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Art What!: Good News From Bali at Mizuma Gallery

Mizuma Gallery has announced Good News from Bali, an exhibition curated by Hermanto Soerjanto, featuring works by Ari Bayuaji, Budi Agung Kuswara, Citra Sasmita, I Made Djirna, Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, and Kemalezedine.

Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, Journey, 2021, charcoal and oil on canvas, 250 × 300 cm © Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery

“In the last five years, there has been a lot happening in Balinese art scene. There are now a lot more artists in Bali who explore the local values of Balinese society, tradition, and culture as the main inspiration of their artistic practice. Although this is not something new, as it has been done by many Balinese artists, I saw a big gap as many younger Balinese artists were more interested in creating works targeted to the market, abandoning their roots of locality. I could not blame them for doing so, because for many artists, to be associated with Balinese art is more a burden than an advantage, due to the mismanagement of the Balinese art scene for decades that led to a misperception that Balinese art is merely for tourist attractions,” says Hermanto Soerjanto, Exhibition Curator.

I Made Djirna, Conscience, 2021, mixed media on canvas, 280 × 380 cm © I Made Djirna, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery.

Amongst the group of artists from Bali, Kemalezedine and Ari Bayuaji are not actually Balinese. Kemalezedine moved from Jakarta to Bali ten years ago, and since then he has worked and built his career as an artist in Bali. Ari Bayuaji is an Indonesian artist based in Montreal, Canada, who happened to be stranded in Bali for two years now due to the pandemic. He initiated an art project, ‘Weaving the Ocean’, in collaboration with a local community that has been economically affected by the pandemic. Budi Agung Kuswara is a Balinese artist who currently lives and works in Singapore. While I Made Djirna, Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, and Citra Sasmita are Balinese artists who were born, raised, and now work in Bali.

Kemalezedine, Yellow Ochre of Kamasan, 2022, ink and oil on canvas, 200 × 400 cm © Kemalezedine, courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Gallery.

“The various origins and backgrounds of the artists participating in this show remind me of how Balinese soul is so influential, but at the same time it is open to influences. My hope is that the works in this exhibition can be an inspiration and spirit booster for other artists to reconnect with their local values, culture and tradition, drawing from it as the basis and inspiration in their artistic practice.” 

Good News from Bali will run from 26th February till 3rd April 2022 at Mizuma Gallery. More information available here

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