Category Archives: Southeast Asian Art

Nyoman Gunarsa (1944 – 2017) One of Bali’s Poineering Modernist

335-maestro_lukis_nyoman_gunarsa_meninggal_dunia_dok_youtube-696x341             RIP Nyoman Gunarsa – One of Bali’s pioneering modern artist

With the recent passing of Balinese artist Nyoman Gunarsa on the 10th September 2017 an important chapter of Balinese art comes to a close. His legacy as an artist, art lecturer, art collective leader and museum owner, however, will be long lasting. Born in Klungkung, East Bali in 1944, Gunarsa was the first post war Balinese artist to rise to national prominence. His contribution to the development of Balinese art as one of the pioneering modern expressionist painters was in the exploration of form, rather than the narrative.

Gunarsa’s energetic style of applying paint to canvas with spontaneous, gestural brushstrokes was likened by some to a musical conductor, and he was affectionately known as the maestro. Raised nearby to the village of Kamasan, which during the 16th – 20th centuries was the epicenter of Balinese Classical art, Gunarsa was renowned for his dedication to the art of his forefathers. Academically trained, he quickly matured as a realism painter, yet in the 1980’s his fresh approach to depicting the characters from the Wayang Kulit shadow puppet theater broke new aesthetic grounds in Balinese art.

nyoman gunarsa, 2006 water color on paper. 115x161cm.Barong Dance,Gunarsa’s dynamic paintings emphasized the energy and movement that typified Balinese performance and ceremony.

The foundation of Balinese art is drawing. The strictly governed rules and techniques that characterize the Classical style begin with the sketching of the composition, the drawing of the fine black ink outlines of all visual information, and the coloring in of figures, forms and motifs. Originally these were collective works completed by a group of artists, as a communal offering of gratitude to the Gods. The application of color involved controlled brushstrokes, layered until the desired results are achieved – a brushwork technique akin to drawing, or penciling in the colorful hues.

Gunarsa’s signature style was an adaptation from western art, in which the individual’s innovative ideas, emotions and energy are omnipotent. Freedom and power of expressive, often minimal brushstrokes defined his visual approach. Gunarsa captured a fresh sense of dynamism in his interpretations of iconic scenarios from the Balinese Hindu legends, along with his revolutionary method of capturing traditional ceremony and performance, especially beautiful women dancing. Fusing his cultural knowledge with elements of expressionism and abstract painting immediately set his work apart from that of his contemporaries.

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Colorful, pulsating movement and vitality categorize Balinese ceremony, performance and dance. This has been a source of inspiration for artists over many generations, yet never had a painter captured the seen, and unseen elements of energy, with Gunarsa’s colorful vibrancy. Form along with the decorative elements of Balinese Classical painting took on wonderful new life, and an exciting, newfound match for the unique, real visual spectacle was born.

As an art lecturer at Yogyakarta’s ASRI (Academi Seni Rupa Indonesia) during the late 1960’s and into the 1970’s Gunarsa was a catalyst to great change. He shared his vast knowledge and enthusiasm with a new, young generation of Balinese artists, the first to venture outside of their cultural structures and restraints, to be academically trained in Central Java. These were the formative days of Balinese contemporary art. Via their fresh approach to exploration and expression using new and unusual media they transformed Balinese philosophies, rituals and symbols into an exciting new visual language.

Gunarsa(DK)

Gunarsa helped establish Indonesia’s longest running artist collective, Sanggar Dewata Indonesia, SDI (Workshop of the Gods) in 1970, inviting his Balinese students to form the new association. SDI grew to create a social collective to coordinate artistic activities, exhibitions and organize debates on art outside the institutional teaching framework. It offered its members freedom to collaborate and create without having to fear being labeled as supporters of certain political parties, during a highly politicized era of Indonesian history.

While the influential 1936 – 1945 Pita Maha artists collective redefined Balinese traditional art with modern aesthetics for the burgeoning tourist market, SDI set about redefining from the artist’s perspective based on the search for new ideas, self-expression, and national identity. This new art movement laid the foundations for the future, while inspiring many young artist to study in Yogyakarta, and Balinese contemporary art evolved to reveal its own distinct ‘voice’ in world art, while spawning generations of talented artists.

Sketch in black ink- Gunarsa

During the 1980’s – 1990’s Gunarsa and others such as Wianta, Sika, Djirna and Erawan enjoyed national and international success. Gunarsa opened the Museum of Contemporary Indonesian Painting in Yogyakarta in 1989. His next milestone was in 1994 when the Nyoman Gunarsa Museum of Classical Painting opened next to his residence in Klungkung. In the 3-storey venue he combined his own works with Classical paintings from the 17th – 19th centuries. Dedicated to the preservation of this unique art form Gunarsa acquired scarce works, including ones painted on rare ulantaga bark paper.

Artifacts, stone and woodcarvings, traditional furniture, masks, sculptures and a collection of sacred ceremonial kris add to the historical significance of his museum. In August 2017 the Indonesian President Joko Widodo attended an official reception at the museum in Gunarsa’s honor. As an international, multi award winning artist Gunarsa held solo exhibitions in more than ten foreign countries.

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A landmark celebration of Balinese art was held from July – October 2012 at Gunarsa’s museum, The First International Festival of Classical Balinese Painting. The festival included works from collections of seven other countries, along with the participation of some of the world’s leading foreign authorities on Balinese Classical art. “Classical Balinese paintings have been admired world wide since the European society first became acquainted with the East in the 15th century,” said Gunarsa. “And since then other countries have searched out these masterpieces to enrich their cultural references because of the extraordinary implied messages, philosophies, and counsels about the life of the Balinese.”

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Words: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Infusing iconography from two worlds “Italian-Indonesian Artist” Filippo Sciascia

"Expat Boat" Filippo Scia scia, Size 280 x 190 cm Oil And Gesso On Canvas 2013. image courtsey of the Artist.                             Expat Boat, 2013 – Filippo Sciascia

Italian contemporary artist Filippo Sciascia’s relationship with Asia and Indonesia began back in 1998, however, says the artist, he has only truly “come of age as an Italian-Indonesian artist” in 2013 when he successfully fused iconography from the two worlds into a single creation of art.

“I realize now my works have become more sincere,” says Filippo. “They reveal where I have come from, and where I am now. I can never feel completely comfortable, however, and my works are never perfect. An overwhelming force continually urges me on to strive for more. Intuitively I leave my works open, open to my creative development, and open to the future.”

Filippo Sciascia 'Crown Size" 145 x 130 cm Oil And Gesso On Canvas 2014. Image courtsey of the artist.                           Crown Size, 2014 – Filippo Sciascia

Filippo’s association with Bali began via a collaborative design project of the Gaya Fusion Gallery in Sayan, Ubud in 1998. He exhibited regularly and curated events at Gaya while becoming a key part of its artistic direction helping distinguish Gaya as one of the leading avant-garde galleries in Indonesia. From then on he worked on art projects both locally and internationally, across S. E Asia, China, in New York City and in Italy.

“I am a lover of philosophy and psychology and these sciences are the driving energy behind my art,” says the artist. “My paintings involve research into both archaeological and anthropological subjects and experimentation with media in my eternal journey to reveal authentic creations themed upon human evolution.”

"Lumina Mense" Filippo Sciascia, Size 205 x 165 cm Mixed Media 2012. Image courtsey of the Artist                                 Lumina Mense, 2012 – Filippo Sciascia

Filippo admits to having a growing relationship with Asia since he was a child, now aged 48, his artistic voyage has taken shape while oscillating between three extremely diverse worlds; Sicily, Bali and N.Y.C.

Working within the mediums of painting, sculpture and installations, and video art, Filippo’s passion for photography has greatly impacted upon his work. During the past decade he has explored the use of various mediums along with oil paint to create highly textured surfaces which have become a unique and characteristic feature of his paintings.

Often combining monochromatic photographic images layered upon the canvas’ surface, to which he applies layers of medium, fractured lines and textures appear akin to arid landscapes in states of decay, emphasizing a essential fundamental of his works. ”My works always appear unfinished accentuating that all matter is in a continual, never- ending process of change.”

Mendut Size 205 x 165 cm Oil And Bamboo Mounted On Wood 2014                              Mendut, 2014 – Filippo Sciascia

Mysterious elements within Filippo’s paintings often mesmerize the observer, while at the same time having the uncanny ability to subdue the mind into sense of longing. The tension of heavy tonal aesthetics juxtaposed against white or soft colors, for example, emphasize duality along with the aura and majestic essence of light. “We perceive all life through light,” he says. “Therefore it is a vital conceptual and visual feature of my work as light is the quintessential source of universal inter dimensional intelligence from which springs forth all life.”

Born in 1972 in Palma Di Montechiaro, Italy, in 1983 Filippo moved to New York and in 1985 to Trieste, Italy where he attended the Institute Art of Nordio, followed by studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze, Florence. Acutely aware of modern cultures’ obsession with the image, Filippo’s works are a pictorial meeting ground, highlighting the relationship, while blurring the line between the disciplines of photography and digital imaging technology. Consequently, the results challenge the conventional practice of painting.

Trinacria Size 250 x 200 cm Oil And Gesso And Shells On Canvas 2014                             Trinacria, 2014 – Filippo Sciascia

Religious symbols, historical cultural icons, figurative forms, vehicles of mass trans migration and other worldly imagery fuse with abstract elements in compositions void of literal meaning that are rich in allegory and metaphors, and designed to question our notions of reality.

“Its not my vision anymore, I don’t have a desire to make paintings. Rather, I see my work as a collection of notes akin to diaries about my quest for the greater meaning of life.”

Filippo Sciascia, image by Richard Horstman                             Filippo Sciascia, 2014, Ubud

 

 

Filippo Sciascia, Lumina Chlorophylliana, 2016                     Lumina Chorophylliana, 2016 – Filippo Sciascia

BEN_0165-1Rosetta, 2016 – Filippo Sciascia. Exhibited at OFCA International, Yogyakarta

Rosetta, 2016, Exhibited at OFCA International, Yogyakarta                             Rosetta, 2016 at OFCA International

Lumina Araidica No 2, 2016

                        Lumina Araidica, 2016 – Filippo Sciascia

http://www.filipposciascia.com

 

Words by: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing ART|JOG|10

"Fashion As A Weapon" Hendra 'Blankon' Priyadhani. Image Richard Horstman             Fashion As A Weapon, 2017 – Hendra “Blangkon” Priyadhani

How may we define Indonesian art?

Unlike other nations, Indonesia is without an international standard museum as a foundation through which its distinct art narratives and identity may be imparted internationally, and locally. We can, however, reference a different platform ART|JOG, the art fair that supports artists over galleries. Celebrating this year its tenth edition, it has grown into an icon, presenting the ‘voice’ of Indonesian contemporary art diversity to the global audience.

ART|JOG|10 Changing Perspective opened with a limited preview 19 May, at the Jogja National Museum (JNM), Yogyakarta, officiated by GKR Mangkubumi, the eldest child of Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono. Annually the event attracts additional foreign visitors, this year there were more international art industry insiders, many expressing ideas about future collaborations.

Mulyana Mogus "Silent Prayers"                         Silent Prayers, 2017 – Mulyana Mogus

Running parallel with Jogja Art Weeks, a month-long abundance of events set throughout the Special Regency, and now in its second year, (another organizational feat by Heri Pemad Art Management), ART|JOG is a fixture on the international art map, a boon for cultural tourism in Central Java.

“The combination of an art fair founded for artists by an artist, hosted at the Jogja National Museum, over a relaxed time frame with daily performances and artist interactivity against a backdrop of the uniquely engaging energy of the Yogyakarta arts community is highly inspiring in a world where art fair fatigue is prevalent,” said artists, art historian, curator, gallerist and collector Jane Walker, who is London and Singapore based, also on her first visit to the fair.

ART|JOG|10’s Open Call Application granted fifteen artists eligibility, while invited artists numbered 58 of a total of 73. One of the most enjoyable features of its format is the freedom to observe works without any presence/pressure of sales, gallery staff, and infrastructure.

J Aryadhitya Pramuhendra - Holy Lamb               Holy Lamb, 2017 – J Aryahitya Pramuhendra

Both local and foreign, emerging and established artists exhibit side-by-side over 3 floors. The JNM’s design of alternative shaped showrooms offers possibilities for varying art encounters. Artists granted individual space, who understood how to capitalize upon this creating intimate art experiences, were generally the most memorable.

A giant batik parasol depicting the sky spans the ceiling and a mural rendered in clay revealing order and disorder are the two prominent features of Seti Legu’s installation, Universal Syndrome. Observers are immersed within an intriguing reconstruction of opposing positive and negative forces – the world according to Javanese cosmology – where human and environmental exploitation contrasts with ideology, religion and materialism; the modern world in conflict with the past. Legu sits and reads poetry aloud, while a traditionally attired elderly musician completes the distinctive ambience.

Invited Chinese artist Geng Xue presents a 13-minute animation, Mr Sea. Her two characters, set within a surreal forest landscape are all made from porcelain. In this extraordinarily sensitive tale, that takes the art form to wonderful innovative heights, breath-taking beauty and tragedy go hand-in-hand. This is a mesmerizing, emotional journey.

"Mr. Sea" Geng Xue, 13 minute porcelain animation. Image Richard Horstman                                Mr. Sea, 2014 – Geng Xue

Syagini Ratna Wulan’s Chromatic Chimera, and Chromatic Myth 1,2&3 together create a tangible atmosphere. Her ‘gloomy’ skyscapes feature tiny colored ‘figures’ floating seemingly without purpose. A hanging geometric form projected with colored light creates beautiful patterns up into a corner, its energetic distinctions, married with her painted compositions create a potent, mysterious abstract experience. While other artists exhibit abstract works, many fail to excite, Wulan’s imagination, however fully engages our senses via the subtle powers of suggestion.

Season In The Abyss, Jim Allen Abel’s commemorative installation honoring 102 people lost in 2007 on an Adam Air flight from Surabaya, East Java to Manado is thought provoking, and ultimately touching. At front a display case presents facts and details including archive photos. Within the darkened space the installation merges elements, projected images, and flashing lights reflect upon mirrors from the ceiling to the floor, and wall. The experience is intriguing and upsetting, yet beautiful as well. Such a thematic is bold, revealing artistic maturity.

ArtJog 10 Merchandise Project - Wearable Art. Scarf by Radi Arwinda, Image by Richard Horstman       ArtJog 10 Merchandise Project – Wearable Art, Scarf by Radi Arwinda

Angki Purbandono collaborated with adventure traveller/actor and advocate for the preservation of Indonesia’s endangered Sumatran elephant, Nicholas Saputra, to make a documentary describing the alarming decline of this specie. Post Jungle – Tangkahan Project introduces an alternative story, in a visual art language aimed to incite the public’s curiosity and concern towards grave Indonesian environmental issues.

Floating Eyes, the commissioned work by Wedhar Riyadi of giant eyeballs floating in water is spectacular. Positioned at the front façade of JNM, evening time it contrasts wonderfully against the white building and the night sky, in the presence of the new, honorary R.J Katamsi statue, flanked by majestic banyan trees. The work, however, lacks local iconography.

Some other works of note include J Aryadhitya Pramuhendra’s Holy Lamb, Mulyana Mogus’ beguiling visual world, Silent Prayers, Agung Prabowo’s linocut reduction print on handmade paper, Study of Convex and Concave by M.C Escher 1955, and Hendra “Blangkon” Priyadhani’s, Fashion As A Weapon. Recipients of this year’s Young Artists Award, a program open to artists under 33 years in appreciation of artistic endeavour are Bagus Pandega and Syaiful Garibaldi.

Indonesian artists, including Wedhar Riyadi, along with art lovers, with "Floating Eyes" JNM. Image Richard HorstmanIndonesian artists, including Wedhar Riyadi, center, along with art lovers, with “Floating Eyes”, Riyadi’s commissioned work.

The popular Fringe Program, headlined by the Curator’s Tour, Meet The Artists, and the ASRI Historical Tour, enhanced the public’s engagement. This year’s new Merchandise Project presents selected local creative communities and artists to showcase their signature works. The strong line-up of Daily Performances including performance art, music, dance, fashion shows and theatre, featured well-known artists Melati Suryodharmo, Garin Nugroho and Rahayu Supanggah, Bimo Wiwohatmo and Astri Kusuma Wardani.

Post preview consensus was, however, the quality of art was down from 2016. “The works were less innovative and less challenging this year compared to last,” said art critic Jean Couteau. “While the local component was minor, the visual and symbolic language is global.”

A deacade of ART|JOG is a huge distinction. Such an event faces great challenges, both internal and external. The vision of Heri Pemad, along with the vigor of Heri Pemad Art Management deserves enormous credit. Indonesia, and the global art world please take note!

20170519_130530                        Universal Syndrome, 2017 – Seti Legu

20170519_125340                             Angki Purbandono, 2017

20170519_131058                Situ Ciburuy; Museum Plan, 2017  – Aliansyah Chaniago

20170519_132125                  Season In The Abyss, 2017 – Jim Allen Abel

20170519_134058                  On the Way, 2017 – “SurantoKenyang

 

ART|JOG|10

19 May – 19 June 2017

Jogja National Museum

Jalan Prof. Ki Amri Yahya No. 1, Yogyakarta

www.artjog.co.id

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

Sutjipto Adi

'Lotuses 5', mixed media on canvas, 2009.                                         Lotus #5, 2009 – Sutjipto Adi

In 1987, thirty-year old East Javanese artist Sutjipto Adi, exhibited paintings at TIM Jakarta Cultural Center, in his second solo show. Sophisticated and highly articulate, Adi’s visionary compositions revealed an extraordinary talent that was to capture the attention of the Indonesian contemporary art world.

Combining meticulous drawing with realism painting techniques, Adi’s symbols, figures, and forms, rendered upon a framework of geometrical designs, come alive in compositions that are mysterious, and futuristic. Within his works the visual information often resonates out from one central point – distinct lines emanating from the canvas’ core – while other lines, both vertical and horizontal, create grids of triangular, fragmented portions. What appear like kaleidoscope visions are in fact perfectly balanced compositions achieved through the execution of a clever and systematic, visual formula.

Sutjipto Adi and unknown character 1987 solo exhibition TIM Jakarta                         Sutjipto Adi 1987, TIM Jakarta

Otherworldly scenarios reveal abstract forms, spherical, planet like objects, and enigmatic symbols floating within interstellar backdrops. The artist often depicts himself in various stages of life: from the embryonic, to the baby, and then the adult. Adi’s paintings are insights into the enigmatic nature of life and its place within the order of the cosmos.

“My work reflects my quest for meaning in the perfection of human life. They simply mirror life itself, while underlining the fact that there is much more going on than meets the eye,” Adi says.

Gifted with unique ability, and a powerfully inquisitive mind, Adi, who was born in 1957, was raised in a multi-religious family in Jember. His mother a follower of the Catholic faith, his father a Buddhist, while his brother a Muslim. Religion is one of the significant forces that shape the Indonesian cultural discourse, yet spirituality is the key dynamic within Adi’s life journey, and how he constructs his worldview.

Work in Progress 2017 - Sutjipto Adi                            Work in Progressive 2017 – Sutjipto Adi

“From an early age I practiced my own techniques of exercise and meditation, yet it was not a traditional style of yoga, rather a personal act that achieved strong feelings. Later I chose to bring the Buddhism doctrines into my life. Not because I believed it to be a superior religion,” to the contrary, the artist said, “I was allowed to feel a personal sense of harmony.”

After studying art at the Indonesian Fine Art School, Adi then continued on at the Indonesian Fine Art Academy (ASRI), in Yogyakarta, Central Java from 1977–1981. “In 1986 I relocated to the Island of the Gods, sensing the ‘spirit of Bali’ as a safe and fertile realm for my continued creative development, and stimulus.”

Living in Bali proved to be a perfect environment for the artists’ deep and reflective nature. His stoic work ethic balanced, while immersed within the Balinese culture, and the creative energy that island is internationally renown. In 1991 Adi’s third solo exhibition was held in Ubud. He continued to exhibit consistently in national and international group exhibitions, and with leading galleries in Jakarta.

'Lotuses 3', 2009, mixed media on canvas.                              Lotus #3, 2008 – Sutjipto Adi

Along with other artists during the 1990’s Adi was one of the forerunners of a new realism movement that was evolving within Indonesian contemporary art. Photography became a crucial part of his technique. A special part of his process, however, is to travel, experience, be still, and observe.

“Meditation not only gives us the light of insight, but also the power for expansive change,” Adi says. “By having faith in our spiritual journey we both may learn and will be provided the tools to steer us through the physical and non-physical labyrinths that encompass us all.”

A strong sense of innovation has driven Adi’s artistic development, he incorporated digital art collage, and the use of pencil in his works well prior to his fellow contemporaries. His depiction of iconic characters such as John Lennon, the Dalai Lama, and Buddhist monks as central subjects in the compositions occurred well before it became a national trend.

'Reincarnation', circa 1985, mixed media on canvas,                               Reincarnation, 1985 – Sutjipto Adi

His process of self-discovery is reflected in the changing colors Adi has utilized during his career. His work is witness to his transformation of spirit; his darker colors during his younger days reflect an unsettled conscience in the process of self-analysis. Lighter, and brighter colors mirrors the easing of internal tensions during his personal growth.

Unlike other Asian cultures, Indonesian art does not have a tradition of drawing. Lead, charcoal, pastel and colored pencils, for the past two decades, have become Adi’s exclusive mediums of choice. The technique he chooses is not only the application of line to give structure and form, rather a method influenced from photographic images, to build form via the subtle, and painstaking use of line to suggest elements of skin tone, facial and body features.

WALK TO FREEDOM 2010                        Long Walk to Freedom, 2010 – Sutjipto Adi

“Within the mind of the photographer, second-by- second, essential elements come together,” Adi says. “Composition, lighting, character, and sensitivity for the object, all fuse within an instance, to capture a special moment. ”

Photography has had an unparalleled impact on modern and contemporary realism art, as well as Sutjipto Adi’s. His drawing technique bursts into life with the inclusion of bright colors and hues from colored pencils and pastels. While the majority of Indonesian contemporary art draws it techniques and themes from outside and the West, Adi is unique within the canons of Indonesian art. If you travel abroad to see the finest museum collections of modern and contemporary art, such a technique cannot be found.

Profile - Sutjipto Adi                                             Sutjipto Adi 2010, Ubud, Bali

In his depictions of the human form Adi deliberately presents both the old and the young side-by-side; a tiny baby contrasted with an elderly monk, or his young son positioned along with himself. While its important to include the iconic figures, he too includes the other ‘heroes’ – the normal, everyday people, and the poor, who endure, and soldier on through life.

“My intention is to present these figures as archetypes of faith,” Adi says. The metaphors he conveys are an essential message about life itself.   “The youth of today’s world require good role models, fine examples of behavior, moral courage, and strength to successfully ‘navigate’ the journey of life.”

As he has matured Sutjipto Adi’s paintings have become less esoteric, and easier to read, yet always ‘speak’ of the human spirit. They are profound, and important messages of hope.

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Exotic, 93 x 64 cm, 2008                                      Exotic, 2008 – Sutjipto Adi

 

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keliki Kawan Miniature Painting Exhibition: Werdi Jan Kerti Artist’s Assoc.

I Putu Adi - "Sejarah Perdaban Cina in Bali"                              Sejarah Perdaban Cina di Bali – I Putu Adi

More 60 images of the reknown Balinese modern traditional style of the Keliki School of Miniature Painting went on display, 18 April at Ubud’s Museum Puri Lukisan. The Keliki Kawan Exhibition 2017, by the Werdi Jana Kerti Artist’s Association, continues until 3 June at Ubud’s centrally located, historical museum.

Last in line in the chronology of genres of modern traditional painting, coming after the mid 1960’s Young Artist’s Style, the Keliki paintings depict on paper the plethora of Balinese imagery in the tiniest of frameworks. The art of creating miniature images, however, has a long history, having been passed down over generations and dating back as far as the 9th century.

I Made Jongko - "Panen" 2016                                              Panen –  Made Jongko

Derived from the decorated manuscripts, processed on dried leaves and known as the lontars, the information is contained on pages measuring 30cm wide by 5cm high. Still in use today, the books reveal knowledge as diverse as holy scriptures, prominent rituals, family lineages, laws, medicine, arts, architecture, calendars, literature, and even the rules for cock-fighting. A sharp writing instrument is used to score the small text and drawings.

The Keliki School of Miniature Painting began in the early 1970’s in the Keliki Kawan village, 20 minutes north of Ubud. The village nowadays is home to more than 300 artists, in a tradition where the master pupil relationship, often father and son/s, plays an essential role. Two artists, I Ketut Sana (b.1952) and I Made Astawa (b.1953) are responsible for the development of this style that over time evolved to encompass a community of artists, and helping to supplement the incomes of poor farmers through the sale of works.

Gusti Putu Sudana "Pulau Bali" 2016                                   Pulau Bali – Gusti Putu Sudana

Both Sana and Astawa were students of the grandson of Bali’s most important modern artist and architect, Gusti Nyoman Lempad (c1865-1978), while also learning from masters of another respected genre, the Batuan School. Inspired by Lempad’s line techniques and the crowded Batuan ‘signature’ style, they reduced their compositions down in size, and the Keliki miniature style was born.

In 2011 the Werdi Jana Kerti Artists Association of the Keliki Kawan village was formed in an effort to maintain and preserve the genre. Since 2013 they have exhibited annually at Museum Puri Lukisan, the exhibition being a highlight on the Ubud art calendar. The collective currently has 75 members, of which 58 participate in the current show, aged from 14-70 years, including 11 women, while 23 of the artists are under 30 years.

Gusti Putu Lasyantika "Panen" 2016 12x12cm                                    Panen – Gusti Putu Lasyantika

Panen, 2016, by Gusti Putu Lasyantika is a fine example of the miniature style. His painting fuses two compositions into one. The outer image, set on a black background, is of colorful native birds peering in on the inner scenario, while contrasting with, and framing it. The inner focal landscape, constructed in receding layers to emphasize depth of field, shows farmers harvesting rice fields. In the distance Bali’s iconic volcanic landscape is visible with the sun’s soft golden rays illuminating the afternoon sky. What’s remarkable about Lasyantika’s painting, which involved hours of painstaking attention to detail, is that all of this imagery is captured within the reduced dimensions of only 12 x 12 centimeters!

During the past decade the onslaught of modernization that has become incompatible with traditional norms, has become a popular theme among traditional painters. Deforestation and relentless urban development are depicted in Illegal Logging, 2016 by Putu Kusuma. In the foreground heavy machinery and men with chain saws destroy the landscape. In the background the city’s high-rise skyline encroaches. The focal point is the sacred Balinese tree as the foundation of the natural eco system – the tree of life.

I Gusti Putu Sudarma "Bandara Harapan" 2017 38x27cm                            Bandara Harapan – Gusti Putu Sudarma

Gusti Putu Sudarma’s Bandara Harapan, 2016, 38 x 27 cm, acrylic on paper, is also aligned with the fore mentioned theme, yet his imagery is mostly unconventional. In a scene reminiscent of Dutchman Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450 -1516), in his style that was the forerunner to the 1920’s surrealism movement, the artist depicts a composition of two opposing worlds.

The foreground is filled with colorful circus characters, both real and imagined, with an array of unusual objects, some small, while others are monumental. Various other abstract structures and forms, along with figures appearing as observers, make up the relevant visual information. A few, seemingly insignificant, traditional parasols are the only recognizable Balinese icons.

I Putu Adi -Dewi Drupadi Dilecechi Oleh Kurawa" 2015                           Dewi Drupadi Dilecechi Oleh Kurawa – Putu Adi

Rendered faintly in the distance is the Bali of yesteryear, in a lush mountainous landscape dotted with Hindu temples. In top the right side a sits a small figure raised upon a pillar in meditation, while in the top left corner two brown figures appear, one holds a flag in an apparent gesture of surrender, the other in apparent raptures of grief.

This is a fascinating and clever composition worthy of focused attention. Do Sudarma’s metaphoric symbols represent his idea of a dystopian Bali?

I Putu Kusuma - "Illegal Logging" 2016                              Illegal Logging – Putu Kusuma

 

Keliki Kawan Exhibition 2017

Open daily 9am – 5pm

Museum Puri Lukisan, Ubud

Jalan Raya, Ubud, Bali

www.museumpurilukisan.com

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

Previewing Indonesian Modern & Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Spring Sale

The 1-5 April Sotheby’s Hong Kong Spring Sales, a highly anticipated auction on the 2017 global calendar, inevitably will draw increased global attention to the Asian region.

Sotheby’s first conducted sales in Hong Kong in 1972. For the first time however, works by iconic Western contemporary artists Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst will be presented during the 2 April Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.

Affandi, Colosseum, Roma.Image courtesy sotheby's HK                             Lot 1047 Colosseum, RomaAffandi

For collectors of Indonesian modern art the following works will be of interest, especially Lot 1047 Colosseum, Roma. Painted in 1972, this is one of the three known depictions of the famous Roman amphitheater by Affandi, (1907-1990). Arguably Indonesia’s most important modernists Affandi was the first Indonesian to exhibit in the Venice Biennale in 1954.

Capturing afternoon sunlight emblazoning the arena, this rare work would compliment any Affandi connoisseurs collection, and has an estimated price between HKD 2,200,000 – 2,500,000 (Rp.378,070,000–601,480,000). Lot 1048, Barong, 1966, also by Affandi, has an estimated price between HKD 1,800,000-2,800,000 (Rp.3,091,880,000-4,809,600,000).

Lee Man Fong_Balinese Procession                               Lot 1024, Balinese ProcessionLee Man Fong

Lot 1021, The Lotus Pond, is by Belgian impressionist painter Adrien Jean le Mayeur (1880-1958), who fist settled on Bali in 1932. One of several pieces he left unfinished upon his death, it portrays Balinese beautiful women in, and surrounding a pond. It’s estimated price ranges between HKD 3,800,000 – 5,500,000 (Rp.6,527,310,000 –9,447,420,000).

Lee Man Fong, (b. Guangzhou 1913-1988) spent extended periods painting in Bali. Lot 1024, Balinese Procession is an excellent work, highlighted by his fusion of East and West styles with an estimated price between HKD 10,000,000-15,000,000 (Rp.17,177,100,000–25,765,700,000).

Hendra Gunawan_Cucu-Cucu Witarsa Mengenang Bintang PSSI. ALM. Djamiart Dhalhar (The Grandchildren of Witarsa Commemorating Indonesian Football Star, the late Djamiat Dhalhar)Lot 369,Cucu-cucu Witarsa Mengenang Bintang PSSI. Alm. Djamiart Dhalhar (The Grandchildren of Witarsa Commemorating Indonesian Football Star, the Late Djamiat Dhalhar) – Hendra Gunawan

Three contemporary works are offered in this sale. Lot 1056, Cakrawala Warna #8 (Colour Horizon #8) 2012-2016, by renowned painter Rudi Mantofani (b. 1973, Padang, West Sumatra) has an estimated price between HKD 650,000-950,000 (Rp.1,116,510,000-1,631,830,000),  Lot 1057, I Nyoman Masriadi, The Old Master (Snapping Provocation of Samuro) 2016 is estimated between HKD 1,800,000-2,800,000 (Rp.3,091,880,000-4,809,600,000), An abstract composition by the most prized Indonesian woman contemporary artist, Aye Tjoe Christine, Lot 1059, Black and the Small White, 2014, has an estimated price of between HKD 500,000-700,000 (Rp.858,856,000-1,202,400,000).

Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo_Harmonic Tremor             Lot 219, Harmonic Tremor, 2016 – Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo

A diverse array of more than 30 works by Indonesian artists, with price ranges to suit all budgets, are offered the following day during the 3 April Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Sale. Works from emerging, established, senior, and deceased artists are presented.

For new buyers wishing to enter the Indonesian market there are opportunities with works by prominent contemporary names going under the hammer within the lower range of estimated prices, including Heri Dono, Yunizar and Agus Suwage. Some artists in the middle to upper price range are Rudi Mantofani, Nasirun, I Nyoman Masriadi, and Rudi Mantofani.

Agus Triyanto BR_Savana Dance                             Lot 208, Savana DanceAgus Triyanto BR

One of the emerging artists featured is Angki Purbandono (b.1971 Yogyakarta), a pioneer in the use of digital scanning technology (scanography) in Indonesian contemporary art. Lot 212, The Plastic Guns – Violence for Beginners, a scanography transparency in neon box installation has an estimated price of between HKD 20,000-40,000 (Rp.34,351,500-68,703,000). Another is East Javanese painter Agus Triyanto BR (b.1979), Lot 208, Savana Dance, 2016, is a surrealistic composition with an estimated price between HKD40,000-60,000 (Rp.68,703,000-103,063,000).

Lot 211, Multicolor, 2016 by Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo (b.1978, Bandung) is a dynamic composition created by a moving blend of poured pigment paint suspenAgus Triyanto BRded in resin and pressed upon glass. The three panel work, 180 x 465 cm has an estimated price of between HKD 40,000-60,000 (Rp.68,703,000-103,063,000).

189HK0717_XXXXX             Lot 350, Three Balinese Maidens With Offerings – Theo Meier

For seasoned collectors the sale features eight paintings by Lee Man Fong, four by Affandi, three by Srihadi Sudarsono, and three compositions by S. Sudjojono, who is considered the one of the fathers of Indonesian modern art. Lot 372 Pemendangan (Landscape), has an estimated price between HKD 650,000-950,000 (Rp.1,114,630,000-1,629,080,000).

Lot 369,Cucu-cucu Witarsa Mengenang Bintang PSSI. Alm. Djamiart Dhalhar (The Grandchildren of Witarsa Commemorating Indonesian Football Star, the Late Djamiat Dhalhar), is by artist, poet, sculptor and guerilla fighter Hendra Gunawan (1918-1983). It depicts a group of children playing football in a surrealistic landscape and is estimated between HKD 1,000,000-2,000,000 (Rp.1,714,820,000-3,429,640,000).

217HK0717_XXXXX          Lot 213, Pemandangan Dari Atas (Landscape From Above) – Nasirun

Works by noted foreign artists include Dutch painters Willen Gerard Hofker (1902-1981) and Arie Smit (b.1916, The Netherlands – 2016, Bali), along with Theo Meier (Switzerland 1908-1982), Adrien Jean le Mayeur.

Buyers bidding over the phone, and on the Internet, who are unable to attend the previews days or auction are advised to contact Sotheby’s 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 gaged. 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.  Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium up to 25% of the hammer price.

HK0717-374_web                      Lot 374, Janger Dancer – Srihadi Sudarsono

 

Previews open to the public 31 March

Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale 2 April from 7pm

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Sale 3 April from10 am

The Hong Kong Exhibition and Auction Venue,

Hall 5 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (New Wing),

1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images courtesy: Sotheby’s Hong Kong

 

 

WHAT’S NEXT – A Group Art Exhibition

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In recent years the visibility of street art in Bali has grown phenomenally. The dynamic crossover of genres, fusing graffiti with murals, social realism, and ever-evolving sensibilities has become a popular urban youth expression. Outside of conventional modes found in gallery and museums, street art is alive in public spaces, transforming bland street walls.

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From the beach side areas of Canggu and Kuta, to Kerobokan, Denpasar and across the city to Gianyar, colorful style, with plenty of visual WOW is adorning the urban landscape. Its techniques range from murals, to stencil and sticker art, even installations, it’s often saturated with social political issues, dissent, or emotions and ideas about identity and life. This democratic form is being exposed where the public can enjoy its aesthetic qualities, and/or ponder the messages presented.

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Some considered it a nuisance, urban visual pollution, whether perceived as vandalism or public art, it has caught the interest of the international art world, and is even seen as a manner of beautification and urban regeneration. Recently, however street has been making its transition onto the walls of Bali’s art spaces and contemporary galleries.

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Open Friday 17th March at Sika Contemporary Gallery in Ubud, WHAT’S NEXT – A Group Art Exhibition presents a mix of street culture art that is characteristic of this burgeoning movement that’s becoming a highlight of the Indonesian contemporary urban cultural scene.

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Organized by Yogyakarta born, Ubud based multi talented Kemal Ezedine, WHAT’S NEXT features ten artists, nine CRWPX from Jakarta, aged between 24 to 45, most below 30 years. A fresh and exciting array of works on paper, canvas, wood panels, and applied directly to the gallery walls is displayed. During the exhibition the artists present an art bazaar, live graffiti displays and a workshop open to the public.

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“Ubud is well known as a place for tradition art and culture, “WHAT’S NEXT“, is a new annual program for street artists to gain experience in Ubud,” said Ezedine. “Each year it will feature different artists and workshops, along with discussions in a kind informal short residency program.”

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“Bringing the work from the streets and into the gallery space allows a different perspective, and new, often spontaneous creative opportunities,” he adds.   “We trust the artists will learn something, while gaining new knowledge on how they see Ubud as an art center.”

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WHAT’S NEXT

Continues until 20 April
Sika Contemporary Gallery

Jalan Raya Sanggingan No.88X, Ubud

opposite Bintang Supermarket

Tel: 0361 975084

Open daily 9am – 6pm

Words & Images: Richard Horstman