The Indonesian artist Mulyana, known for knitting and crocheting fantastical sculptures out of upcycled materials like worn clothing and plastic bags, shapes new utopias that simultaneously calls viewers to action. Mulyana takes inspiration from a number of folkloric traditions, Southeast Asian epics, stories and religious celebrations, as well as the beauty of the natural world. His practice is centered on sustainability and community, with attention to the fading colors of the world we inhabit, such as the fluorescently colored coral reefs turning gray from pollution. His work is both otherworldly and recognizable, fashioning life-size figures, monsters, and room-sized installations of bleached whale skeletons, ghostly white jellyfish, dying gray coral reefs, psychedelic forests, and anything else he finds beautiful about the natural and organic world. The playful and joyous elements of Muluyana’s practice have much deeper roots. At the beginning of his art practice, Mulyana knitted his works by himself and viewed it as a meditation; a way to unite with a greater force animating the universe. Today, Mulyana maintains this ethos but also shares it with all the collaborators who contribute to the creation of his large-scale artworks.

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