I'm the Sweetest Teddy Bear
By Entang Wiharso
Many of the artists included in Locally Made responded to a series of questions about their materials and process. A selected response follows.
Title: I’m the Sweetest Teddy Bear
Media: Oil on canvas
Location of residence: North Scituate, Rhode Island
Location of work (studio/office): North Scituate, Rhode Island, and Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Process: I created this painting in response to what happened after 9/11. This work is part of a series exploring psychological landscapes. In this series, I began using simple objects which originated in the U.S. but are owned by people all over the world, not only Americans. One such object, the teddy bear, is a toy with childhood associations like purity, cuddliness, and fun. Everyone has their own memory about this stuffed animal. I was interested why this toy is called a teddy bear and I discovered the name comes from Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. President. This object has taken on many different meanings, and in this work, the teddy bear functions as a symbol of my connection to my second homeland. This work is part of my Hurting Landscape series. The images are of intersecting political, social, emotional, dream, and physical landscapes, and were created as a response to events and issues that had drawn my attention during the early years of the last decade (2000–2003). This painting reflects the physical changes, deviations, damage, and corrosion of the landscape around me during that period. I explore the mindset, systems, and structures necessary to create significant physical modification in our environment and question the origin of these changes. By questioning the impetus and goals of these structures and mentality, the works in this series try to make visible a personal and collective psychological landscape.