A Man, A Monster and The Sea


See an underwater world brought to life through the eyes of knitting and crochet artist Mulyana.

Indonesian artist Mulyana sees knitting and crocheting as a form of meditation and prayer. Along with the obvious therapeutic benefits, crocheting has also given Mulyana a colourful, creative and beautiful outlet in which he is able to share his environmental outlook with the world.


Mulyana’s artworks often start as tiny organisms, which slowly bloom into vivid clusters that resemble everything from coral gardens and reefs, to sea creatures and monsters of the deep, then grow into beautiful crocheted biodomes that reflect the ocean, the land and nature.


Over the next two and a half months, The Goods Shed plays host to one of Mulyana’s underwater worlds, constructed by the artist and the Yogyakarta transgender community.

“A Man, A Monster and The Sea was conceived as a way to explore the shared marine heritage and oceanic linkages between Australia and Indonesia through cultural and artistic exchange,” FORM curator Sharmila Wood says. “This exhibition comprises 3000 bright yellow fish, 99 white octopuses (which symbolise the 99 names for Allah in Islam), intricate reefs of coral islands made from 100 individual crochet pieces, and a rainbow octopod of Mulyana’s signature Mogus.”


The Mogus (monster) is an alter-ego the artist created back in 2008, made of knitted pompoms created using unused bulky yarn. The monster fuels Mulyana’s fantasy of having “many hands, so that I can do many things, and give to many people”.


And giving is just what Mulyana and his crocheting have done. Over the past decade, Mulyana has trained the transgender community in Yogyakarta to create his knitted sculptures, which has led them to receive income and recognition on the world stage, including right here in Perth.


“The installation entailed the work of four whole villages to craft, and more than 80 hours to install at The Goods Shed,” says Ms Wood.


The result – an art installation that shines a light on diverse communities, the Indian Ocean, the challenge of climate change, marine research and the significance of the sea.

A Man, A Monster and The Sea runs until May 31, 2019.

Visit – FORM