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Directory Home> Bali Products> Painting of Bali
 
PAINTING OF BALI
 
This mis-recognition can be traced back to cultural and historical bias: to the westerners of the time, Bali was too multi-faceted- blending "Pacific" structures of belief, an Indian faith, Chinese decorative techniques and a Javanese historical background-to be ever granted the status of a "great tradition".

Many of Balinese paintings were also recent as they lacked the label of a bona fide "ancient culture." But aesthetic expectations and prejudices may also have played a major role: the blunt symbolism of the "primitive arts", the use of flat color surfaces in Javanese prints, and the sober synthesis of Far-Eastern drawing undoubtedly appealed more to Westerners than the complex, overburdened narrative of Balinese painting. It can thus be asserted that the full recognition of Balinese painting was impeded by the Westerner's inability to accept the validity of the aesthetic principles underlying it.

What are these principles? And did they transform themselves in the course of time? When you look at a Balinese painting, the first striking thing is its concept of space, which is totally alien to the western eyes. A Western- or even a Far-Eastern- painting is always centered around one or several central "subjects", forms or/and color surfaces.
 
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