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Directory Home> Bali Products> Painting of Bali
 
PAINTING OF BALI
 
All in the last five or six years, a few of them have even started keeping the background empty. The Western concept of "open" space is thus slowly infiltrating. Another peculiar feature of Balinese painting, is its tight and generalized patterning. A western-or Far-Eastern- painting is always uniquely structured and made of unpredictable forms. Realism explores the limitless variety of nature and abstraction is freer yet.

By contrast, a Balinese painting is " of no surprise". As if made by a computer, it consists essentially of a combination of a limited number of graphic patterns and subpatterns regularly distributed on the surface of the canvas.

For example, there are three or four types of eyes, five or six postures, eight or seven head-dresses. Each is reproduced in a limited variety of ways: smaller or bigger, symmetric or parallel, all based on the same original pattern of reference.

This shows that Balinese apprentice painters are taught only a limited number of memorized forms or patterns, and only used these with marginal modifications or improvement. Far from resting on "liberty" and "originality" of expression as in the West, Balinese painting is heavily constrained and "pre-determined".
 
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