On canvas, everything
by Made Budhiana
I dont where to begin if I explain about my journey in the world of art
to now. I dont even know if it needs to be explained at all. Often, people
think that to understand an artist it is enough to enjoy his or her art work.
I think that actually an artist wants to reveal the way he comprehends something,
whether it is something in the external world, or something to be found in the
artists thoughts, visions, and dreams, like the way that Henri Matisse expressed
his amazement with the beauty of colour, or Paul Gauguin who expressed his sadness
at the process of modernisation in Tahiti, or
wants to be involved in dialogue with other people.
I realise that every artist has a different approach to the creative process,
concepts, expressions, aesthetic convictions, and the way in which one responds
to the environment. Thats no problem I also have my own approach
to creating art. People work on their own, or together, or only under specific
conditions anything is possible.
For me, the sources of beauty are too diverse to be limited to a studio. Maybe
because I enjoy it, or because I have a restless nature, I often go driving to
new and unknown places. And I enjoy every moment of my travels, and everything
I see the dirty road-side stalls at the edge of small villages, small paths
in the valleys, swimming or bathing in rivers, talking with people in the villages,
playing with young children
I believe that there is a build-up of
humanistic, environmental, sociological and psychological input from all these
experience - all that I see, hear, feel - everything is part of the process. I
now realise that there is beauty all around us.
I also think that the way I have lived my life until now has also influenced my
approach to the materials I use for my art work. I dont need to be in a
certain place to paint. I dont require particular conditions in order to
be able to work. Often I use materials which are not commonly used by artists
who create work on canvas or paper. I use tin foil, sandals, pieces of string,
plastic, pipe, glass, pieces of cloth I use whatever I need at the time
in order to be creative. Its the same with the time I choose to paint. On
different days I might feel like painting at the Denpasar market, at the beach,
in a warung or small food stall, in the graveyard, or in the middle of a crowd
Sometimes I feel that when I am painting in a crowded environment it is like a
form of street theatre in which all the people around me are the actors. I think
that this is my definition of freedom - I know art theory, but I am confident
enough to rebel against the accepted theories. I paint without being dependent
on restricted use of materials. I use a painting technique which could be described
as non-technique. I choose to live my life in a spontaneous way which
is not restricted by complicated schedules and plans.
People describe me as an abstract painter. I wish I could explain abstraction
in a way that makes sense of it, but I think that it is more important that people
who view my art work can get back to a way of looking at the world
and our everyday life, and see that there are so many abstract objects all around
us. An abstract painting is a puzzle which is only slowly put together and understood.
An abstract painting tends to be a long process of wrestling with the imagination.
Lines and splashes of colour on an empty canvas are the outpourings of aesthetic
experiences which have been building up in me over time. They flow out and take
the form of the art works I create. Everything flows out, just as I live
[translated from Bahasa Indonesia by Michelle Chin]