Made Wiguna Valasara
Collective Fragment
: Art Agenda, JKT

“How does one’s individuality stand against the communal life of Bali today?”

The Collective Fragment series shows Valasara’s depiction of the typical Balinese artistic representation in Batuan paintings through the emphasis of its most common visual elements – religious rituals, landscape, paddy fields, and Balinese figures. Historically, the modern-day Batuan style of painting was largely influenced by the Pitamaha group in the early 20th century. Established by German artist Walter Spies and fellow European painters living in Bali, the Pitamaha group portrays Balinese daily life as an exotic, magical, and mystical spectacle for foreign tourists. It remains a common representation of Bali until today.

Valasara questions his tradition in relation to one’s individuality within the communality of Balinese society. As he embeds his molded objects within an entangling web of vibrantly colored yarns, in stark contrast to their muted backgrounds, effectively turns these objects into immediate abstractions. This web of yarns also interconnects one element in the painting with another, representing the shared values, spirituality, and history as well as the complexity of Balinese communal life.