(B. 1984 Bukittinggi, Sumatera)
Living and working in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Bachelor of Fine Art, Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI), Yogyakarta
The dialectic of space is central to a portion of the body of work by Indonesian artist Taufik Ermas whose artistic practice is almost equally divided between painting and sculpture. This series of works combines both elements, utilizing physical negative space as key components of the visual conversations the artist engages with the viewer through his works, on levels that are both metaphysical and psychological.
In 2006, Taufik almost lost his life in the tragic earthquake that shook the city of Yogyakarta, where he lives and works. He was rescued from the rubble in which he was trapped when the structure he was in collapsed. The experience of being trapped within treacherously constricted space during his ordeal, not knowing whether he would survive, has become an important drive in the development of his work.
The trauma of this ordeal is something Taufik continues to grapple with today, 12 years after his near-death experience. It has led him to re-evaluate his outlook to life, and in relation to this, his approach to art.
Human silhouettes that outline the blank three-dimensional spaces in his sculptural paintings are symbolic of Taufik’s representation of the constant human quest to seek answers about ourselves, and our place in this world. The emptiness and void in his works are reflections of our own feelings of being incomplete, as we struggle with questions about our true purpose.
The aesthetic strength of Taufik’s works is among the key reasons why he was selected as one of the two installation artists for the 2017 edition of Bakaba, the annual Padang artist showcase held as part of Jogja Art Weeks, during the month-long period surrounding ArtJog in Yogyakarta.
As an artist, Taufik continues to experiment and explore new forms his artwork might take. His newer body of works incorporate a method of augmenting canvases, this time to mimic the visuality of scarring, symbolic of both physical and psychological varieties of what trauma can leave behind.
Many years on, his traumatic experience of 2006 continues to haunt his soul, and continues to be the creative well springing forth ideas that eventually manifest themselves into his artistic output.