Good News from Bali

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Ari Bayuaji, Budi Agung Kuswara, Citra Sasmita, I Made Djirna, Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, Kemalezedine
Curated by Hermanto Soerjanto
26 February – 3 April 2022

Mizuma Gallery is pleased to announce 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.

“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.

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.

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.” – Hermanto Soerjanto, Exhibition Curator

Good News from Bali will run from 26 February till 3 April 2022.


About the Curator

Hermanto 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 has 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 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 a regular basis. To date, he has organized several exhibitions, most notably 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.


About the Artists

Ari Bayuaji (b. 1975, Mojokerto, Indonesia) graduated as a civil engineer and worked in Indonesia before deciding to move to Canada permanently in 2005. Once in Montreal, he studied Fine Arts at Concordia University from 2005 to 2010 and now divides his time between Montreal and Bali. The artist is known mainly for his art installations that incorporate the use of found and ready-made objects he collects from various parts of the world, thereby exposing himself to the different cultural traditions. He is an expert in conveying aspects of daily life within a culture as his works often expose the overlooked artistic value in everyday life expressed through objects and places and their roles within a society. Ari Bayuaji has taken part in numerous artist-in-residency programs in Canada, France, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Singapore. The artist’s work has been exhibited in major solo exhibitions in Singapore, Taipei (Taiwan), Ste-Alvère (France), Dusseldorf (Germany), Rotterdam and The Hague (The Netherlands), and Yogyakarta (Indonesia).

Budi 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 notable exhibitions include Residual Memory in Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (2021); 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 his first solo exhibition, i.self at Komaneka Fine Art Gallery, Bali, Indonesia (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 Singapore and in Bali, Indonesia, where he co-founded Ketemu Project Space, a visual collective and social enterprise hybrid with focus on social engagement.

Citra Sasmita (b. 1990, Bali, Indonesia) is a contemporary artist from Bali whose work focuses on unraveling the myths and misconceptions of Balinese art and culture. She is also deeply invested in questioning a woman’s place in social hierarchy and seeks to upend normative construct of gender. Citra Sasmita has never been formally graduated from art institution. She studied Literature in Udayana University in Bali, Indonesia (2008) and Physics Education in the Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences, Ganesha University of Education in Bali, Indonesia (2009). Her dream as an artist was reignited when she joined the campus theater group and became a short story illustrator in Bali Post. As an illustrator, she deepened her self-taught world of art and actively participated in exhibitions in Bali and outside Bali. In 2017, Citra Sasmita received the Gold Award of UOB Painting of the Year (Indonesia). Some of her notable exhibitions include Ode To The Sun (2020) at Yeo Workshop, Singapore; Garden Of Six Seasons (2020) at Para Site, Hong Kong; and Kathmandu Triennale in Kathmandu, Nepal (2022). Citra Sasmita lives and works in Bali, Indonesia.

I Made Djirna (b. 1957, Bali, Indonesia) 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 include The Voice of Nature at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore (2021); The Logic of Ritual at Sangkring Art Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2013); Seascapes at Gajah Gallery, Singapore (2007); and 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.

Ida Bagus Putu Purwa (b. 1976, Bali, Indonesia) or often called Gus Purwa is a contemporary Balinese artist who portrayed his works using human figure to express his feelings, emotions, and imaginations. They are reflections of himself, as an individual living his creative life and as part of social beings living in the Balinese community. However, his recent works are inspired spiritually by an artist from Denpasar, Gusti Made Deblog. Having been born and raised in Bali, also having graduated from Indonesian High School of Art (STSI) Denpasar, Ida Bagus Putu Purwa is strongly influenced by the custom, culture, and tradition in Bali, which became the roots of his artworks. His interest in working with charcoal and oil creates a distinctive feature in his works. Ida Bagus Putu Purwa lives and works in Bali, Indonesia.

Kemalezedine (b. 1978, Yogyakarta, Indonesia) studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design of ITB, Bandung, Indonesia (1997 to 2004). Kemalezedine held his first solo exhibition in 2012 at S.14 Bandung. Since then, he has been actively participating in a number of national and international exhibitions. Kemalezedine is a part of the Nu-Abstract and Neo-Pitamaha group in Bali, which studies and experiments on Indonesian art (painting) and Balinese drawing and Balinese painting. Kemalezedine’s focus is to create and explore world of painting-drawing. Kemalezedine lives and works in Bali, Indonesia.

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