'"TAR is a tremendous flight of fantasy for those who need to plan a way to escape from this planet or to save it."


Week 2016, March 14- March 19


Here and there

from Yogyakarta to prominent Bank in Milan

the long Wall belongs to FARHAN SIKI


Farhan Siki - Dirty last supper, 2015

Spray on Canvas

130 x 200 cm

Image courtesy of the artist


invited by BANCA GENERALI, TAR has met artist farhan siki. well Known to european street art passionates, farhan is not new to the old continent.  Pick up him spraying from the walls of yogyakarta to the  most recent exhibition from March 2016, at Banca Generali - Piazza Sant'Alessandro 4, MILAN.



Farhan Siki at work in Lecce - Italy, 2016

Public image at



FARHAN SIKI and the Art of Resistance

 essay by

Rifky Effendy

The contemporary art market boom in Indonesia and Southeast Asia within the past ten years has been an opportunity for street art practitioners to participate in the realm of ‘fine art’, presenting themselves and their works as an alternative to the painting market or as further commodification of the development of contemporary art in Asia. The emergence of young painters fueled by a street art, or low brow, spirit in Yogyakarta, such as Wedhar Riyadi, Nano Warsono, Terra Bajhragosa, Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko, etc, is now recognized as a unique phenomenon within the development of contemporary art in Indonesia.


Especially with regards to the Yogyakarta art scene, the Indonesian art public may remember Apotik Komik, a group that in the 1990s pioneered this sort of aesthetics. Members of the group included artists like Samuel Indratma, Popok Triwahyudi, Bambang ‘Toko’, Witjaksono, Arie Dyanto and others, and it actively promoted the practice of art in public spaces-or, public art-such as comic art and murals.


The movement soon influenced fresh graduates from ISI’s faculties of art (painting) and graphic art, as well as some self-taught artists. It was followed by various individuals and groups such as Farhan Siki, as well as Daging Tumbuh group with Eko Nugroho as one of its most recognized members, who developed alternative comics as a medium and who became a mural activist in the city of Yogyakarta.



Farhan Siki - Big Deal, 2014

Acrylic, Spray on Canvas

180 x 200 cm

Image courtesy of the artist


Art writer and curator Rain Rosidi stated that the urban art movement in Yogyakarta, particularly that which emphasized upon the connection between art and urban issues, began with the Mural Sama-Sama project initiated by Apotik Komik in 2002. The project greatly influenced the growth of Yogyakarta’s street art movement, especially in developing the artist’s awareness of public spaces and the tensions surrounding them. This art form, called ‘Jogja agro-pop’ by Rain Rosidi, made references to Yogyakarta’s sociological condition and the city’s social (art) sphere that was besieged by produced images in public spaces.


It also made reference to the development of global art’s mainstream, including the products of mainstream/popular creative industry in the form of comics, cartoons, animations, films, computer games, graffiti, tattoo art, etc. On the other hand, the communities around the artists continued to exist very simply, mostly comprised of small vendors and farmers. Such was the unavoidable paradox that existed.


The flood of image production soon created collisions and tensions within the urban socio-economic-cultural conditions, where artists’ communities lived and worked alongside one another. It is interesting for us to examine their visual expressions or texts. The artists were very much aware of the importance of visual aspects, so much so that they strove to created forms, colors, icons and characters as well as texts that are deliberately eye-catching, even provocative, building meaning into unique means of communication. Representations of local-global issues often appear very clearly in their works. However, post-1998 Reformation, there’s a marked and important change in the way young artists view their daily life.

Farhan Siki - Mur(war)kami, 2015

Acrylic, Spray on Canvas

200 x 180 cm

Image courtesy of the artist


Farhan Siki is known amongst the art public for his murals, created using stencils and spray paint, which often appear on canvas as well. On his murals and canvas works, he often presents a repetition of certain forms. Repetition is also a strategy to draw in the interest or attention of those passing in front of his works, as well as the main indicator of his subject matter(s).


For instance, the appearance of global consumer brands or icons and objects from daily life. He began exploring graphic approaches and graffiti around 1998. He admits that the street gave his first introduction to graffiti; later he would learn painting from Jakarta-based artist, Hanafi in the 2000s. Then, he was frequently invited to collaborate with mural artists-collectives, such as Apotik Komik in Yogyakarta, or other individual artists such as with his work in Bandung.


According to Bambang “Toko” Wicaksono, activist and a respected figure from Apotik Komik, Farhan is always diligent in making connections or conducting research about and with the people in the project’s vicinity. Mural-style painting flourished when low brow aesthetics began to be accepted by the art market in Indonesia around 2005. Various galleries in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Singapore began exhibiting paintings created in this style. Some auction houses even began entering these works into their catalogues.


Farhan Siki - Not dead yet, 2013

Spray on Canvas

145 x 170 cm

Image courtesy of the artist


TAR is the sticky stuff we pave our roads and build our roofs with.

It affords us travel and shelters us from the storm. It is also an anagram of the word art.

The editorial staff have taken every care to obtain from copyright holders the authorization to publish the pictures in this issue. In any cases where this has not been possible, the editorial staff would like to make it known that they are available to eligible parties to settle any amounts that are owed.

Tar Editori S.r.l / Corso Verceli 23, 20144 MILANO - ITALY -

C.F.P.IVA: 05488720961

TAR magazine digital edition  wishes to thanks


effimera F O N D A Z I O N E maison d'art numérique