Beyond Character

Bernandi Desanda Solo Exhibition
Featured Artists

In 1945, George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm was published. In Indonesian language, it was first translated by Mahbub Djunaidi as “Binatangisme” (1983). Some analyses associate the novel with criticism of socialism that once occurred in the Soviet Union. However, one of the main issues is that greed will destroy the entire social order. Greed makes the lives of animals chaotic, and the same goes for human life.

One of the theorists of posthumanism studies, Rosi Braidotti, once stated that: “Life is Half Animal: Zoe (Zoology, zoophilic, zoo), and Half Discursive: Bios (Bio-logy).” Braidotti is a posthumanist scholar who generally emphasizes that in order to sustain present-day life, humans must continuously dismantle the belief in anthropocentrism – the ideology that prioritizes humans as the center and main perspective.

Furthermore, Braidotti suggests that human identity is inherently unstable or constantly changing, as a result of social, economic, and political constructions. In this regard, Braidotti introduces the concept of “nomadic subjectivity,” which refers to the movement and transformation of an entity’s identity.

Bernandi Desanda, an artist from Indonesia who has been working on identity and character transformation-based artworks in recent years, employs a figurative pop art approach. Through his works, which may align with the illustration of “nomadic subjectivity,”Bernandi adapts and represents anatomically animalistic figures as well as characters from Japanese anime series. Bernandi Desanda’s works appear to continue the trend of development in Indonesian pop art, particularly related to issues of social criticism. However, Bernandi attempts to compose artistic expressions with a humorous, cheerful, and playful pop art style. This is evident in his exploration of social interactions, inter-species brotherhood, and self-discovery and motivation. Take a look at the “Avatar Series,” where Bernandi presents four figures portraying four different characters.

With this artwork, Bernandi seems to highlight the diversity of characters and layers of identity.

Similarly, in the artwork “Face Series: Always Ready,” Bernandi showcases the character Godzilla, which represents resilience. “Always Ready” signifies a personal image of motivation in facing life’s challenges. Additionally, the titled works “Balance of Life” and “The Champion” also display poses and impressions that convey strength and steadfastness of character.

At the same time, there is the representation of the character Doraemon, whose mouth is depicted repeatedly. This legendary Japanese anime seems to reveal that within a character, there are hidden other characters. It is through these layers of character that one can adapt to any situation. Semiotically, the issue of interdependence is revealed, suggesting that through inspiration from other characters, we can come to know ourselves and shape our identity. “The Bearer of Joy” provides further proof. It shows an anime dinosaur figure embracing two distinctive Bernandi characters, which present a human-like anime anatomy. “The Bearer of Joy” should be placed within the discourse of posthumanism, which opposes the prioritization of humans as the sole main characters over other characters or creatures.

Through his recent works, Bernandi consistently manipulates anime characters such as Godzilla, Doraemon, and even Snorlax from Pokémon in artworks like “Stay safe with me” and “Sleepyhead.” Interestingly, this also demonstrates an effort to select characters from anime that embody saviors, helpers, pacifists, or advocates of peace. The range of characters extends from Japanese animation and manga figures to representations of animal anatomy, including dinosaurs.

In the end, Bernandi invites all of us to transcend characters, just as posthumanism aims to move beyond anthropocentrism. Through Bernandi’s works in this exhibition, we are invited to reconsider our personal identity as humans, which is not fixed and constantly changing, containing various influences and traits. Only by transcending characters, we will understand Bernandi Desanda’s artistic expressions aimed at harmony, equality, togetherness, and brotherhood among beings as well as the environment and the universe. Let’s go beyond characters! Let’s enrich our identity with unity and diversity of characters!

Foreword by Adhi Pandoyo

JONATHAN TOH

CO-FOUNDER

Beyond Character

Bernandi Desanda Solo Exhibition
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Featured Artists
Bernandi Desandra

B. 1996, Indonesia

Hi, I’m Bernandi Desanda (a.k.a Berbrain). I was born in 1996 in South Tangerang, Indonesia. I graduated from the Indonesian Institute of The Arts Yogyakarta, majoring in Bachelor Degree of Visual Communication Design. However, since 2015, I have chosen to focus on fine art, particularly in painting. Currently, I live in Yogyakarta as a full-time artist. My recent works mainly focus on 2D paintings, but I am planning to create 3D artwork in the future. I work at Studio Berbrain.

To briefly explain the origin of “Berbrain,” it is a combination of two words: “Ber” derived from my first name (Bernandi), and “Brain” which means mind. Therefore, Berbrain means “Bernandi’s mind” or “Bernandi’s thoughts.” My works are created based on whatever comes to my mind, especially the things I love.

Throughout my artistic journey, I have explored various styles. This happened due to the boredom I felt while working, leading me to gradually shift my painting style depending on the message I wanted to convey in my paintings.

I have a strong interest in animals, monsters, and creatures of that nature. Most of my current works are inspired by these subjects, including cartoon characters. Essentially, I enjoy blending monsters, animals, and cartoon characters to create new species in my imagination, a passion I have had since childhood.

Exhibition CV
SOLO
GROUP
AWARD

2014
3th Place Comic Award in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

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Artwork Sold Out

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* shipping & tax excluded

Beyond Character

Bernandi Desanda Solo Exhibition
June 10, 2023
SINGAPORE ALL ABOUT ART GALLERY
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