Ni Tanjung

sans titre

Ni Tanjung
untitled, between 2009 and 2012
color pencil on sheets of paper mounted on bamboo sticks
130 x 70 x 5 cm
Gift from Georges and Lise Breguet
Photo : Marie Humair, Atelier de numérisation - Ville de Lausanne
Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne


Ni Tanjung (1930), Indonesia


At nearly 80, and in the solitude of her windowless room, Ni Tanjung draws thousands of multicolored faces. Mainly she draws women's faces—self-portraits or her ancestors, or else imaginary figures belonging to her personal theater. It was the death of her husband that inspired her to take up drawing. The shock was such that she fell ill: feeble and scrawny, she was transported to her daughter's place in the neighboring village. Here, this old woman in her skinny and fragile state began drawing, doing cutouts and, above all, fashioning complex and extremely creative assemblages of paper figures.
Her montages, comprising several colored cutouts, are done in crayon on plain paper. They reconstitute the history of her life, bringing back to life her ancestors and those near and dear to her.
Although she can no longer dance as she once liked to do, she sometimes breaks out in song and animates scenes between several characters. She is wont to meticulously place about a dozen drawings, cutouts and large assemblages against the wall and across the bed.  Once all her creations are thus on display, Ni Tanjung takes out a little mirror to gaze at her works indirectly. The process allows her to so-to-speak implant their image in her memory. In fact, she cannot release any of her creations without having carried out this symbolic act.


Exhibition(s) at the Art Brut Collection