Nov 22nd - Dec 06th, 2008
The creative leave of four artists
MUTATION - INVASION
(The creative leave of four artists)
By Wayan Kun Adnyana
When we fix our gaze at the living cosmos and immersed ourselves in it, we will arrive at one ancient truth: that essentially Man lives inside and through the continuous cycle of macro-cosmos? five basic elements; water, fire, air, earth and sky.
Balinese Hinduism?s philosophy calls these elements as Panca Maha Bhuta; apah (water), teja (fire), bayu (air), pertiwi (earth) and akasa (sky).
Four artists; Tisna Sanjaya (born 28 January 1958 in Bandung), Ipong Purnama Sidhi (born 5 February 1955 in Yogyakarta), Made Sumadiyasa (born 8 February 1971 in Tabanan, Bali) and Made Mahendra Mangku (born 30 December 1972 in Sukawati, Bali), explore the spiritual depth of this elemental concept.
Their reflective investigation to the fundamental building blocks of the universe gave birth to visual explorations as well as a poetic spiritual consciousness.
The awareness to consciously converse about water will naturally yield so many critical questions. Those questions could be about the ongoing human-inflicted pollution to the world?s waters or on water as the sacred material of macro-cosmos.
Similar thing would also take place when the carefully-thought discussion picks fire as it main focus. Thousands upon thousands of empirical answers would arise and all of them would rattle our inner space.
How the source of fire (heat) have became the persistent cause of conflict among nations. Earth is exploited in brutal manners in a tireless effort to extract oil and gas solely for appeasing the insatiable greed of human being.
This takes place despite the existence in numerous civilizations in the world of various fire rites, which is essentially an adoration of life, along with their great philosophical apparatus.
Similar tensions could be observed when we talk about the air, the earth and the sky; the friction between the sacred and the profane; the friction that often reaches its most extreme point.
In short, the works presented by these four artists, all of them have reached their creative maturity, have stimulated us to embark upon a reflective journey to comprehend the most essential elements of our grand universe.
Tisna Sanjaya, a lecturer at the Fine Arts and Design Faculty of the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), has explored modern men?s social behaviors and the Nature?s dynamics for more than 15 years.
Recently, Tisna has intensively experimented with new mediums; ashes, dirts and asphalts. He purposefully uses ashes from burning papers and woods in his works to represent the cruelty of power, political or otherwise, that could turns humanity into nothing but ashes. Simultaneously, he elevated ashes into its most subtle role yet; as the harbinger of beauty, as an artwork.
Ipong Purnama Sidhi, the curator of Bentara Budaya Jakarta, is an artist that utilizes every ounces of his creative energy to fully and totally liberate the seeds of fire (heat energy) locked inside his body.
When I asked him about the five elements of macro-cosmos, Ipong didn?t give me any verbal answer. Instead, he took his brushes and palette and literally pounced upon an empty canvas, letting his aesthetic energy gave the answer on his behalf. The disciplined flames spoke in words that brought peace to the inner self; a poem that was both potent and endearing.
Made Sumadiyasa, whose work had graced in 1996 the cover of the prestigious Asian Art News, is certainly no stranger to the philosophy of the five elements. Throughout his career, Made has repeatedly visited the themes of Universe-Nature, from the macrocospic problems of environmental destruction and exploitation to the meditations on mystical personal experiences, such as an encounter with a rainbow, rain and the refreshing morning?s dews.
Inspired by Jiddu Krishnamurti and Fritjof Capra, Made combines the East with the West; the spontaneity of expression with the ascetical aesthetic way of thinking.
Made Mahendra Mangku is the most poetic of the four artists in portraying his reflections upon the dynamics of the universe?s five fundamental elements. His explorations focus on his personal perceptions upon empty space, dimension of nothingness, or the soft breeze of the wind. His language of visual abstraction is a landscape of inspiring poems; a natural mathematics? equation that evokes the emotive senses as well as comforts the logical mind.
Four artists interpret the five fundamental elements of the universe, the vortex of Panca Maha Bhuta which mutates and embraces the whole cosmos, creating life and anhililating it, all at the same time.
Wayan Kun Adnyana
Lecturer at the Fine Arts and Design Faculty
Indonesia Arts Institute (ISI) in Denpasar
Opening Speech by Kun Adnyana, the curator accompanied by the artist Made Sumadiyasa and Officially Opened by Bapak Anak Agung Gede Rai,the founder of ARMA.
Bapak I Nyoman Birit, Gaya Fusion director, welcoming the audience