Taring Padi is a collective of underground artists in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The group was formed in 1998 during the general upheaval following the fall of Suharto.[1]

Taring Padi are well known for the production of posters embedded with political and social justice messages, using the cukil (woodcut) technique onto paper or canvas. In addition to their print work, they also create murals, banners, puppetry, sculptures, street theater performances, punk rock and techno music.[citation needed]


After the fall of Suharto, Taring Padi occupied an abandoned art school which they used as a residence and workspace for creating art, music and theatre. Following the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, Taring Padi moved their base to a studio in Sembungan village, Bantul, Yogyakarta. The group is well known among international art collectors and underground communities such as the Just Seeds Artists Cooperative and has collaborated broadly internationally.

Works by Taring Padi have been shown in many formal and non-formal settings, including the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta and at the 31st Century Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand.[2] Taring Padi was also included in the group show Sisa: re-use, collaborations and cultural activism from Indonesia at the University of Technology, Sydney gallery.[citation needed]

In 2004 a film about Taring Padi by filmmakers Jamie Nicolai and Charlie Hillsmith,Indonesian Arts, Activism and Rock 'n' Roll, was screened on SBS TV in Australia.[3] A short cut of this film can be seen online.[4] Filmmaker Rohan Langford has made a brief profile of Taring Padi artist Aris Prabawa, who in 2010 held solo shows at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney.[citation needed]

In May 2010 Taring Padi and networks, together with the victims of Siring Village and surrounds, collaborated to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the Lapindo Mud disaster near Surabaya. They held etching, screenprinting, painting and singing workshop activities culminating with a carnival and a people's stage show on the edge of the dam containing the mud. A film documenting this project can be seen and downloaded at engagemedia.org.[5]

Taring Padi often run workshops at their studio and undertake collaborative projects with communities and national and international art and political groups. In 2010 in Chiang Mai, Thailand (hosted by Empty Space) and 2012 in Yogyakarta, Taring Padi collaborated with Thai and Myanmar artists in the project Under, After and In Between. Under, After and In Between focused on the different circumstances of each country and group and how they can influence the purpose of artistic work. The projects culminated in performances in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Yogyakarta and Kulon Progo.[citation needed]

Taring Padi published Seni Membongar Tirani (Art Smashing Tyranny) in 2011 in Indonesian and English, which covered 10 years of the collective's work, including art work and academic articles.[6] The book was launched in a number of cities in Indonesia in 2012 and is now available for free download as an e-book.[7]

In 2018 Taring Padi celebrated its 20-year anniversary with a critically-acclaimed retrospective exhibition at the Yogyakarta Institute of Art (ISI).[8][9][10]

2022 Documenta controversy

This section is missing information about when was “People’s Justice” was created; whether it had been exhibited previously; if yes, whether there had been similar criticism before; and if yes, why it was exhibited again at the documenta fifteen. Please expand the section to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. (October 2022)

At documenta fifteen in 2022, Germany's foremost art exhibition, Taring Padi gained notoriety for imagery critics claimed to be anti-Semitic in its mural "People's Justice.", resulting in it being covered up and later removed.[11] The meters high painting was criticized by the state minister of the art Claudia Roth, representatives of Jewish organizations, the Israeli embassy, and others. The painting included a soldier with a pig's face, with the star of David and with the word Mossad on his helmet. Another figure with animal like fangs is depicted wearing a suit and tie, sidelocks and a Bowler hat with SS runes.[12]

Taring Padi denied any discrimination of specific parts of the population. According to them, the painting belongs to a campaign against militarism and the violence experienced during the dictatorship in Indonesia.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Heidi Arbuckle Art by Taring Padi collective
  2. ^ Video on Vimeo
  3. ^ Art, Activism and Rock 'n' Roll by Margie Farrel "Art Activism and Rock 'n' Roll". Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  4. ^ Art, Activism and Rock 'n' Roll on YouTube
  5. ^ Reflections in the Mud at engagemedia.org
  6. ^ Taring Padi, (2011) Taring Padi: Seni Membongkar Tirani (Taring Padi: Art Smashing Tyranny)', Lumbung Press, Yogyakarta.
  7. ^ Taring Padi website
  8. ^ al-Hakimi, Moh. Jauhar al-Hakimi. "Taring Padi Masih Kerja". Satuharapan.com. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  9. ^ Birdieni, Birny. "Ulang Tahun ke-20, Kelompok Seni "Taring Padi" Gelar Pameran". Gatra.com. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  10. ^ BAMBANG, MURYANTO (18 December 2018). "Taring Padi marks 20 years of fight through art for all". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Mitten ins Herz". Süddeutsche Zeitung. 20 June 2022. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  12. ^ Chief of German art festival quits after antisemitic works go on display timesofisrael.com, retrieved 17 July 2022
  13. ^ "Antisemitisches Bild wird entfernt" (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine. 21 June 2022. Retrieved 21 June 2022.

Further reading