Friends of Gaya
Gaya Ceramic

Space On Space
Made Wianta
Dec 20, 2009 - Jan 20, 2010
A Solo Exhibition By Made Wianta


Art in the exhibition space is an unchanging spectacle. It is the framing of a psychological image. It is an event that turns the visual elements in art works into actors arranged by somebody who calls himself an artist. In truth he is more a director than an artist.
Senior Balinese artist Made Wianta is one artist who considers the staging of art works within a gallery space, which he views as a place for staging an event. Wianta understands the staging of an event as would a director; the framing of space and time becomes multi-layered. Here the spectacle takes into consideration both cognitive and aesthetic factors, both of which are interconnected with intellectual awareness.

In Space on Space at Gaya Fusion Art Space, Wianta charmingly tests our preparedness to enter the sensation of the spectacle. All of the Gaya Fusion wall space, measuring approximately 1600X1200X450 cm is covered with abstract ‘op’ images. As many as 3000 images made using acrylic on plywood measuring 35X45 cm are attached to the walls. It is easy to imagine the psychological effect on entering a space thus filled with images. The exhibition space becomes literally spectacular.

Transforming exhibition space into a more event-oriented space is clearly necessary these days, if only because it reflects the popularity of the spectacle this century, now that the age of listening has been replaced with the age of seeing - with all of its looking, watching, observing, invigilating, peeping and glancing that dominates daily life (1). In the context of Space on Space by Made Wianta, individuals will certainly interpret the spectacle in different ways. These different experiences are, however, unlike the different experiences people have when watching TV. A spectacle shown on TV can condition the viewing audience to experience an event in a uniform way.


As a piece of art, the visual imagery in Space on Space represents a re-thinking of dimension, size (scale) and space. The most conventional reading of art elements tends to be limited to discussions of colour, line, and form, whereas in practice this classification of elements has become much broader in scope. Wianta feels that the spectacle can widen the impressions of its observers only when the basic elements of art are increased in number and arranged based on a knowledge of art. For example, the way in which the dimensions of two art works occupy a space without losing the space of their own image. Thousands of abstract ‘op’ images occupying plywood boards measuring 30X45 cm are arranged throughout the exhibition space in such a way as to create a whole that is more sensational and impressive than the sum of its parts.
The aforementioned layered space can also be achieved through a play of colour, surface, light, and also size and scale (2). The play of these visual elements is of course an important part of contemporary sculpture, but it is actually also increasingly common in other art forms. For example, Wianta was playing with size and scale in Space on Space long before the exhibition was being put together. Size and scale clearly determine the organization of items within a space. But they are at the same time a means to frame the exhibition space. To this end Wianta has also positioned several images on the pillars of the Gaya Fusion Art Space, creating a feeling of line as well as confinement. It is a feature that makes the space more dynamic.

This kind of staging is also in line with new developments in contemporary art, in which art is not only about painting, but also represents ideas about painting (3). This view widens the scope of painting, which had hitherto been limited to a narrower range of ideas, so that now the concepts behind new works are as important as the works themselves. Wianta has arranged his mini-paintings such that they completely fill the walls of the exhibitions space, clearly as a means to create a new dimension in painting. Painting has become an element of painting.

The art being shown by Wianta in Space on Space positions painting not only as 2 dimensional art, but also spatial. It is painting arranged architecturally; showing not only outer surfaces, but also inner surfaces. The dimensions thus afforded make for quite sensational viewing for observers.

The murals and mosaics of the Baroque period could be seen as a historical precedent to the arrangement of works chosen by Wianta here. Murals and mosaics have always been a feature of interior architecture, although they have tended to serve some narrative purpose. Wianta, however, has elected not to burden the viewer with narration. He is only talking about the spectacle of layered space.
Spectacle brings about a dialogue between the processes of seeing, feeling, and understanding. These processes also touch on the potential of the inner eye of the observer, in other words the cognitive, emotional and spiritual road map of the observer known technically as the psycho-physical perspective (4). Such matters have traditionally been dealt with through symbolism in art, which makes use of transformations. Small forms that are the result of transformation also come about through the careful staging of a spectacle.

The problems associated with managing the various elements of a spectacle leads the artist into a consideration of the creativity of the director. After all, putting together a spectacle requires the artist to go beyond the simple production of works of art. Art works in a spectacle are only one part of a coordinated whole. There is no other way to satisfy this desire to create, other than continually developing intellectual awareness.

The spectacle may also be received in a state of boredom, meaning that the concept behind the work has to be something new. It is difficult to imagine a spectacle making an impression if it is a repeat. In this context the artist stands to learn from the real time nature of television, and the way in which TV creates attractive spectacles.

Wianta likes to talk about this problem. Creating spectacles today has to be seen as a kind of battle with television, so popular has television become. The question remains, are artists ready to grab the attention of millions of pairs of eyes to see, watch, blink, glance, and ultimately observe art? Wianta has undertaken several experiments to this end, for example his performance Art and Peace in 1999, or for that matter, the current Space on Space.
Wayan Kun Adnyana, art curator, teacher at FSRD ISI Denpasar

(1) Yasraf Amir Piliang, Multiplisitas dan Diferensi: Redefinisi Desain, teknologi dan Humanitas, Jalasutra, Yogyakarta, 2008, p. 261.

(2) Bacaan Konfigurasi elementer seni patung kontemporer, Judith Collins, Sculpture Today, Phaidon, London, 2007, pp. 247 & 387.

(3) Barry Schwabsky, "Painting in The Interrogative Mode", in Valerie Breuvart (editor), Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting, Phaidon, London, 2002, p. 08.

(4) For "The Inner Eye" read Joe Houston, Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of The 1960s, Merrell, London, p. 35.

Made Wianta With Prof. DR I Made Bandem & wife on The Opening Exhibition
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