NeueFable – Gorgeous Indonesian Fables illustrated in numbers

Taking up challenges is a good way to hone your skills as an illustrator. Indonesian artist Sefilianto Darmansyah did a really good one. Eyeka’s challenge last year said: “Turn the 10 Arabic numerals into more than just mathematic symbols! Help us to “make time together” by submitting creative and meaningful artworks of the Arabic numerals (from 0 to 9).”

Then Sefilianto made NeueFable, in which each number tells an Indonesian fable. Story wise, it’s pretty much like Aesop’s Fables where animals had their own problems and there were moral lessons by the end of the stories. Visual wise, every one of them is absolutely gorgeous. Sefilianto made use of the number’s typographic anatomy to tell the stories really well. You can already guess a few things about the fables before reading the captions. The colours are engaging and the shapes are narrative-rich. A delightful treat for all curious minds!

You can also get your own NeueFable art print here! And see even more nice work by Sefilianto on his website, Tumblr, Twitter.

The number 0 is titled “Si Gajah dan Si Kancil yang Terjebak”, a story about an elephant (gajah) and a mouse-deer (kancil). One day the mouse-deer was trapped in a hole in the ground. He tricked the elephant until he’s willing to go into the hole. Finally the mouse-deer was able to get out by stepping on the elephant and the elephant himself was trapped. The number 1 is titled “Si Kelinci dan Si Kura-kura Balapan Lari”, a story about a proud rabbit (kelinci) who challenged a wise turtle (kura-kura) to a race to see who’s faster. The rabbit was beaten by the turtle at the end. Because the proud rabbit thought that he’s unbeatable and fell asleep. The number 2 is titled “Si Ayam dan Si Monyet yang Rakus”, a story about a greedy monkey (monyet) who tried to eat his own friend, chicken (ayam). The chicken who got away asked his friend, the crab, to tricked the monkey to get into a boat and to make a leak so that the crab could escape easily. The monkey was drown at the end. The number 3 is titled “Si Katak Kecil dan Si Ular Kecil Bermain Bersama”, a story about a little frog (katak) and a little snake (ular) who used to be friends, but their parents told them to get away from each other because they’re natural enemies. The number 4 is titled “Tipu Daya Si Bangau”, a story about a stork (bangau) who told the fish that he never ate fish. He also told them that a danger was coming to the lake and he’s willing to help every fish escape from the lake. But he actually just brought the fish to his nest and ate them. The number 5 is titled “Si Buaya dan Si Burung yang Menyanyi”, a story about a crocodile (buaya) and a bird (burung) who were friends. The bird always sang on the crocodile’s head. One day the crocodile was yawning and the bird accidentally fell into his mouth. For a while, the crocodile thought that he finally could sing like his friend, until he realised that it was just the bird who was in his mouth. The crocodile was sad because he couldn’t sing, but the bird told him that he could sing too, by using bubbles that unexpectedly harmonised with the bird’s singing. The number 6 is titled “Si Landak yang Kesepian”, a story about a porcupine (landak) who’s lonely because everyone’s afraid of his quills. Until one day, there’s a frog who was having a birthday party and suddenly a wolf came. The frog and the tortoise tried to run away. The wolf accidentally stepped onto the porcupine and run away in pain. Now everyone became friends with the porcupine. The number 7 is titled “Si Tupai dan Si Ikan Gabus yang Sakit”, a story about a squirrel (tupai) who had a snakehead fish (ikan gabus) friend. The fish was sick and could only be healed by a Yu fish’s heart. So the squirrel went on a journey and finally found the dangerous Yu fish. The squirrel fought the Yu fish until he killed it and got the heart. The snakehead fish was then healed thanks to his friend. The number 8 is titled “Si Rusa Sombong dan Si Kulomang”, a story about a deer (rusa) and a sea snail (kulomang). The sea snail challenged the deer to a race and whoever won could take territory of the beach. The sea snail, who had a lot of friends, tricked the deer into thinking that the sea snail always won, while it was just his friends waiting on the finish line. The number 9 is titled “Si Hiu dan Si Lumba-lumba yang Tertangkap”, a story about a shark (hiu) who had a dolphin (lumba-lumba) friend. One day the dolphin got caught in a fisherman’s net, and the shark tried to break the net but failed. Then the fisherman, who saw the dolphin, pitied him and let him go. The dolphin was very thankful, but the shark was very angry because he thought the fisherman was taking his food too. Since then, the dolphins always help humans who drown in the sea, while the sharks always attack and try to eat them.

Leave a Reply