Moelyono (1957, Tulung Agung, Java) works as an artist, teacher and author. He is best known for his artistic-educational projects with village communities in rural Indonesia. Inspired by the ‘theory of the education of the oppressed’ put forward by the Brazilian educational reformer Paulo Freire, for the last thirty years he has been going from village to village, organising workshops for the local inhabitants. He calls his participatory art ‘seni rupa kerja’, which, roughly translated, means visual art in action; useful and stimulating art. By means of his holistic teaching method, founded on non-violence, self-sufficiency and respect for all life, Moelyono tries to sharpen up the participants’ political, social and economic awareness.
Moelyono’s workshops often start with drawing. The children called him ‘Pak Moel Guru Nggambar’, Pak Moel the Drawing Teacher. In his opinion everyone can create culture. Every child can draw. Drawing is simple, fun, a great game and a good way of making friends. In his drawing lessons, Moelyono looks for points of contact within a community, tries to gain an insight into hidden social issues and makes room to stimulate physical and mental action. For example, he urges children to talk to their parents, grandparents and other members of the community through the medium of their drawings and thereby gain new knowledge.
One very real application of Moelyono’s holistic teaching is the ‘portable school’, a simple bag in unbleached cotton containing a set of educational games and instruments that he makes together with the families. This bag can be hung up in the home, taken out into the fields, or shared with neighbours. With the aid of Moelyono’s educational set, any village or community can develop its own education to suit itself and to draw on the wealth of local potential.
[Performance] My Life as A Drawing Teacher: On Art and Activism (2017)
For Performance Klub, Moelyono will give a lecture-workshop as a performance. In the midst of documentary pictures and instruments that he uses in his activities as a teacher and artist, he will tell stories of past and future projects and clarify the role that art can play in a developing society.