the musical instrument that you’re currently creating?
My interest towards the objects that I found and chose as a material for my works in Cove Park comes from my personal and emotional connection with the objects that I encountered there. I felt like each object has its’ own energy and life within it, it has a purpose and a character. From there, I started to collect the objects and try to understand their uniqueness in order to create my work. I found a lot of stones and woods as a natural object while I was in Cove Park, then, I combined it with several electronic music instruments. Through a series of creative process, the combined object become a whole new artwork.
While you’re in Cove Park, you also got to perform with Robbie Thomson in Hypoallergenic? Can you tell us more about it? What did you think of this event?
Yes, I did get invited to play in a gig along with Robbie and his friends in Glasgow. They gave me a chance to play my analogue synthesiser composition in that gig. A huge sound system and a very exciting environment that I was in gave me an unforgettable moment. Robbie and his friends, TLC Sound System, also played in that gig along with several local performers. It was perfect, boisterous sound system and a superb dynamic lighting.
As an artist, how huge is the influence of the space that you’re in with your creative process?
Cove Park’s facility greatly helped my creative process. The tranquil surrounding and unpredictable weather of Scotland also affected my mood and motivated me to do my creative work, I found it beautiful how nature showed its’ power and unpredictability. The rather cold weather often forced me to stay inside but I adapted pretty well and started to spend more times outside, especially when the sun started to shine. Cove Park and its’ frequent rains combined with its’ tranquillity created a serene and inspiring surrounding. Its’ diverse yet vastly different ecosystem than Indonesia was a new experience for me. The character of its’ surrounding pique my curiosity about the uniqueness in its’ natural objects that it drives me to explore its’ natural objects. The serenity of Cove Park hugely influences my creative process, I underwent many meditative processes during the creation of my work, ‘Tree of Life’
Did you meet any other artists who became your creative muse?
Of course. In Cove Park, I met with artists from various countries. We exchanged knowledge and they became my inspiration on many things. From the way they socialise to their creative process, and also their works. In addition, the organiser of the residency was also inspiring, they were very hardworking in managing their artist-in-residence.
Also, what about the theme? Do you usually explore the same recurring theme or you frequently change the theme of your work?
Yes, I usually changed themes in my creative process. However, there is always a connection in each work – it holds the view and ideology that I believe in. The universe, cosmic, spiritual, mystery, local wisdom, and science have always been the core of my concept and theme. All the above theme carried me to my exploration process and motivated me to always learning about something new from hacking, playing, and interacting during my creative process. I also created my work with a rather simplistic technological approach from visual arts, sound arts, and performance. As an example, in this residency programme, I was inspired by nature and I combined it with a cult concept of ‘Tree of Life’ which is widely believed by different cultures all around the world. In addition, I gave my point of view, my identity, as an artist from the Java Island in Indonesia to this concept by infusing the concept of belief, symbol, and local wisdom in the theme of my work, hence the name ‘Kalpataru’.
Lastly, what are your hopes for the future when it comes to creating artworks?
I have a very simple dream, I want to have a mobile lab that I can take to every corner of the islands in Indonesia – to learn, share knowledge, and create a workshop. I want to look for chances to collaborate with the native citizens of each island, and I want to capture the moment and share the information with everyone so everyone will know that Indonesia is very rich in culture and very diverse. This culture needs to be learned and developed. This dream always reminds me to be grateful that I’m an Indonesian artist who resides in Indonesia, especially when I was in Cove Park. The warm sunshine of Indonesia always calling me back home no matter how far I go.