Revelation of Nature: The Paintings of Nengah Sujena

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  • Arif Bagus Prasetyo

Revelation of Nature: The Paintings of Nengah Sujena

Nature is the main source of creative inspiration for Nengah Sujena. Many of his paintings comprise imageries of the natural world such as mountain, tree, leaf, bird, moon, and cloud. In most of his compositions such imageries are accompanied by the human figure and a few man-made objects such as a house, chair, or umbrella. Sujena has developed from the images of nature, culture, and the human a distinctive semiotic system to embody his creative ideas into artworks.

Sujena’s strong concern for nature has its roots in his daily life. He lives in the cooler outskirts of the town of Bangli in central Bali. The natural environment of his hometown in the highlands surrounding Mount Batur has been fairly preserved. There are rice fields in front of his house. Beautiful green mountain scenery and humble rural life have been a large part of the artist’s everyday life.

In Sujena’s paintings, human figures tend to be depicted as occupying the center stage. This, however, does not mean that the human has been given a status higher than nature. Indeed there is no significant difference between the image of nature and the image of the human in the paintings. There is no information to indicate that the human is superior to nature. The image of nature and the image of the human (or of man-made objects) intertwine rhythmically in the pictorial space, creating visual harmony. In Sujena’s paintings, the human is central precisely because man is identical with nature.

Like the human figures sticking his/her tongue-leaf out in a number of his paintings, Sujena articulates the revelation of nature. His paintings reflect the paradigm of Deep Ecology, an ecological awareness that recognizes the fundamental relation between nature and the human. His works subtly criticize the anthropocentric view that considers the human as the center of truth with all the privileges to exploit nature. Through his works of art, Sujena conveys a critical, yet poetic, message that living in harmony with nature is a soothing, peaceful life.

The exhibition will be held from 27 August - 27 September 2017. The Komaneka Fine Art Gallery is open everyday 8 am - 9 am Central Indonesian Time.

Komaneka Fine Art Gallery

Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Gianyar 80571, Bali, Indonesia

Tel: +62 361 4012217