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TiTian Prize recognizes Balinese visual art talents

Richard Horstman
Richard Horstman

Artivist, observes and reports on developments in the Bali and Indonesian art scenes

Ubud | Mon, February 6, 2017 | 03:46 pm
TiTian Prize recognizes Balinese visual art talents

Winner of the 2017 TiTian Prize 'Fight Lust' by Nyoman Arisana (JP/Richard Horstman)

During the first anniversary celebration of Yayasan TiTian Bali (YTB) foundation in Ubud on Jan. 29, Creative Economy Agency head Triawan Munaf presented an array of art awards, culminating with the nine finalists and the winner of the 2017 TiTian Prize.

YTB was established in the belief that Balinese art would flourish as it is integrated into a truly creative economy. “The founders of TiTian believe in the continuing importance of Bali’s history and culture, but we share a concern that the long association of the island’s creative life with tourism, cottage industries and souvenirs, combines to create static and clichéd perceptions of cultural heritage,” said the foundation's director, Soemantri Widagdo. 

“We aim to work with Balinese artists, designers and performers to ensure the long-term cultural, economic and creative success of Balinese arts, with the highest levels of entrepreneurship in its creation and marketing. Our mission is to discover, nurture and develop new talents, helping them achieve their full potential.” 

“We are excited to be associated with Yayasan TiTian Bali, it as if TiTian is our arm in Bali,” said Triawan. “The mission of the foundation is in line with our concerns.

“What we are doing now with the agency is developing the ecosystems within each of the 16 subsectors of the creative economy, including the visual arts,” he said. “We aim to create policies, involving multiple ministries, which can make some breakthroughs for our creative people, giving them freedom and mechanisms to enter markets, access finance and learn how to register their intellectual property.”

'Bhineka Tunggal Ika' by Mungku Muriati Mura(JP/Richard Horstman)

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The 2017 TiTian Prize, open to all Balinese visual artists in the genres of painting, sculpture, installation and photography, received 82 entries from all regencies in Bali, plus entries from Lombok and Yogyakarta; nine works were submitted by women. The finalists ranged in age from 21-53, reflecting the talent of both emerging and established artists. Genres varied from the traditional Kamasan, Batuan and Keliki styles, works influenced by modern and contemporary painting, and one woodcarving installation.

Fight Lust, the winning painting by 27-year old Gianyar painter Nyoman Arisana, an eye-catching composition of contrasts and tension, featured a complex layering of visual elements in both monochrome and color from the Balinese tradition, along with modern and contemporary art.  

The work sets demonic creatures at war with one another, symbolizing, according the artist, our human behavior. “Lust greatly influences human life and survival, greed, jealousy and envy are common, yet our desire to do good may also be perceived as lust,” Arisana said.

'Nature Tease' by Wayan Aris Sarmanta(JP/Richard Horstman)

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The presentations at TiTian Art Space Bali included the second annual Anugrah Pusaka Seni (art heritage) Award to ten artists and a patron who have made extraordinary contributions to Balinese arts. Some of the honored were Nyoman Ngendon (1906-1946), Ida Bagus Togog (1913-1989) and Ida Bagus Njana (1912-1985). 

The Patron Award (life achievement) went to Ni Made Kadjeng, founder of the Batubulan Secondary School for the Arts. The event included the launch of the Indonesian language edition of Ida Bagus Made: The Art of Devotion, a book that focuses on paintings from the estate of the esteemed Balinese artist Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999).

“We are already working with Bali’s village artists’ associations, schools, individual artists and other arts organizations for all our activities. Our approach is inclusive rather than exclusive,” Widagdo said. “The long-term goal is to build the Bali Museum of Contemporary Art [Bali MOCA], exhibiting old and new work of the finest quality, supported by programs to inspire new directions and achievements in Balinese visual arts.” (kes)

Nine Finalists of the First TiTian Prize
Exhibition Jan. 29 - Feb. 26 
TiTian Bali Art Space, Jl. Bisma 88, Ubud, Bali



Richard Horstman, a cultural observer with over 25 years experience in Indonesia, has supported the Bali & Indonesian art scenes for more than 9 years as a journalist, writer, art tourism presenter & Advisor at Cata Odata Art Space in Ubud. A bridge between the art world and the public, he’s been published in the Jakarta Post and Jakarta Globe newspapers, Art Republik, Now! Singapore, ARTI, Indo Expat, & UbudLife magazines. Visit his personal blog or Facebook.

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