Tired Water

Vira Putri

2023 Vessel

Vira Putri’s work draws upon jamu, the Indonesian traditional healing practice which the artist likens to cooking, used to cure fatigue and rheumatic symptoms

Tired Water VIRA PUTRI is an installation comprising of an engraved metal vessel containing vibrating rice water, moved by a folk song recorded through low frequency soundwaves, spotlit and surrounded by apothecary instruments. Displayed on a lowered table with a stool, the work takes the form of a tableau-like allegory, centring relationships between human and nonhuman at a time of heightened climate anxiety.

Vira Putri’s work draws upon jamu, the Indonesian traditional healing practice which the artist likens to cooking. The vessel itself contains Beras kencur, a jamu tonic made with rice, lesser galangal and water. It is used to cure fatigue and rheumatic symptoms, which not only speaks to the collective fatigue of humanity, but also to the strained resources that our non-symbiotic societies have cultivated.

Vira led two jamu-making workshops inviting participants to join in with making kunyit asem, a general tonic comprised of turmeric, tamarind, and palm sugar used to ease inflammation and increase overall immunity.

Images: Christopher Counihan

Images: Ellie J McMaster

Vira Putri is an interdisciplinary artist based in Edinburgh. She investigates the cultural significance of ingredients through the traditional Indonesian practice of jamu. Exploring the ritualistic movements within domestic spaces, she hopes to blur the lines between the kitchen and the artist’s studio, leading her to question the prescriptive authority of (that) a recipe (has over ingredients as individual objects) as an inherited form of knowledge. Putri’s practice resituates the ingredient as a curative entity.

Past works include In Dialogue: Visual Recipes, shown at Tenderfoot, Edinburgh Palette (2021); She is My Vessel I am Hers, an expanded painting installation at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) (2021); and Vitamin T at MAFAF*CKERS, ECA (2020). Putri also has a supperclub with Dienu Prihartadi called studio roedjak that hosts intimate dinners of curated Indonesian dishes.


September 2023 during Art Walk Porty:
VESSEL Group Exhibition, Art Walk Hub Portobello
Jamu Making Workshops, Portobello Promenade & Art Walk Hub