The Authentic of Balinese Art Through Cultural Heritage
Before Balinese art creating for its aesthetic purposes, a long time ago arts are an expression and reverence for deified ancestors. Almost part of Balinese life, as well as the spiritual traditions, strongly has a connection with art. For example, the dance and shadow puppet performance during Balinese ceremony in the temple. Moreover, you can see the skill of Balinese people by their masterpieces such as paintings, carvings, jewelry, and sculpture that you can find them everywhere on the island. Different villages and regions in Bali have a different style of handicrafts, especially in Ubud Village. It now becomes the center of Balinese art with high value that still preserved very well.
Meanwhile, all the tourist can also buy the artworks and bring it home as a souvenir. For those who end up with more than they can carry, there are many shipping services. So, it will help you out with overweight luggage and arrived safely at your place. Therefore, Bali is the perfect place to learn about local art and support the artistic community. In the past the Balinese artists were multitalented, they could paint, sculpt, and even dance. The influences from abroad that continue to arrive from all over the world, make traditional Balinese art grew wildly. The visitors are so delighted by The Balinese artwork with never-ending demand for the artworks.
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Bali as the “island of artists” have thousands of artworks, especially Balinese Painting. The artsy spirit that exists on this island come from generation to generation. In fact, Balinese artists traditionally produced only religious art for depicting myths. One of the oldest traditional Balinese paintings is from Gelgel Kingdom Heritage with several works of art. Further, the painting estimated around 15th century. Simple painting style with natural dye made of cotton flower and rice starch. It looks like the paintings found in “Wayang Kulit” (shadow puppetry from Java).
You can see one of the oldest painting that preserved in Pura Besakih is lotus painting with a figure of Ganesha. These two relics are painting in the 15th century. You can see several artworks from early 19th centuries in some museums in Ubud. Likewise as decorative elements that have the beauty and value of history. At the beginning of 1930 Ubud, Batuan and Sanur begin to emerge and the tourist recognizes as regions with great quality work of art.
There are 3 famous Balinese painters who put acculturation between traditional concepts and materials in art with some western influences. They are I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Ida Bagus Gelgel, and Ida Bagus Kembang. The Balinese arts communities increasingly being formed in several areas. Also, the art school started to produce Balinese artists with more capable abilities.
Nowadays, some new schools of artists are experimenting with more modern forms of art, and a wide range of artistic approaches. You can see it through art galleries across Bali, such as hotels, cafes, and restaurants that usually held an exhibition. Artists of all types and skill levels sell their paintings to tourists at reasonable prices depending on their talents.
Balinese Wood Carving and Sculpture
Balinese wood carving is an ancient art form but has also changed and developed over the years. Mas Village is famous for its woodcarvings, and some of its master artisans become famous across Indonesia and in international. Wooden statues and even furniture, fixtures, and door frames usually adorned with flowers, landscapes, and traditional themes by skilled craftsmen. You can buy these carving as souvenirs in all parts of Bali, varying from cheap and charming to intricate and unique.
For Balinese people, they usually designed natural things as a part of daily life according to traditional principles. For this reason, sculpture is of great importance in Bali. Batubulan Village is famous for its sculpture, but there are enclaves of stonemasons in areas such as Kerobokan as well as Denpasar.
Traditional subjects are common, but business is brisk, and many of these stone carvers sell large pieces to businesses and private individuals around the world, so alongside Ganesha and wayang puppets, visitors can find stone Buddhas, garden sculptures, and nudes, some as big as small houses. There is a wide variety in quality here, with mass-produced stonework available as well as more artistic pieces marked by individual craftsmanship.
Endek textiles or Wastra Endek is a Balinese weft ikat cloth. The local still preserving its sustainability and still often used as a material for ritual or ceremonies. Currently, it is a material for school uniform (some areas in Bali) and also government office uniform. Endek’s motifs are so diverse, some motives are even considering as sacred and only can be used for religious activities in temples. The king and noble descendants also have a special motif of Endek cloth. Patra and Encak motifs are commonly using in religious ceremonies to symbolize respect to God. While nature motifs like flowers, leaves, and animals are commonly using for daily activities.
Endek textile began to evolve since 1985, during the reign of King Dalem Waturenggong in Gelgel Klungkung precisely in one village named Sulang Village. Although the Endek fabric has existed since the existence of Gelgel Kingdom, it only began to grow rapidly in Sulang Village after the independence day of Indonesia around 1975-1985. Nowadays, one of the areas in Bali, Sidemen Village in Karangasem Regency known as a famous fabric craftsman village. They usually make weaving cloth as their daily activity. Almost all female residents in this village, young and old are able to weave at least for simple patterns.
The surrounding environment which is full of natural beauty must be the source of inspirations for the local residents to continue producing natural patterned fabric woven that is so beautiful and complicated. Sidemen village produces two types of woven fabrics, Ikat weaving, commonly called as Endek, to be used in everyday activities and Songket woven fabrics which are only used for religious activities or important ceremonies in cycle of life Balinese people such as tooth-cutting ceremony (Metatah / Mepandes), marriage, religious holidays, cremation (Ngaben), and other traditional ceremonies.