Diptych painting made in the form of a room screen. The painting support is made from
perforated water buffalo hide, hand carved using traditional ‘wayang kulit’ tools and materials. The painted
frame structure is made from hand-carved teak and pandan leaf.
Margio Bin Suyeb is the name of the main character in the novel ‘Man Tiger’ by Indonesian author Eka
Kurniawan. Javanese tigers are now extinct, but in the book Margio mystically inherits the spirit of a tiger
and utilizes its power to defend himself and his family.
The recto painting depicts a taxidermy Javanese tiger that is on display in my father’s hometown,
Purwokerto. I see this once powerful being, now stuffed and caught in a permanent cage, forever growling
but impotent, as a metaphor for my grandfather’s struggle caught in the trap of post-war, post-colonial fall
out. The verso painting depicts a stormy seascape in Central Java.

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