The story of a design: UWRF 2016 poster reveal

Posted: 30 June 2016

Today we’re excited to reveal our 2016 poster, designed by Evi O., an award-winning Indonesian artist, book designer and art director, based in Sydney, Australia.



Evi has worked in publishing for a decade and recently won the Best Designed Fully-Illustrated Book at the 2016 Australian Book Design Awards. Surabaya-born, she moved to Australia in 2003 and recently launched her own design practice.  We’re excited to announce that Evi will also join the UWRF 2016 to discuss the art of book design and illustration.

The poster is a bold interpretation of this year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival theme, Tat Tvam Asi, an ancient 6th century Hindu philosophy that can be loosely translated as ‘we are one’, or ‘I am you, you are me’. The image focuses on two haunting, interconnected faces, heightened by large blocks of emotive colour. The poster evokes the meeting of minds, souls and thought, speaking to the universal, humanist nature of this year’s theme – as well-known Indonesian poet Sutardji Calzoum Bachri puts it in his poem ‘One’:  “what pierces you, will make me bleed”. The artwork echoes movements in contemporary Indonesian art.

As the world struggles with division, Tat Tvam Asi urges us to consider all humans as equal and identical, and that pain inflicted on others is pain ultimately inflicted on ourselves. This powerful ideology can be seen as crucial to the collective identity of Indonesia – uniting people from diverse religious, ethnic, cultural and historical backgrounds to share common respect and understanding – but also refers to the global collective. As the mystic Persian poet Rumi wrote, “In fact, my soul and yours are the same. You appear in me, I in you. We hide in each other.”

This year’s theme – in the Festival’s 13th year – encompasses the philosophy of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. In 2016, we will once again deliver an event that bravely asks the big questions around human rights, the value of difference, and the forces shaping our lives, our environment, and our identity. It’s a festival that unites writers, readers, thinkers, and creators in a unique way. As our audience continues to tell us, the UWRF is ‘literally magical’.

Stay tuned for our first round writers and Early Bird ticket announcement – coming soon in July!

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