What if Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahja Purnama is able to take a “wefie” with superheroes from The Avengers? Dennys Wang, who makes one-sixth scale action figures, and his friend, toy photographer Lucky Herman Tjandra, who is known via his Instagram account @unrealtoys, have let Ahok do exactly that.
“What had been captured is actually just a symbol,” said Lucky to The Jakarta Post. “The Avengers are associated as being defenders of the Earth, while Ahok is often identified as a preserver of the truth – at least for his supporters. Therefore, I see similarities between Ahok with The Avengers, Batman and Superman.”
Lucky, who has been enthusiastic about one-sixth scale action figures since three years ago, also posted a photo of Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Darth Vader and Black Widow who are posed as Ahok’s fans. “For Spider-Man, it’s the same,” he said. “But for Darth Vader, it’s more into the fun side. Darth Vader is evil, but he still admires Ahok,” he explained.
It took six months for Dennys to create Ahok’s one-sixth scale action figure. “It’s made from various materials, including resin, polyurethane, rubber, ‘sakura’ cotton fabric and ABS plastic,” he explained. “It’s then manually painted by an artist who does it very carefully to get a realistic face.”
Making the action figure of Ahok also has its own difficulties, especially for Ahok’s frameless glasses. “And also his smile because sculpting that expression is the hardest,” he said.
Dennys wanted to make Ahok’s action figure because he is inspired by things happening outside of Indonesia.
“Notable figures like Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and others have their own action figures. That’s why I wondered which renowned Indonesian individual could be made into an action figure and Ahok showed up on top of my list,” he stated. “He’s a great man who directly jumps into society, listens to the people’s problems and takes action from that.”
Both Dennys and Lucky have received various reactions from people. “Of course there are people who criticize the photos. I will accept it as long as it is still within certain boundaries. People are allowed to have different opinions. They don’t always have to agree with me,” Lucky said, adding that if people’s comments are derogatory over ethnic, religious, or race issues, he will not tolerate them.
Regarding his Ahok action figure, Dennys has mostly received appreciation, but that does not mean critics and racist comments do not exist. “But no one has yet to criticize me based on an arts perspective,” he said.
As for his forthcoming project, Lucky admits he has several photography ideas that will be executed in the next few days. Meanwhile, Dennys still wants to make other local figures, although he still yet cannot decide who.
Those who want to purchase the Ahok action figure may need to be patient because Dennys is still unsure about putting his work up for sale. “It all comes back to Pak Ahok, whether he gives me permission or not,” he said, adding that he already asked Ahok’s for it via e-mail.