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New book explores the history of Balinese art


5 October 2012

I Made Budi, Batuan, 'Suharto and His Wife Visit Bali', 1987, acrylic and ink on paper, 43 x 60 cm, Neka Art Museum (photo Gustra).
I Made Budi, Batuan, 'Suharto and His Wife Visit Bali', 1987, acrylic and ink on paper, 43 x 60 cm, Neka Art Museum (photo Gustra).

Bali expert and University of Sydney researcher Adrian Vickers launched his new book at the Ubud Writers Festival in Bali on Friday 5 October.

The book Balinese Art: Paintings and Drawings of Bali 1800 - 2010 explores Balinese painting from its origins in the traditional Balinese village to its position at the forefront of today's high-priced Asian art scene. It is the first comprehensive survey in the field.

Professor Vickers says there much confusion about Balinese art because previous publications have reproduced works of low quality or have not given adequate attention to Balinese paintings themselves.

"The tourist art that you can buy cheaply in Ubud is often taken as the Balinese painting style, so many are not really aware of how good Balinese art can be.

"People are often buying to match the d├ęcor rather than looking for what is significant. I hope my book will play some part in addressing this larger issue of writing Southeast Asian art history.

"My next project with colleagues at the University of Sydney is to work with Southeast Asian partners to contribute to the development of art history institutions in the region."

Vickers is Professor of South East Asian Studies and Director of the Australian Centre for Asian Art and Archaeology at the University of Sydney. His interest in Balinese art began when he lived in Indonesian villages in the 1970s.

Professor Vickers previous book, Bali: A Paradise Created (1991), which explored how the island was created as a European paradise of the imagination, has just been republished with new images.

Teja Astawa, 'Iring-Iringan Sang Pangeran, King's Recreation', 2010, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 200 cm, Tonyraka Art Gallery.
Teja Astawa, 'Iring-Iringan Sang Pangeran, King's Recreation', 2010, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 200 cm, Tonyraka Art Gallery.

 


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