Artdiscovery Program: A Lesson In History

Art In Bali | Written By, NOW! BALI-2 | December 30th, 2014

When one looks upon a piece of art, most ponder as to what the work means, what it represents, or what the artist was trying to portray. Seldom people wonder what evolutions had to take place through time for that type of art to become what it is today. Balinese and Indonesian visual art has come a long way, with more prominent local artists making their names known around the world, but where did art in Indonesia begin?

TEXT BY EDWARD SPEIRS

When one looks upon a piece of art, most ponder as to what the work means, what it represents, or what the artist was trying to portray. Seldom people wonder what evolutions had to take place through time for that type of art to become what it is today. Balinese and Indonesian visual art has come a long way, with more prominent local artists making their names known around the world, but where did art in Indonesia begin?

Wayang, meaning theatre, has various forms. Mainly, the word is known to refer to puppets and the puppet theatre, which was once the dominant medium for both entertainment and teachings. The most famous of puppet theatre is perhaps the wayang kulit, the shadow puppet performances that were dominant in Javanese culture.

The dalang, or puppet master, would tell stories of ancient Hindu epics like the Ramayana or Mahabharata. Intertwined within these stories were moral lessons, good against evil, right and wrong, thus the dalang was the moral teacher of his people.

Out of the puppet theatre, the stories of the same epics were brought into a new medium. Murals were painted with a visual likeness to the puppets from the theatre, with its two-dimensional portrayal of characters. In Bali, this can be seen in the Kamasan style paintings, one of the oldest styles found. The busy, highly detailed murals brought the Hindu epics to life and were originally used to decorate a palace, such as those in Ujung Water Palace. Since then, Balinese art has developed into a myriad of forms, from abstract expressionism to modern traditional paintings.

Visual art in Indonesia and Bali has had an interesting history, with numerous influential people and factors tied in along the way, forming the complex works of art we see today. With ArtPreciation you will learn this history with the help of Art Experts and Art Hosts. On their program you will witness for yourself the changes of Balinese art through time and have the privilege of meeting one of Bali’s best contemporary artists in his studio.

ArtDiscovey Program by Artpreciation
Komplek Pertokoan Nakula Megah 5 Unit J
Jalan Nakula Timur, Kuta
Phone: 823 6733
Email: emelia@phoenix.co.id

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NOW! BALI-2

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