Tag Archives: Nyoman Ngendon

Sujendra’s fantastic & light-hearted depictions of the underworld

"Senyummu Tangisku" 2018 Made Sujendra Image R. Horstman                         Senyummu Tangisku, 2018 – Made Sujendra

 

In Klungkung, East Bali, the former capital of the island, stands Kerta Gosa. An 18th century mandala shaped pavilion within the royal palace built by the monarch Dewa Agung Gusti Sideman, it functioned until 1908 as the kingdom’s court of law and justice.

Its ceilings are adorned with paintings from a Hindu Mahabharata epic, in the classical Balinese narrative style featuring wayang characters derived from the shadow puppet theatre. Scenarios describe divine retribution for law-breakers, one scenario depicts the afterlife fate of being cooked alive in cauldrons of boiling water by the ogres of hell.

The paintings served as teaching modalities promoting good moral behaviour and peace within Balinese society, and they are a source of inspiration behind Hell Sign, a solo exhibition of paintings by I Made Sujendra, open 1 December at TiTian Art Space, Ubud.

Installation view of Hell Sign at TiTian Art Space. Image TiTian Art Space          Installation view of “Hell Sign” at TiTian Art Space, Ubud, Bali

 

“Balance is the key to life according to the Balinese and when this is forsaken during the afterlife we will be subjected to dire consequences according to karmic laws,” Sujendra said.  “My paintings are stirred by my observations of life, and what is necessary for us to learn in order to live harmoniously, and ultimately avoid the cycle of reincarnation.”

“In my search for a new style within the framework of the Batuan techniques I moved away from the conventional crowded and complex compositions,” said Sujendra who is considered an outsider within the Batuan School of Balinese traditional art. “I experimented with simpler more minimal configurations that balance empty space with iconography in order to create a fresh and strong aesthetic impact.”

"Atma Prasangsa" 2011 made Sujendra Image R. Horstman                       “Atma Prasangsa” , 2011  – Made Sujendra

 

Lineage and the master/pupil relationship have played an important role in the development of Batuan painting, the most critically acclaimed genre of Balinese traditional art. Born in 1964, Sujendra is the son of accomplished painter Wayan Kabetan, who was a student of the iconic Batuan modernist innovator Nyoman Ngendon (1906-1946). “The Greedy Priest”, Sujendra’s landmark 1984 painting was featured in Dr Jelantik’s 1990 book Balinese Art, after which he was labelled the original ‘surrealist’ of the Batuan School.

Sujendra pioneered imagery and compositional structure in the mid 1980’s that more recently has become one of the catalysts in an exciting revival in the Batuan School, led by the new generation of emerging painters like Ari Sarmanta, Wayan Budiarta and Pande I Made Dwi Artha.

"Nafsu" (Lust) 2018 Made Sujendra Image Richard Horstman                         Nafsu (Lust) 2018 – Made Sujendra

 

Exploring life choices and the karmic consequences we are subjected to in the hereafter according to ancient Balinese beliefs, Sujendra’s themes include lust, adultery, greed, abortion, and reincarnation. In Kerja 2018 (work) Sujendra describes the afterlife scenario for those who have chosen an lazy and idle earthly existence. The payback is an eternity in hell as a beast of burden. Men are tethered to ploughs being whipped by demons, balls of fire explode with every stroke of their whips. With bodies are large and rotund, their faces depict anguish and dismay.

Senyummu Tangisku (Your smile is my tears) 2018, reveals two child-like characters cutting down trees. One offender is receiving retribution – restrained by two of hell’s guardians, one giving thumbs up and expressing delight, while the other cuts open the wrongdoer’s head with sharp tooth saw. For those who venture into the forest and shoot the wildlife without restraint Berburu & Diburu 2018 (hunters & the hunted) reveals hunters surrounded and under siege by a bevy of angry animals and demons. The afterlife scenario depicts the hunters being hunted by the very creatures they once pursued.

Made Sujendra at TiTian Art Space Image R. Horstman                          Made Sujendra at TiTian Art Space

 

And while Sujendra’s colourful and black and white compositions are indeed confronting they are, however defined by his sense of humour. His demonic creatures are at once serious, yet playful, exuding both horror and charm – his ogres appear as lovable ‘clowns’.

Eleven paintings and 2 installations feature in Hell Sign. Eight paintings are grouped together and presented as an installation that includes a large, flowing minimal red line mural of demonic creatures painted upon the gallery floor. The area has been cordoned off so that onlookers do not enter the space to closely inspect the works. They are forced to observe from a distance the group of paintings as a whole, and as a painting installation.

"Saya Kemana" 2018, Made Sujendra Image R. Horstman                             Saya Kemana, 2018 – Made Sujendra

 

“Exhibitions are about communication, and not only just display,” said TiTian Art Space founder Soemantri Widagdo.

Since its inception onto the Bali art landscape in January 2015 TiTian has set out to reconfigure the norms that have hindered the local art gallery model. In Hell Sign TiTian pushes the boundaries of exhibition design and presentation so that the local art audience has an opportunity to experience traditional art within a new framework, in fresh and exciting manner.

Detail of "Mabuk" Made Sujendra Image R. Horstman                    Detail of Mabuk, 2018 – Made Sujendra

 

“We strive to be at the leading edge of presenting art to the public, and we will push the boundaries using innovative exhibition design principles,” stated Widagdo. “Beyond our trademark of exhibiting only 9 paintings, we wish to introduce a new language in communicating ideas behind the artworks. We will explore installation concepts as our trademark rather than just a collection of hung paintings.”

A schoolteacher for the past two decades, Sujendra is well aware of the younger generation’s attraction to the imagery of the digital era. For them the Kerta Gosa paintings have lost their potency and appeal and a new aesthetic code is required. Sujendra’s renderings of the Balinese legends and folklore, however are a proven language, already a source of inspiration for the emerging artists of Batuan.

"Tantri - the Greedy Priest" 1984 Made Sujendra Image R. Horstman                     Tantri – the Greedy Priest, 1984 – Made Sujendra

 

Partial installation view - Hell Sign Image R. Horstman                    Partial installation view at TiTian Art Space

 

Hell Sign until 30 January 2019

TiTian Art Space

88 Jalan, Bisma, Ubud, Ginayar, Bali

Open Tuesday – Sunday 9am – 5pm

www.titianartspace.com

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images courtesy: Richard Horstman & TiTian Art Space

Advertisements

TiTian Bali Foundation Gives Recognition & Heritage Awards to Balinese Artists

chairman-of-the-indonesian-agency-for-creative-economy-triawan-munaf-with-the-nine-finalists-of-the-2017-titian-art-prize-copyThe Nine Finalists of the TiTian Prize, (from left) Gede Suryawan, Wayan Aris Sarmanta, Wayan Malik, Mangku Muriati Mura, Ida Bagus Suryantara, Gede Sugiada, Made Sutama, Nyoman Arisana and Made Supena pictured with Triawan Munaf, Chairman of the Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia (center).

 

During the first anniversary celebrations of Yayasan TiTian Bali, in Ubud, Sunday 29 January, the Chairman of Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia, Triawan Munaf presented an array of art awards, culminating with the nine finalists, and the winner of the TiTian Prize 2017.

winner-of-the-2017-titian-prize-fight-lust-nyoman-arisana-copy                 Fight LustNyoman Arisana, Winner of the TiTian Prize 2017

Yayasan TiTian Bali (YTB) was established in the belief that Balinese art would flourish as it is integrated into a truly creative economy. “The founders of TiTian believe in continuing the importance of Bali’s history and culture, but we share a concern that the long association of the island’s creative life with tourism, cottage industry, and souvenirs, combine to create static and clichéd perceptions of cultural heritage,” said YTB Director Soemantri Widagdo.

alam-agung-great-whale-ida-bagus-suryantara                              Alam Agung Ida Bagus Suryantara

“We aim to work with Balinese artists, designers, and performers to ensure the long-term cultural, economic, and creative success of Balinese arts, with the highest levels of entrepreneurship in its creation and marketing,” he said. “Our mission is to discover, nurture and develop new talents, helping them achieve their full potential.”

“We are excited to be associated with Yayasan TiTian Bali, it as if TiTian is our arm in Bali,” said Triawan Munaf, Chairman of the Agency for Creative Economy Indonesia. “The mission of the Foundation is inline with our concerns.”

hidup-di-alam-gede-suryawan                             Hidup di Alam Gede Suryawan

“What we are doing now with the agency is developing the eco-systems within each of the 16 sub sectors of the creative economy, including the visual arts,” Munaf said. “We aim to create policies, involving multi ministries, that can make some breakthroughs for our creatives, giving them freedoms and mechanisms of how to enter markets, access finance, and how to register the intellectual property of their creations.”

emotion-ii-installation-made-supena                               Emotion II, Installation – Made Supena

The TiTian Prize 2017, open to all Balinese visual artists in the genres of painting, sculpture, installation and photography, received 82 entries from all regencies in Bali, plus entries from Lombok and Yogyakarta, 9 works were submitted by women. The finalists ranged in age from 21 – 53, reflecting the talent of both emerging and established artists. Genres varied from the traditional Kamasan, Batuan and Keliki styles, works influenced by modern and contemporary painting, and one wood carving installation.

lot-364-sutama-i-made                                    World of DreamsMade Sutama

Fight Lust, the winning painting by twenty-seven year old Gianyar painter Nyoman Arisana, an eye-catching composition of contrasts and tension featured a complex laying of visual elements, in both mono chrome and color, from the Balinese tradition, along with modern and contemporary art.

bhineka-tunggal-ika-mungku-muriarti-mura                         Bhineka Tunggal Ika – Mangku Muriati Mura

The work sets demonic creatures at war with one another, symbolizing, according the artist our human behavior. “Lust greatly influences human life and survival, greed, jealousy and envy are common, yet our desire to do good may also be perceived as lust,” Arisana said.

kasih-ibu-mothers-love-wayan-malik                                 Kasih IbuWayan Malik

The presentations at Titian Art Space Bali included the second annual Anugrah Pusaka Seni (Art Heritage) Award to ten artists and a patron who have made extraordinary contributions to the Balinese Arts. Some of the honored were Nyoman Ngendon (1906-1946), Ida Bagus Togog (1913-1989) and Ida Bagus Njana (1912-1985).

female-male-gede-sugiada                             Female & MaleGede Sugiada

The Patron Award (Life Achievement) went to Ni Made Kadjeng, founder of the Secondary School for the Arts of Batubulan. The event included the launch of the Indonesian language edition of Ida Bagus Made: The Art of Devotion, a book that focuses on paintings from the estate of the esteemed Balinese artist Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999).

nature-tease-wayan-aris-sarmanta                                Nature TeaseWayan Aris Sarmanta

“We are already working with Bali’s village artists’ associations, schools, individual artists, and other arts organizations for all our activities. Our approach is inclusive rather than exclusive,” Widagdo said.  “The long-term goal is to build the Bali Museum of Contemporary Art (Bali MOCA), exhibiting old and new work of the finest quality, supported by programs to inspire new directions and achievements in Balinese visual arts.”

Nine Finalists of the First TiTian Prize

Exhibition open 29 January – 26 February 2017

TiTian Bali Art Space, Jalan Bisma 88, Ubud, Bali.

http://www.titianartspace.com

Words & Images: Richard Horstman