Gregory Jansen | Artist

Gregory Jansen, aka Gracka, creates intricate art using a woodcut technique. Originally a tattoo artist, he is part of the Open Studio at Rumah Sanur for #Denpasar2018, a collaboration with Cush Cush Gallery.

How long has it been since you started doing woodcut?
It’s still fairly new, I just started the woodcut exploration last year in 2017.

And before that I heard you worked as a tattoo artist?
Yes, at the beginning I was a tattoo artist from 2011 in Jakarta. And then in 2014 moved to Bali and for about 2 years I worked at a tattoo studio in Kuta.

Why did you choose to change mediums and become an artist?
Actually, it’s not quite right if you say that I switched mediums, I’m still working as a tattoo artist, it’s just now in private, it’s a home studio. I want my two things, tattoo and woodcut art to be mutually sustainable

So why did you decide to try woodcut as a new medium?
I was bored doing just tattoos and because I already understood the ins and outs of tattoo art, I needed another exploration. Because before when I was still working in the tattoo studio, I felt like the works I made weren’t quite my style. And woodcut are I hope can be my medium to explore more about the style possibilities that I can adapt.

What inspires you?
What I see and my daily life, for example my work that has a picture of a chicken, it’s because of my zodiac sign is a chicken.

Usually when you want to start a new work, is there any specific concepts that you want to tell your audiences?
For now, I just start working, only when I was working and somewhere down the road of the process, did I come up with many new concepts that could be adopted and told. Well for me, that’s why is called exploration.

Woodcut art is still rare in Bali, is it difficult not to find equipment to work on?
Yes, it’s still very rare in Bali, there are only a few tools can I get here. The rest I have to import from overseas.

Why the name Gracka?
Well the funny thing is I didn’t think much about it at first, I just used it because it sounds good to me and close enough with my name as Gregory. But then I did a little research and found out that Gracka in Polish means Shovel. And I think that’s quite relatable to me, like Gracka is the tools that I use in my livelihood.

Is there a woodcut community in Bali?
I think there are some acquaintances here in the world of print making and hopefully next year we can work together to make workshops at Rumah Sanur.