Rooted in Bali

FACE to face


A group exhibition featuring three Indonesian artists Budi Agung Kuswara, I Made Djirna, and Made Wianta, curated by Hermanto Soerjanto,.

10 January – 16 February 2020

Opening Reception: Friday, 10 January 2020, 6pm – 9pm

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

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 Indonesia Institute of Arts (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 showcases works by Budi Agung Kuswara, I Made Djirna, and Made Wianta, highlighting the unique characteristics of Balinese art.

About the Artists

Budi Agung Kuswara-EDITEDBUDI AGUNG KUSWARA (b. 1982, Bali, Indonesia) graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Indonesia Institute of Arts (ISI), Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2009. His major exhibitions include Arus Berlabuh Kita at the Asian Civilization Museum, Singapore (2018); Love Me in My Batik at ILHAM Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2016); Floating Desires at TAKSU Gallery, Singapore (solo, 2012); The Wax on Our Fingers, a collaboration with Singaporean artist Samantha Tio (Mintio), at the Indonesian Contemporary Arts Network, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2012); and i.self at Komaneka Fine Art Gallery, Bali, Indonesia (solo, 2009). He has also undertaken residencies at Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, Taiwan (2016), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (2012), and TAKSU Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2012). Budi Agung Kuswara lives and works in Bali, Indonesia, where he co-founded Ketemu Project Space, a visual collective and social enterprise hybrid with focus on social engagement.

I Made DjirnaI MADE DJIRNA (b. 1957, Bali, Indonesia) is a renowned artist who graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 1985. Djirna grew up in a village in Ubud, Bali, surrounded by Balinese stories of spirits, dance, and shadow puppetry. The people of Ubud treated traditions, customs, and religion with great significance, as it was believed that it could help achieve peace and well being – a principal of life rooted deep down in Djirna’s heart. Through his works, Djirna explores the social and political issues of Indonesia and human relationships. Exploring the use of different materials, techniques and styles, he masterfully translates these thoughts and emotions into his paintings and installations. His solo exhibitions includes The Logic of Ritual at Sangkring Art Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2013); Seascapes at Gajah Gallery, Singapore (2007); and held his first solo exhibition at the Northern Territory Museum of Art and Sciences, Darwin, Australia (1989). His past exhibitions also extend widely across Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Canada and the United States. I Made Djirna lives and works in Bali, Indonesia.

Made WiantaMADE WIANTA (b. 1949, Bali, Indonesia) graduated from the Indonesia Institute of Arts (ISI), Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 1974. He is one of the most important figures in Balinese contemporary art and is one of the most prominent Indonesian abstract artists. Some of his exhibitions include Beyond the Myths: Art Bali at AB•BC Building, Bali Collection, Bali, Indonesia (2018); Run For Manhattan at Ciptadana Art Space, Jakarta, Indonesia (2017); and After Utopia: Revisiting the Ideal in Asian Contemporary Art at Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2015). Wianta was one of the artists at the Indonesian Pavilion of the Beijing International Art Biennale #7, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (2017). His works are in the collections of OHD Museum, Magelang, Indonesia; Museum der Kulturen, Basel, Switzerland; Rudana Art Museum, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; Agung Rai Museum of Art, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia; Neka Art Museum, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; Darwin Art Museum, Darwin, Australia; and Museum Bali, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia amongst others. Made Wianta lives and works in Bali, Indonesia.

About the Curator

Hermanto SoerjantoHermanto Soerjanto (b. 1970, Indonesia) went to Palin School of Arts & Design in Singapore and Akademi Teknik Desain Interior (ATDI) in Jakarta, Indonesia, before joining Cipta Citra advertising agency in 1994. Since then, he had built his career in the field of advertising and currently holds a position at Pantarei Communications as Chief Creative Officer. As an art collector, Hermanto Soerjanto is familiar with Indonesian artists, having spent much time conversing with them and visiting their studios. In 2008 he established GARIS Artspace, an art gallery in Jakarta showcasing works by contemporary Indonesian artists, where he organizes and curates the exhibitions on regular basis. To date, Hermanto Soerjanto has organized several exhibitions, most notably Noodle Theory by Angki Purbandono at GARIS Artspace (2010), Ethnicity Now, a group exhibition at Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta (2010), and Unveiling Fundamentals in Contemporary Art Through Asia at OHD Museum, Magelang, Indonesia (2015). Hermanto Soerjanto lives and works in Jakarta, Indonesia, and is one of the co-founders of Rumah Kijang Mizuma alongside Executive Director of Mizuma Galleries, Sueo Mizuma, and artist Angki Purbandono.

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