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Directory Home> Bali Products> Painting of Bali
 
PAINTING OF BALI
 
There is a focus, a "discrimination" between the elements of representation. The canvas appears "unequally" occupied, and the viewer can thus visually "grasp" the theme right away if the work is figurative, or appreciate its composition intuitively if it is abstract. Balinese space in painting strikes out as totally different. The surface of the canvas is "full" to the point that nothing stands out, either thematically or "visually". To Westerners, this is beyond "appreciation" as they are "blinded" by the accumulation of element overfills the surface.

The original model of this "full space" characteristic is found in Balinese classical painting and in its modern "derivative": Kamasan's painting. The narrative is told in the lower part of the painting, while its upper part is covered with clouds and godly characters. Such a dense occupation of the canvas mirrors a mystic world whose "invisible" (niskala) elements are as important as the "visible" (sekala) ones, This may well explain the resilience of this notion of "full space:"

Most paintings of the Pita Maha school of the thirties display a similar feature (full space) as do those of the more recent schools of Batuan, Pengosekan, Penestanan and Padangtegal. Change is now coming up, though. Some artists mainly those from Pengosekan, -who propably have been influenced by photography, have learned to "focus" their composition on specific subjects, such as a bird, a mask or the like, although the background of their work remains full.
 
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