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Bali Advertiser

09 February - 23 February, 2011

C/G/I-19 May 10

by Dr. Rob Between Spaces Paintings by I Made Suparta & Oktara Quevarra Bakara At Ganesha Gallery, Four Seasons Resort, Jimbaran Bay Tel: 701010 In this dual exhibition, ‘Between Spaces’, the viewer is given the opportunity to compare the work of two artists, Oktara Quevarra Bakara of Sumatra and I Made Suparta Wijaya of Bali. Although born on the opposite ends of the archipelago, both artists share common threads. They are approximately the same age, and both have attended ISI, Indonesia’s premiere art academy, in Central Java. Being of the same generation their mutual preoccupation with similar themes is not surprising. Wijaya sums his philosophy up with the Balinese saying that everything we do has consequences: sweet and bitter, good and bad. “I seek to bring an awareness of the consequences of our daily actions”, Fish Head he says, “by recording them”. Needless to say his iconography is enigmatic and symbolic. In his canvas ‘Fish Head’ a man is depicted wearing a fish mask, yet, in the canvas ‘Mission’, the same man is shown contemplating the fish mask. Wijaya presents very weird and macabre narratives. Bakara also speaks of awakening consciousness, and the impact of everyday life on his art. “After Mission reflecting on daily life I attempt to construct graphic images that symbolize the thoughts and feelings that dominate me. In the end, the process brings awareness of the next phase”, he states. While his canvases, like Wijaya’s, pose difficult questions, Bakara’s images, such as ‘Lost Detail’ and ‘Great Hat, Great Satire’, refer to human psychological concerns, and are a tad more cynical. The artists share similar color schemes, and both like to scribble words, formulas, and equations, like automatic writing, on their canvases. Amazingly, they are just as brilliant and distinctive together as they are apart, proving that a whole is never equal to the sum of all of its parts. In this case we can say Great Hat, Great Satire equal but very different. Lost Detail

Fragments of Subconscious Memory Paintings by Teja Astawa At Tony Raka Art Gallery, Jl. Raya Mas 86, Mas, Ubud Tel: 7816785 Currently, the Tony Raka Art Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition, entitled ‘Fragments of Subconscious Memory’, by Teja Astawa, a young artist from Sanur, Bali. Astawa’s artwork possesses a visual uniqueness, and he

presents strange, peculiar, and, at the same time, unique images. Astawa’s canvases represent a development of wayang puppet theatre, transforming it into a new visual language. The ideas of Astawa’s work are dug out from his childhood subconscious memories, when he played with kamboja leaves that were shaped into wayang figures. That experience, established in his memories, reappears spontaneously in his work, and becomes visible in his paintings as he grows older. Astawa does not utilize stories from the wayang world, for most of those Monkey Attack generally come from the Ramayana and Mahabarata epics. Instead, Astawa releases the associations with these epic narratives, and treats wayang only as a medium within which to play with conscious and subconscious imagery. In the wayang world, there are boundaries that have to be thought about. For instance, the figure’s form, its attributes, and the character attached to the figure. Also, the story boundaries surrounding the great epics, like the Ramayana and Mahabarata, must be seriously considered. Astawa chooses to unleash himself from those boundaries, by painting the wayang figure according to his imagination, finding its roots in his childhood. The narratives Astawa presents in his paintings closely resembles fragments appearing in his dreams. A sequence of narrative fragments in a dream, as Freud says, actually has a structure in the form of a sequence of events which repeatedly appear methodically, but, in reality, it is actually difficult to understand the dense sequences as they contain symbolic values. They are difficult to understand since dreams resonate in the subconscious memory, instead of the conscious memory. Reality in dreams is not the Pengaduan Binatang same as reality in conscious memory. Like the assured complexity of the symbolic narratives in a dream world, Astawa’s fragments of narratives also contain complexity. This complexity comes from Astawa’s painting process, in which fragments of his work appear to emerge from his conscious memory, and are combined with ideas taken from his subconscious memory. In his work ‘Monkey Attack’ Astawa wants to create a narrative about monkeys relaxing on the beach. All of a sudden there is a ‘Boom’. A bomb explodes and something is thrown out of a bombing ship in the background sea. This image may be associated with the Bali Bomb Blasts, and Astawa admits that the thought of the bomb blasts did cross his mind as he was finishing the work. Suddenly, the blasts incident rose from his subconscious mind, and he impulsively expressed the incident in his work. Traditional forms of wayang iconography can also appear in Astawa’s paintings. In the piece ‘Pengaduan Binatang’, which

speaks about a tiger meeting a god figure, the god is represented by a string of aura lights in the form of arched lines surrounding the figure. The theme is expressed by boldly emphasizing the figure with decorative lines painted in a relatively large scale. Presented in a simple manner, like wayang epics, Teja Astawa’s works offer light narrative themes, sometimes funny looking, sometimes seriously looking, yet, full of a unique presence. Except, the meanings of Astawa’s works are sometimes not coherently expressed, since they hold fragmented puzzles appearing spontaneously from his subconscious memory, and emerging from the depths of his imagination. E-mail: artwords2004@yahoo.com.au Copyright © 2011 Dr. Rob You can read all past articles of Artwords at www.BaliAdvertiser.biz

ART & ARTISTS Limited Time Exhibitions Between Spaces Artists : Made Suparta & Oktara Quevarra Bakara Genre : Paintings Period : February 3 until February 28, 2011 Every day, 9.00AM until 6.00PM Location : Ganesha Gallery, Four Seasons Resort, Jimbaran Bay Tel: 701010 Exhibition (Face’s) Artists : Mas Arifin Genre : Painting Period : December 20 until February 28, 2011 Location : Bridges Restaurant, Campuhan, Ubud Tel: 0818343427 / 0361 970095 Fragments of Subconscious Memory Artists : Teja Astawa Genre : Painting Period : January 21, 2011 until February 21, 2011 Every day, 10.00AM until 05.00PM Location : Tony Raka Art Gallery, Jl. Raya Mas 86, Mas, Ubud Tel: 7816785 On Camera Artists : MES 56 Collective Genre : Photography Period : December 16, 2010 until February 15, 2011 Every day, 9.00AM until 6.00PM Location : Biasa Art Gallery, Jl. Raya Seminyak 34, Seminyak Tel: 8475766 Trains of Asia Artists : Olivier Lamboray Genre : Painting Period : January 2 until February 15, 2011 Every day, 11.00AM until midnight Location : Cafe des Artistes, Jl. Bisma 9X, Ubud Tel: 972706 Please e-mail Bali Advertiser to place your exhibition here free of charge. Bali Advertiser reserves the right to publish or not publish submissions.

BA_09 February 2011  

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