Born in Penestanan Kaja, Ubud, Bali in 1965
Karja was born in Penestanan Kaja, Ubud, Bali in 1965. His interest in art began
at a young age and by the time he was five years old, he was already doing oil
paintings on his own. A keen observer of nature, the motivation for his painting
came from his love of the tropical foliage around him, the lush jungle vegetaion
and flowers. Later in his childhood, his father worked with him to teach him
more about painting and encouraged him by making art materials and supplies
available. Karja attended and graduated from the High School of Fine Art in
Denpasar, where he learned to paint in the neo-traditional "Ubud Style".
He won the award for the best student at the end of his third year there.
Karja then enrolled in the Department of Fine Art and Design at Udayana University in Denpasar. During this period, through the study of art history, Karja was influenced by western art techniques and his work took a major change in direction. Inspired by artists such as Monet, Van Gogh and Matisse, he started incorporating elements of Impressionisim and Post-Impressionism into his work.
Upon graduating from the University in 1990, Karja began teaching Art and Art Appreciation at the High School for Fine Art in Ubud. Around the same time, he built and opened the Santra Putra Art Studio and Gallery in Penestanan, Ubud. Karja is currently a lecturer at STSI (Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia), the Indonesian College of the Arts in Denpasar.
From 1997-1999 Karja went to the USA where he spent 2 years studying and teaching in the Art Department of the College of Fine Arts, University of South Florida. He developed a series of minimalist, abstract paintings "Pengider Bhuana: The Colours of Life" which was shown in a solo exhibition at Deja Vu Gallery, Ubud in 1999. His work is inspired by both traditional Balinese painting and modern Western artists, such as Paul Klee, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Kiebenkorn and more recently, Jurgen Partenheimer and Michael Rees. He sees his work as a collaboration between Balinese and Western cultures forming a bridge, in breadth and depth, between two different worlds.
In July 2000, Karja had a solo exhibition at Galeri Sembilan, Lodunduh, Ubud and in August 2000 a solo exhibition at Kloister Dornach, Basel, Switzerland.
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