Explaining his attraction to elements of nature, Jumaadi says, “they never fail to offer their body to use as a metaphor for things beyond or beneath them. They are basic materials to narrate moments and tragedy in life, whether love is absent or present.” Juxtaposing these symbols in ways that alter their ‘normal qualities’ of gravity and scale, he forms relationships that are metaphorical and ignite curiosity. His distinctive style of line work and mark making shows these emblems to be fundamental yet mysterious, simple though complex and common while utterly majestic. Rain, mountains, clouds, rivers, trees, horizons, and the cosmos are recurring motifs in the artist’s work, along with creatures such as snakes, fish and buffalo, and men and women.
Jumaadi’s works often refer to personal memories and stories, as well as traditional folklore from the villages he grew up in and still frequently visits in Indonesia. While more overtly seen in his shadow puppetry performances, subtle yet affecting glimpses of narrative are conveyed in his paintings and drawings, where passages of text are often incorporated into the work.