“There are many great painters born in Bali, yet a painter who is also a writer, let alone a writer on fine arts, is a rarity.”
- Jean Couteau, 2007
Balinese artist-writer-intellectual-visionary Wayan Kun Adnyana is a unique example of post-modern cross-cultural fertilization in Bali. Hailing from Bangli the island’s only landlocked province, he first appeared on the scene as a teenager in 1996 when he won a prize for painting. Since that time, he has published numerous articles, books, organized several major exhibitions as well as establishing himself as one of Bali’s most dynamic and talented painters. In a complex age, he has proven that not all Renaissance men in the 21st century are necessarily diletantes.
His paintings are not only visual feasts demonstrating a firm grasp of human anatomy, composition and color, but also psychological, mythic-poetic triumphs.
In this exhibition Theatre of the Body he has returned to the Renaissance belief that the human body is the center and measure of all Art. Muscular Balinese men dressed only in loincloths embrace and wrestle each other. In a comment on the Balinese inability to express their emotions in public, all of the subjects are masked, hiding their true feelings.
Kun’s realistic allegorical works based on anthropomorphic images are also reminiscent of the works of his friends, Putu Sutawijaya and Nyoman Masriadi, both Balinese belonging to the same generation. Together they represent the visual discussion initiated by Balinese writer-anthropologist Degung Santikarma who wryly wrote of the difficulties faced by Balinese trying to strike a balance between being contemporary world citizens and old tourist stereotypes that wish to cast them as ‘happy natives’. Here Kun explores this identity in true Balinese fashion as a theatrical event in which he plays the role of the dalang, the priest-like puppet master of the shadow puppets.
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An Exhibition of Painting by Wayan Kun Adnyana
Ganesha Gallery At the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay
September 1 – October 3, 2011
Open Daily 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
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