‘Awaiting Light’: an exhibition by Rio Saren

"Supermoon"                                        “Super Moon” – mixed media –  Rio Saren

“Awaiting Light” is Balinese artist Rio Saren’s latest solo exhibition open 6 May at Santrian Gallery in Sanur. Saren presents 28 mixed media works, paintings and installations inspired by sources of light and the moon.

The human experience, along with the cycles of life are themes important to Saren who often depicts wheels, adopts circular structured compositions and canvases, even steel bicycle wheels for his paintings frames. This is akin with the Balinese Hindu philosophies revealing that life is in a constant cyclic motion – in a process of birth, death and then renewal, from the physical, into the invisible worlds.

"Beruk"                                                                       “Beruk” – Rio Saren

Ever willing to experiment, over recent years Saren has been integrating cultural icons into his mixed media works. Dried coconut shells, for example, that once functioned as traditional utensils become subject to his creative ideas in which he has added pieces of timber to creative wonderful figurative creatures. Saren’s home studio in North Denpasar, that he shares with his Japanese wife and their two aspiring young artist children, reflects the scope of his diversity. Here he investigates the potential of many traditional Balinese icons and natural materials as the source of fresh expression. At the Santrian Gallery entrance Saren’s installation “Beruk” consisting of hanging objects shaped from coconuts decorated with his characteristic figures and forms that compliment the breadth of his creative ouvre in “Awaiting Light”.

Gong                                                                “Gong”  – Rio Saren

Within the exhibition Saren has paid great attention to the aesthetic qualities and the finished surface of his works. He has applied layers of sand mixed with glue to create a fine evenly textured surfaces to which he applies paint and then finishes with a gloss coating. Utilizing the visual potency of metallic bronze and gold paint in several works and also the embossing technique to build rounded 3 D surfaces also increases the dynamic aesthetic qualities of his works.

Upon his painting “Awaiting Light” he forms measured textured patterns upon the sand surface adding dimensionality to the work while increasing the abstract elements in the composition. “Super Moon” is an enormous 200 x 200 cm circular canvas contrasting red against green colors adding to the works visual tension.

Awaiting Light                                                  “Awaiting Light”  –  Rio Saren

Other circular canvases include “Dead Moon” reflecting on the one night of the month when the moon1s form in the sky is the least visible, “Lunar Eclipse” communicates of the unusual nature of the rare natural phenomenon when the suns light is temporarily obscured by the moon.  “Reaching For the Moon” depicts a figure with long out stretched arms casts up into the sky. “The Gruesome Moon”, on the other hand depicts facial expressions of unease and displeasure.

“Melahirkan” (Giving Birth) is a strange, almost unsettling image of a women giving birth, an enormous upside down face is depicted between her legs. “Gong” is a colorful mixed media, bowl shaped 3 Dimensional work that’s structure is the amalgamation of various found objects. His compositions always appear as a milieu of colorful flowing organic forms, often abstract and figurative, with mysterious faces and expressions, and always metaphorically charged. Under gallery lighting conditions Saren’s creations come alive, glowing with lustre, life and light.

Melahirkan                                                          “Melahirkan”  –  Rio Saren

“Menintip” is a collection of 3 small art objects that are fastened to the gallery wall in which Saren adopts the elements of mystery and surprise. Two small wooden doors open to reveal an inner compartments, an electrical cable with a switch ignites a small light positioned inside and artificial light then brings to life these intriguing little worlds.

Rio Saren was born in Denpasar in 1981 and studied fine art at ISI Depensar (Indonesian Art Institute) graduating in 2008. He is a popular and regular face within the Bali art community and has consistently exhibited in group exhibitions in Bali in past 8 years. Through remaining true to his own intuition Saren has succeeded in creating his on signature style that is easily recognizable here in Bali.

Menintip                                                              “Menintip”  –  Rio Saren

“Awaiting Light”, Saren’s third solo exhibition is a delight, and wonderfully comes alive within the Santrian Gallery. Rich in beautiful colors and flowing forms, his yin & yang compositions are both graceful and at times unsettling, however a potent essence within his works makes them irresistibly attractive.

“Awaiting Light”

Continues through until 24 June 2016

Santrian Gallery

Griya Santrian Hotel

Jalan Danau Tamblingan 47

Sanur, Bali


Tel: +6282145368035

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

*Author’s note: No part of the written content of this website may be copied or reproduced in any form, including article links uploaded to other websites, for any commercial purposes without the written permission of the author. Copyright 2020

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