Friends of Gaya
Gaya Ceramic


Nov 22nd - Dec 06th, 2008
The creative leave of four artists

(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

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

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

Tisna Sanjaya
Yin Yang
mixed media on canvas
200 x 200 cm
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