Tag Archives: Ida Bagus Nyana

Wayan Jana: new directions in Balinese woodcarving

In the background "Memory" 2016 - Wayan Jana. Image courtesy of TiTian Art Space   Memory, 2019 – Wayan Jana in Encounter at TiTian Art Space, Ubud

 

Balinese woodcarving has evolved during the past century with distinct stylistic developments marking its transition from the traditional genre to the modern and contemporary. Iconic figures Tjokot, Nyana, Tilem and Muja defined the landmark styles that have become the source of inspiration that many have followed.

Although minimalist adaptations to woodcarving began in Bali in the early 1930s with the influence of the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements, the key pioneers being I Rodja and I Geremboeang from the famous woodcarving village of Mas, it was not until the mid 1950s that Ida Bagus Nyana (1912 – 1985) also from Mas, introduced minimalist carvings of the human body.

"Irama Hati (Heart Rhythm)" 2015 - Wayan Jana - Image courtesy of TiTian Art Space                     Irama Hati, 2016 (Heart Rhythm) – Wayan Jana

 

The major progressions that reveal the development of woodcarving are by I Tagelan (1902-1935) who produced an elongated composition of a woman in the mid 1920s from a long piece of wood given to him by Walter Spies who originally requested he produce two statues. I Tjokot (1886-1971) gained his reputation in the late 1920s for utilizing the timber’s natural expressive qualities and creating grotesque figures exploiting the dark side of Balinese mythology with his tough carving style.

Nyana experimented with mass, carving human characters shortening some parts of the body and lengthening others, creating plump forms with serene facial expressions. His son Ida Bagus Tilem (1936 -1993) furthered both Nyana’s and Tjokot’s innovations adopting abstract themes with philosophical or psychological content using distorted pieces of wood endowed with strong expressive powers. I Ketut Muja (1944 – 2014) made his initial statement with his interpretations of the Hindu god Hanuman, meticulously and delicately sculpting the monkey’s fur. He then went further by carving frightening figures that brought out the soul of the wood along with his own emotions and state of mind.

"Encounter" exhibition view at TiTian Art Space - Image Coutesy of TiTian Art Space                     Encounter – exhibition view at TiTian Art Space Ubud

 

The lack of attention from museums and galleries towards contemporary woodcarving recently has resulted in the genre being overshadowed by painters and others artists working in new sculptural media. Encounters, an exhibition of nine works by I Wayan Jana, open 11 May at TiTian Art Space in Ubud, reveals the wonderful potential of the medium when inspiration meets with remarkable creative ability. The emphasis of Jana’s works is upon relationships: relationships between people, relationships with mother earth and relationships with our creator.

In Encounter each of Jana’s compositions are characterized by a meeting of two people and take the form of fascinating and unusual abstractions of the pairing of two figurative forms. “Everything in this world begins with a meeting,” states Jana within the exhibition catalog. Born in Singapadu, Gianyar in 1969, Jana is the eldest son of I Ketut Muja and from a young age he apprenticed with his father and has been consistently carving ever since. In 1998, he started a new style of sculpture, devoid of the elaborate and extravagant details commonly found in the Balinese Baroque woodcarving tradition.

Balinese woodcarver Wayan Jana at work in his Gianyar Studio - Image courtesy Wayan Jana                         Wayan Jana at work at his studio in Gianyar

 

Spheres and series of protruding spikes, circular swollen shapes, jutting forms, and strange appendage-like things, hearts, heads and tails, Jana’s imagination brings to life creations that are always organic, yet at once other worldly. Nurtured and delightful outcomes of his inspirational themes that even include the Hindu gods.

Penyejuk Jiwa (Soul Oasis), 2019, 41 x 36 x 27 cm is arguably Jana’s most abstract work within Encounters, the artist’s fourth solo exhibition to date. A reclining form is propped upright by two limbs, and is highlighted by another that is pointing towards the sky. Collectively they appear as a grouping of wings or fans blades that instantly stimulate our imagination. Penyejuk Jiwa is seemingly propelled upward and may be seen ascending within the minds eye – according to Jana the composition is inspired by the peace and harmony of an adoring couple.

"Harmony" 2019 - Wayan Jana Image courtesy of TiTian Art Space                                       Harmony, 2019 – Wayan Jana

 

While the gently curving shapes of Deringan Rindu (Longing), 2019 and Gairah Dara (Virgin Lust), 2019, take the form of elongated vehicles that we may envision traversing the oceans or zooming across the skies, Sehati (Soul Mate), 2019 and Sayang Menyayangi (Compassion), 2019 take on different proportions. Both appear immediately grounding, and aesthetically calming via the soul of timber’s spiraling and flowing grains, and the sculptures bulbous, full designs.

Irama Hati (Heart Rhythm), 2015, dimensions 36 x 9 x 38cm is the artist’s oldest work. At a glance it evokes an image of the seated form of the master Balinese dancer Ketut Marya, famously known as Mario, executing the Kebyar duduk, first created and performed in 1925. One delicate raised limb suggests Mario holding a fan, an essential visual element of the dance along with his body’s dynamic rotating rhythm. Jana further explains in the catalog that his works contain three elements: (1) two spheres that symbolize male (purusa) and female (predana), (2) hearts that symbolize love and (3) teeth and fangs that symbolize good and evil deeds.

"Penyejuk Jiwa (Soul Oasis)" 2019 - Wayan Jana. Image courtesy of TiTian Art Space             Penyejuk Jiwa, 2019 (Soul Oasis) – Wayan Jana

 

“In developing these forms I have certainly gone through many creative stages,” said Jana, who received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Indonesian Institute of Art (ISI), Denpasar.  “After a number of experiments I then found the concept of ‘the meeting’ that is the origin of life and of all living things on earth.”

“What motivates me is my search for my own distinct identity and style. This idea is present in the artists who already have their own work identity. Like Tjokot, Nyana, Tilem and Muja. Each style has its own unique characteristics,” he stated, and continued. “I want to be like my predecessors, with my sculptures having their own individual characteristic, namely the Jana style.”

Deringan Rindu (Longing) 2019                      Deringan Rindu (Longing), 2019 – Wayan Jana

 

“Jana is the first contemporary wood carver that TiTian has honoured with a solo exhibition,” said the Yayasan TiTian chair of the board of advisors Soemantri Widadgo. “He has introduced a new style and a marked departure from anything before him, including his own father. I believe he has the potential to be the next recognized master of Balinese woodcarving.”

Encounter continues through  until August

Open daily 9am – 5 pm (except Mondays)

at TiTian Art Space

Jalan Bisma 86, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali

http://www.titianartspace.com

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images courtesy: TiTian Art Space & Richard Horstman

 

 

 

Review – Larasati 10th Anniversary Balinese Modern Traditional & Contemporary Art Auction

"Patih Lahwel" Ida Bagus Made Togog.Sold for Rp. 40,000,000. Image courtesy of Larasati                                  Patih Lahwel  –  Ida Bagus Made Togog

 

Results of the special 10th anniversary Larasati Balinese Modern Traditional & Contemporary Art auction at Ubud’s ARMA museum 28 February confirm that the market for Balinese traditional art is growing steadily while providing excellent value through the low to medium and high price ranges.

For sale amongst the 81 lots were wood cravings, one contemporary sculpture, sets of lithographs, watercolours, pastels and ink sketches on paper, and paintings on canvas in natural colours, oils and acrylics at prices beginning at a low Rp. 1.5 million (all sold works incur a buyers premium added on top of the hammer price).

An exciting feature of the sale was Larasati Auctioneers providing for the first ever real time data over the internet allowing easy, direct access to buying opportunities for a global audience. With 90% of the works sold (including 3 over the internet), along with the enormous response by bidders on the phone, (more 25% of the works sold), and all the major lots of “Young & Old Masters” selling, the auction was a huge success.

Wayan Sudana, "Tari Arja", 120x150cm, Acrylic on canvas. sold for Rp. 65,000,000                                    Tari Arja  –  Wayan Sudana

 

“When we started our Bali auctions 10 years ago the buyers were 95% Indonesians,” said Daniel Komala CEO of Larasati Auctioneers, who was very happy with the auction’s results. “In attendance at the auction was a great mix of people, the majority non-Indonesians, and even though the Balinese traditional market is a small niche market, it is truly an international market. Our first experience with real time online platform functioned excellently and we are excited about the future prospects for the growing pool international collectors.”

Paintings by A.A Gede Anom Sukawati (b.1966 Ubud) are rarely available to either the primary or secondary markets (new works and pre-owned). Renowned as one of the finest “Young Masters” Lot #40 “Tari Joged Bumbung”, 2008, with a low estimate price between Rp. 80,000,000 – 120,000,000 sold for Rp. 180,000,000, being one of the most highly prized works of the day. Lot # 39 “Pementasan Calon Arang” by Ida Bagus Putu Sena (b.1966 Ubud) is also a work of extraordinary quality by an artists whose works are difficult to find and sold at the top end of the estimate price at Rp. 200,000,000.

Another highly sought after painting by bidders on the floor and the phone, pushing the price well above the estimated price was Lot #38 “Arja Dance” by Wayan Sudana (1966 Peliatan). This vibrant 120 x 150 cm acrylic on canvas composition sold for Rp. 65,000,000. Considered a ritual specialist from a high caste Brahmin priest family Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999 Tebesaya) had a special relationship with his paintings, calling them “his children” and rarely sold his works. The most prized of all Balinese painters, Lot #80 his “Legong Dance”, received much attention from phone bidders and sold for Rp. 750,000,000.

Gusti Nyoman Lempad, "The Witch and the Servant" Ink on paper. sold for Rp. 120,000,000 Image courtesy of Larasati                        The Witch and the Servant  –  Gusti Nyoman Lempad

 

Good buys were definitely available at the top end of the auction and Lot # 79,“The Witch and the Servant”, an ink sketch on paper by Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1862-1978 Ubud), considered ‘the’ modern master of Balinese art, sold for Rp. 120,000,000 just under the estimated price. As too was Lot # 66 “Playing Domino’s” by Ida bagus Made Nadera (1915-1989) “Playing Dominos”, estimated by between Rp.10,000,000 -15,000,000 and selling at Rp.10,000,000, Lot # 76 “Upcara Potong Gigi” Ida Bagus Made Widja (1912-1992 Batuan) selling at 18,000,000, and a glowing flora and fauna composition in the Pengosekan style Lot #65 “Harmoni Kehidupan” by Ketut Gelgel, which sold at Rp. 65,000,000. Each of these works are museum quality.

Three of the most highly coveted works in the auction all sold within their estimated prices, Lot # 77, “Blissfully Sleeping” by the maestro of wood carving from Mas village, Ida Bagus Nyana (1912-1985) at Rp.280,000,000, Lot #81 “Boy With Bamboo Stick”, by Made Sukada (1945-1982) hammered down at Rp. 105,000,000 and Lot #78 “Triwikrama” by Gusti Ketut Kobot (1917-1999) which sold for Rp. 80,000,000. Lot #75, however, by Ida Bagus Made Togog (1913-1989 Batuan) an extraordinary black and grey ink sketch on paper “Patih Lahwel” was a hot item selling at more than twice its estimate, at Rp. 40,000,0000 – a rare and special work.

“Harmoni Kehidupan” Ketut Gelgel, sold for Rp. 65,000,000. Image courtesy Larasati                                  Harmoni Kehidupan  –  Ketut Gelgel

 

For new collectors to the market there were good works by favoured artists available at low prices and it must be noted that works are obtainable via auction cheaper than buying directly from artist’s studios. A 10 year future projection of current prices would confirm that buying now is a sound investment, while researching prices from the Larasati auctions 10 years ago confirm this to be true.

Balinese traditional art offers enormous scope for the astute investor to capitalize. The prices for the old masters of Balinese art remain strong and the market is expanding in a healthy way. The fact that the market is growing slowly, yet solidly is a fine achievement for Larasati Auctioneers.

A.A Gede Anom Sukawati-"Tari Joged Bumbung". Image courtesy of Larasati                        Tari Joged Bumbung  –  A.A. Gede Anom Sukawati

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images: Courtesy of Larasati