Satria Nugraha | Artist

Satria Nugraha or as some of his friends call him, Sat is an artist from Bandung who now works in Bali. His screen prints are available in to~ko Concept Store.

When did you start as an artist?
Initially I became an artist when I lived in Bandung, then moved to Bali to find new inspiration and chose to stay and work in Bali.

Describe a day in your life?
I try to work in some form every day and I work almost daily in my studio. Although I do not fully work on the art in the studio every day because I still freelance as a graphic and clothing designer.

My work experience is also in the surfing industry, making boardshorts, motifs, patterns and all kinds. It helped my art because we are required to manage ourselves, I applied the deadlines, timelines and management skills to create my works so that in a day I have to make works which can at least find new ideas.

What techniques and practices do you use for creating your art?
The majority of my work uses print making techniques or graphic arts because I initially studied graphic art in Bandung. The technique I use is more specific to screen printing. Also, I use filter printing techniques when works are grouped, every edition from 1 to 10 or 1 to 100.

When it comes to screen printing, I experiment with different types of ink, how to use the ink with paper or some other materials, there is no end to the exploration. AT that point, I have a certain excitement to continue working, for me there is no term stuck. It’s an exploration that makes me enthusiastic about working in a way.

My works also use mixed mediums, coming collages, sewing or some other techniques that support making a single work.

What concepts inspire your work?
I was always interested in the human character, ego, desire, what influences them as humans like the environment. From the beginning, that is what I wanted to convey through my work.

And I think that might have been in my head from the beginning, even though at first I only cut magazines into collages, drawings and whatever techniques I learnt as I started in art activities and eventually the activities led to the idea itself.

In my opinion, the idea never stops, maybe next month, two months or a year ahead, if you talk about ideas more can develop again.

I am an artist trying to explain my ideas through visual images and shapes so exploration and ideas must be balanced. Sometimes, exploration comes first and ideas follow or ideas first then execution. These things must find a balance in my artistic practice.

What are the things and events in your life that have influenced your work and art?
There’s a lot. First maybe when my parents were sick. From that experience I became aware that humans can die.

Second, when I chose to go to art school and decided I wanted to be an artist.

Third, moving to Bali because of my doubts in Bandung and Jakarta, I was afraid I would work 9 to 5 (office hours) and there would be no time to work on my art. When I first moved to Bali, I worked with people in the surfing industry, I got out of my comfort zone and saw different cultures from Bandung and Bali.

Then when I got married and had a child, that built the character in my work as well.

It can be said that the artwork is an escape from reality but it is not a complete run. And in my opinion the work of mart must give a little sense of freedom in any form, there is no restrain from the existing reality.

What international and Indonesian artists have influenced your work?
The artists who inspired me if I have to give just two names – Tisna Sanyaja and my friend Agung (Prabowo). Both are print making artists who are personal artists, we can see the characters of these two artists in their work without having to meet them directly. Their characters are very inspiring for me.

There is indeed an aura of its own when people work honestly in their work and I find it in these two people. Moreover, I have met Agung. Agung’s lino and print making technique are like “wow” and his own character is quite inspiring for me.

And Tisna Sanjaya criticizes social conditions, in a way also by means of a spiritual image.

How did you interest in art evolve?
During childhood, I was given notebooks for school records and other things. There is one book that I always kept and used to draw comics. One time a comic was found and there were pictures in it that were not suitable for a child of my age. That’s when my parents realised I was interested in pictures.

I continued to explore more seriously in college and majored in fine arts in the graphic arts category. From there I learned that art is a professional field and artist is a profession. Where there is a career, management, knowledge, there is a world of its own and there are other infrastructures that I could talk about for a long time.

Is there a piece of art that you have created that stands out as a favourite?
There is one of my favourite works, from the work of Sun Safari, it is from one of my previous solo exhibitions. The technique was a combination of screen printing, collage and handstitched on cotton paper.

What was your recent project?
I just held a solo exhibition, a series of works that I made called Main Safari in the Exotic Studio, the space that helps me become more passionate about how to work. The space is not like a gallery, it is more comfortable, it welcomes friends and has two-way communication.

As an artist, holding a solo exhibition is a big step. Almost a first step in been recognized as an artist if when other people judge you and your work, a way of doing this is through exhibitions, especially solo exhibitions. I myself am exposed, it’s different from a group exhibition where the viewer can focus on many things. Because of that, my solo exhibition from the Exotic Studio was quite helpful from an exhibition management, promotion and exposure point of view.

What’s next?
It turns out, it’s fun when you can showcase the work in this studio for the public domain. From there, I established myself as an artist and I’m now in the next stage, doing work whether it’s for solo exhibitions, group exhibitions or making merchandise. But more precisely to continue to work in a way that is the essence of what I do.

For a more specific project, not currently. Maybe just next year, for now it’s still in the form of sketches.

One of the things that inspired the Beach House series from the poetry of Bukowski and the poem Dreamboat that was exposed and in my head. How they write, where one is more emotional, and one is more towards romance with himself and the natural surroundings. And the Beach House work continues.

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