Exhibitions - Jitet Kustana (Indonesia)
From 27 january till 14 april 2019
Jitet Kustana was born in 1967 in Semarang (Java - Indonesia) and still lives there. Father of four and undoubtedly the best known and most renowned cartoonist of his country. However, he had no ambition at all to become a cartoonist and he seemed to grow up as a youngster without a future.
Once he got to the years of understanding, he got a little money from his parents to get started as a salesman of secondhand books. While waiting for customers, he had a lot of time to read, and that became his hobby. He also met Slamet Baijuri, a cartoonist who introduced him to the cartoon world of Semarang. He learned how to draw cartoons, which paper to use, which ink, how to participate in cartoon competitions .... It did not do him any harm, because he already won more than two hundred prizes in cartoon competitions all over the world.
His very first cartoon was sent to a local cartoon contest in 1987: a poor mother who tried to feed her starving child. However, the cartoon was not accepted by the censorship that prevailed in Indonesia at that time under Suharto. Later that year however his first work was published in a local newspaper Suara Merdeka. Several other magazines and newspapers followed, until he found a permanent place in the national Indonesian newspaper 'Kompas National Daily', where he then worked under the direction of another great Indonesian cartoonist GM Sudarta.
Kustana spends a lot of time on his cartoons: 'The hardest thing is finding ideas and then a lot of time is spent looking for whether these ideas have not been used before. Internet is really useful for this. Turns out the idea is original then I go to work. That takes about 7 hours." he says in an interview for the Iranian press.
He uses Photoshop to optimize his work, but still prefers artisan work. Using watercolor on paper and acrylic paint on canvas to shape his socially critical themes (environment, poverty, anti-militarism, ...).
Jitet has meanwhile lots of experience in cartoon art, after 30 years of drawing cartoons this is the way he will continue to walk. The cartoon belongs to who he is, and is as essential as the coffee and cigarettes he is devoted to.
You can visit his exhibition in the ECC from 27 January till 14 April 2019, every Sunday from 10 to 12 am and from 2 to 5 pm. Groups of 10 persons or more are welcome on other days by appointment.