Traditional Daily Life in Bali’s Batuan Paintings

Culture | Written By, Bruce Granquist |

This painting by a woman artist, Ni Wayan Warti, has a stable composition and does not challenge the viewer with either complex iconography, or spatial ambiguity. This is a village at peace and, according to the artist, was done for her own satisfaction.

The painting is called Galungan, after a major, island wide ceremony in Bali. But it could also be accurately described as a well crafted overview of village life, predominately focusing on the physical details of village life. There is not much emphasis here on the spirit world, except for its physical attributes, some ritual activity, and temple structures.

Galungan
Ni Wayan Warti
51cm x 67cm Paper 2006

Another peaceful view of village life, painted by Nurbawa, documents the traditional activities of a typical south Bali village. A notable aspect of this painting is the relative lack of ritual activity, there is just a single figure bringing an offering at the upper right corner. For the majority of Batuan paintings, even if the theme is the everyday life of the village, there is at least a portion of the painting that deals with activities related to the village temples. 

Daily Activities
I Nyoman Nurbawa
80cm x 120cm
2007

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Bruce Granquist

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