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Art with Shared Indian and Balinese Roots

I Ketut Suwidiarta Exhibition of Paintings at Danes Art Veranda, Denpasar, Bali May 11-25, 2012

(4/20/2012) Few artists, including those hailing from Bali, are interested in undertaking an academic study of a foreign culture and its artistic traditions. I Ketut Suwidiarta, born in the village of Bongkasa, Bali in 1976, completed his tertiary education at ISI Yogyakarta before choosing to continue his studies at the Faculty of Visual Arts Rabindra Bharati University at Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata, India from 2008-2010.
After completing his course of study in the country which is the birthplace of the Mahabrata and Ramayana epics he participated in several exhibitions and artistic events in Kolkata, India.

Returning home to Bali from India, Suwidiarta continues to exhibit his works – much inspired by his Indian sojourn.

His latest exhibition “Ziarah Rupa” will run from May 11 to May 25, 2012 at the Danes Art Veranda, Jalan Hayam Wuruk No. 159 in Denpasar.

Putu Wirata Dwikora, an art lover and the curator of the exhibition, says that generally the style and artistic vision of Suwidiarta is a form of parody, laughter and insinuation. Suwidiarta’s work uses a whole range of themes, beginning from societal problems of daily life, political issues and cultural dilemnas that can be both dynamic and sources of conflict. This Balinese artists has rendered an essence derived from his Indian journey and now incorporated into the social and artistic reality of Bali.

Suwidiarta contends that the art and culture he discovered in India was bountiful and too wide-ranging to be ignored. His art is now inspired by touches of India and an underlying undestanding that his own Bali-Hindu values trace their roots back to India and now exists with rich overlays of Balinese creativity.

Suwidiarta’s resort to parody is seen in his work “Cinta Dunia” (Love of the World). This painting weds an episode from the Mahabrata epice with the fate of Bali as represented by the Balinese woman Ni Polok, the “muse” of the famous Belgian artist Adrianne le Mayeur de Merpress who once made their home on Bali’s Sanur beach.

“Cinta Dunia” portrays the fate of the island of Bali which has, to his mind, been endlessly exploited for the past 50 years. Bali is shown as Ni Polok who is laid naked by exploitive investors, corrupt leaders and short-sighted community leaders – all joining forces to deprive Bali of her assets in the name of profit.

"Zairah Rupa"

An Exhibition by I Ketut Suwidiarta
May 11 – May 25, 2012
Danes Art Veranda
Jalan Hayam Wuruk No. 159
Denpasar