Art What! Arts Museums Preview Singapore

Exhibition Extravaganza: Rooted in Bali at the Mizuma Gallery


Mizuma Gallery has announced Rooted in Bali, a group exhibition curated by Hermanto Soerjanto, featuring three Indonesian artists: Budi Agung Kuswara, I Made Djirna, and Made Wianta.

Rooted in Bali presents the works of three contemporary artists who were born, raised, and are now working in Bali. Coming from three different generations with different artistic approaches as well as techniques and media, Budi Agung Kuswara, I Made Djirna, and Made Wianta all share something in common: at some point in their lives: they left Bali to free themselves from the confines of the image of Bali and to seek global artistic values, despite being rooted in their Balinese spirit.

Upon graduating from Yogyakarta Art Institute (ISI), Made Wianta and I Made Djirna went to Europe, whereas Budi Agung Kuswara went to live in Singapore – but eventually all of them came back to Bali. Problems that arose in the development of Balinese art had further complicated its position in the narratives of Indonesian modern art history.

Balinese art does not fit in with the teleology of Indonesian modernism, which begins from Raden Saleh to Persagi, the Indonesian abbreviation of ‘Persatuan Ahli-Ahli Gambar Indonesia’ (The Indonesian Painters’ Association) to the Bandung and Yogyakarta schools of paintings. Another complexity occurred between the 1950s to 1970s, whereby Balinese art was too closely subordinated to tourism. These were the two main reasons that caused the separation of Balinese art from the global art form.

Many artists who had envisioned themselves working on a global level in the rapidly changing contemporary art scene, were forced to leave Bali due to these problems. It was not possible for them to work as artists within the confines of the ‘Bali image’ and to gain global recognition. Many of those artists chose not to return to Bali.

Rooted in Bali runs from 10th January to 16th February 2020 at the Mizuma Gallery. For more information, visit their website here


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