Aqua's senior brand manager Disa Lestari and artist Eko Nugroho show off the new Aqua Reflections bottles featuring Eko's design to the media at a press conference on Thursday (27/07). (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Eko Nugroho Lends a Touch of Street Art to Aqua Reflections Bottles

BY :SYLVIANA HAMDANI

JULY 28, 2017

Jakarta. Bottled drinking water Aqua and Indonesian contemporary artist Eko Nugroho launched a new edition of the brand's Aqua Reflections bottles at the Glass House in Jakarta on Thursday (27/07).

Aqua Reflections is the premium line of the popular bottled water brand.

"This collaboration is part of our marketing campaign called 'Reflections of You,'" Disa Lestari, Aqua's senior brand manager, said.

For the campaign, the brand has collaborated with a number of Indonesian artists and designers to spruce up its premium bottles that are made of glass. The normal Aqua water bottle is made of plastic.

The brand worked with Indonesian high-fashion designer Sebastian Gunawan to design its first premium glass bottles in 2011.

In 2016, the brand worked together with another Indonesian high-fashion designer Tex Saverio to design the second edition of its premium bottles.

The brand chose Eko Nugroho to do the third edition for his quirky, graffiti-style art which has garnered him a lot of international recognition.

The 40-year-old artist has been featured in a number of international exhibitions, including "Roots, Indonesian Contemporary Art" in Frankfurt in 2015, the 10th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea in 2014 and "RALLY: Contemporary Indonesian Art" at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne in 2012.

In 2011, the artist also did a collaboration with French fashion house Louis Vuitton to create a special edition scarf.

"[Eko's] works reflect his strong personality," Disa said. "We hope this collaboration can inspire more Indonesians to express themselves through art."

Aqua proposed the collaboration to Eko in November 2016.

"I was very excited," the artist said. "I drink Aqua everyday. I started out with so many ideas for the collaboration initially."

In the end, Eko made ten sketches for the collaboration. Two were selected to adorn the Aqua Reflections Still and Sparkling bottles.

Eko calls his bottle design "Bening" (Clear).

"For me, 'bening' doesn't just mean 'clear,' but also 'good,'" Eko said. "It reflects how good water is for our health."

Eko's design features his iconic figure of a masked man, surrounded by foliage and tree branches.

"The masked man represents our generation, how society forces us to fill so many roles," the Yogyakarta-based artist said. "We need clarity to understand our true selves."

The premium bottled water costs Rp 35,000 ($3) and will be available at high-end supermarkets, hotels and restaurants in major cities in Indonesia from August to December 2017.

"You can be creative and re-purpose the bottles for many things," Eko said. "You can make it into a lamp, or use it to keep syrup or lemonade. With my designs on them, these bottles could also be an attractive decoration for your home."

Eko also showed two art installations titled "Breeze of Love 1 & 2" in the Aqua Reflections booth at Bazaar Art Jakarta in Pacific Place, Jakarta, which was officially opened yesterday.

"The art installations were developed from my Aqua bottle designs," Eko said. "I chose to title it 'Breeze of Love' because I believe we need to give out more love these days."

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