In general, the graphic arts - etchings, lithographs and woodcuts - have attracted little interest in Indonesia where collectors tend to be more obsessed with paintings.
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This has begun to change in recent years, a fact reflected in an exhibition of two Balinese artists, I Made Saryana and Mega Sari, who work in the technically challenging art of woodcutting.
Not surprisingly, both artists, graduates of Yogjakarta's prestigious art academy, ISI,
cite similar reasons for choosing this medium. "I like this technique because of the unique textures that result from layering", says Saryana. And, indeed, his works are complex and colorful compositions inspired by Balinese daily life and imagery re-imagined on a contemporary level with an edgy sense of post modern humor. His art also is influenced well known painters Heri Dono and Faisal, who burst onto the Yogyakarta art scene in the 1980s.
Mega Sari, a female from Tabanan, Bali, insists that "the challenge of making a good woodcut is in the details." While her colors are subtler and subjects more lyrical than those of Saryana, they display the same characteristics that have attracted the likes of Albrecht Durer and Hokasai to practice the earliest form of printing. The connection with Japanese prints is seen in the rich textures, stylized reality of the images and the general compositions. The Japanese nuance of Mega Sariís works is further explained by a period art study in Japan where she has mounted 12 solo exhibitions.An Intelligent World
While both artists share certain themes - Balinese dancers and Balinese daily life - Mega loves still life, often depicting flowers in vases. For those who claim that woodcut is a foreign import, they should consider and study the similarity between the technique of using copper and sometimes wood blocks to apply wax to make batik which is a clear link to the Indonesian tradition of printing on cloth.An Intelligent World
An Exhibition of Etchings, Lithographs and Woodcuts by I Made Saryana and Mega Sari
January 7 - February 1, 2010
Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay
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