For those who are closely watching the local art scene, Muklay might no longer be such a strange name to one’s ear. The artist known for his colorful and playful drawings has already joined multiple bazaars, exhibition and art events, giving him a very well-deserved exposure. Read along to find out more about Muklay, his art, and his apparel label JUNK not DEAD.
Q : How would you like to be known as, and what do you want people to know about Muklay?
A : Fun, because it’s exciting just like that. Colorful, because life without colors is like love without a partner. Disciplines, because in Jakarta, anyone who’s not fast enough will get crushed. Struggle, because amongst all my friends I am the only one who can consistently run multiple projects at once. Sneakers, just because.
Q : How would you describe your art? What are the things that characterize your creation?
A : Kitsch, sometimes I am turning into a social media parasite by re-drawing and changing the meaning of an already existing picture. Copy-paste generation is something that I emphasize. Nothing is original in this world, especially for a generation whom is faced with confusion. Many even fall without before they seek for their true identity. It is because everything is already represented by preceding artists, and it got amplified by the rapid growth of social media. But overall, my arts are rebellious, with a lot of colors, strong lines, and patterns.
Q : Why did you name your brand Junk Not Dead?
A : Because of its trivial origin. So, I made patches from leftover canvas which I consider as junk, but then I think that it can turn into a small yet massive creation. From there I decided to call my brand Junk Not Dead.
Q : What does your brand stand for? Its ideals, its values, and what it represents?
A : It stands for myself. Hehehehe. I actually don’t have any targets. For me, creating merchandise is something that comes as an aesthetic recreation. There are no certain pressures to deliver a certain story to the public.
Q : When did the brand launch? Why did you decide to start it and how has it been evolving?
A : It was established in 2013 and I built this brand with Puji Lestari. I was the one drawing and she was stitching it into the totebag. I used to be very encouraged to create a merchandise because there was no collector who would buy my art. So I tried to expand my creations into products that are wearable for public.
Q : Do you have other artist/brands (local and international) that inspire you?
A : Indieguerillas. Their every creation always surprises me. Like how they play with junks which they customized and tailor into a new creation. I am also massively impressed with Tristan Eaton with his ability to make enormous murals, often without artisan, and combining all drawing styles in her arts.
Q : If you could work or collaborate with anyone and/or any brand, who would it be? Why and what would you create?
A : Nike or Jordan. I’m thinking of making a series which I will draw by hand piece by piece. I was also thinking to create a glow in the dark sneakers.
Q : Please tell us about your newest collection, including the inspiration and how it is translated into the pieces.
A : My current collection is about t-shirt and anything prints. At first, JUNK not DEAD made a lot of merchandises and original paintings, but now running out of time. Therefore, I am going to create a few digital arts which will be transferred into T-shirts, sweaters, scarves, pouches, etc.
Q : What is your future aspiration for the brand and yourself as the creator?
A : To do what i like and not to do what market want. To be someone who grow from zero to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. There are always steps before we reach the top. Even cooking an instant noodle needs process. Don’t try to instantly get into art or business world.