A solo exhibition by Iwan Effendi
11 November – 17 December 2023
Vernissage: Saturday, 11 November 2023, 4 – 7 pm

Mizuma Gallery is pleased to announce preload, a solo exhibition by Iwan Effendi.


Category: Release Letter from Iwan Effendi

To whom it may concern,

I began preload (2023) with a simple question: what goes through a person’s mind when they are lost in their thoughts, that a certain expression appears on their face?

Face to Face, a series of facial drawings and puppets I created in 2019 constituted my exploration of the faces of the puppets performed by Papermoon Puppet Theatre. At that time, I was curious: How could theatre audiences believe in the static-faced puppets and emotionally engage with the narratives? I resolved this in Daydreaming Face, a 2021 exhibition that featured the dreamlike expression on the puppets that allowed puppeteers to convey the emotions they sought to express, while the audience had the freedom to interpret it, often finding reflections of themselves in the puppets.

When I returned to the world of visual arts and attempted to embrace drawing as my medium, a question lingered among the charcoal I drew on paper. If the daydreaming puppet’s face was to shift into the medium of drawing, would the viewers experience it with the same emotional intensity?

preload is a work that unravels my process of understanding the journey of remembrance through seven faces: Kah, Wid, Kus, Yun, Tin, Tri, and Min. Their portraits on the large canvases invite the audience to observe the expressions that appear on their faces as they successfully recollect what they want to remember. Unlike the passive, emotionless ‘daydreaming faces’, preload presents lively and expressive visages—faces that pique one’s curiosity.

As I drew the seven faces and their fragments, I learnt to recollect as well. Allowing my body to think and observe the reactions that surfaced as their data and stories filled my mind. Each stroke with its varying thickness of charcoal lines and the splatters of coffee stains represent the layers of meaning in this journey of remembrance; understanding what lies behind an expression that can emotionally engage others and uncovering the stories behind it.

Fragments of the tales of these seven characters have been previously performed on the stage of the Papermoon Puppet Theatre. Just like watching a stage performance, at the end of this preload journey, I have to set everything aside. To move forward, one must take a step back. And recollecting, too, is a part of letting go.

Iwan Effendi
Yogyakarta, October 10, 2023


preload, a solo exhibition by Iwan Effendi, will run from 11 November to 17 December 2023 at Mizuma Gallery, 22 Lock Road #01-34 Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108939. The gallery will open from 11am-7pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 11am-6pm on Sundays. The gallery will be closed on Mondays and Public Holidays.

In conjunction with the launch of the exhibition, an opening reception in the presence of Iwan Effendi (artist) will be held on Saturday, 11 November 2023, from 4 to 7 pm. This event is free admission, and is open to the public. To register your attendance and to meet the artist in person, please RSVP at by Friday, 10 November 2023. A digital publication featuring images of the artworks and a text by Windy Ariestanty will be available on

About the Artist

Iwan Effendi (b. 1979, Yogyakarta, Indonesia) studied at the Department of Visual Art in Indonesia Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta, Indonesia from 2002 to 2004. In 2006, Iwan and his spouse, Ria Tri Sulistyani, founded Papermoon Puppet Theatre, and in 2020, he founded Ing Printmaking Studio. His solo exhibitions include Daydreaming Face at RUCI Art Space, Jakarta, Indonesia (2021); DRAWING withdrawing (2020) and Face to Face (2019) at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore; Lunang at Lir Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2013); Eye of the Messenger at Yavuz Gallery, Singapore (2011); and Two Shoes for Dancing at Valentine Willie Fine Art (Project Room), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2009). Iwan has also participated in group exhibitions in Bulgaria, Singapore, Australia, The Netherlands, Philippines, France, Japan, USA, and Mexico. He has undertaken residencies with the Museum of Art in Kōchi, Japan (2015); Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia (2014); and Asian Cultural Council in New York, USA (2009-10) researching on puppetry, visual, and performance arts. Iwan Effendi lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

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