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In Memoriam: Remembering Maestro Made Wianta With Komaneka Resorts And Fine Art Gallery

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On November 13th 2020, one of Bali’s most renowned art maestro Made Wianta passed away. To commemorate his timeless contribution, Komaneka Resorts and Fine Art gallery held a special exhibition event, which coincided his 71st birthday on 20th December 2020.

Commenced at Komaneka Keramas Beach, the exhibition pays tribute as well as remembering maestro Wianta’s exceptional work; showcasing a mix of never-before-seen paintings and personal collection of the late painter. The exhibition was attended by several public figures and renowned fellow maestros, including Prof. Dr. I Made Bandem, the expert in Balinese dance and art, along with his wife Dr. Suasti Wijaya Bandem.

Born on 1949, I Made Wianta graduated from Sekolah Seni Rupa Indonesia (SSRI) Denpasar, then continued his study at Sekolah Tinggi Seni Rupa Indonesia (STSRI) “ASRI” (Now Indonesian Art Institute/ ISI) Yogyakarta. In 1976 Wianta was recruited to teach batik painting for a cultural program in the Indonesian Embassy at Brussels. It was the decisive moment that unleashed his full potential. He visited museums across Europe and mingled with the continent’s creative minds. During this journey, Wianta saw Dali’s surrealist works and made his mind up to create the Balinese version of surrealism.

Those works, inspired by Balinese belief in and depiction of the unseen realms, as well as supernatural creatures, brought him critical and commercial success. Known as the Karangasem Period after the town in East Bali, the artistic period and style lasted until the mid-1980, after which Wianta began his experimentation with geometric shapes and dots. In the following years, his fame grew immensely, and so did his creative exploration. One of his poetry entitled Korek Api Membakar Lemari Es (The Match that Torches the Fridge, 1995) being the most talked about around those years. He also created various stunning installation works and performing arts, including Art and Peace in 1999. It was the first mass, contemporary performing art show the island had ever seen, involving some 2,000 performers and a 2,000-meter-long cloth painted with quotations from peace activists from across the globe.

Made Wianta’s passing will definitely leaves a big mark in the Balinese art community, where the path of modern Balinese art was spearheaded by him. His legacy – an influential body of work as well as his stance towards social and political issues – will forever be an inspiration for generations of local artists to come.

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