Ni Nyoman Sani welcomed me to her Balinese home, to Mother Art Space (then called Seniwati Art Space), and to her family’s shared creative workshop and gallery Muja Art Studio. Sani also helped to arrange multiple interviews with talented female artists ranging from internationally known painters like Mangku Muriati to younger emerging artists like Emy Triani and Ni Ketut Ratnasih.
Many of the artists I met in Bali brought up the problems of plastic degradation in a plethora of ways – from painter Federico Tomasi’s aside about the rainwater run-off flooding the ocean with plastic from one-time-use packaging to Made Aswino Aji’s laments about the changing landscape of Bali with its tourist growth. Or, in Ketut Jaya Kaprus’ plans to feature an entire gallery exhibit about the dangers of plastic, while showcasing its redemptive and transformative power as art.
As many of us in creative fields know, artistic inspiration is always something of a process. As artists, we are constantly pursuing new creative styles, mediums, subjects, narratives, and voices. Through this process of searching for ourselves, we get used to the circle of finding our grounding, losing our footing, and continuously rebuilding our foundations.
In 2014, I received a Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs grant to travel to Bali. During my arts residency at Yayasan Bali Purnati, I met and interviewed artists and began a series of writing about their work. Please explore this time and process with me in Kate Johnson and Michael Masucci’s video production, From Bali […]
Readers, you’re invited to… Los Angelenos at Yayasan Bali Purnati An afternoon tour of cultural exchange in Bali & Java with Ellen C. Caldwell and Sara Velas Saturday, June 28th, 2014 4-6 pm @ The Velaslavasay Panorama 1122 West 24th Street Los Angeles, California 90007 Reservations are not necessary for this free event. In February […]
Budhiana’s work is generally large (a minimum of about 4-6 feet wide) and very colorful. Steady lines of bright reds, yellows, and oranges pack the canvases’ frames and tell a larger story. Humor and visual narrative, both large and integral parts of Balinese culture, are as much his medium as the paint and canvas themselves.
Through this international foraging foray, I was able to explore artworks I would have never otherwise seen and get to know artists I would have never otherwise met. In a nutshell, it was an aesthetic experience of a lifetime.
Feeling 22 on the road to Tabanan, Bali. March 2014.
Astawa’s canvases feature a comic-like aesthetic consisting of outlined figures and two-dimensional, flattened perspective. He incorporates the traditional wayang-style painting conventions throughout, using precise details such as shape and shading of natural forms or popular characters from the Hindu epic Ramayana. He also infuses his paintings with iconography from the wayang tradition; if he wants to indicate that a figure is an important member of the royal family, then he uses an established symbol, such as a signifying headpiece, that would visually indicate this.
My very favorite procrastination tool is something random, self-serving, silly, and slightly secret: selfies. Yep, selfies. Specifically, PhotoBooth selfies on my desktop. For the past four years, I have been taking selfies when I am at the writer’s ledge. Sometimes I send them to friends I’m chatting with, sometimes they are just for me, but somehow they always help. There is something I love about capturing my mood at these strange tumultuous times. Sometimes I am playful, other times I am distraught, and other times, I am quite simply looking rough.