Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Puisi Jiwa I
Puisi Jiwa I

Puisi Jiwa I was produced after the artist’s two year sojourn in London, and was exhibited at his 2007 solo exhibition Mind The Gap: From K.L. to London at Wei-Ling Gallery. Bayu revisits the use of self-portraiture as he did in previous works such as DIRI: Self Portrait (1998) and Potret Diri: Tanpa Tajuk (1999). Here, he is once again cast as the primary subject of the painting. With his back towards the viewer, his face is hidden but his outstretched arms and flexed hands convey tension, suggesting the sense of displacement the artist may have experienced while being away from home. Beyond the use of body language, the inclusion of text in this work adds another dimension. 

Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas
134.5 x 259 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Bayu Utomo Radjikin
About Bayu Utomo Radjikin

Born in 1969 in Tawau, Sabah (East Malaysia), Bayu Utomo Radjikin graduated from the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM). His practice which has ranged  from sculpture to figurative painting explores public and personal identity, and social commentary. He was a founding member of the MATAHATI collective and is now the Director of HOM Arts Trans. Bayu’s deep understanding of the body is evident in his theatrical figure paintings and sculptures. His works allow the mystical and the personal to intrude upon each other, and invite the viewer to rethink what we believe about tradition. 

Further Readings

Learning Section

  • The text tells us that this is a portrait of the artist. How is it different from other self-portraits that are featured in the collection? What does the painting tell you about the artist? What gesture is he making? What do you think this symbolises? Do you recognise the flower at the centre of the work? Why do you think it has been included by the artist?

  • Compare this painting to the other painting by Bayu Utomo Rajikin. What similarities do you see? What are the main differences? Looking at the paintings together, what do you think the artist wants us to know about him as an artist and as a man?