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Footprints in Two Worlds

An Exhibition by Suratmin Bagus Priyo at the Ganesha Gallery August 18 – September 18, 2008.


In his first Bali exhibition, "Footprints in Two Worlds." Central Javanese artist, Suratmin Bagus Priyo, startles and delights his audience with three distinctly different groups of 33 drawings and paintings along with an enigmatic installation "I am not a Fish."

The danger, of course, of too much diversity in one exhibition is that the artist can quickly lose balance and careen out of control. In Bagus Priyo's case, however, the artist rushes to the precipice to stimulate our excitement but stops before it's too late. Although different, all three groups of art are also tied together by the artist's imitable edgy style. With long experience in commercial art, the creation of logos (he has won several prizes in this regard) and caricatures, Bagus Priyo also challenges our understanding of the boundaries between these false categories.

As their name implies, 'Black and White' paintings, are monochromatic studies of various themes including a dynamic image of Garuda (the mythological bird of Java's Hindu past), street and water scenes, Hindu-Buddhist temples and glimpses of daily life. The "Naturalist" group has the same edginess but launches into blues and browns. Again the images are realistic scenes but not from Indonesia but Europe, including two paintings of dark brooding forests, that leads to the question if he is referring to the East and West in this title.

While most of us have two feet, Bagus Priyo, passes a third portal with his 'Post-Modern' series, an eclectic blend of abstract, semi-abstract and cartoon characters including the Biblical (and Koranic) King Solomon who appears with catfish swimming around his head. Others feature chess boards, numbers, letters and calligraphy arousing a sense of mystery.

Indeed Suratmin Bagus Priyo has also left his footprints in another world, as he seeks to explore the magical roots of art with refreshing self-effacing humor. His extensive writings allow us to label him as a quirky latter day shaman and philosopher. Although he offers no immediate revelations or immediate solutions to life's mysteries, the artist assuages us with intriguing, oftentimes beautiful imagery. It would seem his biggest message is that we should be adventurous and not afraid to explore and enjoy our lives. He is also a penultimate humanist urging one and all to respect if not celebrate our differences in good humor and faith. As his "I am not a Fish," manifesto reads, "Don't treat ME, HIM, HER, or THEM, like FISH! We are HUMAN!"

He is serious, of course, but also smiling.

Footprints in Two Worlds

– a Solo Exhibition by Suratmin Bagus Priyo

August 18 – September 18, 2008

Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay

For more information, call the Ms. Luh Resiki at the Gallery at ++62-(0)361-701010.

Four Seasons Pictures

click image to enlarge

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