ART JAKARTA  SE Asia’s premier art fair returns 17-19 November 2023
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
1w ago
Art Jakarta is the premier Southeast Asian-focused art fair in Asia, located in the heart of the most significant art market of the region, Jakarta. It is an indispensable platform for contemporary art exchange and an international forum for key stakeholders in Asia to serve the region’s burgeoning art ecosystem. This year, Art Jakarta 2023 will be held on 17–19 November at a new venue, JIExpo Kemayoran, in Jakarta, celebrating artistic expression in a spacious environment with state-of-the-art facilities. Art Jakarta 2023 welcomes galleries from Indonesia and Southeast Asian countries, inclu ..read more
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Hana Madness: Indonesian Artist Breaking Mental Health Taboos
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
2w ago
I first met Hana Madness at the discussion “Art Has Saved My Life”, led by two Indonesian art activists at the Rumah Sanur Creative Hub, Bali, in June 2019. The discussion was one of the forums of Ayo Ketemu! (Let’s Meet!), an innovative entrepreneurial, creative program for Indonesians with mental and physical disabilities. Hana spoke of utilizing art as an alternative therapy to positively impact her healing processes concerning mental health issues. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffering from psychotic symptoms, Hana began investigating art in high school to help with stre ..read more
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Book of Beasts exhibit explores Goenawan Mohamad’s joy of the unexpected
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
3w ago
Renowned Indonesian poet, essayist, playwright and editor Goenawan Mohamad presents a collection of printmaking works in his first print exhibition, Kitab Hewan: Book of Beasts, open  3 February – 5 March 2023 at Sika Gallery, Ubud, Bali. The works are the outcome of an artist in residency program at the DEVFTO Printmaking Institute. “Previous to the pandemic, I knew nothing about printmaking, even though I greatly appreciated the genre. Then, while attending an exhibition in Ubud in April 2021, I met Devy Ferdianto, Indonesia’s master printmaker and I wanted to learn from him,” Moh ..read more
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Ketut Nugi: reconfiguring colonial iconography into potent Balinese contemporary art statements
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
1M ago
Emerging Balinese contemporary artist Ketut Nugi captured my attention in a group exhibition, ‘Documenting Perspective’ at Nonfrasa in Ubud during July-August 2022. Showcased within a display cabinet, ‘Irrational of Joy’ 2022 is a montage of colourful illustrations and old photographs that transports the imagination to the formative days of Dutch colonialism tourism (picture in your mind’s eye brochure photographs from the 1920s describing the iconic, beautiful traditional Bali). His painterly style was refreshing. Strong composition structure, rapid brush strokes and intriguing content revea ..read more
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Book Review – Masks of Bali: Between Heaven and Hell
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
1M ago
Balinese masks worn during ritual performances allow dancers to assume the disguise of humans, animals, spirits and powerful supernatural entities to help inform society about cultural ethics, morality, religious scriptures and folklore. The most comprehensive study about the cultural icon Masks of Bali: Between Heaven and Hell has recently been published.  Created according to sacred protocols, masks or topeng (meaning something pressed against the face) are recognized as living beings that receive unique offerings every 210 days. Exquisitely carved from the fine-grained white timb ..read more
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NONFRASA: bali’s most exciting new contemporary art venue
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
1M ago
Nonfrasa, a new contemporary gallery in Ubud, has captured my heart and imagination. The brainchild of Balinese creative Krisna Sudharma, Nonfrasa merges avant-garde Balinese and Indonesian contemporary art with harmonic architectural design to induce the memorable art experience. According to the website, “Nonfrasa is a platform dedicated for discovering emerging artists and rediscovering leftfield work from artists in Bali and Indonesia, exploring the range and context of Bali’s rich art and culture history through a narrative and practice of actively expanding contemporary identities.” At ..read more
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MADE BANDEM: Bali’s effervescent dance maestro & cultural ambassador
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
1M ago
“To become a good dancer, first you must become a good person,” I Made Bandem told NOW!Bali Magazine. Balinese dance virtuoso and scholar Prof. Dr Bandem radiates charm and youthful enthusiasm as he shares his father’s most valuable advice. “The three cultural pathways to becoming a good person are known as Tri Kaya Parisudha: manacika (think well, focussed & clear), wacika (speak well, humble & respectful), and kayika (work and act well with integrity & discipline).” Bandem then took great delight in showing me his mask collection gifted to his father by former kings and priests ..read more
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Gurat Institute: Forging New Paths in Balinese Art Visual Art Infrastructure
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
1M ago
From its inception in 2016, the independent research, archiving, and documentation initiative of the Gurat Institute, led by four young writers, has maintained a unique vision of presenting Balinese art narratives from the voice of the Balinese.  Since the turn of the millennium, Indonesian contemporary art has thrived, though there were some bumps associated with the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. Generally though, artists and the industry have enjoyed increasingly engaged international audiences and collectors. In addition, key developments in the Javanese cultural hubs of Bandung, Y ..read more
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Check Your Head – Prett Art’s joyous clay figurines function as personal therapists
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
1M ago
Colourful, light-hearted and cute, I was immediately captured by the art of Venty Vergianti. Her delightful pint-sized clay figurines, distinguished by jubilant emotions and childlike faces with open mouths, either smiling or bursting with laughter while sporting radiantly glazed caps, encapsulate an undeniably scrumptious art recipe. Their rotund bellies are often exaggerated, forming copious receptacles perfect for potting indoor or outdoor plants. Venty’s figures, which she labels “cadets’ are also transformed into expressive vehicles for meaningful ideas. Go to Prett_art on Instagram, and ..read more
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Bali Poleng 2022: Ceremonies & Prayer usher in a brighter new year and collective future
Life as Art Asia
by Richard Horstman
1M ago
Priest Ketut Susila officiating a ceremony at Tugu Hotel, Bali. Image Dasha Almazova Saturday, January 1 2022, signified a historic day in Bali with the Opening Ceremony of the Bali Poleng 2022 Movement. The event officially marked the island-wide collective prayer and Kul-Kul sounding on January 2, 2022. It was attended by 108 Bajra (Priests Association), heads of the MDA (Majelis Desa Adat, or Village Assembly of Bali), royal Kings of Java and Bali, and foreign consuls and held at Pura Samuan Tiga, Gianyar, Bali’s third largest temple. A day of prayer open to people of all faiths and nation ..read more
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