About Eko Prawoto
Indonesian architect Eko Prawoto has his own firm of architects and is a lecturer at Duta Wacana University in Yogyakarta. He designs and executes architectural constructions, making use of local technical knowledge and all kinds of available materials which are often recycled and which he converts into a modern design. His ecological architecture is a direct consequence of the social and cultural context for which his designs are intended. His aim is to reinforce communities’ solidarity with one another and to improve local people’s living conditions.
He has been using bamboo as a building material since 2000. Bamboo symbolises the transient nature of things. Eko himself says that human beings are merely passing through the natural world. He studied the seismic resistance of buildings constructed from bamboo, straw and timber and he intends to reintroduce these materials for building in all strata of society.
Among others, his work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2000, Arte all’arte, the Gwangju Biennale, the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale, the Kamikatsu Art Festival, the Anyang popular art project in Korea, Common Ground Australia, Regionale xii in Austria, the Singapore Biennale 2013 and SONSBEEK ’16.
About the art work
On land owned by the Oudman family, Oude Dijk 1 in Pieterburen.
The art work consists of 324 wooden pallets ingeniously converted into stackable construction modules. The materials have been delivered by Palletmatch from Winschoten. This edifice is being built in close cooperation with the Oudman family and other people living in the neighbourhood, and all the materials are locally produced too. Eko feels that the open tower structure symbolises the way in which human beings all need each other. This inspired the title of Gotong Royong which means working together as a community. It refers to our vulnerability as well as to the spiritual power we can obtain from staying together. Humanity has lived for centuries with the earth as a dynamic entity. We cannot fight our planet, but we as humans are able to adapt to its capriciousness. If you look through the art work, you can see the sea dike that protects us at high tide in the distance.
About the location
The Oude Dijk was part of the medieval dike system that protected the whole of northern Groningen. It ran along the Pieterburen, Westernieland, Den Andel, Warffum, Usquert and Uithuizen areas. Nowadays, it is barely visible anymore but many roads still run along the old route of the dike: Dijkweg, Oude Dijk, Dijksterweg.