For nearly a century, resident expatriate artists in large numbers have come to Bali where they played a major role in the perceived "romance" of Bali. Many came in hope of recreating another modern paradisiacal myth – emulating Paul Gauguin in Tahiti. By the time Filippo Sciascia arrived in Bali in the late 1990s, the expatriate artist syndrome had deteriorated badly into a rather stereotypical portrayal frozen somewhere in the early decades of the 20th century.
An edgy member of a new generation of artists experimenting with concepts and new techniques, Filippo is not interested in capturing idyllic Balinese scenes but more inclined to explore the interaction between the artist, his subject, the medium and the audience. In radical contrast to earlier expatriate artists, the Balinese style of life inspired Filippo to bring technology to the heart of his views of an ancient agricultural society. Not unremarkably, his work also resonates with local art heroes, like Made Wianta, with whom he worked on an art project appropriately entitled "opposites attract" – an acknowledgement of the seemingly unlikely merger of seemingly incompatible worlds.
The current exhibition, A Head is not a collection of paintings but a series of inter-related visual documents and narratives from a creative process over an extended period of time. The current works also represent a physical manifestation of energy that, like electricity, must circulate to have meaning or be useful.
Filippo is the generator. But once the flow begins his creations take on a life of their own. One of the most important participants is you, the audience.
When you look at the heads created by Filippo don't forget to see yourself.
"A Head" an exhibition by Filippo Sciascia at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay runs from August 8 through September 1, 2006. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m..
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