Cemani, Telur, Tai Kapur

Born in Indonesia, Handiwirman Saputra (b. 1975) is a member of a major artist collective known as the Jendela Art Group, which became well known in the mid-1990s. While many equate Indonesian art with strong socio-political commentary, the approach of the Jendela Art Group presents a fascinating alternative in their focus on formalist concerns. Their three-dimensional works, of which “Cemani, Telur, Tai Kapur” is a prime example, are often sophisticated and even clinical in finish, and defy easy contextual interpretation. An adept painter and sculptor, Handiwirman Saputra employs surprising combinations of artistic media and strategies of representation to transform everyday objects. The results are often unusual and startling, as everyday items take on new symbolic or ambiguous meaning. “Cemani, Telur, Tai Kapur” (translated as ‘Chicken, Egg, Chalk’) skews proportions of scale by presenting a dramatically enlarged egg next to a regular-sized, taxidermied chicken. The work playfully overturns our expectations and also functions as an ironic commentary on society’s obsession with size. “Cemani, Telur, Tai Kapur” makes fun of the idea that ‘bigger is better’, for in this case, the only chicken capable of producing such an egg is a dead one.

Artist Name
Handiwirman Saputra
Accession No.
Mixed media (fibre resin, Blu Tac, taxidermied chicken)
Collection of
Singapore Art Museum
Modern Art Forms