Ida Bagus Krishna: Balance and Perfection

"From my experience of life and through my creative process I have come to the conclusion that balance is the truth of life." These are the contemplations of Ida Bagus Krishna, born in Budakeling on 14 December, 1971. He believes that various concepts which up to now have been thought of as contradictory are actually part of a single reality - good/bad, true/false, tangible/transitory are not separate entities or even opposites. Isn't what is described as light, without meaning if there is no darkness? The problem remains as to how we can achieve balance. It is there that we find the essence of perfection.

As an artist, clearly Krishna has attempted to transform his philosophy into his work by combining fine and rough textures, or a mixture of figurative, imaginative, or pure abstraction on his canvasses as a reflection of his creative struggle to translate a philosophical concept into the language of form. Regarding content, he says "Ideas flow along with my reflections on the journey of life". Krishna is a graduate of ISI Yogyakarta and has participated in exhibitions in Bali and Jakarta since 1990. (arif b prasetyo)

Ida Bagus Krishna was born in Budakeling, Karangasem (east Bali) in 1971. Born into the priestly brahmana caste, he notes the strong effect the environment of the griya (priestly compound) had on his early development. This is not surprising. The priests of the easternmost part of Bali, in the shadow of the holy mountain Gunung Agung, have always been held in awe by the Balinese for their magical powers. Rooted in late Javanese Tantric practice, the cycles of ritual and purification left a lasting imprint on his perception and imagination. Later he would move to the much more urbane environment of Yogyakarta in central Java, where he studied art, graduating from the Indonesian Institute of Art (ISI Yogyakarta) in 1995. Away from the island of his birth, it was only upon his return to Bali and his griya that he realized how powerful and deep the roots of tradition had implanted themselves in his subconscious.

His canvasses show several influences. Some resemble Balinese paintings from the 1930s with elegant birds. There the similarity ends for strange mountains and rock or coral formations writhing like living beings replace normal foliage and landscape. Other paintings show ominous creatures with strange proportions and trees hiding skulls against stormy skies. Mysterious, provocative and contemplative, they express a whole range of emotions. Bagus Krishna cannot easily explain why he creates these scenes that others finds so strange. When asked about his vision of the role of the artist in society, his answer is very similar to that of trance mediums and healers. "Perhaps art is a calling directing me towards the mystery of God and all his strange creatures, including those that inhabit my imagination."

Ida Bagus Krishna has participated in group exhibitions held in Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Denpasar and various galleries throughout Bali since 1990. He participated in the two-man exhibition "Bali Surrealism" at Ganesha Gallery, Jimbaran and the Sanggar Dewata Indonesia "Millennium Art Exhibition" held at six museums in Bali in 1999.

[ Bahasa Indonesia]
Ida Bagus Krishna: Seimbang, Esa, Sempurna

"SEIRING perjalanan hidup dan proses berkesenian saya, saya sampai pada kesimpulan sementara bahwa dalam hidup ini keseimbangan itulah yang hakiki." Demikianlah hasil kontemplasi Ida Bagus Krishna. Pelukis yang dilahirkan di Budakeling, 14 Desember 1971 ini percaya bahwa berbagai kategori yang selama ini sering dianggap kontradiktif sebenarnya adalah bagian dari suatu realitas tunggal yang sama. Baik-buruk, benar-salah, nyata-fana, bukanlah entitas yang terpisah satu sama lain atau bahkan saling bertentangan. Bukankah apa yang disebut "terang" akan kehilangan makna jika tidak ada "gelap"? Maka soalnya tinggal bagaimana menciptakan keseimbangan. Dan tepat di situlah terletak hakekat kesempurnaan yang sesungguhnya.

Sebagai seniman, tentu Krishna berusaha mentransformasikan filsafatnya itu ke dalam karya. Percampuran antara permukaan halus dan bertekstur, atau adonan berbagai bentuk figuratif, imajinatif, konotatif maupun abstrak murni di atas kanvasnya merupakan cerminan dari pergulatan kreatifnya untuk menerjemahkan konsep filosofis ke dalam ungkapan bahasa rupa. Sementara mengenai isi, alumnus ISI Yogyakarta yang telah aktif berpameran di Bali dan Jakarta sejak 1990 ini kembali mengatakan, "Ide-ide mengalir seiring refleksi akan perjalanan hidup ini". (arif b prasetyo, katalog pameran SDI, 1999)

It should come as no surprise that a number of Balinese artists from a culture heavily influenced by dreams and the supernatural, have submerged themselves in the style of Surrealism, a state of mind transcending the European art movement of that name which began in Paris in the 1920s. The most powerful source of Surrealist inspiration has always been dreams and the subconscious.