Tag Archives: Pitamaha

Neo Pitamaha – An Art Movement in the Making?

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

Held at the location of former residence of the iconic Bali art influencer, Dutch painter Rudolf Bonnet (1895-1978), this collaborative project features street art by artists from Bali & Jakarta, along with paintings by selected emerging local talent from Batuan, Ubud, Tabanan and Denpasar. In this event, which is set within the gutted interior of a building, twenty young artists reveal their interpretation of the Pita Maha (great spirit, guiding inspiration) in dynamic contemporary art that challenges the establishment.

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The Pita Maha was a famous artist’s collective established in Ubud in 1936 by Tjokorda Agung Sukawati, Prince of Ubud , senior local artist and Bali’s first modern master Gusti Nyoman Lempad and expat Europeans, Walter Spies (1895-1942) and Rudolf Bonnet. Its vision was to develop and preserve a new art genre, labeled Balinese modern traditional art, and to present it outside of Bali.

 

Commercially and culturally, the birth of the Pita Maha, and its legacy had dramatic consequences. Large and new markets began to open for Balinese artists, from the 1930’s the initial wave of European and American tourists began to arrive, and an industry evolved to carter for their needs. Ubud as a consequence became perceived as the epicenter of Balinese Art and Culture.

20161023_161832                                    Painting by Wayan Budiarta

Located opposite the Campuhan Hotel on Jalan Raya Campuhan, for two decades the building that is the venue for A Brutal Contrast of Concrete and Kamasan Painting has remained unused. Stripped back to its core structural form of raw, concrete ceilings and floors, with aging white washed brick walls, it becomes the perfect environment for an underground event that within it’s soul is deeply rooted in ideology, and peppered with controversies from the Dutch colonial past.

Street art by Unclejoy, the Punten, Ego, Saf, Ola, Slinart and Kemalezedine, with potent sociopolitical content rendered in dynamic spray can color brings the tired, forgotten interior into vibrant life. Emerging Balinese contemporary Balinese artist Made Aji Aswino, a.k.a Ego continues on with his theme about the monster that is the human ego. His works makes references to the phenomenon of materialism that is engulfing modern Bali, and he juxtaposes his monsters of the ego identity with popular consumer icons. Kemalezedine meanwhile takes images from Dutch colonialism making reference to the era of the Pita Maha artists collective.

wayan-aris-sumanta                                Painting by Wayan Aris Sumanta

The paintings by emerging young Balinese artists are positioned to create a dynamic contrast with the street art, and igniting the interior walls. The artists include Dewa Gede Sanju, Gede Anton, Wayan Budiarta, Pande Made Di Artha, Made Ariana, Dwi Wayan Eka, Wayan Aris Sumanta, Gede Dwiyantara, Kadek Jutawan, Agus Suputra, Ketut Sumadi & Wayan Mandiyasa.

Batuan artists Wayan Budiarta and Wayan Aris Sumanta reveal that the Batuan School of painting boasts fresh and exciting talent, and that the recent formation of the Baturlangan artists collective in Batuan is reinvigorating this famous genre of Balinese art. Both artists possess a rare talent, while Budiarta’s works, one with powerful surrealistic elements, are especially outstanding.

street-art-by-ego-a-k-a-made-aji-aswino                                   Street Art by Ego, a.k.a Made Aji Aswino

This event is organized by Kemal Ezedine, one of the founding members along with Gede Mahahendra Yasa of the new art movement, the Neo Pitamaha. The Neo Pitamaha is an exciting development in Balinese contemporary art that has it ideology deeply rooted in the historical development of Balinese art during the past century, and began in 2013 with Mahendra Yasa, Ezedine (b.1978 Yogyakarta) and two other Balinese artists.

“We (the members of the Neo Pitamaha) have knowledge of history, culture, narratives and symbols within Balinese art yet we do not use this for our art discourse,” Ezedine says. “We aim to reinterpret this from a contemporary art perspective – retaining the principles involved with the techniques and methods. By opening this to new viewpoints we endeavor to awaken new spirit and introduce a fresh model of possibilities into Balinese art.”

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During the past 3 three years Ezedine and Mahendra Yasa have strategically set out to impact upon the Indonesian contemporary art scene participating in high level events in Java; exhibitions and art fairs in Bandung, Jakarta and Yogyakarta. Their presence was especially visible during August at the two international art fairs Art Stage Jakarta 2016 and 2016 Bazaar Art Jakarta.

A highlight of A Brutal Contrast of Concrete and Kamasan Painting opening was the palpable atmosphere that graced the event. A rare buzz of excitement was alive within the venue adding a fresh dimension to the already extraordinary event.

wayan-budiarta                                   Painting by Wayan Budiarta

Throughout the history of Indonesian art, artist’s collectives have played an essential role in shaping Indonesian modern and contemporary art. The art/anti colonial collectives that evolved last century in Java (PERSAGI 1938, POETERA 1942) played defining roles in the pro nationalism movement, while importantly using art as propaganda. In Bali the importance of organized art communities cannot be overstated.

There some key factors that give birth to art movements and the Neo Pitamaha have already succeeded in striking important targets, along with capturing a lot of attention in the Indonesian art capital of Jakarta. What remains next will play a defining role. One vital element within their ideology involves an important, yet tragic story of one of the true pioneers of Balinese art who was murdered by pro Dutch sympathizers in Batuan in 1946.

This is an anti establishment story.

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Cahyendra Putra and the Neo Pitamaha Invite You To: A Brutal Contrast of Concrete and Kamasan Painting was a part of the 2016 UWRF Art Exhibitions program and is listed in the UWRF Program Book on page 40, as Bali Underground: Pita Maha And Rudolf Bonnet. It was located on Jalan Raya Campuhan, opposite the Campuhan Hotel, upstairs on level 2 of the building that on the ground floor is a Notaris office. Look for the stairway and then head up.

Continuing through until 30 October, open daily 09:00 – 17:00.

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Words & Images: Richard Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larasati Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art Auction: Bali 21 August

made-sutama-the-dream-image-richard-horstman                                “The Dream” 2015 –  Made Sutama (b. 1977 Keliki)

Eighty works of fine art went under the hammer before an enthusiastic floor of bidders at Ubud’s ARMA museum 21 August Larasati Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art auction. The attractive array of paintings in Balinese traditional styles and Indonesian modern and contemporary genres offered good buying opportunities in prices ranges suitable for new collectors and connoisseurs alike.

From the beginning of 2016 real time bidding has been available through the Larasati website, opening the auction to a global audience. The auction featured spirited bidding both on the floor and via telephone, and purchases online. Most of the works sold within their estimate prices while for new collectors purchases were available starting from Rp. 3.5 million.

20160820_181740                                      “Aksi Badut and Topeng” – Ketut Sadia (b. 1966 Batuan)

Ida Bagus Putu Sena (b. 1966 Tebesaya, Ubud) is a remarkable talent, his characteristic style while being extraordinarily detailed, features dark and moody compositions. Lot #523 “Shadow Puppet Show” 2009, estimated price between Rp. 75 – 90 million, was hammered down for Rp. 95 million. (all works incur a 22% buyers premium on top of the auctioneers selling price). Lot #530 “Petani’ 2003 by Ketut Kasta (b. Peliatan 1945), a beautiful figurative work in muted pinkish hues, serene in its simplicity was estimated between Rp. 25 – 30 million and sold for Rp. 40 million.

Iconic Dutch painter Arie Smit (1916-2016) died in March at home in Ubud, only days short of reaching the golden age of one hundred years old. Responsible for the development of the “Young Artists” style of Balinese traditional art in the early 1960’s, since his passing prices for his some works at Hong Kong auctions have noticeably increased.

putu-deaw-bedil-suasana-pasar-image-richard-horstman                                    “Suasana Pasar” –  Dewa Putu Bedil (1921-1999)

Of the three lots available, Lot #546 “A Girl Leaving the Temple” estimated between Rp. 65 – 75 million, sold for Rp 65 million, Lot #547 “The Forest“ estimated between Rp. 95 -120 million sold for Rp. 85 million, while #548 “Boy” 1988 estimated price between Rp. 270 – 320 million, however failed to sell.

Works of painstaking miniature detail characterize the Keliki School of Balinese traditional art. Three excellent paintings were available by up and coming artists who represent the future of this genre. Lot #519 “The Dream” 2015 by Made Sutama (b. 1977 Keliki) is a colorful fantastic composition, estimated price between Rp. 10 – 12 million sold for Rp. 9.5 million. Lot # 520 “The Death of Kumbakarna” 2014 by Putu Kusama (b.1986 Keliki) with an estimated of Rp. 12 – 15 million sold for Rp. 17 million via the internet, and Lot # 550 “Festivity at Temple” by Made Ocen (b. 1974 Keliki) undervalued with an estimate price between Rp. 10 – 12 million and sold for Rp. 9 million. Each of these works offered excellent buying for the seasoned collectors along with those with mid range budgets for good long-term investments.

a-a-gede-anom-sukawati-mengarak-jero-gede-image-by-richard-horstman            “Mengarak Jero Gede” 2003  –  A.A. Gede Anom Sukawati (b. Ubud 1966)

A rare old work by the renowned Batuan painter Wayan Bendi Lot # 555 “Tourists in the 1950’s” estimated price between Rp.15 – 20 million sold for Rp. 14 million. Lot # 505 “Aksi Badut and Topeng” by another outstanding Batuan painter Ketut Sadia with an estimated price between Rp. 16 -20 million sold for Rp. 16 million offering good value buying for this innovative composition. Considered an “outsider artist” Putu Dewa Mokoh (Pengosekan 1936-2010) is a painter of unusual, often quirky and humorous compositions. Lot # 502 “Berenang di Laut” estimated price between Rp. 18 – 22 million sold for Rp.16 million, while Lot #558 “Hunting in the Forest” estimated price between Rp. 28 – 35 was hammered down for Rp. 30 million.

ketut-kasta-petani-2003-image-richard-horstman                                       “Petani’ 2003 –  Ketut Kasta (b. Peliatan 1945)

The Pitamaha artist’s collective played a decisive role in the development of Balinese modern traditional art from 1936-1945 and two works by deceased masters of the collective were available. Lot# 567 by Gusti Ketut Kobot (1917-1999) “Garuda Whisnu” was undervalued for its size of 105 x 75 cm, estimated price between Rp. 90 – 110 million and selling for Rp.85 million. While Lot #568 by Ida Bagus Made Togog (Batuan 1913 – 1989) “Story of Dukuh Siladri” a shimmering work of exceptional quality and condition, estimated price between Rp. 270 – 350 million, sold for Rp. 350 million.

Lot # 569 “Suasana Pasar” Dewa Putu Bedil (1921-1999) is a extraordinary work of balance and beauty, being undervalued at the estimate between Rp. 75 – 90 million, it sold for Rp. 95 million. Of the contemporary works available sought names such as Jumaldi Afli, Ugo Untoro and Dede Eri Supria attracted only marginal attention, yet offered good buying opportunities for new collectors wishing to purchase works by big name artists.

arie-smit-a-girl-leaving-the-temple-photo-by-richard-horstman                               “A Girl Leaving the Temple” – Arie Smit (1916-2016)

The most prized work of the afternoon was the final item, was Lot # 580 “Mengarak Jero Gede” 2003 by A.A. Gede Anom Sukawati (b. Ubud 1966) arguably Bali’s finest living traditional painter. His 75 x 135 cm acrylic on canvas composition, a stunning dance scene of detail and vibrancy, estimated price between Rp. 160 – 190 million, realized determined bidding selling for a world record price for the artist at Rp. 345 million, inclusive of the 22% buyer’s premium.

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

20160820_182538             “Story of Dukuh Siladri” – Ida Bagus Made Togog (Batuan 1913 – 1989)

20160820_181951                   “Berenang di Laut” – Dewa Putu Mokoh ((Pengosekan 1936-2010)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bali Art Scene 2016 – An Overview

Citra Sh"Torment"

“Torment”  2015 – Citra Sasmita one of the strongest works from the ‘Bali Art Intervention #1’ “Violent Bali”

This overview looks back over the past six months (and more) at exhibitions and happenings of note in the Bali art scene which in the past year has witnessed some critical infrastructure developments.

Closing out 2015 ‘Bali Art Intervention #1’ “Violent Bali”, open 10 November at the Tony Raka Art Gallery in Ubud, featured the work of 60 artists, and was the strongest collective showing of contemporary art in Bali since July 2013’s “Irony in Paradise” by Sanggar Dewata Indonesia at ARMA. Slated to run for a month the exhibition continued into the new year and works by Citra Samsita, Wayan Wirawan, Agus Cahaya, Ida Bagus Putra Adnyana, Pandi Acmadi, Tatang BSP, amongst many others were worthy of mention.

Made Budhiana. "In the Darkness of Night" Image M. O'Riordan “In the Darkness of Night” 2015 – Made Budhiana from the “Cruise Control” Exhibition

“Cruise Control Indonesia – Top End Artist’s Camp Exhibition” 23 January – 13 February 2016 at the Northern Center of Contemporary Art (NCCA) in Darwin, Australia showcased the some of the fruits of the 2015 Artist’s Camp, an engagement by 6 Indonesian artists in the Northern Territory (NT). For five weeks Made Budhiana, Wayan Wirawan, Made Sudibia, Made ‘Dalbo’ Suarimbawa and Ni Nyoman Sani from Bali, and East Javanese artist Suryani were guests of the government of Northern Territory and were exposed to foreign lands and societies, and delved creatively into new visual and conceptual territories.

The biannual Artists Camp, which was first held in 2012 in the NT, and then with two subsequent Camps in Bali (2012 & 2014) is the initiative of Australian art lover Colin MacDonald and Made Budhiana, working with the NCCA, expanding upon the original modal of the Artists Camp that first began back in 1978. The exhibition displayed some outstanding works of cross-cultural engagement and its success in underlined by the support the Chief Minister of the NT government and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Despite international political relations between Indonesia and Australia recently weathering stormy seas, art and cultural remain the most important and enduring engagements between the two countries.

TiTian Art Space. Image by Richard Horstman                 TiTian Art Space – Image Featuring works by Teja Astawa & I.B. Purwa

Merging perceptions and practices from the past with the present, along with an innovative vision for the future, Yayasan TiTian Bali (YTB), a new art foundation launched 29 January 2016 at Bentara Budaya Bali cultural center, is setting out to revolutionize Balinese art. Inaugurated on the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Pitamaha artists collective in Ubud, the Balinese artist co-operative TiTian Art Space, located on Jalan Bisma Ubud, will help transform artists into art entrepreneurs within the creative economies.

The brain child of the former 20 years volunteer curator and international liaison officer for Puri Lukisan Museum, Soemantri Widagdo, exhibitions hosted this year have showcased some of the finest Balinese traditional and contemporary artists such as Teja Astawa, Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, Made Griyawan, Aris Sumanta and Gede Widyantara to name a few. The June “Traces Under the Surface – Batuan Painting Exhibition” set 3 generations of Batuan painters from one family side-by-side in a unique expose into the development of Batuan painting. The regular series of exhibitions and workshops along with the revolutionary vision of YTB are an exciting and important addition to the Bali art infrastructure.

With plans to build a Museum of Contemporary Art (Bali MOCA), an international class museum located in Ubud, within the next ten years, exhibiting both old and new work of the highest quality, YTB expects to inspire new directions and achievements in Balinese art, while being the premier hub for Balinese visual arts by 2021.  Balinese traditional art is undergoing an exciting revival underpinned by fresh young talent and strategic collective activity, for example in Batuan led by the formation of the Baturlangan Artist Collective of Batuan.

With the mission to place Balinese art on global platforms the welcome addition of  YTB to the Bali art scene will aid in future consolidation of the current flourishing of Balinese traditional painting. The 21st century ushers in a new paradigm of global thinking and the art world is responding and evolving especially due to the impact of the internet and social media which is empowering individuals to develop global brands and presence. Yayasan TiTian Bali is building a new eco system for Balinese art for the 21st Century.

A.A Gede Anom Sukawati-"Tari Joged Bumbung". Image courtesy of Larasati“Joged Bumbung” 2008 – A.A Gede Anom Sukawati featured in the 1oth Anniversary Larasati Balinese Modern Traditional & Contemporary Art Auction at ARMA Ubud.

Results of the special 10th anniversary Larasati Balinese Modern Traditional & Contemporary Art auction at ARMA 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. Emphasizing quality over quantity the 81 items birthday sale featured a parade of beautiful works including sketches, watercolors, wood carvings and paintings by “Old & Young” Balinese masters.

During the past decade, with two auctions per year in Ubud Larasati have opened up an international forum for the trade of high quality traditional Balinese works, especially paintings. By introducing professionalism of an international standard that Bali had yet to experience in its art dealings Larasati has helped create a real, healthy market for traditional Balinese art. The auction included works by popular artists I.B Made Poleng, Gusti Lempad, Made Sukada, A.A Gede Anom Sukawati, and I.B Nyana to name a few.

A 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. The auction audience revealed more foreigners in attendance than Indonesians being a testament to the developing international market of the Balinese art which is considered by experts to be undervalued. Larasati CEO Daniel Komala confirmed that the outcome of first ten years of auctions have exceeded all expectations.

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

“Merayakan Murni / Celebrating Murni”, a project gathering local and regional artists to create works in response to the legacy of the iconic female Balinese artist I GAK Murniasih (1966-2006) “Murni” started 8 December 2015 at the innovative new art space Ketemu Project Space in Sukawati. Punctuating the beginning of the 6 month plus program of events, culminating with the group exhibition at Sudakara Art Space Sanur 16 July 2016, the 8 December event was an intimate evening of discussions.  Featuring friends and colleagues of Murni’s, while introducing some of the breadth of her work, and the schedule of up coming events was reveled that included artist in residency programs and curator discussions. This highly anticipated exhibition will be the most important of the 2016 art calendar.

AJI02649_1-1_LR“Forgotten Optical Satsuma Filters” – Ashley Bickerton at Rumah Topeng dan Wayang Setiadharma

Kayu, a series of exhibitions that began in 2014 presented by French art worker Lucie Fontaine at Rumah Topeng dan Wayang Setiadharma in Mas, has been a highly valuable contribution to the appreciation of contemporary art in Bali. Organized and curated by Italian artist and Ubud resident Marco Cassani, Kayu showcased both local and international artist in cross cultural collaborations, group and solo exhibitions. Kayu aims to support the growth and awareness of contemporary art in Indonesia through experimental and conceptual projects and operations as an incubation facility to give the opportunity for information and knowledge exchange between Bali and Indonesia with the outside art world. Projects have included artists Corrado Levi, Radu Cosma, Entang Wiharso and Luigi Ontani.

The exhibition space at Rumah Topeng, a traditional Javanese teak warehouse is a unique setting for the presentation of contemporary art allowing the ambience of cultural design elements and raw timber to enhance the presence of the art. Despite not being well attended by the local art community, importantly Kayu allowed an opportunity for people to enjoy art in an alternative exhibition setting, in contrast to the often “sterile” gallery spaces, while positively contributing to the viewer experience. The program culminated in April with Ashley Bickerton’s first ever solo exhibition in Indonesia “Forgotten Optical Satsuma Filters” that featured his experimental “non commercial” color creations.

DSCF4872             “King Udayana : A Visual Epic” 2016 – Ketut Budiana at Bentara Budaya Bali

The historical collaboration between the Udayana University of Bali and the Bentara Budaya Bali Cultural Center, Denpasar on Friday 15 April highlighted a landmark event in Balinese painting, presenting the works of Balinese master artist Ketut Budiana. Officiated by the Governor of Bali, Made Mangku Pastika, the exhibition “King Udayana : A Visual Epic” featured an enormous narrative canvas, 8339 x 140 cm spanning the walls of the pavilion paying homage to the lifetime journey of the 10th century Balinese King Udayana.

Budiana invited the audience to wonder clockwise around the pavilion to engage with this poetic work laid out in such as way as to occupy the four directions of the compass, with their respective gods, and colors, symbolically linking the human existence with the cosmos. Often described as a “fantastic’ painter” Budiana communicates stories that appear to come from the subconscious in dream like imagery that often evolves from swirling clouds of energy. Post exhibition the work was installed within the Rectorate’s hall of the Udayana University in Jimbaran.

13173813_10153830185898778_8308656514481768488_n     “Kartini” – Cherographed by Jasmine Okubo, May 2016, image by Dewandra Djelantik

Long time collaborator with Indonesian artists, Japanese choreographer, dancer and performer Jasmine Okubo continues to push the art performance genre into new and exciting realms. Her performance during the opening of Rie m’s April exhibition “Conexion & Contradiccion” at the Villa Pandan Harum, Ubud was captivating, as were other during the year. While Rie’s exhibition of cross cultural infusions was outstanding, and importantly introducing the art of collage in a fresh and highly sensitive manner to the local art community, Jasmine’s performance, melding the futuristic aesthetics with Balinese and Japanese flavors typifies her extraordinary talent.

Okubo’s 5 June performance at Rumah Sanur in a silent enclosed space brought into dynamic, otherworldly life with excellent visual aesthetics via video mapping during the Art Ritual, themed about the transition from WATER to AGNI for the 2017 Sprites Bali Art & Creative Biennale broke new ground for the performer and the audience alike.

DSCF5736                               “Questioning Balinese Painting” 2016 – Kemal Ezedine

 

Neo Pitamaha art collective headed by Gede Mahendra Yasa and Kemal Ezedine brings a fresh, strategic, intellectual approach to the art explorations in the historical development of Balinese traditional painting. Beginning in 2013, inspired to investigate a new paradigm of Balinese painting, since 2014 they have been exhibiting in high-profile events in Bandung, Semarang and ArtJog in Yogyakarta. During 2016 they have been increasingly focusing their attention outside of Bali especially engaging with curators, collectors, along with larger audiences. Mahendra Yasa and Ezedine both held solo exhibitions at Langgeng Art Foundation, during the Jogja Art Weeks June/July art extravaganza for the local and international audiences gathered in Yogyakarta for the opening of ArtJog9.

The Neo Pitamaha’s critical and strategic approach is building positive momentum, importantly raising the bar of what Bali based collectives may achieve, while setting a potent example for others to learn from. Ezedine’s enormous 2016 mural project, highlighting his graphic illustration and dynamic color design skills, upon ceiling panels of the café dining area the new Artotel in Sanur is a visual feast for the eyes while helping to define the uniqueness of Bali’s first art themed hotel.

DSCF4884Detail from Gusti Agung Mangu  Putra’s 2016 painting of the 1906 Pupatan in Denpasar at Gwangju Art Museum, South Korea

Social issues and important Balinese historical events are themes close to Gusti Agung Mangu Putra’s heart. In the May 2016 “In Commemoration of the 36th Anniversary of the May 18th Democratization Movement 2016 Asian Democracy, Human Rights, Peace Exhibition – The Truth To Turn it Over” at the Gwangju Art Museum, South Korea he exhibited his painting of the 1906 Pupatan in Denpasar  Bali. Following from his research early in 2016 he reconstructed a scene post puputan killings that depicts leaders of the Dutch military battalion posing with the body of the Raja of Denpasar.

IMG-20160609-WA003       The WOI (Wall of Indonesia) Exhibition at Bloo Art Space, Padang Bai, East Bali

The prevalence of artist run initiatives such as Cata Odata in Ubud, Ketemu Project Space (who via their regional approach, professionalism and highly structured methodology have raised the bar high in Bali for others to be inspired), Luden House in Ubud, and the recently renamed Bloo Art Space located at the Bloo Lagoon Eco Resort and Villas in Padang Bai (also managed by Cata Odata), have become major forces within the development of art in Bali. While these community focused organizations embrace and grow through the dynamic connectivity of social media and the internet what is essential is that there are venues outside of the gallery commercial modal that continue to grow and survive as essential pillars of the art infrastructure in Bali.