oomleo started creating pixel art in the early 2000s, and 'Maze Out' is a compilation of the characters and objects he created in earlier works, reconfigured into a new narrative and set to music composed by the artist. The making of the video echoes the principles of pixel art, where pictures or images are composed from numerous small units. Artists of oomleo’s generation grew up on a visual diet of pixel art, which was prevalent in the arcade games of the 1980s. Today, it enjoys a resurgence of popularity for its retro aesthetic, fuelled in part by a reaction against the juggernaut of the 3D graphics industry. Pixel art’s simplicity and accessibility allows amateurs and professionals alike endless possibilities for creating new art through reuse and recycling.
Peopled with characters inspired by the artist’s friends as well as certain observable stereotypes in Indonesian society (for instance, the fitness fanatic who takes to jogging in Jakarta traffic), the video suggests the inter-connectivity of society. oomleo’s microcosm presents a maze of machinery where we can observe the everyman and labourers at work. At times, the darker side of these networks and the economy is suggested when we witness the human ‘rage against the machine’, or when a worker is swallowed up by a fast-moving conveyor belt. The artist extends the experience of the work with a sticker installation, beyond the flat screen of the video.
Image rights: Collection of the Artist (Commissioned by Singapore Art Museum)
Indonesian, b. 1978, Jakarta, Indonesia, based in Jakarta, Indonesia