Category Archives: Asian Contemporary Art

Indonesian artist Boedi Widjaja’s subterranean sonic temple a highlight of the Singapore Biennale 2019

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 Boedi Widjaja Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale #5Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 – Boedi Widjaja exhibited at the National Gallery of Singapore in the Singapore Biennale 2019. Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale

 

Boedi Widjaja is an artist with one foot positioned in two similar, yet disparate worlds. Born in 1975 and raised by Chinese Indonesian parents in Surakarta, Central Java,  from the age of nine he has lived in Singapore. Since 2012 he has practised full-time as a multi-disciplinary contemporary artist. Widjaja’s art intersects graphic design, architectural and fine art principles while including performance and explorations and interactions with alternative cultures.

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, Widjaja’s ideas about home and the complexities of belonging in a transient world initially came to life through a distinct dream about five years ago. In his vision, he saw one of the pioneers of modern architecture Charles-Édouard Jeanneret  (1887-19650), also know as Le Corbusier, exploring and contemplating his ideas about building, dwellings and being.

Widjaja’s architectural-sound proto-structure has evolved through three individual installations. Black—Hut was first commissioned and presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore in 2016, as a Singapore Biennale Affiliate Project. The second and third installations – both titled Black—Hut, Black—Hut – were co-commissioned by the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and the Singapore Art Museum. Conceived as a diptych of site-specific proto-structures across space and time, the second installation of the Black—Hut series was presented at the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in 2018 and the third, in the 6th Singapore Biennale in 2019.

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 Boedi Widjaja Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale

 

Black—Hut, Black—Hut is on display at the National Gallery of Singapore (NGS) from 22 November 2019 through 22 March 2020. Entitled Every Step in the Right Direction, the Singapore Biennale 2019 presents 150 works by 77 artists and art collectives from 36 countries and territories displayed at the National Gallery Singapore (NGS), Gillman Barracks, Lasalle College of the Arts and other various historic locations and public spaces. Helmed by artistic director Patrick Flores, the biennale seeks to address questions and ideas of how humanity can approach the past, present and future, looking to create a pathway to brighter and more harmonic times ahead.

Memories and impressions of the Surakarta Royal Palace located close to his childhood home and the sounds of the traditional Javanese gamelan floating gracefully upon the late afternoon breeze are encoded upon Widjaja’s psyche. They ignite a wonderful sense of nostalgia that has helped inspired his installation. “Three years ago I discovered an online library of recordings of a 100-year old gamelan – Gamelan Kjai Paridjata – that was acquired from the Surakarta Palace,” explained the artist who to avoid the racial tensions under President Suharto’s New Order regime (1965-1998) his parents sent him to Singapore, where he has since resided apart from his family.

”I then rearranged the 131 recordings within a matrix and displaced and inverted each sound out of its original position to generate the sequential pulse-like sounds ‘Datum’ (the musical piece in the installation),” he said. “The sounds are alien yet somehow feel at home. Perhaps I’ve grown to be familiar with there distorted, displaced qualities.”

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 Boedi Widjaja Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale #2

 

Black—Hut, Black—Hut is positioned on a flight of stairs leading from the ground floor down to the basement in NGS’ Coleman courtyard. It exists in the space between the two physical levels of the historic building reflecting the deep-seated and ongoing theme at the core of Widjaja’s artworks – of the diaspora, isolation, of the complexities of hybridity and the bridging of multiple cultures, along with his relationship with the physical surrounds where he intuitively feels grounded and at home.

Widjaja coordinates the linear planes of the steps into the vertical cladding of the structure, a continuation of the horizontal line aspect so that it appears grounded into the gallery as one harmonic and unified form. The striking exterior cocoons an inner sanctum, the imagined centre of Black—Hut, Black—Hut. From this unusual space ‘Datum’ radiates a distinct, yet strangely assuring atmospheric sound.

A salt-infused black concrete membrane upon the surface of the steps and the roof of the structure introduces an ecosystem to the installation.  This encourages efflorescence crystallisation blooms as the material ‘sweats’ in the tropical climate of Singapore. “When I started to think about concrete, the material triggered memories of my transition from Surakarta to Singapore. From a less urbanised environment to a very urbanised city in SE Asia,” said Widjaja who in 2000 received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, while as young adulthood he explored his creativity via graphic design.

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 Boedi Widjaja Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale #6

 

“When I first came to Singapore in 1984, the constructed landscape was very different from that in Surakarta. I was in awe of the row upon row of public flats, large-scale mass housing structures, with ordered recto linear geometry and the repetition of elements that were very different, all built in concrete. This visual memory has seeped into my design ideas.”

“In responding to the NGS site, a transitory space used for human movement, I was drawn to the basement as it is a new addition to the historic building. When we think about what transpires below the ground, the context becomes interesting with the NGS role in the historization of SE Asian art. So much of the history that goes beyond the 200 years of Raffles belongs underground within an archeological state,” adds Widjaja who in his relatively short career has exhibited in some highly prestigious events representing Singapore in the Live Art program of the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Jerusalem Biennale (2017); ‘From East to the Barbican’ at Barbican (London, 2015) and ‘Bains Numériques #7’ at Enghien-les-Bains (France, 2012).

“In Singapore, we look to the underground as a means to project into the future by building structures. There is an exciting anachronistic quality where the future and the past intersect. This expresses a sense of time which I associate to my migrant experience – in being in an in-between space-time.”

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 Boedi Widjaja Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale #8

 

“What I try to do is collapse several architectural traditions into Black—Hut, Black—Hut, includingJavanese architecture and the mandala – I am drawn to the latter because of its presence within traditions, and how it expresses cosmological and political ideas in one space. The mandala is present in both the installation and the Surakarta Royal Palace,” and he adds, “When I think about the centre of the Black—Hut, I think firstly of a sense of an anchor that is not present, yet which I yearn for. While the mandala-center is a concentration of cultural, historical and political power, it also points to the memory of my first home being located near to the Keraton – the universal centre according to local Javanese beliefs.”

“The spatial geometry of Singapore’s social housing seems to be conditioned upon a fragmented, staccato time that is regularly marked by interruptions. In the city, smooth and endless concrete surfaces become sound-tracked with the splintering of time,” stated Widjaja who’s solo exhibitions include, Black—Hut, a Singapore Biennale 2016 Affiliate Project at Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2016), Path. 6 Unpacking my Library at Esplanade (Singapore 2014), and in 2019 Boedi Widjaja: Declaration Of, at Helwaser Gallery, his first exhibition in New York City.

To audiences exploring Widjaja’s work for the first time Black—Hut, Black—Hut, may seem indeed as an alien structure. So much so that they may be more comfortable to look, observe and enjoy it from various positions on the stairs, escalators and upper floors of the NGS, without the need for closer inspection.  To fully appreciate it however, one would benefit from observing and understanding his previous installation at APT in 2018 and recognise the two installations as a diptych.

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 Boedi Widjaja Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale #7

 

Black—Hut, Black—Hut is configured, says Widjaja, “to reference the gap between ground and land in the tropical and subtropical vernacular houses built on raised floors, such as the Javanese Joglo, the Queenslander, and the Malay houses. Ground is shorthand for me to speak about grounding, belonging, rootedness.” His APT installation in the Queensland Art Gallery referenced the ground level and a gap between an elevated structure, this installation is, however, a subterranean mirror of that work.

To assist curious observers gain a greater understanding of this NGS installation, they would benefit from video and audio explanations to gain insights into Widjaja’s ideas. For the inquiring minds, there is undoubtedly much to engage in, especially if they have the opportunity to meet and probe Widjaja or the biennale curators at the NGS.

For me, the work is visually and conceptually fascinating, especially as I have my interest in architecture and how structures and dwellings influence the human experience. On another level, this work entertains my ideas about my spiritual essence in relation to our physical world, and my fragmented feelings about belonging.

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 Boedi Widjaja Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale #4

 

Both beautiful and powerful, yet unusual in its physical and sonic presence, Black—Hut, Black—Hut is an intricate work charged with layers of meaning and focal points to experience its varying degrees of subtleties of intimacy and monumentality. The visual rhythms of the structure are exhilarating, and fascinating in their linear character from the inner repetitive mandala aspect to the external design.

While it’s inside installation’s ‘nerve centre’ we may fully appreciate the audio rhythms and their fragmented otherworldly heartbeat. Between the silence the sounds are indeed alien, yet at the same time from a comforting organic source. Widjaja’s abstraction of dwellings that have informed his life stand as a moment where the contemporary emerges providing a thought-provoking space for people to meet and converse.

Widjaja’s Black—Hut, Black—Hut captures an intimate essence of the modern human experience. Of a duality that touches on the present, future and past – and of a species disconnected and out of harmony with the tempo of universe and nature – lost and yearning for belonging, somewhere within time and space.

Black—Hut, Black—Hut, 2019 Boedi Widjaja Image courtesy of Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale #4

 

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images courtesy: Boedi Widjaja & 2019 Singapore Biennale and Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sign: Darma Yuda’s Poignant Hyperrealism investigation into duality

‘Adu Jotos’ 2009 – Anak Agung Gede Darma Yuda, Oil on Canvas, 120x270cm

Art is a personal experience; its impact on every individual is never the same. When I attend an exhibition, I can be driven by my own innate needs – to engage with fresh visual stimulus to satisfy the hunger and to feed the space between my ears. This wanting can sometimes hinder my ability to be objective and to appreciate an artist’s contribution based on his or her experience and skills.

Visiting exhibitions in Bali can often seem like a repetitious experience. When I attend an opening, my intuitive impulse is that much appears familiar, and like I have seen it before. I observe, and ‘recognize’ much of the work, and other than the social interaction of the evening, I can leave feeling mostly uninspired.

‘1 $ 2 Rangdas’ – 2015 Anak Agung Darma Yuda 190×130 cm

It is therefore refreshing to visit an exhibition that has a quality that lingers, and that beckons you to return. Sign a solo exhibition by hyperrealist Balinese painter Anak Agung Gde Darma Yuda which opened on 15 November at the Agung Rai Museum of Art, (ARMA), is one of those rare shows. The show presents, fifteen oil on canvas works ranging from medium to large and imposing in size. Delving into themes of identity, social politics and duality, these are not a hastily produced bunch of pictures, but rather the outcome of Darma Yuda’s dedication spanning ten years.

The Instagram exhibition-marketing image of his painting 1 $ 2 Rangda was alluring – I was compelled to attend. Arriving late on the evening, I ventured into the open ARMA water garden pavilion, feeling tired after a long day, I lounged on a large wooden sofa next to a friend and we engaged in some light banter, while I gazed out upon Darma Yuda’s offerings, positioned on the wall about eight meters away. In nearly an hour and a half, I didn’t move, I sat and observed, others stopped by and said hello.

‘Sign’ by Anak Agung Gede Darma Yuda 15 November – 31 December at ARMA Ubud Bali.

The expansive ARMA pavilion allowed me the complete freedom to indulge without sensing any confining limits of the physical space. My experience of observing and feeling the work was unhindered – my receptive abilities fully enhanced. The varying imagery of Indrya 2009, 130 x 180 cm (3 panels), for example, enabled me to traverse between two aesthetic and cerebral worlds, that of the abstract and the hyperreal.

Darma Yuda’s ‘real’ world delivered confronting content, boarding on the violent. The middle panel depicts a red finger poked in an ear with a blue Indonesian 50,000 Rupiah note piercing the lobe. A hand with full spread fingers conceals an older woman’s red-brownish face on the right panel, the gap between the thumb and forefinger exposes an eye — humanity, and life force are projected out. The left panel features a hand cupping a face, palm positioned on the forehead with fingers pointing down. The lips are coloured crimson blood red. Darma Yuda’s selection of colour is a potent aesthetic tool. In Indrya, contrasting skin tones of beige, red, brown and blue create immediate visual tension while emphasizing an eerie duality. The structural features, such as bones, veins and fingernails define the human vehicle. The hyper-detailed skin textures and the wrinkled outer layer that conceal the body reveal the unsympathetic passage of time. 

‘Indrya’ 2009 – Anak Agung Gde Darma Yuda, Oil on Canvas 130×150 cm (3 panels)

“I’m interested in this realism technique because it is very effective for me to convey my thoughts about things and objects that are very close to my character and daily life,” said Darma Yuda who was born 1977 in Silakarang, Gianyar, and received his art education at the STSI secondary college in Denpasar.

During my observation of Indrya, I find myself oscillating between different mental states. I am sometimes temporarily ‘lost’ in the imagery, my mind quiet in subconscious musing. I might then switch to engage on the conscious level, as I scrutinize the work. Then I go off again, experiencing my thoughts in the deepest levels. When required I find myself flicking into social mode, enjoying light discussion with others. AS the conversation carries on, I might detach myself once again, become introverted and return to the world of art. in experiencing this flurry of emotion, I am reminded of the essential functional value of art — it grants us respite from our busy, sometimes demanding lives, and support us and nourishes in beautiful and unexpected ways. 

“I deliberately create technical optical games within my compositions to encourage observation from afar or near,” the artist said.

Punyaku!!’ 2008 – Anak Agung Gede Darma Yuda 120 x 270 cm

He explained. “Social issues in life arise all the time. Sometimes, however, we only hear from one point of view, giving rise to reactions that are excessive, deviating from the core of the problem. Sometimes we never find the right solution to a problem. As individuals, we have to filter out what is worth listening to, seeing or talking about. This also functions as self-criticism teaching us to be wise in responding to issues. This is what I address in Indrya.”

Darma Yuda’s close-up exploration of the human hand is for a sound reason. The hand holds the power to administer and execute many acts and expressions of our behaviour. Hands are depicted pulling, punching, concealing, threading, embracing, and revealing acts of both kindness and the adverse, throughout his body of work. Hyperrealism was a popular trend within Indonesian contemporary painting about a decade ago. In Bali one could think of the technical mastery of I Gusti Nengah Sura Ardana from Denpasar and his pictures of elderly folk often marginalized within Balinese society. Darma Yuda is also technically proficient, his themes, however, delve much deeper than Sura Ardana’s.

‘Unity’ 2010 – Anak Agung Darma Yuda , Oil on Canvas, 110 x 175cm

1 $ 2 Rangda, 2015, is rendered in dark and gloomy tones. Darma Yuda depicts a grey hand clutching a rolled American dollar note, from both the top and bottom of the bill protrudes the head of the wicked witch Rangda from the mythical Balinese Calonarang tale. Adorning the wrist is a prayer bead bracelet, while the hand is positioned akin to how a Balinese Hindu priest would clutch a ceremonial bell. The small finger detached is pointing up and outward; the tip is coloured red. “In taking a stand, when we are faced with many choices, sometimes when we behave in the grey,” said the artist who has been exhibiting extensively in Bali and Java since 1995. “We need to have a strong and firm attitude to achieve our goals; that’s why I rendered the little finger red.”

Adu Jotos 2009 is possibly Darma’s Yuda’s most potent work. Translating as ‘fistfight’, it describes the collision of two fists thrust from opposing directions, colliding with a red rubber ball. While the smaller fist to the left is coloured white, the larger, to the right is black. The background colour is also red, yet of a darker shade helping to emphasize the enormous impact of the two conflicting forces. The negative shapes of the three focal objects set against the background, come through has distinct visual elements of the picture. It is perfectly balanced composition – less is more. It highlights dualism within the human plight, and this Darma Yuda says, “Is a conflict of passion that never ends.”

‘Dark or Bright’ 2009 – Anak Agung Gede Darma Yuda, Oil on Canvas 104 x 144cm

If you are visiting Ubud, Bali during December Darma Yuda’s Sign is a fascinating, confronting and an eye-catching show, it continues through until 31 December 2019. I returned twice after the opening evening to attempt to satisfy my own curiosity and to see what else I could discover within the paintings and inside myself. 

Back Sign, White Sign, Red Sign’ 2019 – Anak Agung Darma Yuda 90 x 60 cm (3 panels)

Sign – Anak Agung Gede Darma Yuda

15 November – 31 December 2019

ARMA Museum
Jalan Raya Pengosekan Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Phone: (62 361) 976 659

Open 9am – 5pm daily.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

This article was first published in Plural Art Magazine in Singapore December 2019:

Bali MegaRupa: a new era in government sponsored art infrastructure development in Bali?

Bali Deputy Governor Cokorda Ace during the opening of Bali Megarupa at ARMA 10 November 2019. Image courtesy Bali MegarupaBali Deputy Governor Cokorda Ace addresses officials in front of a painting by Made Budhiana during the opening of Bali Megarupa at ARMA 10 November 2019. Image courtesy Bali Megarupa

Bali Megarupa, a large-scale exhibition featuring one hundred and three modern and contemporary artist from throughout Bali, came to a close Sunday 10 November 2019.

An ambitious project, organized in a whirlwind three month period, was set over four locations in Gianyar; ARMA, Museum Puri Lukisan, Neka Art Museum and Bentara Budaya Bali. The event could signal a new proactive era in the development of the Bali art infrastructure from the Bali Provincial Government.

The Bali Provincial Government now has two distinct annual art events, the Bali Arts Festival held in Denpasar through June-July, with the objective of the preservation and development of the traditional arts, and Bali Jani Arts Festival for modern and contemporary art recently conducted October-November. Bali Jani is a new initiative of the Cultural Office of Provincial Bali under the leadership of Dr.Wayan Kun Adnayana, translating the vision of the Governor Wayan Koster, namely Nangun Sat Kerthi Loka Bali, dedicated to art and culture. Bali Megarupa is part of the Bali Jani Art Festival that accommodates the existing modern and contemporary artists and art communities.

"Pertarungan" 2019 - Putu Edy Asmara. Exhibited at Neka Art Museum Image Richard Horstman     ‘Pertarungan’ 2019 – Putu Edy Asmara. Exhibited at Neka Art Museum

“Bali Megarupa is a vehicle for the extensive socialization, mediation, and communication about the vision of advancing art in Bali. The event that will continue annually for five years with the dream of becoming a long-term yearly fixture on the Bali art calendar consolidated by Peratuan Daerah (Bali Provincial Law),“ said Kun Adnyana. “The objectives are to make Bali a centre for art, to realize the highest possible achievements for Balinese artists, and artists from outside of Bali, and to increase the creativity and productivity of Balinese artists producing original, and high-quality visual art.”

“This may be achieved by viewing the island as a large art studio emphasizing more collaborative and creative partnerships and increasing the necessary discourses among the artists, observers, thinkers, researchers, journalists, art lovers and stakeholders. One of the many desired outcomes being the improved public appreciation for the latest achievements of the Balinese visual arts,” he said.

During the opening ceremony of Bali Megarupa 10 October 2019 at ARMA, Dr Wayan Kun Adnyana presents the Bali Megarupa exhibition catalog to Bali Deputy Governor Cokorda Ace as ARMA founder Agung Rai looks on. Image coutesy of Bali Megarupa. During the opening ceremony of Bali Megarupa 10 October 2019 at ARMA, Head of the Cultural Office of  Provincial Bali Dr Wayan Kun Adnyana presents the Bali Megarupa exhibition catalogue to Bali Deputy Governor Cokorda Ace as ARMA founder Agung Rai looks on. Image courtesy of Bali Megarupa.

The opening ceremony of Bali Megarupa 10 October at ARMA in Ubud, included the spectacular Gladi Ritus Seni Tarirupabunyi “Kidung Megarupa” a contemporary art performance led by the renowned Nyoman Erawan, supported by a host of performers. ARMA, Puri Lukisan and Neka Museums presented two-dimensional works, while Bentara Budaya displayed both paintings and an array of sculptures and installations.

Some of the many highlights were ‘Ovarium’ 2019, a three-panel work of digital prints on paper by AS Kurnia, ‘Jejak Air,’2019 by Made Djirna, ‘Nafas Hidup’ 2019 revealing new abstract developments by Made Budhiana and Wayan Redika’s hyper-detailed pencil and charcoal work on canvas, ‘Tumbal Nusantara’ 2019 one display at ARMA. ‘Banaspati Raja’ 2019 by Wayan Adi Sucipta, Ari Winata’s ‘Bali Singahmadawa’ 2019, Limit, 2019 Gede Ngurah Pandji, ‘Sang Hyang Baruna’ 2019 by Made Karyana were eye-catching works at Puri Lukisan and ‘Pertarungan’ 2019 by Putu ‘Edy’ Asmara at Neka. ‘You Sit on my Shit’ 2019 by DP Arsa Putra, Putu Wirantawan’s ‘Gugusan Energi Alam Batin 7.3.10.019//’ 2019 and Dewa Rata Yoga’s four and a meter broad canvas ‘Menuju Harapan Baru’ 2019 were noteworthy at Bentara Budaya.

"Bali Singhamdawa" 2019 Nyoman Ari Winata. Image Richard Horstman                           ‘Bali Singhamdawa’ 2019 – Nyoman Ari Winata

Side events of Bali Megarupa were the discussion Gerakan Seni Rupa Bali sebagai Seruan Kesadaran (Bali Fine Arts Movement as a Call for Awareness) featuring speakers namely Nawa Tunggal (Kompas senior journalist), Bambang Bujono (cultural observer) and Dr Wayan Kun Adnyana attended by over 150 people at Neka Art Museum on 11th October, Lintas Media Bebas Rupa 26 October, another artist’s talk at Bentara Budaya this time addressing the public and school children led by Made Kaek with Made Bayak artist & Plasticology, Tjandra Hutama head of the Denpasar Photography association, illustrator Monez, and Kokosaja Video Artist. The closing of Bali MegaRupa featured a workshop conducted by the Baturlangun artist’s collective of Batuan with elementary school children from Batuan, and vocational school teenagers from SMK/SMSR Ubud, in the gardens of Musem Puri Lukisan.

The 2019 appointment of well-known Balinese artist and curator Kun Adnyana as the Head of the Cultural Office of the Province of Bali is significant to the future success of Bali Megarupa. Director of the Creative Team of Bali Megarupa Made Kaek stated, “Pak Kun Adnyana understands the potential of art in Bali and how it is necessary to have an adequate art infrastructure to embrace all existing potential. His role is strategic, and he is familiar with what is needed to build an art ecosystem. He has already proposed a budget for the Bali Jani Art Festival, including Bali Megarupa, in the 2020 regional planning forecasts.”

20191027_160042The art performance held during the opening of Bali Megarupa at ARMA. Image courtesy of Bali Megarupa

“Pak Kun Adnyana has asked the committee to evaluate Bali Megarupa to help determine the community’s satisfaction. There are internal research and a questionnaire that needs to be completed, along with careful planning for 2020. Our budget provision is highly planned, measured and accounted for,” Kaek continued. “Even though the exhibition has closed the public can still enjoy the artworks through the balimegarupa.id website which will develop into a digital gallery and documentation centre for all Balinese art.”

The feedback I have received about Bali Megarupa from various participants has generally been positive, and they are looking forward to the ongoing development of the event. A few comments, however, that the curatorial process needs improving, others questioned the extravagance of the opening ceremony, while some wonder if Megarupa will achieve any real positive outcomes. All agree that Bali Megarupa will benefit from a careful process of evaluation to help bring more real valuable results for stakeholders in the future.

"Menuju Harapan Baru" 2019 Dewa Rata Yoga exhibited at Bentara Budaya Bali. Image Richard Horstman‘Menuju Harapan Baru’ 2019 – Dewa Rata Yoga exhibited at Bentara Budaya Bali

During the closing event, 10 November at Puri Lukisan Kun Adnyana requested Bali Megarupa to embrace all stakeholders in Bali to expand cooperation networks to support this event to be bigger and stronger. “Big ideas will not develop if they are not executed properly through intensive collaborations, as a joint project with a strong vision to deliver tangible and valuable future outcomes that have a real impact,” he said.

Path Forward

 Kun Adnyana has welcomed “artists, observers, thinkers, researchers, journalists, art lovers and stakeholders”, to participate in “collaborative and creative partnerships, expand cooperative networks increasing the necessary discourses” beginning the task of reinvigorating the Bali art infrastructure. The process may start by assessing the art infrastructure, along with questionnaires to the art community and some of the vital infrastructure to determine the current state of where it is now. Defining a clear vision may be the next step, and what is the desired state by the end of the five years and then develop a road map to arrive at the destination.

"Jejak Air" 2019 - Made Djirna exhibited at ARMA. Image Richard Horstman                 ‘Jejak Air’ 2019 – Made Djirna exhibited at ARMA

A distinct feature of art is that it has unique and valuable social capital within this era of massive disruption. Art strengthens communities and improves the well-being of people’s lives and has a distinct transformational, yet underutilized, potency on Bali. A worthwhile task may be to understand what is a sustainable art ecosystem, and then fully explore all of the components of the Bali art ecosystem as it extends internationally. For Kun Adnyana, his team and the stakeholders’ opportunity awaits.

http://www.balimegarupa.id

Nyoman Erawan during the performance of Gladi Ritus Seni Tarirupabunyi "Kidung Megarupa" 10 October at ARMA Image courtesy of MegarupaNyoman Erawan during the performance of Gladi Ritus Seni Tarirupabunyi ‘Kidung Megarupa’ 10 October at ARMA Image courtesy of Bali Megarupa
Gugusan Energi Alam Batin 7.3.10.019 :: 2019 - Putu Wirantawan exhibited at Bentara Budaya Bali. Image Richard HorstmanGugusan Energi Alam Batin 7.3.10.019 // 2019 – Putu Wirantawan exhibited at Bentara Budaya Bali

Words: Richard Horstman

Photos: Courtesy of Bali Megarupa & Richard Horstman

New guidebook highlights artistic & design events in Bali throughout October – December 2019

The "Bali Art+Design Guide X Bali Art Roads" Oct - Dec 2019 Image Richard HorstmanThe first Bali Art+Design Guide X Bali Arts Road, a pocket guidebook that charts a plethora of events around the island, ranging over three months beginning in October, until the end of December 2019.

 

The Balinese Pawukon calendar is not used to measure time; it encompasses smaller cycles within larger ones. Its purpose is to pinpoint certain days that help to provide a cultural framework of how the people may most effectively conduct certain social, religious, agrarian and creative activities on the most auspicious days according to their sacred beliefs. The month of October presents many appropriate dates to hold artistic events; therefore it is crammed full with art and creative happenings; unofficially it is the ‘Bali Art Month’.

The favourable circumstances of timing have provided the unique opportunity, and inspired the creative communities of Bali, along with visiting internationals, to present a diverse program of events of the calibre to rival that from the creative hubs of Java, and the popular JAW (Jogja Art Weeks) held earlier this year throughout the Central Java regency, and Bandung Art Month, that recently concluded in mid-September in West Java.

Opening of "Mahardika" group exhibition 19 October at TiTian Art Space, Nyuh Kunning, Ubud. Image Richard HorstmanOpening of “Mahardika” group exhibition 19 October at TiTian Art Space, Nyuh Kuning, Ubud

 

2019 welcomes the publication of the first Bali Art+Design Guide X Bali Arts Road, a pocket guidebook that charts a plethora of events around the island, ranging over three months beginning in October, until the end of December. These events include exhibitions, film screenings, music, dance and theatre performances, discussions, open studios and festivals complete with the relevant details and appropriate maps.

“When I travel to other cities within Indonesia or abroad, I find having a guidebook focusing specifically on art and design is very helpful for discovering and exploring the local creative scenes,” said Suriawati Qiu, Bali Art+Design Guide X Bali Arts Road co-director and co-founder of CushCush Gallery in Denpasar. “There are many art and creative communities and spaces in Denpasar and Bali that are, unfortunately, relatively unknown to the public. Having Bali’s own Art+Design guidebook will benefit both our creative communities who are doing amazing works, as well as travellers and locals alike who are interested in art and design.”

The opening of Art Bali 2019 "Specultive Memories" was highlighted by a fashion parade by the Fashion Council of Western Australia (FCWA) which annually holds the Perth Fashion Festival (PFF) Image Richard HorstmanThe opening of Art Bali 2019 ‘Speculative Memories’ was highlighted by a fashion parade by the Fashion Council of Western Australia (FCWA) which annually holds the Perth Fashion Festival (PFF)

 

The Bali Art+Design Guide X Bali Arts Road is an evolution from the DenPasar Art+Design Map first published in 2017 in conjunction with DenPasar Art+Design program, a collective effort by the creative communities of Denpasar along with CushCush Gallery as the central activities venue. It set out to mark the city with its distinct character as a hub for contemporary arts, design and culture.

In 2019 CushCush Gallery collaborates with ART • BALI, the second edition of the annual Indonesian contemporary art exhibition organized by Heri Pemad Management of Yogyakarta, Central Java. Themed SPECULATIVE MEMORIES, open 13 October 2019 – 13 January 2020, it is held at the AB • BC Building, Bali Collection, ITDC District, Nusa Dua, Bali. The exhibition presents forty-nine selected works, consisting of paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, multimedia and video from 32 Indonesian and overseas artists who also reside and, or work in Indonesia. It showcases some of the finest established and emerging contemporary artists in Bali’s premiere; purpose-built international standard exhibition space to local and foreign audiences.

Seminyak Design Week -EXHIBITION VIEW PHOTO Courtesy - ANDITO WASI                         Seminyak Design Week – exhibition view

 

Bali Arts Roads (BAR) was an initiative introduced by ART • BALI in 2018 as a side program to highlight and promote the depth of the Bali art community through exhibitions, events and open studios programs throughout the island. This year it combines with the DenPasar Art+Design Map into 180-page booklet helping to consolidate Bali’s diverse array of creativity. This year the guide covers events and programs not only in Denpasar but also in Ubud, Seminyak, Canggu and Nusa Dua, during October – December, with over 130 events listed. The booklet features a QR Code that pinpoints selected event destinations on Google Maps to allow direct and straightforward navigation.

The guide also includes important cultural and institutional locations such as museums, government and cultural institutions, art and design educational institutions, cultural heritage sites, public spaces and monuments within the city of Denpasar. Some of the festivals featured are Seminyak Design Week 2019 18 – 27 October themed “Designing for a Better Community” and runs with a program of exhibitions, talks, pop-up markets, a design trail and workshops at Gallery Vivere and Uma Seminyak. The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, 23 – 27 October (festival events noted within the booklet), and Kita Lo Gini 5 at ISI Denpasar, a student art party presenting artworks and performances 25 – 26 October.

Artists pose with their works during the opening of during the opening of "Art Exhibition by Children Sanggar Bares - There is no Truth only HONESTY" 12 – 31 October at the Nyana Tilem Museum, in Mas. Image courtesy Soemantri WidagdoArtists pose with their works during the opening of ‘Art Exhibition by Children Sanggar Bares – There is no Truth only HONESTY’ 12 – 31 October at the Nyana Tilem Museum, in Mas

 

Other diverse happenings include tours, Urban Walk Denpasar a free open to the public guided tour of Denpasar heritage sites on 2 November, Herb Walk on 27 October, an investigation into the edible medicinal plants and related practices, Basic Macrame Workshop 12 October at CANAAN X ROU, Seminyak, Curator in Residence, a program initiated by DenPasar Art + Design: In Transition November – December at CushCush Gallery, Denpasar with the curatorial conversation #1 14 December, International Conference ICATUS 2019 the first international conference on architecture, technology and urban sustainability 27 – 28 November at Gedung Pascasarjana, Kampus UNUD, Denpasar, Parade Teater Canasta, 23 – 30 November at Canasta Creative Space Denpasar featuring Balinese theatre communities and the Odyssey Music Art Conference & Day Festival 2019 10 – 13 October at Artotel Sanur and Artotel Beach Club.

Just a few of the art exhibitions during October: Natisa Jones’s Love is Never Lonely 5 October – 9 November at Tony Raka Gallery, Ubud a ‘diversion’ from her signature style paintings. Frequency Balinese Art, Culture and Rerajahan a collection of Balinese amulet inscriptions known as rerajahan by Jro Mangku Badra, displayed within an art context and created without the sacred ritual and mantras to instil the ink drawings with their renown mystical powers, open 9 October at ARMA, in Ubud. From 10 October – 24 November at Artotel Sanur It Isn’t a Whole a solo exhibition by Putu Adi Suanjaya, and an Art Exhibition by Children “Sanggar Bares” There is no Truth only HONESTY 12 – 31 October at the Nyana Tilem Museum, in Mas.

"Jalan - Jalan" Indieguerillas at Art Bali. Image Richard Horstman                         ‘Jalan – Jalan’ Indieguerillas at Art Bali

 

The ongoing mission of Kemal Ezedine and Ketut Moniarta from the Neo Pitamaha art movement is to invigorate Balinese art by inspiring young artists to explore fresh possibilities within the technical context of the Balinese painting traditions. Drawing Bali Today opens at Sika Gallery, Ubud from 10 October 10 November. Sudra Sutra, an iconographical interpretation of the Yeh Pulu reliefs and related history by Dr Wayan Kun Adnyana opened 11 October at Neka Art Museum, Ubud until 19th October is a continuation of his visual representation inspired by the ancient Yeh Pulu stone reliefs in Bedhulu Gianyar.

Megarupa 22 October opens at ARMA Ubud with coinciding exhibitions at two other venues, the Neka Art Museum and Bentara Budaya Bali featuring the works of 103 artists, presented by the Cultural Office of the Provence of Bali. TiTian Art Space in its new premises on Jalan Raya Nyuh Kuning, Ubud present Mahardika a group exhibition 19 October – 24 November. Also open 24 October at Taman Baca, Sanggingan Ubud, Stories from Mt. Agung children’s stories of trauma expressed through drawing and poetry. Maladjustment opens 26 October – 24 November at Neka Art Museum and presents iconic artworks by Indonesian artists Arahmaiani and I GAK Murniasih along with Australian artist Mary Lou Pavlovic who exhibits her landmark, 2004 work Liar!

Audience at the opening of Drawing Bali Today at Sika Gallery. Image by @febrimarleni.           The audience at the opening of ‘Drawing Bali Today’ at Sika Gallery

 

Denpasar and Bali are increasingly developing as exciting and engaging destinations for national and international creatives to visit regularly, or to reside permanently. In recent years its art and design infrastructure has witnessed defining new growth. This provides more opportunities for participants to thrive within the burgeoning 21st – century creative economy while leading to a healthier ecosystem. These developments, importantly become a stimulant in reviving art and cultural tourism on the island of Bali.

Bali Art+Design Guide X Bali Arts Road booklet is available from numerous program participants distributed to more than 70 points throughout Bali and from AB • BC Building, Bali Collection, Nusa Dua.

Or it can be downloaded: http://artbali.co.id/page.php?p=bar

"Sarinin Angkus Prana" by Jro Mangku Badra exhibited at ARMA in "Frequency Balinese Art, Culture and Rerajahan" Image Richard Horstman‘Sarinin Angkus Prana’ by Jro Mangku Badra exhibited at ARMA in ‘Frequency Balinese Art, Culture and Rerajahan’

 

 

Words: Richard Horstman

 

Gede Gunada: exciting artistic talent from east Bali

20190925_150544                                  2017 Painting by Gede Gunada

 

Balinese contemporary artist Gede Gunada first came to my attention in 2012. He was among a group of four other local artists who participated in the Artists Camp in the Top End of Northern Territory (NT) of Australia during in the same year. The project’s mission was to expose the Balinese artists to the raw and diverse landscape along with the art and culture of the aboriginal people.

Gunada’s depictions of the NT terrain are characterized by his rapid brush stroke in an expressionistic style revealed the distinct earthy qualities of the lands. His five-week experience was varied and at times confronting, being exposed to the extremes of the desert environment. “I was not only fascinated by the changing landscapes, yet was mesmerized by the ancient Australian aboriginal rock paintings,” Gunada said. “I would silently sit for hours, attempting to absorb the mysterious, invisible essence of the works.

20190925_190941                                      2019 Painting by Gede Gunada

 

Recently, however, through the convenience of social media – Instagram – his works once again caught my eye, especially his figurative compositions. Defined by simple colour schemes on white paper – Chinese ink with coffee washes, and at times a touch of pastel to add a vibrant sense of colour contrast. Strong black lines describe the structure of his subjects, and then random dabs of light brown coffee wash and ink complete the work. Unhindered by the need to create details in the composition, fascinating abstract elements prevail, that include the white background, become defining features of Gunada’s works.

“The experience leading me to use coffee as a painting medium occurred purely by mistake,” Gunada said with a smile upon his face. “I spilt some coffee upon a work, then marvelled at the strength of the colour and the aesthetic impact it made. I then decided I had to experiment some more.” One of the highlights of these works is their sense of immediacy. Works on medium-sized pieces of paper he completes within 10 – 15 minutes.

20190925_150757                                  2019 Painting by Gede Gunada

 

His portraits, often of beautiful young women, school children, or friends are produced quickly, reflecting an artist who is grounded in self-confidence. They capture the strong individual characteristics of his subjects, both the physical and the invisible essence that shines from within.

Living in the village of Ababi, near the Tirtagangga water palace, half an hour from the city of Alamapura, the capital of the Karangasem, East Bali regency, Gunada’s family compound in is surrounded by bamboo forests in the foothills. Being removed from the art communities of Denpasar and Ubud, these days Gunada rarely exhibits at the popular art venues, and except for exposure through Instagram, he remains somewhat obscure.

20190925_150830                               2016 Painting by Gede Gunada

 

Born in 1979 Gunada received his art education at SMSR junior high school in Denpasar from 1993 – 1997. After which he was mostly self-taught while also learning from two of Bali’s most well-known and respected senior contemporary artists – Made Budhiana and Nyoman Suakri (1968 – 2010). “Sukari didn’t like to talk much; only he would encourage me to be dedicated and work hard. Budhiana emphasized that I must also work hard to discover my own personal artistic ‘voice’,” Gunada said.

From a young age, Gunada was inspired to create drawings, random shapes and forms scribing images into the dirt with a stick in the yard of his family house. “While at junior school I developed a love for painting the figures of the wayang kulit shadow puppet theatre,” the artist said. “This then developed into a passion for the wayang theatre. A puppet master or dalang lived nearby, so I often spent hours watching him make the puppets, practice, even helping during performances. I would sit next to him and hand him the puppets on cue.”

20190925_150438                                     2016 Painting by Gede Gunada

 

The stunning mountainous and oceanside landscapes of his region are often the subject matter for his works, along with the iconic architectural features from an old Balinese kingdom. This kingdom was once a mighty empire reaching west into Buleleng, and as far east as the island of Lombok. The King Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem (1887-1966), who was a master of Balinese dancer and an excellent woodcarver, built in the area two large water palaces; Ujung Water Palace by the ocean in Ujung constructed in 1926 and Tirta Gangga created in 1957. Dynamic brush stroke and abstract elements again characterize Gunada’s depictions of the landscape and the architectural sites. In some of his works, he strips the physical aspects of the scenario down to their essential core, then brings the composition to life using his bold and electrifying palette.

“I like to balance my creativity by working in the field with friends, and also at home alone in my studio,” Gunada says. “I love to paint quickly; it reflects my passionate, emotional state of well being.”

20190925_150513                               2019 Painting by Gede Gunada

 

20190925_150627                            Early composition by Gede Gunada

 

20190925_190825                                   2019 Painting by Gede Gunada

 

20190925_191017                                    2019 Painting by Gede Gunada

 

 

To see more of Gede Gunada’s work go to: Instagram @ggunada

 

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previewing Larasati’s Upcoming 12 October 2019 Bali Sale

Lot # 791 "Bayu Satu Duta" Tjokorda Oka Gambir (1902 - 1975 Peliatan) Natural pigments on cloth, 162.5 x 150 cm. Image courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 791 ‘Bayu Satu Duta’ – Tjokorda Oka Gambir (1902 – 1975 Peliatan) Natural pigments on cloth, 162.5 x 150 cm

 

For the first time in its thirteen-year history, Larasati Auctioneers will conduct their third art auction in Ubud within the year. This is a positive sign indicating a growing market for Balinese art. “After being stagnant for some time, the market for Balinese art is beginning to show real signs of buoyancy. As a result, we have managed to secure a couple of significant properties from various art collectors. By holding this additional sale in Bali, we hope to amplify the current upward thrust for Balinese art,” said Daniel Komala, CEO of Larasati Auctioneers.

Ninety-two lots of fine art, works by renowned Balinese and foreign artists, including some of the masters of the historical Ubud School of Painting, will go under the hammer in the Modern, Traditional and Contemporary Art Auction 12 October from 2:30 pm, at the Larasati Art Space, Tebesaya Gallery, Ubud.

Lot #792 "Pandawa dalam Pengasian" Ida Bagus Rai (1933 - 2007 Padang Tegal, Ubud) Acrylic on Canvas, 165 x 110 cm. Image Courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot #792 ‘Pandawa dalam Pengasian’  – Ida Bagus Rai (1933 – 2007 Padang Tegal, Ubud) Acrylic on Canvas, 165 x 110 cm

 

Some of the art genres for sale include Balinese contemporary paintings, modern Indonesian paintings, works from the Batuan School of Painting, the colourful Young Artist style, photographs and one woodcarving. Larasati has secured works from prominent private collectors, one group of paintings will capture the attention of connoisseurs of Balinese art. The Ubud sale has artworks that will interest beginners buying for the first time, with limited budgets, intermediate collectors and the aficionados. There are groupings of paintings offered inspired by the influential foreigners on Bali, Walter Spies (1895 – 1942) Rudolf Bonnet (1895 – 1978) and Arie Smit (1916 – 2016).

German amateur photographer Gregor Krauser (1883-1960), a physician and anthropologist released the groundbreaking book Bali to European audiences in 1920. His photographs had a massive impact upon intellectuals disillusioned by the direction of western culture post WWI. Lot 715 & 716, both titled Bali Nude 1920, by Krauser, sized 17 x 25 cm and printed on sheetfed gravure have estimated prices of between Rp 2 – 3 million which offer excellent opportunities for buyers wishing to enter the market.

Lot 720 "Iringan Melasti" Made Sukadana. Image coutesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 720 ‘Iringan Melasti’  – Made Sukadana, Acrylic on Canvas 120 x 120 cm

 

Other works that offer good value if purchased within, or under their estimated prices for beginners are Lot 702 Lotus Pond a watercolour on paper by Paul Nagano, a long-time visitor to Bali, with an estimated price of between Rp. 5 – 7 million. Two works in the Young Artist style, Lot 768 Upacara Ngaben by Wayan Pugur which has an estimated worth of between Rp. 7 – 9million, Lot 772, by Nyoman Takja, Kehidupan Bali has an estimated price of between Rp. 5 – 7 million, and Lot 749, Bali Life by Ketut Kicen which comes an estimated price of between Rp. 6 – 11 million.

Good purchases for intermediate buyers wishing to grow their collection and with larger budgets include Lot 739, Jemur Pakian by Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934 – 2010) with an estimated value of between Rp. 15 – 17 million, a rare woodcarving by Wayan Gerudug (1905 – 1989), Lot 743 Ni Kesuna di Hutan (Dari cerita Ni Bawang dan Ni Kesuna) which comes with an estimated price of between Rp. 20 – 30 million, a distinct composition of glowing red sunset hues, Nelayan di Pantai, Lot 747 by Made Rasna which has an estimated price of between Rp. 20 – 30 million and Lot 767 Pura Dewi Sri by the founder of the Young Artists style Arie Smit, that comes with an estimated price of between Rp. 30 – 40 million.

Lot # 717 "Suasana Pasar" Wayan Djudjul (1942 - 2008 Ubud) Acrylic on Canvas, 85 x 55cm. Image Courtesy of Larasati Auctioneers.Lot # 717 ‘Suasana Pasar’ –  Wayan Djudjul (1942 – 2008 Ubud) Acrylic on Canvas, 85 x 55cm

 

The recent passing of Batuan painter Ketut Murtika (1952-2019) brings to the close the life and career of an extraordinary talent of the Batuan miniature format of painting and his two mythological themed works offer excellent buying for intermediate collectors. Lot 785 Perang Tanding Arjuna Melawan Kama has an estimated price of between Rp.15 – 18 million, and Lot 786 Ramayana Scene comes with an estimated value of between Rp.18 – 22 million.

Connoisseurs will be interested on the following Lot 791 Bayu Satu Duta by Tjokorda Oka Gambira (1902-1975) who was the senior teacher from the sangging (collective of skilled artists who made sacred traditional artworks and objects) of the Peliatan royal palace. The wayang style painting has an estimated value of between Rp. 48 – 58 million, and offers a rare opportunity to collect a picture by the influential princely artist.

Lot # 739 "Berjamur Pakian" 2001 Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934 - 2010 Pengosekan) Acrylic on Canvas, 80 x 60 cm. Image Courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 739 ‘Berjamur Pakian’ – 2001 Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934 – 2010 Pengosekan) Acrylic on Canvas, 80 x 60 cm

 

Ketut Budiana (b. 1959 Padang Tegal, Ubud) is recognized as one of the maestros of Balinese painting; the multi-talented creative is responsible for inventing his signature style within the conventions of the Ubud School of Painting. His visual language depicts the universe consistently in a state of transition featuring an array of characters from the divine to the demonic. Lot 784 Mythical Scene has an estimated price of between Rp. 80 – 110 million.

Two rare and delightful paintings are Lot 720 Iringan Melasti by Made Sukadana (1962-2004) that comes with an estimated price of between Rp. 55 – 65 million, and the beautiful colour composition of a mythological scene, Lot 792 Pandawa Dalam Pengasingan by Ida Bagus Rai (1933-2007 Ubud) that has an estimated value of between Rp. 25 – 35 million.

Lot # 782 "Mendirikan Menara Bade" 1983 Anak Agung Gede Raka Pudja (1932 - 2016, Padang Tegal, Ubud), Acrylic on Canvas, 114 - 79 cm. Image Courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 782 ‘Mendirikan Menara Bade’ 1983 –  Anak Agung Gede Raka Pudja (1932 – 2016, Padang Tegal, Ubud), Acrylic on Canvas, 114 – 79 cm

 

Four paintings on offer by Anak Agung Gede Raka Pudja (1932 – 2016 Padang Tegal, Ubud) from the Ubud School of Painting will also attract the attention of the connoisseurs. Lot 782 Mendirikan Menara Bade 1983, a detailed and visually potent description of the erection of Balinese traditional cremation tower comes with an estimated price of between Rp.150 – 200 million, and Lot 783 Melasti ke Sakenan,  a dynamic composition depicting an ocean side religious procession comes with an estimated value of between Rp. 90 – 120 million. Lot 780 & 781 paintings of subdued colour schemes both have estimated prices of between Rp. 50 – 70 million. Lot 776, Cerita dari Hutan highlights the technical abilities of Nyoman Kayun (b. 1954 Peliatan) and has an estimated price of between Rp. 50 – 70 million.

Other well known artists in the sale include Willem Gerard Hofker (1902 – 1981), Ida Bagus Nadera (1915 – 1998), Ketut Regig (1919 – 2002), Ketut Gelgel, Awiki, Dullah (1919 – 1996 and Soedibio (1912 – 1981).

Lot 786 "Ramayana Scene" Ketut Murtika. Image courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 786 ‘Ramayana Scene’ –  Ketut Murtika, Acrylic on Canvas, 60 x 80 cm

 

Potential buyers bidding over the phone, absentee bidders or real-time Internet bidders who are unable to attend the previews days or auction are advised to contact Larasati and enquire about the colour reproduction accuracy of the images contained within the online catalogue to ensure that what they wish to purchase can be realistically appraised. The absence of reference to the condition of a lot in the catalogue description does not imply that the lot is free from faults or imperfections, therefore condition reports of the works, outlining the paintings current state and whether it has repairs or over painting, are available upon request.

Provenance, the historical data of the works previous owner/s is also important and is provided. An information guide including before the auction, during the auction and after the auction details, including conditions of business, the bidding process, payment, storage and insurance, and shipping of the work is also available. A buyer’s premium is payable by the buyer of each lot at rate of 22% of the hammer price of the lot.

Lot 784 "Mythical Scene" Ketut Budiana. Image coutesy of Larasati Auctioneers    Lot # 784 ‘Mythical Scene’ –  Ketut Budiana, Acrylic on Canvas, 50 x 80 cm

 

Open to the public at the Larasati Art Space in the Tebesaya Gallery the auction starts at 2:30 pm Saturday 12 October, while viewing begins from 11am Thursday. The online catalogue, complete with a guide for prospective buyers is available at: www.larasati.com

 

Viewing:

Thursday         10 October   11am – 7.30pm

Friday              11 October     11am – 7.30pm

Saturday         12 October     11am – 1pm

 

Auction: Saturday 12 October, from 2:30 pm

 

Larasati Bali Art Space at Tebesaya Gallery

Jalan Jatayu, Banjar Tebesaya, Peliatan,

Ubud, Gianyar Bali, Indonesia

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images Courtesy: Larasati Auctioneers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kulidan Kitchen Space: building community through creativity, education, activism & food

Volunteer art teacher Mega with local children and the outcome of one of her weekly art workshops.The volunteer art teacher at Kulidan Kitchen Space, Ni Nengah Mega Risna Dewi with local children and the outcome of one the regular art workshops.

 

One of the most satisfying phenomenon’s of Bali’s recent modern development has been the birth of an array of art and creative, multi-purpose spaces that serve as platforms for community co-working and engagement. Kulidan Kitchen Space, a new initiative in the rice fields of the Guwung village, Sukawati, fifteen minutes from Denpasar, is one such venue.

Kulidan is the name of the district’s subak, the world-renown historical irrigation structure found throughout the island defined by a system of canals directing the water into terraced rice fields that were developed on Bali during the 9th century. The Balinese Hindu religion, along with specific temples play a vital role within this agrarian management cooperative. The kitchen is at heart of the venues core philosophy, highlighting farming practices and the environment where the local people live, work and grow together in the spirit of community.

Presentation for design students at Kulidan Kitchen        Presentation for design students at Kulidan Kitchen Space during 2019

 

A priority of Kulidan Kitchen is to gather people, family, friends and guests, both local and otherwise, to sit and converse while appreciating good food and refreshments – most of which is produced by the local farmers. Of course, they enjoy the scenery, with magnificent rice fields views, sunsets, and the vista of the majestic volcanic peak of Mount Agung to the east. The multi-purpose public space consists of a large pavilion with a second storey loft, an external long table for dining experiences, the kitchen and gardens set out upon a 120 square meter expansive of land, roomy enough for events catering for up to 300 people.

The project is the vision of activist Komang Adiartha, the land upon which Kulidan Kitchen was built in 2017 belongs to his father, a local rice farmer. Adi, as he is known, is supported by a dedicated and enthusiastic team including Martino, Vifick Bolang, Ni Nengah Mega Risna Dewi, Supriyati along with the kitchen team of Surya, Didi and Wawah and also family, friends, local residents, and members of the Bali art and creative communities. A glance at Adi’s social media portals reveals an energetic and inspiring character committed to cultural and environmental preservation. He shares his relevant opinions on critical and diverse subjects such as fair trade, conscious business, clean energy, and child labour issues.

Kulidan Kitchen Space - Sukawati Image Richard HorstmanKulidan Kitchen & Space, Banjar Wangbung, Jalan Salya, Guwang, Gianyar, Bali

 

“Building community through children’s art and education are just one of our primary directives,” says Adi. “Our art programs often have an emphasis on activism, creating art to raise the local youth’s awareness of the areas farming practices in order to stimulate appreciation and respect for these time-honoured traditions.” Painting large colourful murals depicting environmental and cultural themes on wall spaces on the outside of, and opposite the venue, are ongoing creative projects led by Bali street artists, with the help of the children.

One of their well attended ongoing events “Meet the Creator”, is an inspirational sharing program where the public can meet, hear stories and engage directly with artists, musicians, designers and other creative activists. “We believe in this program as an alternative reference for young people,” Adi says. “To find or further strengthen their choices about possible professions or hobbies they may wish to pursue.”

Mural Project in the rice fields opposite Kulidan Kitchen Space - Image Richard Horstman        Mural Project in the rice fields opposite Kulidan Kitchen Space

 

During August Nele Gruender, a German art therapy student from the HKS Ottersburg University of Fine Art, Theatre, Performance and Art Therapy conducted weekly art workshops for children as a part of an academic research project involving children’s drawings. A regular visitor to Bali she has witnessed the rapid transformation of the landscape and pondered how such transformation impacts upon the living environments of young children, and how they may respond in their pictures.

“The home is the theme of my workshops,” says Gruender. “A home is a special place for growing children to develop their identity and individuality. Through my freely structured workshops, I will gather photographs of the children’s artworks which I will later research in order to discover reoccurring symbols and patterns that arise in the drawings.” Building a model of transcultural research, she plans to repeat this with German children to reveal similarities and differences in their drawings of what home means to them. “At the moment I am not sure of the outcomes,” she says. “Yet what is important is to grant these children opportunities to express their creativity while building more resources.”

20190812_085316During August 2019 Nele Gruender (top left), a German art therapy student from the HKS Ottersburg University of Fine Art, Theatre, Performance and Art Therapy conducted weekly art workshops for children as a part of an academic research project involving children’s drawings.

 

A recent Kulidan event included live music, and DJ’s performances, along with food, art and creative product stalls providing opportunities for creatives to display their products, demonstrate their creative processes, and then facilitate forums giving explanations on developing concepts with marketing plans and building business models.

“The diversity of happenings we can host is limited only to people’s imaginations, we welcome everyone, and new ideas,” Adi says. “Kulidan can be used as a public space for events according to your needs, such as meetings, performances, exhibitions, seminars, collaborations and presentations. People may hire the space and help contribute to the venues running expenses.”

Pentas teater pangeran empasPentas Teater Pangeran Empas theatre performance by children from the Kulidan community

 

Balinese children enjoying research drawing workshop conducted by German art therapy student Nele Gruender at Kulidan Kitchen 11 August 2019- Image Richard HorstmanBalinese children enjoying research drawing workshop conducted by German art therapy student Nele Gruender at Kulidan Kitchen 11 August 2019

 

67506148_696289127476917_6814809954134786048_o An exhibition of urban planning designs at Kulidan Kitchen Space during 2019

 

34579143_444838409288658_419953527016652800_oA community discussion during an exhibition in 2019 at Kulidan Kitchen Space

 

 

Kulidan Kitchen & Space,

Banjar Wangbung

Jalan Salya, Guwang, Gianyar, Bali
Tel: 0813-3866-5862

Follow @ kulidan.kitchen on Instagram

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: Richard Horstman & Courtesy of Kulidan Kitchen & Space

 

ART JAKARTA 2019 – evolving into one of the regions most significant art fairs

Japanese artist Takehiko Sugawara "Garyu no Matsu" Image Richard Horstman                   Garyu no Matsu  – Japanese artist Takehiko Sugawara

 

Under wraps, the 11th edition of Art Jakarta, Indonesia’s most significant art fair open from 30 August – 1 September 2019 at JCC (Jakarta Convention Center). And by reports from gallerists, exhibiting artists, attendees and the Fair organization itself, outcomes have exceeded expectations.

Following on from the demise of Art Stage Jakarta in 2017, and Art Stage Singapore in 2018, Art Jakarta has strategically positioned itself, filling the void and consolidating itself as one of Southeast Asia’s most important art fairs. Featuring 70 galleries from 14 countries – Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, USA, Taiwan, Russia, Australia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and China, the fair enjoyed strong sales, with more than 39,000 visitors over the three days.

Art Jakarta fairground view Saturday 31 August. Image courtesy of Art Jakarta Art Jakarta fairground view Saturday 31 August. Image courtesy Art Jakarta

 

From Indonesia, 30 of the country’s established and emerging galleries participated, including Edwin’s Gallery, RUCI Art Space, Lawangwangi, CGartspace, Bale Projects, SAL Projects and ART_UNLTD by BEKRAF, a presentation of 51 emerging and established artists from different backgrounds, initiated by Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy (Badan Ekonomi Kreatif ) and curators Asmujo J. Irianto, Bob Edrian, Irawan Karseno and Totot Indrarto.

Just a few of the international gallery participants were Amy Li Gallery – Beijing, Flowers Gallery – London/New York/Hong Kong, Mizuma Gallery – Tokyo/Singapore/New York, Yavuz Gallery – Singapore and Bluerider ART from Taipei. Thirty per cent of the 70 participating galleries made their debut at Art Jakarta, reflecting the brand’s strong reputation and potential. Auction house Phillips Asia was among the new exhibitors, displaying artworks, watches and jewellery.

"Lumina Clorofilliana", 2019 Filippo Sciascia. Lacqured Photo Aluminium And Led Light. Image coutesy of Yeo Workshop

“Lumina Clorofilliana”, 2019 Filippo Sciascia. Lacquered Photo Aluminium And Led Light. Image courtesy of Yeo Workshop

 

“Due to the uncertain political environment of the past few years there has been a subdued market response to the fair,” stated Edwin Rahardjo, founder of Edwin’s Gallery and the Head of the Indonesian Association of Art Galleries (AGSI). “This year, however, we have had a more stable political and economic climate in Indonesia, which has led to a renewed energy. I could feel that the audience was much more positive and upbeat. The increased activity by young local collectors was noticeable.”

Art Jakarta reported several new buyers acquiring art pieces for the first time as well as renewed interest and purchases from buyers who had been inactive for some time. New international collectors were also spotted at the fair, expanding Art Jakarta’s collector base. Collector’s attending the fair hailed from throughout Southeast Asia and the Asia region, Europe, America and Australia.

"Savage Orchid" 2019 - Nus Salomo. Image richard Horstman                                 Savage Orchid 2019 – Nus Salomo

 

Commenting upon the relocation of Art Jakarta from the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place to the Jakarta Convention Center in Senayan, Rahardjo said, “The JCC has many practical advantages over the previous venue, including being larger. It allows for much easier loading and unloading of artworks, and offers positive tax incentives for international galleries.”

Australian based Indonesian artist Jumaadi works from his Yogyakarta and Sydney studios and was represented at Art Jakarta by Jan Manton Art from Brisbane, Australia. His exhibition of thematic and aesthetically distinct works stood out amongst the competition. Jumaadi’s feedback was also positive, “We have previously participated in Australian and Southeast Asian fairs; however, this is the first experience for both Jan Manton and I at Art Jakarta – and it was amazing. Comparatively speaking this fair is no worse off, or better off than the others. It is very dynamic, and the number of people during the opening was astonishing. The response to my work was strong, and we are very optimistic about the future of Art Jakarta.”

Art Jakarta fair attendees and installation by Filippino artist Ronald Ventura at Yavuz Gallery. Image by Richard HorstmanArt Jakarta fair attendees and installation by Filippino artist Ronald Ventura at Yavuz Gallery

 

“The move from Pacific Place means that the audience is art-focused and not shopping mall visitors looking for alternative entertainment,” said Kemal Ezedine, a regular participant at Art Jakarta, who exhibited paintings with Jakarta’s CGartspace. “I believe that Art Jakarta is now stepping up to the next level.”

Art Jakarta is an essential meeting place,” said Suriawati Qui co-founder of CushCush Gallery in Denpasar. “Such interactions between the national and international art communities open up opportunities for important issues and conversations to be raised, opportunities for artists and galleries to get to know their peers from across the region, and encourages cross-cultural and cross border collaborations.”

Artwork by Balinese contemporary artist Made Valasara. Image Richard Horstman                   Artwork by Balinese contemporary artist Made Valasara

 

“As an international gallery, we have always enjoyed participating in Art Jakarta and connecting with the Indonesian art community,” said Audrey Yeo, owner/producer of Yeo Workshop, Gillman Barracks Singapore. “The fair allows us to market our artists and programs with familiar faces and new networks. With its rejuvenated format and the new venue, there was a general sense of enthusiasm from the audience and the galleries. Art Jakarta is currently very promising as one of the strongest regional fairs. The fair has good organisers with a solid working style.”

“Although small, Art Jakarta was fascinating and featured some good work. One aspect I especially liked was the smaller booths representing art collectives and artist initiatives,” said Ian Findlay-Brown, editor and publisher of Asia Art News based in Hong Kong. As one of the regions first art magazines in the English language, and one of the most knowledgeable writers in the Asia region with over 40 years of experience, Findlay-Brown has witnessed the major changes in the Southeast Asian art scene during the past thirty years.

Indonesian artist Jumaadi represented by Jan Manton Art. Image Richard Horstman             Indonesian artist Jumaadi represented by Jan Manton Art

 

Commenting on “Jakarta Scene” a designated space in the fair for artist collectives and artist initiatives that offered many diverse artworks, art products and objects, along with valuable information about their activities, that are a cornerstone of Indonesia’s dynamic art scene, Findlay-Brown stated, “You don’t often see this aspect of a local art scene represented in an art fair in the Asia region. It reveals an important facet of the vitality of the local art world that can often be missed or overlooked.”

“Their array of art products, clothing, toys and sculptures emphasizes an important fun aspect of the art world. The Fair directors, by inviting these dynamic young individuals and collectives highlight a fundamental and vibrant characteristic of the Indonesian contemporary art world.”

Sculpture by Chinese artist Cai Lei. Image Richard Horstman                               Sculpture by Chinese artist Cai Lei

 

“The strength of the Indonesian art scene has always been its ‘gotong-royong’ or community spirit. This has lent Art Jakarta its special Indonesian identity which translates into a very unique fair experience for our visitors, exhibitors and partners,” said Art Jakarta Fair Director Tom Tandio. “It is only by working together that we can strengthen the art scenes in both Indonesia and Southeast Asia, which will benefit the community as a whole.”

“We were very humbled by the positive response that we received as it is a measure of the confidence that Indonesia and the region’s art community has placed in Art Jakarta, and the changes that we implemented for this 11th edition of the Fair.”

Art Jakarta enjoyed large audiences and strong sales during the fair the that ran 30 August - 1 September. Image coutesy of Art JakartaArt Jakarta enjoyed large audiences and strong sales during the fair the that ran 30 August – 1 September. Image courtesy of Art Jakarta

 

"Iris" by Singaporean artist Melissa Tan exhibited by ISA. Image Richard Horstman                       Iris by Singaporean artist Melissa Tan exhibited by ISA

 

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images courtesy of Richard Horstman unless stated.

Nyoman Masriadi’s New York Exhibition 2016

                    Images courtesy of Nyoman Masriadi & Paul Kasmin Gallery

 

Nyoman Masriadi’s story reads unlike any other within the history of Indonesian art. It charts the phenomenal rise of a talented painter, who in 2008 at the age of 36 achieved the prestige of being the first SE Asian artist with works topping USD $1 million at auction. A feat that immediately propelled him into the international art spotlight.

Aspiring Singaporean art dealer Jasdeep Sandhu stumbled across Masriadi in his studio in Yogyakarta in 1996, commenting on the painter’s self-portrait ‘Pulau Bali’ (‘Island of Bali’), “It was a departure from anything else I had ever seen.” Sandhu became instrumental in Masriadi’s career development via his Gajah Gallery in Singapore.

Born 1973 in Gianyar, Bali, Masriadi moved to Central Java to study art at the Institute Seni Indonesia (ISI) Yogyakarta in 1991. In 1999, however, he left before his final assessment due to his interests conflicting with the teachers and curriculum.

 

 

In 1997 Masriadi returned to Bali with his wife to be, and for a year worked feverously churning out souvenir paintings of Balinese mythological figures. This led to the development of his first superhero characters. With his new family, he returned to Yogyakarta as Indonesia was undergoing a turbulent transition. Following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the fall of General Suharto in 1998, ushering in the Reformasi movement, the Indonesian art scene’s interests shifted, almost overnight, from conservative expressionist paintings with traditional themes to inspiring socially engaged art. That year Masriadi was enormously productive. His works addressed themes of social injustice, corruption and military abuse, flavoured by his satirical wit and his bold figurative style.

In 2006 a Masriadi painting sold for USD $10,000. It wasn’t until in May 2008 when “Sudah Biasa di Telanjangi” (“Used to Being Stripped”) – depicting a black-skinned, muscle-bound man wearing pink bikini briefs around his ankles, covering himself with hands bound by rope – sold at auction for $540,000 at Christie’s Hong Kong. Prior to this interest in Indonesian art at regional auctions was confined to old masters such as Hendra Gunawan and Affandi.

                                           ‘Piglet’ – bronze

 

 

“I don’t understand what all the fuss is about,” the art school dropout said about his rising popularity.

Masriadi’s stratospheric ascent had only begun.

October 4, 2008, at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, “Sorry Hero, Saya Lupa” (Sorry Hero, I Forgot) set another record, at $619,000. Only two days later “The Man from Bantul”(Final Round) sold at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong for US$1,000,725. “Low estimates were a major factor in Masriadi’s initial market acceleration since they paled in comparison with many other Asian artists’ prices at the time,” Sandhu said.

“Masriadi: Black Is My Last Weapon,” his first solo exhibition held at the Singapore Art Museum, 22 August – 9 November 2008 showcased his oeuvre to a growing international audience. Co-organized by Sandhu and spanning Masriadi’s 10-year career and exploring the evolution of his signature black-skinned characters that are inspired by his love of comics and video games, that make satirical and poignant statements about national and global issues. The show not only highlighted his technical excellence, yet his ambivalence toward the art world as well.

 

 

During this exhibition, the Paul Kasmin Gallery of New York expressed interests in working with Sandhu to bring Masriadi to the US. Following on from the 2011 “Nyoman Masriadi – Recent Paintings”, his latest exhibition “Nyoman Masriadi” opened 28 April 2016 in New York featuring five new paintings, and never-before-exhibited works from 2012-14 along with a series of five 91.4 x 129.5 x 76.2 cm bronze sculptures -‘Piglet’.

“The gallery has primarily focused on placing Masriadi in American and European collections. The more audiences in the west get to see the paintings in person, the more deeply they engage,” said Senior Director of Paul Kasmin Gallery, Nicholas Olney. “It’s very rare for him to have a gallery show and sales have been excellent. Masriadi’s position as a truly internationally artist has been cemented.”

“There is a growing awareness in the US in Indonesia as a destination, and as a fertile art community,” Olney adds. “I’m looking forward to spending more time in Yogyakarta and Bandung to see what the younger generations of artists are working on.”

Through his success on the global arena, Masriadi draws increasing attention to Indonesia, home to many young artists of international standard yet to be exposed abroad. As technology progressively collapses the borders while facilitating access the artists are in the driver’s seat. Three international events highlight the 2016 Indonesian art calendar, ArtJog9 in May/June, Bazaar Art Jakarta 2016 and Art Stage Jakarta, both in August, all showcasing homegrown names and fresh talent for local and international collectors.

 

Will Indonesia witness another sensation like Masriadi? Such a meteoric rise may be unlikely, yet art markets are cyclic, and while the future is unknown it is ripe with opportunities.

Nyoman Masriadi continues through to 28 June 2016

Paul Kasmin Gallery

293 Tenth Avenue, New York

www.paulkasmingallery.com