Tag Archives: Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya

Menjumput Masa Lalu – picking up the past

20170522_131213                         Generasi J.K #1,2,3 2016 – Nyoman Suarnata

Ubud’s Sika Gallery presents Menjumput Masa Lalu (picking up the past), a group exhibition of contemporary artworks by the # PK collective. On show from 21 May are installations, drawings, paintings, videoart, object art, scpultures, and graphics by five young Balinese artists I Gede Jaya Putra, Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya (NPAAW), I Nyoman Suarnata, I Made Putra Indrawan, and I Putu Nova Ruspika Yanto, along with written text by female arts and language freelancer Savitri Sastrawan.

All the participants were students at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Denpasar, studying between 2006 – 2009. Their works explore themes from the serious, to light- hearted and include environmental issues, the conflict between tradition and modernity, identity, the erosion of Indonesian democracy, and even thought-provoking themes that incite humour.

20170522_131349                              Home, 2017 – Putu Nova Ruspika Yanto

Full Space 2016, by Nyoman Suarnata (b.1987, Mengwi, Badung) is a progressive representation of iconic local subject matter that is too often translated into conventional painted forms. His installation of two-dimensional canvases taking on 3 dimensional hexagonal forms adds fresh life to the subject matter. Suarnata’s images related to the cultural pasttime of tajen (cock-fighting) are rendered in 3 colours systems evoking different eras; black & white (conjuring up pre modern Bali), monochrome, and dynamic realism (suggesting modernity).

"Black and White" Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya                   Black & White, 2017 – Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya

Text by Sastrawan (b.1990 Denpasar) is a response to the collective’s artworks revealing her thoughts related to struggle; not only of Indonesia’s on-going journey of democracy, yet also the everyday challenges that confront young artists. Her writings are set within the form of an installation, centrally positioned is a humourous, yet disturbing illustration. The Garuda Pancasila, the mythical eagle featured on Indonesia’s national emblem, with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (unity in diverstiy), is hospitalized and receiving care. Corruption, violence, injustice and inquality, seemingly sanctioned by the country’s ruling elite, are current and real threats to democracy.

Tentang aku jendela rumah dan angin, (about my window house and the wind) by Made Putra Indrawan (b. 1987, Denpasar) is a light-hearted and quirky installation. He presents a small box through which an nondescript, whimsical creature peers out through a window, the medium is timber. From a tiny electronic device inside the sound of strong winds emanate, while the words – tentang aku jendela rumah dan angin are emblazoned across the wall. The audience is prompted to imagine the artist as this curious creature.

Savitri Sastrawan               Let’s Pick Up the Past With PK! 2017 – Savitri Sastrawan

Diary Book # 1 & 2, by Putu Nova Ruspika Yanto introduces alternative asethetics and techniques to the exhibition, aiding in its overall strength. His woodcut images are presented within the format of two diaries. While one book depicts images of his young son and wife, the other narrative is his observations of dramatic and disheartening change. The artist’s home environment was once cool, green and clean has, within the space of a few decades, become barren, void of trees. It’s now hot and dry, and polluted.

The work of two promising Balinese talents, Gede Jaya Putra and NPAAW are showcased in Menjumput Masa Lalu, both are worthy of close observation as they mature. Jaya Putra (b.1988, Kerobokan) attracted much attention with Transformation, his first solo exhibition in 2013, revealing remarkable depth in the exploration of his social themes, equally supported by his imaginative works.

"Generasi Sintetis" Gede Jaya Putra                Generasi Sintetis 2017, (Synthetic Generation) – Gede Jaya Putra

Generasi Sintetis 2017, (Synthetic Generation) emphasizes his ongoing theme of the process of change that is confronting today’s yonger generation, specifically the change from the natural, to the synthetic world. The large installation comprises of three elements, and includes more than 20 pencil sketches of the foliage of different trees positioned upon sections of tree trunks functioning as pedestals. Two screens reveal videos, one of colourful flowers and foliage, the other, shot in black & white, focusses upon the physical structure of branches, and its myriad of abstract forms. The contrast between what is real and that which is illusory is powerful, highlighting the demise of the natural environment, which is increasingly threatened by modern development.

The focal piece of Generasi Sintetis is a hybrid character, part human, part machine, the icon central to Jaya Putra’s transformation theme, his representation of the younger generation of Balinese. A black, life sized, two dimensional figure holding a glass jar containing a synthetic eco system.

20170522_131104Tentang aku jendela rumah dan angin, (about my window house and the wind) 2017 – Made Putra Indrawan

The medium of video art IS the most challenging format for an artist to master, and to successfully communicate his ideas. The most effective works are generally short, no longer than two minutes, with simple messages that are easy to read. The audiences’ attention must be captured from the beginning of the video and maintained until the very end. The moment boredom sets in our attention wanders, yearning for fresh stimulus, and the artist loses his audience.

Jaya Putra has been experimenting with this format for the past five years. Merasakan Ibu Pertiwi (feel mother earth), 2017, his 2-minute performance video, features the artist walking bare-footed through the crowded city streets of Japan, “feeling” the earth. We become observers of contrasting imagery, Jaya Putra’s feet making direct connection, as opposed to the multitude wearing shoes. Jaya Putra attaches the video screen to the gallery ceiling so we must look up to observe what in reality is always witnessed when looking down. Jaya Putra’s work is uncomplicated and thought-provoking, while communicating a facet of Balinese cultural worldview.

"Full Space #1 #2 & #3" Nyoman Suarnata                            Full Space #1,2,&3, 2016 – Nyoman Suarnata

NPAAW (b. 1990 Pejeng, Gianyar) is currently based in Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia’s largest, most diverse and dynamic art community. In Menjumput Masa Lalu he presents three round paintings and one installtion, rendered in black and white tones and representing duality. Two meters in diameter, Black & White is an interguing composition, a part of his ongoing theme featuring animals in metaphorical scenarios representing the never-ending cycle of life, and the constant process of change. His composition features two horses with elongated bodies, one black, the other white, travelling in clockwise motion. The foreground features the Beatles walking in counter-clockwise direction, reminiscent of their famous album cover Abbey Road.

Zebranizasi is a fascinating installation, again emphasizing duality, and that according to Balinese Hindu philosophies, all life and universal order is subject to equal and opposing forces. The installation features 6 individual works, three iconic Balinese cultural creatures, another two the lucky charm of the Japanese, maneki-neko, the waving cat. The final piece reveals a dramatic, yet impossible scenario upon a chess board. The horse or Knight is painted as a zebra, balancing both the positive and negative forces, and has the black and white kings in a check mate position.

"Zebraniasi" Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya                    Zebranizasi, 2017 – Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya

The contributions by the Sika Gallery in the support and development of Balinese contemporary art is unsurpassed. The vision of painter, sculptor, writer, critic and provocatur Wayan Sika (b.1949, Silakarang, Gianyar), in 1996 he opened Bali’s first non-commercial artist’s driven space to provide a platform for the avant-garde that was quickly evolving on the island. Continuing in the tradition of exhibiting young and immerging local artist’s the Sika Gallery presents Menjumput Masa Lalu, continuing through until 3 June 2017.

Detail of Installation "Generasi Sintetis" Gede Jaya Putra      Detail of Generasi Sintetis 2017, (Synthetic Generation) – Gede Jaya Putra

20170522_131328                       Diary Book # 1, 2017Putu Nova Ruspika Yanto

Menjumput Masa Lalu (picking up the past)

21 May – 3 June

Sika Gallery

Jalan Raya Campuhan

Ubud, Bali

Open daily 9am – 5pm

Words & Images: Richard Horstman





“Merayakan Murni” – Celebrating Indonesia’s Most Important Woman Artist

I GAK MURNIASIH - SEDANG ACTION - AOC - 100 x 100cm - 2003                                                 “Sedang Action” – Murni

Promising to be the most important exhibition of the 2016 Bali art calendar “Merayakan Murni” (Celebrating Murni) opened 16 July at Sudakara Art Space, Sanur. Contextualizing the relevance, and celebrating the legacy of female Balinese artist I GAK Murniasih (1966-2006) who this July would have turned 50; the exhibition brings together the work of Murni along with 15 other local and international artists.

I GAK MURNIASIH- BENDERA KEMENANGAN- AOC-71 X 71 cm - 2003                                           “Bendera Kemenangan” – Murni

An enormous project that from the conceptualization to the inception of a series of pre event “gatherings” late in 2015 consumed the passage of 2 years, Merayakan Murni’s has been successful due to community engagement. Organized by Ketemu Project Space – a new art facility in Bali under the special advisory committee of regional art maverick Valentine Willie, historian and art critic Jean Couteau and Murni’s life partner, Italian artist Mondo Zanolini – the exhibition is supported by a series of discussions and workshops, and closes 18th September.

"Pure Passion" (For Murni) Mella Jaarsma, mixed media & Mondo Zannolini , Murni's life partner. Image Richard Horstman                            “Pure Passion” (For Murni) – Mella Jaarsma

For collectors this exhibition offers opportunities to purchase some outstanding contemporary artworks by the invited artists in the genres of painting, installations, video and photography. Including “outsider” artworks by Murni’s contemporaries Putu Dewa Mokoh (1934-2010) and Oototol (1942-?), along with 50 works by Murni, the sale of Murni’s works being a 70-30 split, 70% going into the conserving and building of Murni’s archives.

IMHATTHAI SUWWATHANASILP - "MURNI'S TEMPLE" - MIXED MEDIA (human hair, thread, wood, glue) - 31 X 18 X 10 CM Image courtesy of Ketemu Project Space                          “Murni’s Temple” –  Imhathai Suwatthanaslip

Speaking” on local and global issues, gender politics, and the language of the sub conscious mind; Murni’s outsider art is confrontational and daring, yet electrifying as well. “Murni’s artworks have the power to start conversations on topics critical to our society,” said co-founder of Ketemu Samantha Tio. “Our goal is to enable artists in the local and international community to give a voice to these subjects, so that they in turn can generate diverse perspectives and inspire their own social circles.”

Punia Atmaja Installation. 2016                                   “Satelit Purba” –  Punia Atamaja

Explicit and naïve, even violent Murni’s visual language evolved through her search for identity and reconciliation with her traumatic past. Suffering from the recollection of being raped by her own father, as well as other experiences of womanhood her compositions are an exploration into her sexuality and biographic fantasies.

“For Murni art as a therapy, art as a diary, art as a retelling of a personal history, not in a narrative but picking very strong symbols; scissors, high heels, the penis, she discovered this as a way of expressing herself,” said Valentine Willie.

“I paint to feel that I exist”, Murni was quoted as saying.

MARIEKE WARMELINK - Marieke Warmelink, Acting tough - being strong, Interventions in daily - video - 2016 (2)                        “Acting Tough : Being Strong”  –  Mareike Warmelink

Singaporean performance artist Ila presented “Ruang”, the most potent work of the exhibition. Enclosed within a confined two meter square, dark space one at a time audience members entered while she performed in a traditional Balinese costume owned by Murni, slowly adding decorative pieces to her attire. A pulsating strobe light assaults the senses, while the atmosphere is dank and claustrophobic. Dripping in sweat Ila stoically performed her routine for four hours, bringing to “life” the emotional anguish of life within a harsh patriarchal society.

Citra Sasmita "Mea Vulva Maxima Vulva" 2016 Ceramic & mixed media Image richard Horstman                           “Mea Vulva, Maxima Vulva” – Citra Sasmita

“”Pure Passion” challenges the viewer to ‘experience’ and ‘feel’ the cruel, the scary, the funny, the erotic, the taboo, the real, the fake,” said renowned Dutch born “Indonesian” artist Mella Jaarsma of her 2016 work inspired by Murni’s 1997 painting “I am Longing for a Couple of Kids”. Materials utilized in Jaarsma’s include goat’s leather, stuffed crocodiles, and plastic plants.

Macabre? Unusual at least. Thai artist Imhathai Suwatthanaslip exhibits 4 works, in both two and 3 dimensional format, created by weaving and crocheting human hair, utilizing some of Murni’s hair, to reflect on the nature of family ties and domestic life, the female body and feminine identity. Other works of note are by Dutch artist Mareike Warmelink, Indonesian artists Natasha Lubis, Punia Atmaja and Ngakan Putu Agus Arta Wijaya (NPAW). Included in the exhibition is an “archival like” presentation of Murni’s sketches and relics, and the 15 minute documentary “Lost Murni”, a heart rending, yet beautiful insight into the final days of her passage of life.

13669344_1135530413136721_5070896626457661361_o                                                            “Ruang” – Ila

For the astute collector wishing to purchase a work of unique imagination by today’s most prominent female Balinese artist, Citra Sasmita’s, her installation “Mea Vulva, Maxima Vulva” features ceramic vagina’s within a set of scales and comments upon social class distinctions.

“Murni is an “outsider” artist of a different genre. Raised in poverty in the Celebes, she bumped by accident, back in Bali, into the post-traditional painting world of the island to unwittingly become a foremost exponent of the women’s condition,” said Jean Couteau. “Feminist in a twisty raw way: not as discourse or protest, but as a partaking of the multifarious forms of the psychic experience.”

OOTOTOL - UNTITLED #1 - AOC - 50 x 79 cm - year not stated                                                  “Untitled” – Ootolol

Preceded by a rare buzz of anticipation, emphasized by the aura of an icon – Indonesia’s most important female artist, it is hoped that the event will continue into 2017 as roving exhibition to Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Singapore.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

“Merayakan Murni”

16 July – 18 September 2016

Open Daily 10am – 7pm

Sudakara Art Space, Sudamala Suites and Villas

Jalan Sudamala #20, Sanur, Bali

20160715_170105                                                Photos of Murni & Dolls by Murni