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Topic: Marine Biology

Bakwan Udang:

an Artist and a Shrimp



On 10 March 2020, indoartno published a meme as pictured above. The meme answers the question of an artist’s backache with an image of shrimp. The shrimp’s pronounced arch immediately reminds us of a slouched back whilst its walking legs suggest the act of working. Instantly relatable, the meme points to the countless times we’d wondered about the sudden onset of back pain to only realise that we’d been slouching for an extended period of time. The act of slouching is universal to human beings and not exclusive artists. Yet it is intriguing for the meme to use the shrimp as a metaphor rather than other living things such as an inchworm, a caterpillar or even a monkey which are commonly seen with ‘arched backs’. Through a formal and conceptual inquiry of the meme, the essay will study the parallels between being an artist and a shrimp while drawing from art historical, socio-cultural and political references.

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