Arguably the first style of Balinese painting to become known outside the island, the Batuan School of painting was championed by early Bali scholar-visitors, such as the American anthropologist Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, who spent the late 1930's in Bali and mingled with the artists of the Batuan sub-district of the Gianyar Regency.
A highly energetic form of artistic representation, the Batuan School crams an entire encyclopedia of Balinese daily life onto a single canvas: the activities of an entire village are crowded into a solitary painting, juxtapositioning numerous vignettes within the boundaries of one work of art. And, if dealing with hundreds of characters involved in as many activities manages somehow to bore a Batuan artist, he would simply purchase a larger canvas and create an ambitious satellite-eye view of the island's geography, superimposing every aspect of the island's existence as though viewed by a Balinese god from some distant cloud. Playful and provocative, many Batuan paintings do not shy away from depicting both the spiritual and profane in a single work, in keeping with the Balinese tendency to see "good" and "evil" as variations on a common theme.
Two of the Batuan Shool's most outstanding exponents were I Wayan Djata and I Wayan Rajin, father and son painters of Batuan, who both died during the past half-decade. Their vibrant depictions of ritual, myth and daily life are now prized parts of private collections around the world.
An Exhibition – Batuan Style: March 18 – April 18
Bali's Ganesha Gallery at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay will be exhibiting the works of I Made Djata and his son, I Wayan Rajin, from March 18 until April 18, 2003.
The Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m..
For more information contact the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay telephone ++62-361-701010 or facsimile ++62-361-701020.
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