Previewing Larasati’s Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, Bali, 11 February 2017

 

lot-304-djedeng             Devotion – a unique modernist wood craving by Ketut Djedeng

Upcoming this weekend, Saturday 11 February Larasati Auctioneers present an excellent array of predominantly Balinese traditional art for sale. Lot #335 Dewi Tidur, is a poetic depiction of a sleeping goddess being watched over by nature spirits, by 36-year-old Made Griyawan, a rising star of the renown Batuan school. This is just one of the seventy items of fine art going under the hammer from 3pm at Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art auction to be held in Ubud, Bali.

lot-339-nadera-ida-bagus-made                   Pertunjukan Arja 1991 – Ida Bagus Made Nadera

From sketches on paper in ink and pastel, to lithographs, woodcarvings, and paintings from various genres of Balinese traditional art, along with some rare gems on offer. The quality of works, along with the price ranges make Saturday’s auction attractive to both the connoisseur, and the new buyer wishing to enter the market at affordable rates. The following is a few recommendations.

lot-325-kayun-i-nyoman              Sacred Sang Hyang Dedari Dance – Nyoman Kayun

Auction highlights for the connoisseurs include works by deceased masters of the 1930’s Pita Maha artists collective, Lot# 363 Sita Satya, by Gusti Ketut Kobot (Pengosekan1917-199) with an estimated price between Rp. 90,000,000 – 130,000,000. Pementasan Calonarang, Lot# 362, by Ida Bagus Made Togog (Batuan 1913-1980) has an estimated price between Rp. 100,000,000 – 125,000,000, and Upacara Potong Gigi, Lot# 352, by Ida Bagus Made Widja (Batuan 1912-1992), with an estimated price between Rp.20,000,000 – 25,000,000, are all strong compositions of balance and harmony.

lot-343-jan-portenaar-javanese-dancer-ooc-91x60                            Javanese Dancer 1958 – Jan Christiaan Poortenaar

Two founding fathers of the Pita Maha are also featured; Bali’s iconic modernist Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1862-1978), Lot #360, Erotic Scene, has excellent provenance with an estimated price between Rp. 35,000,000 – 45,000,000, and influential Dutch artist Rudolf Bonnet (1895-1978), his pastel on paper depiction, Portrait of a Balinese Boy 1956, Lot# 323, has an estimated price between Rp.100,000,000 – 125,000,000.

rudolf-bonnet-portrait-of-balinese-boy               Portrait of a Balinese Boy 1956 – Rudolf Bonnet

Much attention will be focused upon the following lots, Upacara di Pura, 1979, Lot # 314 by popular Sumatran painter Rusli (1922-2005), with an estimated price between Rp. 30,000,000 – 40,000,000. Noted woman Balinese painter Ni Gusti Agung Galuh’s Beautiful Scenery, Lot# 317, with an estimate between Rp. 38,000,000 – 48,000,000, depicts sunlit rice terraces within a mountainous landscape. Lot# 325, Sacred Sang Hyang Dedari Dance, by Nyoman Kayun (b. 1954,Peliatan, Ubud) with an estimated price between Rp. 180,000,000 – 230,000,000, for its size is a rare find. Upacar Melasti, Lot# 353 by Wayan Matra has an estimate price between Rp. 75,000,000 – 95,000,000, the setting sun glows red upon the focal point of a Balinese religious ceremony.

lot-363-kobot-i-gusti-ketut                     Sita Satya ca, 1950’s – Gusti Ketut Kobot

Buyers with an eye for a bargain take note, if purchased within their estimate prices the following lots, including the fore mentioned Lot #335 Dewi Tidur, all represent good buying. Hanoman Membangan Jembatan Rama Setu, Lot # 361, ink on paper by Gusti Made Deblog (1906-1986 Denpasar), has an estimated price between Rp. 20,000,000 – 25,000,000. Kegiatan di Sawah 1963, Lot# 319, by master of the Pitamaha, Ida Bagus Made Nadera, estimated between Rp. 15,000,000 – 20,000,000, and Devotion, a modernist wood carving by Ketut Djedeng, Lot #304, has an estimate price between Rp. 1,500,000 – 2,500,000.

lot-364-sutama-i-made                  World of Dreams, 2016 – Made Sutama

Lots # 364-368 represent special long-term investment buying opportunities, being five works of the nine finalists of the first TiTian Prize. Honoured for innovation in Balinese art, the awards were presented during the one-year anniversary of the TiTian Bali Foundation, 29 January 2017. Lot# 364, World of Dreams in the Keliki style by Made Sutama has an estimated price between by Rp. 50,000,000 – 60,000,000. Nature Teasing, Lot# 368 by an exciting new talent of Batuan, twenty-two-year-old Wayan Aris Sarmanta has an estimated price between Rp. 20,000,000 – 25,000,000. Sarmanta, along with Gede Suryawan, Lot# 367, Living in Nature, are emerging artists with promising futures.   A set of three woodcarvings, Emotion II, Lot# 366, by Made Supena also offer good buying at prices estimated between Rp. 15,000,000 -20,000,000.

lot-353-matra-i-wayan                              Upacar Melasti 2013 – Wayan Matra

Other noted artists include influential Dutchman Arie Smit (1916-2016), with four works on offer, Joko Pekik, Wayan Bendi, and Dewa Putu Mokoh, while Jan Christiaan Poortenaar’s (1886-1958), Javanese Dancer, Lot # 343 is a beautiful composition featuring exquisite negative spaces. The proceeds of Lot # 369 The Bible by Korean artist Lee Ji Hyun, and Lot# 370 Portrait of a Gentleman, by Gerard Pieter Adolfs (1889-1968) will benefit non-commercial art programs on Balinese traditional art.

As an alternative to conventional investments buying art and holding for the long- term, 10-20 years can prove to be sound financial planning, often appreciating ten fold. The market for Balinese traditional art is considered by experts as still being undervalued.

lot-314-rusli                                          Upacara di Pura, 1979 – Rusli

Buyers bidding over the phone, or live online who are unable to attend the previews days or auction are advised to contact Larasati and inquire about the color 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.

lot-342-rudin-i-ketut                                              Tari Baris – Ketut Rudin

Viewing:

Thursday, 9 February   11am – 7.30pm

Friday, 10 February     11am – 7.30pm

Saturday 11 February   11am – 1pm

Auction: Saturday 11 February, from 3 pm

Larasati Bali Art Space

Jalan Jatayu, Tebesaya, Peliatan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images Courtesy: Larasati Auctioneers

 

 

 

How Can Global Art Survive a Dystopian Future?

sothebys-auction-scene_modern-and-contemporary-asian-art-evening-sale-image-coutesy-sothebysSotheby’s Hong Kong during the Autumn 2016 Sale of Southeast Asian Art

 

As Art Stage Singapore, South East Asia’s flagship art fair, prepares itself for its seventh installment on the 12-15 January 2017 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center, the Founder & President, Lorenzo Rudolf has made some notable observations.

Responsible for creating the model of what the majority of art fairs are today Lorenzo’s decade of innovative leadership at Art Basel transformed it from a minor art fair to the world leader. Along the way he introduced special packaged tours for VIP’s, corporate sponsorship, and supported emerging artists, plus all the glitz, glamour, money and quality art. In 2010 he founded Art Stage Singapore, a key international event with a specific focus on promoting and fostering Asian art.

In the November Art Stage Singapore 2017 media release that outlines the program highlights of the annual event, Lorenzo presents an analysis of the current global political and economic situation with regards to the future of the performance of the art market.

“As the performance of art markets is inextricably linked to the health of the economy, maintaining the same market positions is unrealistic in the current economic climate,” states Lorenzo, then points out, “Never has it been more urgent for us to re-examine the role of contemporary art in our societies than it is today. Against the backdrop of the weak global economy and changed political landscapes, art fairs such as Art Stage Singapore must re-think our role.”

art-stage-jakarta-2016_general-fair-view-2-jpg-image-courtesy-of-art-stage-jakarta-2016                                               Art Stage Jakarta 2016

To galvanize this ‘re-think’, Lorenzo is calling upon ‘visionaries, leaders, thinkers, and socially engaged actors’ to act in a role of ‘seismographs and disruptors’. This would seem to indicate that the time has come for a major change in the model and mindset of the art market, and that a much more innovative system is required. How this could happen may be directly tied into the 2017 Southeast Asian Forum, which is being hosted by Art Stage Singapore, with its focus being the theme of art investment, entitled Net Present Value: Art, Capital, Futures.

‘Net Present Value’ is a method used to forecast the profitability of future returns on investments made today. Nobody wants to lose money on an investment, so the Forum seeks to explore the value of art, imagination and progress in different ways. In creating the Forum as a platform for exchange and as a think tank, Lorenzo is reaching out to society’s critical and visionary thinkers, believing they can contribute meaningfully to provide solutions to maintain the financial value of art, by expanding on its other values.

In the last twenty years many potent creative minds in the art world have increased art’s economic model to where it is today, bigger, more successful, with more major collectors than at any other time in its history. But take away the tax breaks, and this grand edifice propped up on solid pillars, seems to be built upon seismic ground that appears ready to shake.

huge-crowds-at-bazaar-art-jakarta-2016-image-courtesy-baj-2016                                            Bazaar Art Jakarta 2016

Art always survives because it has a real value that is composed of many parts, though often these parts are in conflict with one another. What the ‘Visionaries’ that Lorenzo is seeking need to have is the ability to rearrange these components into a working system that gives benefits for all. They do this by seeing a multiple over-lapping system of systems, presented in a dynamic game plan of stages.

There has always been a danger that when too many like-minded people come together, the thinking tends to remain inside ‘the like-minded box’. Finding the different thinkers outside our networks can be tricky, unless the focus is on how to link ideas to ideas. To do this we need to spread our message wider. For this, there exists a connection between Visionaries, Organizers and the Media. The first dream up a radically different state; the second knows how to make the dream a new reality, while the third can link them together to create a viral change of attitudes and responses.

Visionaries are unique because they don’t see the world like everyone else and possess the ability to find a way forward. Organizers recognize potential, they can take good ideas and arrange them in the right order, with an eye for a market. The Media exists to find out what is happening, and to tell others about it. It connects with many types of people, each with their own stories or ideas to tell, and spreads the word in an instant.

To make a new paradigm shift in the art market would mean creating more varied models and methods. Available from the Internet are peer-to-peer linking, block chains and Bio-mimicry systems for finance. The emergence between traditional organized art events, together with large-scale all tickets sold installation events with virtual and interactive platforms offers exciting novel experiential possibilities. If global art can introduce successful innovative changes it could pave the way for other much-needed exponential growth miracles.

20170113_145341Southeast Asia Forum Discussion: Art & Money – A Dangerous Liaison? 13 January 2017, featuring panelists (from left) Alain Servais (Investment banker, entrepreneur & collector, Brussels), Lorenzo Rudolf (Founder & President Art Stage Singapore & Jakarta) and Dr. Franz Schultheis (Professor of Sociology, University of St. Gallen, Switerland and co author of the When Art Meets Money a study into the Art Basel art fairs).

 

PATH FORWARD

Art Stage Singapore seems to have stated its intention to begin a process of reinvention. By providing a forum for ‘visionaries, leaders, thinkers, and socially engaged actors’, combined with its own business acumen, it has the drive to set the wheels in motion.

New solutions are on the horizon, with a potential emphasis on presentation in a more immersive art experience, setting the stage as a stimulator for sales. By changing the mechanisms of the market, it is possible to not only maintain current returns, but to even increase growth with a broader clientele. Periphery programs may also need to alter, taking note from the success of the ‘presentation generation’ and themed workshops aimed to achieve specific objectives. The greater the event, the more it inspires the imagination of the collectors, art industry, critics, and the general public. We are aiming for an all-encompassing, immersive art park experience that invigorates exchanges of ideas, concepts, innovations and finance.

Can Art Stage Singapore lead the way? The stakes have never seemed higher and the timing is just right. The Forum will be an important milestone in the analysis of the current malaise of a troubled world, especially as the most significant dynamic shifts are generally derived from an adjustment of attitude. In raising the flag and making a clarion call, Lorenzo has sent the word out. What remains now is to link the like-minded to the ‘unlikely-minded’, so that history can be made.

Words: Richard Horstman, Soemantri Widagdo & anonymous

 

 

 

 

Walking a Unique Path – Wayan Sika

sika-profile

Wayan Sika smiles as he contemplates his new-found freedom. “On Friday 1st October 2010, after a 34 year association lecturing part-time at ISI (Institute of Fine Arts) Denpasar, I have decided to retire.” Like many others Sika dedicates himself to his family and community; however, the breadth of his accomplishments defines him as truly unique within the realms of Balinese art.

“My father was a renowned wood-carver, many students came to his studio to study under him. For me this was a wonderful learning environment, and I too became a good wood sculptor.”

Born in the village of Silakarng, Gianyar, in 1949, formal art education began in SSRI (School of Fine Art Indonesia) in Denpasar, followed by 4 years studying painting at the Academy ASRI of Indonesian Fine Art in Yogyakarta. “I had become a competent sculptor and then I developed a strong desire to paint, I also wished to broaden my creative skills.”

mandala-2009-200-x-200-cm                                                  Mandala 2009

In 1970 along with Nyoman Gunarsa, Made Wianta and other students at the ASRI, Sika founded the Sanggar Dewata Indonesia (SDI) artists collective. These artists were young and dynamic, they loved to experiment with new techniques and aesthetic concepts. This was the prerequisite for artists who were invited to join this avant-garde collective.

After finishing his studies in Yogyakarta, Sika returned to Bali. Married at age 24 to lady from Yogyakarta with royal ancestry, he began a family and focused his energies on a furniture production business. “I specialized in creating individual, fine art pieces of furniture for the discerning buyer, featuring wood carving in the Renaissance Rococo style.”

“The business quickly grew and I employed more than 100 wood carvers. Indonesian government ministers from the Suharto era acquired this furniture for their homes and offices. All the while during this period I found time for my passion, I continued to paint.”

kasi-cinta-give-love-2008-150-x-200-cm                                               Kasih Cinta 2008

In 1982-83, Sika was summoned by the government to go to New Zealand and produce furniture for the Indonesian Embassy. Then in 1986 he traveled to Switzerland where he worked creating expressive carvings and bronze statues until 1987. He received an order in 1989 from a Museum in Basel to make a Barong (the Balinese sacred ceremonial artifact that represents universal benevolence) for their collection.

It was during this period when the head of the Christof Merian Foundation saw his paintings and invited him to join their program of International Exchange Artists. Sika’s premiere solo exhibition in Basel in 1989 was sold out. This then provided the personal belief required, and then he devoted more energy into his painting. “This was an exciting period, there was a momentum and my painting was improving, however, I had to return to Bali, my family required my attention, and so did my furniture business.”

“It was difficult for the SDI artists to find a location to exhibit their work in Bali and for this reason I founded the Sika Contemporary Art Gallery in Campuhan, Ubud as an exhibition venue. The gallery opened in 1996, at the time of the 25th anniversary of the formation of the SDI artists’ foundation.”

krishna-narayana-2009-300-x-200                                                     Krishna Narayana 2009

This non sales orientated gallery specializes in providing space to support regular exhibitions by talented young artists from Indonesia and around the world. The gallery has become a prestigious site with a reputation for showing work with a high level of creativity and innovation.

Sika was asked by the Christof Merian Foundation to select Indonesian artists to travel to Switzerland, to be sponsored by the foundation for 3 months. This allowed the artists to exhibit in the cultural museum in Basel and be exposed to galleries from London, Holland and Germany. Under Sika’s recommendation Nyoman Erawan, Made Budhiana, Made Djirna, Edi Hara, Made Wianta, Ketut Pandi Taman and Putu Sutawijaya all had the opportunity for international exposure. Today they are considered to be some of Indonesia’s finest contemporary art talents.

In 2001 Sika chose to step aside from the foundation and reassess his personal focus. “I had received a calling to dedicate myself to my spiritual journey. As an artist this was to have a profound affect and my work became more symbolic rather than being focused on harmony and composition.”

dewi-rati-2009-150-x-200-cm                                                          Dewi Rati 2009

He continued to organize group and community exhibitions as well as curating exhibitions and writing in books, catalogs, magazines and newspapers. His actions were also relevant in the development of new schools and kinder gardens in Bali. Sika had a series of health problems that saw him comatose on 3 occasions, once in 2003, again in 2006 and finally in 2009, when he hovered close to death for many days.

On this occasion he received visions which inspired a new series of paintings.

The Truth, Compassion and Tolerance Art Exhibition, open  16-24 October 2010 at the Sika Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, depicted the calamity of mankind, reflecting the conflict between good and evil, namely the systematic persecution of the Falun Dafa spiritual movement disciples by the Chinese Communist Regime. The powerful realism paintings featured by international artists re enforced on one hand, the state of beauty of the Falun Dafa movement and on the other, the horror it is confronted with in China. Since 2004 this exhibition has been shown in more than 40 countries and 200 cities.

During the past 45 years Sika has been given many paintings by international and Indonesian artists that he has met and helped during his lifetime. His personal art collection is now of a museum standard and quantity.

consent-2009-300-x-200cm                                                            Consent 2009

Sika nowadays paints purely on the prompting of his intuition. Paintings produced during the last 10 years have been mixed media works on large 2 x 2 meter canvases, symbolic images are purely of a spiritual nature. These works include written text on cloth conjuring up the movement and essence of Tibetan pray flags, figures in the style of Hindu deities, large lotus flowers and his channeled mantra’s written in Sanskrit text.The predominant colors are gold and white, while he delicately layers films of coloration giving the works an ethereal sense. The Balinese live in an intermediate world between that which is human and the realm of the Gods. Sika’s creativity originates from a divine source above.

His wish now is retire from the Sika Contemporary Fine Art Gallery and to focus solely on his spiritual development, while taking care of his family and grand children. His dream is to manifest an art foundation to oversee the management and future of his Gallery and its commitment to avant-garde artists.

Wayan Sika has established himself as one of the influential Balinese artists of his generation, and historically one of the most significant Indonesian contemporary fine art identities.

The Sika Contemporary Fine Art Gallery is located on Jalan Raya Campuhan, just up and across the road from Bintang Supermarket.

Phone/Fax: +62 361 975084

Email: info@sikagallery.com

Website: www.sikagallery.com

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

In a Class of His Own: Sculptor Pintor Sirait

20161006_103454                            Pintor Sirait at his Denpasar Studio

Art is a compelling force that interacts with, and enhances our conscious and subconscious minds. Shamans, masters of primitive art created with intention works rich in symbolic meaning that communicated via the language of the soul.

Knowledge of symbols, and how the subconscious ‘reads’ and responds to art are potent facets of Indonesian artist Pintor Sirait’s creative oeuvre. So much so that his gift of translating inspiration into wonderful 3 dimensional forms has distinguished him as one Indonesia’s most important contemporary sculptors.

Born in Germany in 1962 to a German mother and to a father of Batak, Sumatran origin, aged five Sirait arrived in West Java, and grew up in Bandung. He completed high school and a few years of college before moving abroad, studying psychology, and then sculpture in the United States.  His curiosity for deciphering the human psyche has led him upon a quest that has positioned him securely within the international art world.

DSCF5458                                           Brise at ArtJog9 June 2016

“I fell in love twice,” Sirait recalls. “First while living in the US I fell in love with the possibility of learning more about the world. I became obsessed with the library system, because in Indonesia we did not have one with such a wide range of reading material on art and culture. During my early twenties I did years of learning and absorbing. I had a fascination for Indonesian history; a hunger to know about my homeland.”

In 1984 Sirait moved to the US and between 1985-88 he studied a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts in Nevada. He accessed books about Indonesia containing knowledge that could only be found abroad. Following this he pursued psychology. “I was in the midst of doing my graduate studies on clinical psychology. I was a very serious student so my professor suggested I take some art classes to enhance my creative thinking abilities. I immediately became emotionally, physically, and spiritually captivated with the sculpture.”

20160928_114015                                               Model of Flow

Sirait abandoned his psychology studies and went straight to art school. Within a few years he was working between Indonesia, France and the US exhibiting and selling his work.  His artistic channel opened up as if the universe conspired with him to create an exciting and empowering new world. “I fell in love with the possibility of making things derived from my self-education.”

“I learned to meld my ideas into sculptures from a psychological/holistic perspective.

I combine the knowledge of psychology into my art to help understand the psyche and how the emotions work. Incorporating the psychological dimensions of how we sense, think and feel; how we engage with art.”

In recent years Sirait has been more focussed on any possibility to create public art. “Public art interacts with people allowing them to both see and feel.”

20160928_114656

The along awaited new development of the International Terminal 3 at Jakarta’s Soekarno – Hatta airport is currently entering the final stages of construction. Included within the terminal’s modern architectural design features PT. Angkasa Pura II, the airport’s management authority, will make a bold and exciting statement via Indonesian contemporary art.

In his search to find classical Indonesian beauty, translate and present it into a public artwork to enrich the modern architecture of Terminal 3, the beauty of the Balinese traditional dance “Rejang Dewa” communicated intimately to Sirait. Utilizing Japanese calligraphy he then responded with ink on paper.

“I translated the brush strokes into three different 3 dimensional shapes which became Flow – a stainless steel 1900 x 800 x 700 cm form that floats and sways, then cascades down over two levels of the airport terminal’s arrival hall. I wish Flow to remind Indonesians of how fortunate we are to have so many beautiful cultural inheritances to be proud of.”

20160928_114036                           Democracy Kills at Sirait’s Denapasar Studio

Venturing inside Sirait’s studio in South Denpasar one enters a large industrial workshop, it’s  nerve center a cozy air-conditioned office.  His fifteen staff he brought from Bandung, trained, and that have worked with him for 20 years hover around steel modules of ‘Flow’, meticulously engaged in aligning, and welding.

The environment is noisy, dirty, almost confronting. The tropical heat is extreme. Yet all the while there is an exciting interrelationship of dynamics at play. Patience and skill combine with intuition as man and machine melt and fuse components together. The sight of red-hot liquid metal is enthralling, sexy too!  It gives a sense of creativity in the translating of industrial materials into something that relates to human feeling. Alchemy is a vital essence of this process.

Some of the award-winning artist’s themes explore his Batak heritage, Indonesian culture and beauty, along with the paradoxes of the modern world, such as violence and obsession.

20160928_114505                  Detail of Democracy Kills (History is Closer ….Than You Think!)

“I grew up in Indonesia learning to work within its cultural boundaries. Through art you can open things up and talk about subjects artistically, yet with sensitivity and politeness. Art does not have to offend; sometimes it needs to though. Yet only in the right context – through the most creative, non-threatening and non-judgemental art.  I learned this from psychology.”

Dividing his time between his workshop and his home beside the ocean at Canggu, each morning Sirait rises early walks the beach, and then returns home for his ritual meditation. His second storey home studio allows him to gaze tranquilly westward, out across the sea.

His words of advice to aspiring young artists: “Its good to look around you, yet what’s most important is to look inside.”

20160928_120849

Sirait’s works can be found in the US, Europe, China, Southeast Asia, Australia and throughout Indonesia, while he has extensively exhibited for the past twenty years. A ‘product’ of three continents, he believes it is important to live within and outside of a culture in order to think freely as an artist.

“What one can find within oneself is fantastic.  What may be expressed through art can be felt more by other people because it has authentic elements derived from inner experience. What I am interested in as an artist is how I may touch people’s hearts through my work.”

http://www.pintorsirait.com

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

Nuarta & GWK’s Mission for World Peace

gwk-nuarta-visnu-statue-image-richard-horstman             Vishnu Under Construction at Nuarta’s Bandung Studio

 

During the past few years an unusual eyesore has slowly grown upon Bali’s Pecatu Bukit peninsula landscape, a massive concrete and steel foundation that now projects up over 80 meters into the sky.

Straddled by an enormous crane, the unlikely structure will be the pedestal for an icon of unprecedented proportions, that according to its creator, Balinese sculptor Nyoman Nuarta, represents the cultural identity and character of the Balinese and Indonesian people, while embodying Indonesia’s longing to contribute something of significance to the global community.

Yet this landmark project by the award-winning sculptor, responsible for numerous monumental public artworks throughout Indonesia and abroad, including the “Arjuna Wijaya” statue in Jakarta’s main avenue, has evolved beyond any expectations to be the most challenging of his illustrious career.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0012.JPGThe Enormous Pedestal for Nuarta’s Garuda Wisnu Statue at GWK Cultural Park, Jimbaran

 

“Along with big dreams, will come big challenges,” Nuarta said, about upon his visionary artistic project; the GWK Cultural Park, and the trials he has encountered during the process of realisation over the last 25 years. “Despite the years of delays this project has taught me to be patient and to never give up on my dreams.”

“The GWK idea first came to mind in the late 1980’s,” recalls Nuarta, who was born in Tabanan in 1951 and left Bali upon graduating from high school for West Java to study sculpture at Bandung’s ITB. “Its development has had to sustain the paralyzing effects of a political regime change, a nationwide financial crisis, conflicts within the project’s management structures, and more.”

“Cultural heritage alone will not sustain the Bali tourism industry. We need a place where our heritage can be both protected and also be developed,” said Nuarta, aware of the distinctive creative potential of Bali and the future possibilities of contributing something completely different to the sphere of global art.

construction-of-gwk-statue-at-nuartas-studio-bandung-image-pt-siluet-nuarta                             Nuarta’s Team at work in Bandung

“Bali is always welcoming to new cultures and artistic expressions from around the world. I envision GWK Cultural Park to be a place where Balinese thinkers and artists could showcase their works and have creative dialogue with their counterparts from across the globe.”

“The concept also includes the GWK World Cultural Forum, with its goal to introduce different cultures of the world through our mission to educate people to become more understanding towards other cultures,” Nuarta said. “In the end our objective is world peace.”

Set upon a 60-hectare limestone escarpment the GWK Cultural Park, owned by the public company PT. Alam Sutra with an 18% shared controlled by the PT. Bali Tourism Development corporation, first began construction in 1996. It’s concept was devised by the GWK Foundation that was headed by two ministers of the then Suharto government, Nuarta and a few individuals and businessmen close to President Suharto. Nuarta was then commissioned by Suharto to build a giant statue at GWK of the Hindu God Wisnu perched upon the back of his sacred cosmic vehicle, the mythical Garuda bird.

gwk-sculpture-installation-image-pt-siluet-nuarta                Nuarta’s Team at Work at GWK Cultural Park, Jimbaran

The 75-meter-high Garuda Wisnu statue, with a wingspan of 64 meters is made of copper and brass sheeting, stainless steel framework and skeleton, and is being constructed by PT Siluet Nyoman Nuarta, with its 200 personnel from various academic and cultural backgrounds, in Nuarta’s Bandung workshop. The sculptures outer skins, measuring 22,000 square meters, and the stainless steel framework are to be cut into 700 components and then transported overland by 400 individual truck journeys to Bali.

On location the statue will be forged together then mounted on the pedestal, the total height of the finished monument will be 126 meters, 30 meters taller than America’s Statue of Liberty, while its volume will be 11 times greater.

“I use the image of Garuda and Wisnu as a symbol of courage and loyalty. Wisnu is responsible for cosmic balance and harmony of all life.” The statue, Nuarta said, “Symbolizes a universal calling to all global citizens to play their part in nurturing and protecting the Earth.”

the-groundbreaking-ceremony-at-gwk-23rd-augustThe Ground Breaking Ceremony at GWK Cultural Park, Initiating the Start of Construction

Nuarta’s prominence as a sculptor began shortly before graduating from ITB, after winning the Indonesia’s Proclamator’s Monument competition in 1979. He was then appointed by the committee to build a statue of the nation’s founding father Soekarno. In 1977 he had joined  the revolutionary “Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru Indonesia” (the Indonesian New Art Movement) regularly participating in their collective’s exhibitions.

Having grown up close to nature Nuarta learned the importance of guarding the harmonious relationship between man and the creator, humanity with nature, and the relationships among mankind themselves. His artworks often reflect this important Balinese Hindu philosophy of Tri Hita Karana.

After a 16 year delay in August 2013 another chapter in the GWK statue’s construction began, then early in 2015 the pedestal’s erection ground to a halt. This year, however it has witnessed steady development, with the statue expected to be completed by 2018. When completed GWK Cultural Park will include a museum built within the pedestal, a cultural park and integrated tourism facilities.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Garuda Wisnu Statue Under Construction at Nuarta’s Bandung Studio

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: PT Siluet Nyoman Nuarta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bali Art Scene 2016: The Final Six Months Overview

15878100_120300001416662373_1113857188_oBudi Agung Kuswara with patient from Rumah Berdaya, a community based psycho-social rehabilitation center utilizing art as a tool for creative solutions.

 

The concluding six months of events on the 2016 Bali art calendar were exceptionally busy; the following are some of the highlights of the closing half of the year:

In late May contemporary artist Budi Agung Kuswara, co-founder of Ketemu Project Space, began his special art project in Denpasar, co facilitated by a professional psychiatrist at “Rumah Berdaya”, a community based psycho-social rehabilitation center utilizing art as a tool for creative solutions. The project continued throughout the year providing activities for people with schizophrenia to encourage social interactions through art making, productivity and independence while expressing their ideas and thinking.

Skizofriends Art Movement will be an ongoing program following on from the success of Budi and colleague’s lobbying of the Denpasar Government to become supporters. In 2017 it will become a part of the Denpasar City Department Health Care Program, while Skizofriends Art Movement was involved in activities at the Denpasar Festival 2016 28-31 December at Lapangan Puputan, Denpasar.   Budi must be congratulated on this initiative aimed at empowering individuals and building community through engaging the public through the potent creative forces of art.

made-valasaraValasara’s Konstruksi semesta, semesta yang teralienasi menpertanyakan kediriannya dalam ekspresi tunggal.

Made Valasara made a conspicuous presence during ArtJog 9’s Universal Influence 27 May opening at the Jogja National Museum in Yogyakarta, Central Java. Being the only Bali based Balinese artist invited to exhibit his work was both an honour and an excellent opportunity for exposure to large national and international audiences. Valasara’s installation, konstruksi semesta, semesta yang teralienasi menpertanyakan kediriannya dalam ekspresi tunggal, a series of 25 individual works of various sizes, overall dimensions of 230 x 520cm stood out for its originality.

Adopting the canvas as a standalone medium, along with sewing techniques, he layers and fills the canvas to create 3 dimensional embossed and debossed compositions. His small white figures, presented behind glass revealed his evolving technique with the innovation of his debossed works. Valasara’s attention to narrative development too, revealed an engaging Balinese narrative.

widyantara-i-gede-late-hero-115-x-81-cm-acrylic-on-canvas-2015Gede Widyantara’s Last Hero 2016 which may be viewed upside down to reveal a demonic face.

Traces Under the Surface: Batuan Painting Exhibition, 3 June -31 July at TiTian Art Space, Ubud explored artistic lineage that evolved in the renowned village of traditional painting, Batuan. The exhibition focussed upon the teacher/student relationship following on from Nyoman Ngendon (1906-1946), a multi talented artist and innovator who experimented with perspectives, creating “unreal” 3 dimensionality within the early rigid framework of the Batuan paintings. Ngendon’s great distinction was that he believed in sharing his techniques, while persuading his students to break with traditions and become art innovators themselves.

Traces Under the Surface featured the lineage of Wayan Taweng (1922-2004) who learned to paint primarily from Ngendon, beginning at the age of eight, and later teaching his sons Ketut Sadia (b.1966), Wayan Diana (b.1977) and Made Griyawan (b.1979), along with others. Paintings by the fore mentioned Balinese artists, and Taweng’s grandson Gede Widyantara (b.1984) proved to be some of the finest examples of the Batuan genre and its process of innovation. Widyantara’s talent, that belies his age, reveals that the future of Batuan painting will indeed by exciting.

imhatthai-suwwathanasilp-murnis-temple-mixed-media-human-hair-thread-wood-glue-31-x-18-x-10-cm-image-courtesy-of-ketemu-project-spaceSleeping Murni by Thai artist Imhathai Suwatthanaslip, made with Murni’s hair.

A unique, palpable buzz welcomed the opening of Merayakan Murni (Celebrating Murni) 16 July at Sudakara Art Space, Sanur. The project, which gathered local and regional artists to create works in response to the legacy of the iconic female Balinese artist I GAK Murniasih (1966-2006) “Murni” proved to be one of the most anticipated Bali art events of recent history. Some of the highlights were works by artists Illa from Singapore, renowned Dutch “Indonesian” artist Mella Jaarsma, Imhathai Suwatthanaslip from Thailand, along with Punia Atmaja and Citra Sasmita from Bali.

Murni was an artist of rare quality, unequalled in Indonesia at least. Along with such reverence comes great emotional attachment to the artist by her many friends and admirers, the exhibition therefore was not without critics. Some critics stated the Sudakara venue was too small and the exhibition included too many international artists, and as a consequence failed grant enough space in order for Murni’s ouvre to be fully appreciated by the audience, many of which had yet to be exposed to her work.

Others thought the exhibition overly ambitious, attempting to achieve too much, too soon, while the film about Murni could have represented a more positive theme. Event organizers Ketemu Project Space, along with their young and energetic team proved, however that their presence on the Bali art scene is indeed exciting, with enormous, yet to be realized potential.

20160703_112528                            At The Point of View#4 – Radwin Nurlatif

At The Point of View opened Friday 1 July at Santrian Gallery Sanur, with Radwin Nurlatif presenting one of the most outstanding photography exhibitions of 2016. Curated by Rifky Effendy, the exhibition captivated not only for its high standards of technical quality and presentation of superbly beautiful aesthetic and conceptual images (giclée prints on Hahnemühle photo rag ultra smooth 305 gsm), yet in the simplicity of some of the digital images that wonderfully contrasted women with nature, or women in surreal compositions.

kemal-ezedine-2016-asj-image-richard-horstmanKemal Ezedine was represented by Edwin’s Gallery Jakarta at Art Stage Jakarta 2016

The presence of Balinese artists at Indonesia’s two international art fairs held in Jakarta, Art Stage Jakarta 5-7 August & Bazaar Art Jakarta 2016 25-28 August help to consolidate Bali’s growing presence on the Indonesian art world, which during recent years has tended to be dominated by artists from Java and West Sumatra. While Art Stage, among its hundreds of exhibitors featured only three Indonesian Bali based artists, Agung Mangu Putra, Made Valasara and Kemal Ezedine (along with Ashley Bickerton), Bazaar Art Jakarta, on the other hand featured the work of 13 artists.

From the traditional genre was Nyoman Meja (b. 1950, Ubud), others artists present were Nyoman Gunarsa, Made Wianta, Nyoman Erawan, Agung Mangu Putra, Gede Mahendra Yasa, Wayan Kun Adnyana, Teja Astawa, Kemal Ezedine, Ketut Moniarta, Tang Adiawan, Putu Wirantawan, Wayan Mandiyasa and Ketut Sumadi. Erawan’s installation at the Mon Décor Art One booth provided a strong contrast to what was on display at the fair, while being deeply engaging.

mangu-putra-pura-puncak-mangu-2016-oil-on-canvas-200x300cm                Pura Puncak Mangu 2016 – Agung Mangu Putra

Paskal Gallery’s acute eye for display, allowing attendees from a distance to be captured by the alluring and mysterious qualities of the 190 x 290 cm oil on canvas composition Pura Puncak Mangu, by Agung Mangu Putra confirmed why he is regarded as one of Indonesia’s most respected painters. His scene of a group of Balinese people praying at the remote mountain top temple in Buleleng was one of the highlights of Bazaar Art. The Neo Pitamaha collective made a strong presence at Bazaar Art with works exhibited by four artists and Jakarta’s Edwin’s Gallery confirmed their confidence in Kemal Ezedine by dedicating their entire booth at both fairs to the Ubud resident artist.

Sanur based Swedish painter Richard Winkler, also present at both fairs represented by Zola Zulu Gallery of Bandung, also enjoyed strong sales with his eye-catching and technically brilliant ‘utopian Bali’ compositions. Sotheby’s presented contemporary works by Mangu Putra and Mahendra Yasa in the preview of their Hong Kong Autumn Sale, while Sidharta Auctioneers presented Gunarsa and Meja, and ISA Art Advisory presented modern works by Arie Smit (1919-2016) and Adrian Le Mayeur (1880-1958).

ida-bagus-made-nadera-fajar-mengjingsing-1949                   Ida Bagus Made Nadera – Fadjar Mengjingsing 1945

A landmark event in the history of Indonesian modern art, held from 2 – 30 August at Jakarta’s National Gallery of Indonesia was 17/71, Goresan Juang Kemerdekaan (Brushstrokes of the Independence Struggle). Presenting 28 paintings from the collection (over 3000 works) assembled by Indonesia’s founding father President Sukarno the exhibition was opened on August 17th, on the 71st anniversary of the proclamation of independence by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Ida Bagus Made Nadera’s (1912-1988) beautiful 188 x 300 cm modern traditional composition Fadjar Mengjingsing made a special presence, along with works by Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet in an exhibition featuring scenes of the independence struggle by Indonesian maestros such as Affandi, Sudjojono and Srihadi alongside pictures of iconic Indonesia.

20160827_191628                                                  Arie Smit (1916-2016)

During the 27 August seminar at Ubud’s Neka Art Museum, a gathering of over 100 members of the Balinese art community, and distinguished guests Suteja Neka and Agung Rai, and paid homage to the legacy of the Dutch post-modern colourist Arie Smit (1916-2016). The iconic painter, who left a distinguished mark in the history of art in the region, passed away 23 March, only days short of his 100th birthday.

Renowned for his vibrant landscape paintings and scenes of Balinese village life Smit is a much-loved artist; his work forms part of collections in Indonesia, and throughout the world.

He started teaching painting to young boys in the village of Penestanan in 1960, beginning the “Young Artists Style”, while at its height there were more than 300 practitioners. He helped transform the village, and prosper economically, being both an art teacher and a father figure to the village. Smit’s passing is a monumental loss to the canon of Southeast Asian art, while the Young Artist Style is one of the most exciting developments in Balinese art in the later half of the 20th Century.

made-wianta-receives-the-award-from-bali-governor-mangu-pastikaMade Wianta receives the Bali Mandara Parama Nugraha 2016 Award from the Governor Mangku Pastika.

A special 30 August ceremony at Taman Budaya Cultural Center Denpasar by the Bali Government honoured local figures who have made important contributions to Bali. An icon of Bali contemporary art, internationally renowned, Made Wianta (b. 1949, Tabanan) received the Bali Mandara Parama Nugraha 2016 Award from the Governor Mangku Pastika in highest appreciation of promoting Bali through contemporary art.

14642015_1359257894086482_2982552466485278854_n

Often overshadowed by the southern regencies of Gianyar, Badung and Tabanan, Buleleng is not only home to a unique Balinese art history (Van Der Tuuk in 1845 and his commissioning of Balinese artists work for his research into the first dictionary of the Balinese language), yet a community of talented artists. Exhibitions by artists from Buleleng are held annually in the southern regencies, and on 22 October Qilin – Membaca Social Budaya Warga Pecinan Kota Singaraja (Socio-cultural readings of Singaraja’s Chinatown Residents) opened at Neka Art Museum in Ubud, and continued for one month.

Based upon curatorial research led by Hardiman, from the Art Department of UNDISKHA University in Singaraja, along with his young team of Made Susanta Dwitanaya, Dewa Gede Purwita, Ketut Wisana Ariyanto and Gede Panca Gautama, into the culture of the Chinese Tionghoa community, the group exhibition delved into spiritual and religious practises, artefacts and there traces, stories from their literature, and portraits of figures from the community. Of the many highlights were the eight collective works, including Spreading Qilin, an installation of terracotta Chinese dragon characters.

20161023_161947A Brutal Contrast of Concrete and Kamasan Painting combined street art along with paintings from selected emerging local talent from Batuan, Ubud, Tabanan and Denpasar.

Cahyendra Putra and the Neo Pitamaha Invite You To: A Brutal Contrast of Concrete and Kamasan Painting opened 23 October will be recorded in the annals of Balinese art history. The outsider exhibition, which in many ways was noteworthy, was underpinned by a long-awaited and fresh approach to presenting art in Ubud, outside of the conventional gallery, art space and museum format.

This collaborative project, organized by Kemal Ezedine, features street art by artists from Bali & Jakarta, along with paintings from selected emerging local talent from Batuan, Ubud, Tabanan and Denpasar. Set within the gutted interior of a building, twenty young artists revealed their interpretation of the famous Bali 1930’s Pita Maha artist’s association in dynamic contemporary art that challenges the establishment. Highlights included works by Wayan Budiarta, Wayan Aris Sumanta and street artists Ego, Saf, Ola, and Slinart.

20160817_111722                                      Bali LandscapesWillem Kerseboom

Bali Landscapes by Dutch painter Willem Kerseboom opened at TiTian Art Space, Ubud 28 October (continuing until late January 2017). Kerseboom, who shares his time between Holland/Belgium and his home North Bali presented acrylic landscape compositions of a rare quality. His imaginary, abstract snapshots, are deeply engaging, while being a fine creative contribution to the long line of Dutch artists who have been inspired by Bali.

jiri-kudrna-light-plane-photography                             Light Plain Photographs – Jiri Kudrna

Ubud based Swiss engineer and software developer Jiri Kudrna, a pioneer in experimental photography has made major contributions to the development of contemporary photography. Kudrna’s contributions to Age of Photography #2, open 15 – 28 November at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta were from his inventions that created Light Plain Photographs (LPP), and his three interactive installations, Space – Time Variations.

 LPP’s are fantastic images using a plain of light and a camera to record photographs with unique optic effects – a fusion of the four-time space dimensions – while the subject is housed within a dark room and participates within their own unique photographic procedure. Kudrna’s Space – Time Variations were very popular with exhibition audience who created over 1800 pictures in four days, and were also able to upload the images onto social media platforms.

Power Playing works by Arum & Ida Adi.jpg                      Power Playing – Images by Arum & Ida Adi at Lingkara

Lingkara Photography Community of Denpasar is an alternative platform for contemporary photographers in Bali. Over recent years Lingkara have presented a range of quality collaborative exhibitions and events. Driven by a small core group of dedicated artists Lingkara not only strive to support the collective, yet seek out professional opportunities by engaging with and representing artists via product development and management.

Power Playing opened 20 November presenting mostly large-scale works by Candra Mpu Glimblond, Christina Arum, Ida Adi, Ismail Ilmi, Rudi Waisnawa and S.R. Awy. While the artists individual techniques involved varying processes, such as re printing images, painting, collage with the help of additional tools, mirrors, candles and magnifying tools to make impressions, the final large-scale results which were applied to the walls were a single photograph without digital enhancement. Lingkara are making important contributions to the development of contemporary photography in Bali and Power Playing was a very strong collective showing, while Arum’s technically labor intensive work was one of the highlights.

mangu-putra-2016-puputan-badung-the-fall-of-badung-kingdom-2-oil-on-canvas-370-x-150-cm         Puputan Badung 1906 (The Fall of Badung Kingdom # 1) – Agung Mangu Putra

Agung Mangu Putra: Between History and the Quotidian ran from 25 November – 12 December at Singapore’s Gajah Gallery. Mangu Putra continues his research into critical Dutch colonial events that shaped Indonesian and Balinese history. Highlights were Puputan Badung 1906 (The Fall of Badung Kingdom # 1& 2) 2016 & 2014, compositions pieced together from archival accounts and images into enormous paintings up 370 x 1590 cm in size. The works reveal the story of the Dutch colonial army’s confrontation with the Kingdom of Badung in Kesiman, Denpasar in 1906 that resulted in the tragic puputan event (act of ritual suicide).

Mangu Putra’s investigation into these events are important because these events occurred during a crucial era of the nation’s history and theses events without more historical examination may become historical myths.

20170103_170338                     Ashley Bickerton‘s sculptures at Follow the White Cube

The Pop-Up gallery concept is new to Ubud, Bali and was successfully adopted by Honold Fine Art twice in 2016. Follow the White Cube opened 26 November at Italian artist Filippo Sciascia’s studio in Nyuh Kuning. The exhibition featured work by artists Jumaldi Alfi, Marco Cassani, Ashley Bickerton, Fendry Ekel, Bepi Ghiotti, Yusra Mantunus, Narcisse Tordior and Filippo Sciascia.

Set within a ‘white cube’ display areas that lent well to strong, yet conventional viewing experience, the works ranged from paintings through to sculpture, installation and video art presented exciting contrasts. While the spontaneity of the Pop-Up concept is a fresh and much-needed addition to the Ubud art scene.

doors-of-perception-made-aswino-aji                              Doors of Perception 2016 – Made Aji Aswino

CROSSING: Beyond Baliseering presented some of the finest emerging contemporary artist from Bali at Forty-Five Downstairs Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, open 6 December. Reflecting upon Bali’s visual and social culture while exploring themes of personal life experiences, environmental, social and political issues in the contemporary society, the exhibition showcased paintings, photography, sculptures, and large-scale installations.

In the most important international group showing of Balinese contemporary art outside of Indonesia that featured Art of Whatever, Made Aji Aswino, Budi Agung Kuswara, Citra Sasmita, Kemal Ezedine, Made ‘Dalbo’ Suarimbawa, Natisa Jones, Slinat, Made Valasara, Wayan Upadana and Yoesoef Olla, highlights included Aswino Aji’s monumental two-sided wood craving installation, Doors of Perception 2016, 250 x 300 x 80 cm, a representation of a candi (traditional Balinese temple entry), along with works by‘Dalbo’ Suarimbawa, Upadana, Slinart and Citra Sasmita.

5-kasper-x-nedsone-teges-ubud                                 Lukas Kasper& Nedsone at work during Way Up

Bali’s ever evolving street art movement is increasingly discovering new sights to enliven along the streets of urban Denpasar and within the villages of the Badung and Gianyar Regencies. Way UpStreet Art Collaboration Project initiated by Cata Odata, Allcapsstore and Lukas Kasper began in November 2016 and will continue through until the end of January 2017.

The project was born through the meeting of Cata Odata and Australian artist Lukas Kasper beginning with the idea to contribute vibrantly to Ubud’s street areas and to collaborate with nine street artists from Bali on 20 walls. Local artists include Nedsone, Kmis3, Lezart, Slinat, Yapstwo, Sleeck, and 1escv. The event included the Way Up online map on the website and the 17 December Spray Jam workshop, and Kelas Belajar sharing session 18 December at Cata Odat, and the #UbudScavengerHunt. 17 December through 11 January which will include a prize to the winner.

http://way-up.cataodata.com/follow-the-map.html

putu-wirantawan-2016                  Contemporary Art from Bali – Installation by Putu Wirantawan 2016

Contemporary Art from Bali opened 15 December at LAF (Langgeng Art Foundation) Yogyakarta, and continues through until 31 January 2017. Curated by Rifky Effendy and Gede Mahendra Yasa the show featured some of the finest contemporary artists currently working in Bali, foreigners, Indonesians and Balinese: Ketut Susena, Ketut Samadi, Made Aswino Aji, Teja Astawa, Natisa Jones, Wayan Mandiyasa, Ketut Suwidiarta, Putu Wirantawan, Ashley Bickerton, Marco Cassani, Filippo Sciascia, Ketut Moniarta, Kemal Ezedine, Wayan Upadana, Made Valasara and Rodney Glick.

Overshadowed by the traditional art scene, and often overlooked within the context of the Indonesian art world contemporary art and the art infrastructure is on the rise in Bali. Making an important statement within the context of Indonesian contemporary art, in the Javanese cultural and creative heartland with its ever-evolving art infrastructure and eco system, this exhibition is the most important collective showing of contemporary art from Bali held in Indonesia in 2016.

20161230_175209                        Inside of Being  – Installation by Pande Ketut Taman 2016

The 30 December opening at the Tony Raka Art Gallery punctuated the end of 2016 and friendship and creative achievement by four Balinese contemporary artists, alumni of the Indonesian Art Insititue SI Yogyakarta. Inside of Being highlighted the talents of Putu Sutawijaya, Made Sumadiyasa, Made Mahendra Mangku & Pande Ketut Taman, artists who have shared friendships for over 30 years, while at the same time during their individual careers making significant contributions to the development of Balinese art. The exhibition, which includes paintings, both small and large-scale, and installations will continue through until 30 January, including an Artist’s Talk from 3pm 5 January at Tony Raka Art Gallery.

Such a report would not be fully complete without highlighting the stoic efforts of Warih Witsatsana and his small army of dedicated assistants at the Bentara Budaya Bali Cultural Center. Their consistent weekly programs throughout the year are a shining light in the support and development of Bali’s thriving creative culture.

With an emphasis upon education via lectures, discussions, presentations and hands on workshops, especially for the younger generations, Bentara Budaya’s one of a kind model is an inspiration to other aspiring art and cultural facilities on the island. 2016’s broad range of events, including numerous collaborations with international artists, institutes, and organizations highlights their open platform to global cultural expressions, while underlining Bali’s internationally renowned welcoming attitude to foreign cultures and creative expressions.

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: Richard Horstman & various photographers

 

 

 

 

JIMB#2 Jogja International Miniprint Biennale

jimb2-at-galeri-soemardja-bandung-image-jimb2                          The Opening of JIMB#2 at Galeri Soemardja, Bandung

One of the highlights of Jogja Art Weeks, a month-long plethora of events held during June in Yogyakarta was the 2nd Jogja International Miniprint Biennale (JIMB#2). Emphasizing the exceptional skill of participating artists working in an array of print making mediums, the biennale was on display 24 May – 10 June at Sangkring Art Project.

In an era where new media and media exploration are often praised as the demigods of ‘art now’, conventional art forms such as printmaking are often overshadowed. The travelling exhibition, held also at Bentara Budaya Solo 1-7 September, recently ran from 20-28 October at Galeri Soemardja, Bandung.

“Art can be now made with the help of artisans, machines, or other objects and intermediaries. In the current art environment the artist’s hands are no longer considered significant in carrying on the struggles of the soul,” said artist, gallerist and JIMB#2 Jury Chairman Agung Kurniawan.

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“To return to the use of skilled hands is a kind of pilgrimage, and perhaps also an important turning point.”

The travelling exhibition featured one hundred and twenty-one mini prints by 110 finalists included 5 winners and 11 works from 5 guest artists from twenty-eight countries. The biannual event, themed ‘Homo Habilis – Handy Man’ serves as both a mini print exhibition and competition for Indonesian and international artists.

The works range within the four conventional printmaking techniques, relief printing (woodcut, linocut, rubber cut, collagraphy), intaglio (etching, drypoint, photo etching, aquatint, mezzotint), planograph (lithography), and serigraphy (silk screen and stencil). The maximum size of the works, printed on paper, are 20 x 20cm unframed, and 28 x 28cm framed.

bulgaria_dimo-kolibarov-three-best-works-2                 “Cycle: The Diary of a Child – the Golden Fish” – Dimo Kolibarov

“The mini print Biennale was planned from two perspectives, the desire to offer a unique graphic arts forum, and to follow the dynamic in the current constellation of visual art,” said JIMB#2 Director Syahrizal Pahlevi.

“The Jury agreed on the theme “Homo Habilis ” – dubbed the ‘handy man’ – being the first documented pre-historic human to use stone tools, to accompany our question, “How far does contemporary art and contemporary life underappreciate ‘the strength and miracle of the hand’?” Pahlevi said.

Taking into account some of the latest issues in the world of printmaking, JIMB#2 invited five guest artists, two Indonesian and three international artists, including one of the winners from the first JIMB in 2014, Lidija Antanasijevic (Serbia, UK) to participate. The artists were chosen because of their international reputations, Art Werger (USA), important contributions as print makers, Setiawan Sabana (Indonesia), the introduction of popular technical innovations-Kitchen Litho, Emilie Aizier (France), and widely acknowledged dedication to printmaking, Yamyuli Dwi Imam (Indonesia).

canada_deborah-chapman-three-best-works-2                         Print by Canadian Artist Deborah Chapman

JIMB#2 participant Muhlis Lugis is a Yogyakarta based artist who since 2013 has been forging international markets with his relief print wood cut works, being represented by Vin Gallery, Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam at international art fairs Art Taipei 2015, and Asia Contemporary Art Show 2015 in Hong Kong.

“To crave the wood block ready for printing 18.5 x 14.5 cm in size, requires one day,” said the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta graduate, who was born in South Sulawesi in 1987. “The block is then covered with oil based ink to which paper is applied and next sandwiched between layers of felt, ready for the printing press. The process appears simplistic, yet to produce the quality works requires patience and skill.”

“Mini prints demand to be observed up close,” said Kurniawan. “Without regarding them at close range and looking carefully we miss the essence of these works; the line and textures that shape a narrative.”

italy_paolo-ciampini-three-best-works-2                                   “The Woman” – Paolo Ciampini

“In JIMB#2 the craftsmanship in printmaking is visually prominent,” he said, commenting on the high standard of work in the exhibition. “Especially in the work of Italian artist Paolo Ciampini, that reveals microscopic lines of extraordinary detail.”

Within Ciampini’s winning etching work “The Woman” the artist utilizes the cross hatching technique in scoring the steel printing plate, emphasizing the naked woman’s form. “Gate V” by Polish artist Weronica Siupka, another JIMB#2 winner, depicts a brick wall and paved entryway that too reveals remarkable dedication to achieving extraordinarily fine lines.

Bulgarian artist Dimo Kolibarov, however prefers the colorful etch aquatint technique. The strength of “Cycle: The Diary of a Child – the Golden Fish” is both in the narrative, along with the acute hand skills. In the work a child embraces a large golden fish while above floats various images and forms, akin to the child’s imaginative ideas.

20161021_120513                     JIMB#2 Participant and Yogyakarta based artist Muhlis Lugis

“Most of the best works in this exhibition are by international artists, reflecting, unfortunately, the decline in printmaking in Indonesia today. JIMB#2 is a warning sign for the development of printmaking in Indonesia,” Kurniawan adds. “We are fortunate to have such an exhibition where we can learn a great deal from the examples of other printmakers and apply this knowledge to our own future development of printmaking.”

http://www.jogjaminiprints.com

20161021_120624                                           Muhlis Lugis’ Studio

Words: Richard Horstman