‘Nitibumi (managing the earth)’ a group art exhibition

Butus                              Wayan Redika – “Butus 73-93” 2016, 200 x 200 cm, Mixed Media

Open 3 – 11 June at Bentara Budaya Bali Cultural Center, Denpasar, ‘Nitibumi’ (Managing the Earth) presents work from a new association of contemporary artists in Bali who have a distinctive mission.  The Nitibumi collective began after discussions by a group of artists, participants in the 2015 Beijing International Art Biennale, in response to the challenges they face in developing their careers.

In October 2015 Wayan Redika, Made Wiradana, Made Supena, Loka Suara, Teja Astawa, Imam Nurofiq, Galung Wiratmaja, Nyoman ‘Kenyem’ Sujana, Made Gunawan, Uuk Paramahita, Bambang Putu Juliarta, Pande Alit Wijaya Suta, and their journalist friend Ema Sukarelawanto formalized the Nitibumi community. Through this collective they endeavor to not only encourage creativity while raising the quality of their work, yet have an emphasis upon targeted networking with the various levels of local government and institutional agencies, and the broader community, to build relationships, and the foundations of fruitful working collaborations.

Imam Nurofiq_karya OK                  Imam Nurofiq – “Green Dictionary” 2016, 200 x 300cm, Acrylic on Canvas

Wayan Redika has experience in developing art communities with the Komunitas Seni Lempuyang in East Bali. “Butus” highlights his excellence in structure, technique and concept. Depicting environmental desecration caused by earth moving machinery that rip through the landscape that is driven by the modern development of Bali (the building of new hotels, houses and other projects), this work communicates a topic of major concern, not only to Nitibumi, but to locals, expats and visitors to the island.

Trees are an iconic symbol in the Indonesian state emblem and a banyan tree features on the coat of arms upon the chest of the mythical Garuda bird in the Garuda Pancasila. The pohon beringan (banyan tree) is a sacred symbol of the Balinese traditional culture that melds ancient animistic beliefs with local Hindu religious adaptations. Trees are often featured in compositions by Made Wiradana (b.1968 Denpasar), and “Illegal Loging” depicts man and machinery engaging in logging activity, yet tiny by comparison and being dwarfed by the omnipotent banyan tree.

Made Wiradana_karya OK                        Made Wiradana – “Illegal Logging” 2016, 200 x 300 cm, Miixed Media

Made Supena (b. 1970 Gianyar) has defined his name as Balinese abstract painter of note.  In his recent works he has added the aesthetic potency of silver and gold leafing to compliment his choice colors that are at the core of his expressive style. The carefully calculated areas of blank space on the triptych canvas of “Meruwat Cakaralawa” 2016, 200 x 300 cm, painted in soft greys, however, become powerful features of his composition, while bringing a strong sense of balance to the dynamic and rythmic work.

Javanese artist Imam Nurofiq contributes both paintings and an installation to the exhibition. “Bali Map” is a meeting of the rigid building construction forms with the flowing forms of nature and is centrally positioned within the exhibition pavilion being a interesting contrast from the 2 dimensional works displyed on the walls. An expressive painter, always with something to say, his style is a departure from the majority of the works in the exhibition and is both eye-catching and “Green Dictionay” 2016 is the vehicle for potent human emotions.

Galung Wiratmaja_karya ok                                                        Galung Wiratmaja – “Kita=….?”

Nyoman ‘Kenyem’ Sujana’s “To Be C Mining” 2016, 200 x 300 cm is more simplistic composition from his usual well-known signature style that utilizes various motifs to fully occupy his canvas’s. This work however depicts 3 of his trademark human figures ascending a volcanic peak, the landscape barren and extreme. ‘Kenyem’ also contributes an installation, “Bumi Sakit” which became the focus of response for the opening performances of the event by Japanese choreographer and dancer Jasmine Okubo and the rock band ‘MANU’.

“Harmony” 2016, by Made Gunawan, reveals his growing aesthetic and structural sense of composition and is a beautiful work. Uuk Paramahita’s ‘Harmony for the Earth” 2016, also reveals the develop his easily distinquished  and unique compositional style.

Teja Astawa_karya OK                              Teja Astawa – “Dewa Murka”2016, 140 x 300 cm Mixed Media

Bambang Putu Juliarta’s triptych composition “Reflexsi Konservasi” 2016 speaks intimately and directly to the audience. Set on a minimalist, dry and barren landscape the central line of cracked earth draws the observers directly to a cow on three-quarter side profile with one gazing directly out at the audience. Flanked on both sides is the mirror image of a woman holding a hose without flowing water, who also stares directly at the audience. The painting is engaging while expressing essential emotions.

Galung Wirtmaja’s  featured abstract composition “Kita=….?” (Us ?), 2016, 200 x 300cm is a highlight of the exhibition, while his smaller work, “Saksi” (Witness) 80 x 80 cm is equally as potent. Galung has developed a formula within his paintings via the power of suggestion. Not only is his choice of color and abstract forms dynamic, while exuding mystery and allure, the figures that he carefully positions in “Kita=….?” add a special , extra dimension. With their backs facing the audience, his characters seem to be peering into the midst of the unknown, inciting our curiosity, while inducing suggestion. Suggestion is a powerful trigger that opens the audiences mind and leads to possibilities. Both Galung’s paintings utilize the power of suggestion, making them both engaging and in a class of their own.

UUK Paramahita_karya OK                                                Uuk Paramahita – “Harmony for Earth”

In this technology driven modern era, with powerful social media tools and smartphone technology easily available, artists have immediate access to the international arena and growing audiences, while being increasingly empowered. The old paradigm of the middleman taking advantage of the opportunities available to him/her and exploiting both the artist and buyer is changing. The artists are now in the driver’s seat and enormous benefits are available to them.

If the artists, both individually and collectively are willing to engage their mind, learn new skills and approach their career development more strategically, certainly success in various forms is assured. Alternatively, they can engage in trusted professional art management. The future is unknown, yet exciting, and is full of opportunities.

Made Supena_karya OK                    Made Supena – “Meruwat Cakrawala” 2016, 200 x 300cm, Mixed Media

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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