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Art What!: I Made Djirna’s The Voice of Nature at Mizuma Gallery

Mizuma Gallery has announced The Voice of Nature, a solo exhibition by Indonesian artist I Made Djirna, curated by Hermanto Soerjanto. In this solo exhibition, I Made Djirna discusses the awareness of the relationship between humans and nature.

According to Djirna, nature and humans communicate through natural signs, for example: a cloudy sky is a sign that rain will come, and a certain insect’s chirp is a sign of the change of seasons. Unfortunately, modern humans like us are too involved in our daily activities that we often ignore ‘the voice of nature’. We even tend to no longer respect nature so that the balance of the relationship between humans and nature is disturbed. As a consequence, this triggers the emergence of various problems, including ones that have recently surfaced.

Djirna is an artist who was born, grew up, and works in Bali, a place where Balinese Hindu spiritualism still flourishes in daily life, and this has become a fundamental influence in how he views his art making process. Through the eight works in this exhibition, Djirna discusses the philosophy of life for the Balinese Hindu community known as Tri Hita Karana or “Three Causes of Well-Being”, which consists of harmony with God, harmony among humans, and harmony with nature.

I Made Djirna, Suara Alam (The Voice of Nature), 2020, mixed media on canvas, 280 × 380 cm © I Made Djirna, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery

This philosophy also perfectly describes Djirna’s daily life, which is filled with religious ceremonies. In his studio and at home, Djirna is always surrounded by various kinds of plants, pets—his favourite dogs and various kinds of birds—as well as various natural objects such as stones, logs, and pieces of relief from demolished temples. Indeed, Balinese temple reliefs seem to heavily influence Djirna’s works, where many figures in primitive deformation are lined up flat, with no perspective.

At first glance, his paintings remind us of Jean Dubuffet’s, but in the nuance of Balinese spirituality. Djirna’s works seem to pose an inevitable question, “Is this pandemic that we are going through right now also a form of nature’s voice trying to tell us something?”

The Voice of Nature, a solo exhibition by I Made Djirna, runs from 24th July to 29th August 2021 at Mizuma Gallery. More information available here

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