Roby Dwi Antono: TUK

11 Jan-17 Feb 2024

Almine Rech
London W1K 3JH


This solo exhibition presents Roby’s works that he created since the birth of his firstborn daughter, Laut, in July 2023. Inspired by his experiences as a new father, the impact of starting a family, Roby confronts the challenges, joys and anxieties of parenthood all the while nurturing his hopes and dreams for the future. His maturing outlook on life has extended beyond comprehending his own life as an artist, but also of his role as a member of a family and community. This shift led him to explore a new artistic expression executed in rough, raw strokes and vivid colors. It is derived from a more domestic reality. It became more crucial to capture the ever-changing tension within him, rather than it is to depict a detailed landscape. The movement of his paint needs to articulate his emotion.

For this new series, Roby has gone through a stylistic change from his earlier works, but his method of drawing from personal memory remains a constant. His childhood souvenirs of Ambarawa, central Java, where he had to create a man-made water source called "Belik", a traditional well, and "Tuk", a water spring that emerges from the well, are likened to their baby’s experience of breast milk.

The analogy of Tuk resonates deeply with Roby as he sees his artwork as a source of nourishment and inspiration. Just as a Tuk provides clean water and sustains life, Roby's art draws on his personal memories and experiences, serving as a source of creativity and growth. [...] In this way, Roby's paintings become a metaphorical Tuk, offering a refreshing and authentic glimpse into his world and inviting the audience to reflect on their own experiences.

— Farah Wardani, writer and curator