Local artists told to be aware of rights
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika reminded Balinese artists to change their point of view on piracy, regretting that many of them were proud when their work was imitated.
“Many Balinese artists are not aware of intellectual property rights, so their works can be easily imitated. They are proud of being copied. We don’t want this to happen again,” Pastika said, in front of dozens of painters from Batuan village, Gianyar, at a meeting in Kertha Sabha, Denpasar.
He cited as an example that in the past, many local artists had made fruit-shaped wooden carvings, a creation that was later widely imitated.
According to the governor, local artists were not aware of the importance of having their works patented because Balinese society was communal. “They consider a personal art creation as a communal creation, so they don’t really care about intellectual property rights.”
He continued saying that the problem was also partly due to the government’s negligence. “Our nation only started to become aware of intellectual property rights after other parties claimed our creations.”
He stressed that the government was now committed to supporting artists and facilitating having their works patented, reminding Batuan artists to register their painting style.
Paintings from Batuan village mostly portray Balinese life across the entire picture, without leaving any empty space on the canvas.
“Out of all our paintings, only Batuan has the most complete story of Balinese people. The paintings show us the transformation of the Balinese people from one period to another,” said the governor, who collects paintings in his office.
“Batuan artists should have their painting style patented. If anyone wants to imitate their style, they should pay a royalty,” he said, regretting that “brands” from Bali were often misused.
The governor stressed that all forms of art should be legally pr0tected.
Made Sujendra, head of the Batuan painters organization, welcomed the governor’s call to register their works. He agreed that local artists in the village did not pay attention to property rights.
“We hope the government could facilitate having our works patented,” he said.
The organization, which has 50 members, was established three months ago, with the aim of preserving the unique painting technique.
“We established this organization due to our concern that this technique might not be preserved by the younger generation. We want to return to our successes of the past,” Sujendra said, recalling the heyday of Batuan paintings in the 1980s.