POETRY LAUNCH IN SEMINYAK
After a long term of not publishing his works poet Frans Nadjra (56) surprised the
literature public in Bali with his poetry collection entitled
(published by Matamerah).
The collection is published in the luxury edition in English and Indonesian. The launch
was attended by many people at the Seminyak Resort, Kuta, who were pleased that Frans
had not forgotten his professional talents for poetry and short stories.
Spring of Fire, Spring of Tears'', was translated into English by Thomas M Hunter
and consists of 42 poems under two subtitles.
"Jendela comprises of 23 poems and Jadikan Sajak has another 19
poems. Frans is a non-productive poet, never the less his masterpiece Selamat Jalan
I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, is considered to be a compulsory poem whenever there is
a poetry reading contest in Bali. Many of Bali's young poets admire his works and
use them as a model of reference. The poem Selamat Jalan I Gusti Nyoman
Lempad, honours and farewells a naturalist painter and carver.
Frans has taken the basics of Balinese culture and expressed it in his works. Frans was
born in a seaside village Makasar (which has recently been renamed Ujung Pandang). He
has resided in Bali since 1974. The poems under the heading Jadikan Sajak,
reflects the natural part of Frans character as being a seaman.
There is a theory in the art world that some artists actually suffer from
schizophrenia. I Wayan Sudira is one such painter who has been treated in a mental
hospital in the regency of Bangli. His paintings are popular amongst art collectors.
His work entitled "Sri Wedari Terbang Ke Langit" won third place in an
exhibition and painting contest for those suffering from Schizophrenia.
Sudira's success proves that even though someone has certain psychological problems, they
can still express thought and feelings through art. It is further hoped that the
contest will encourage Schizophrenic sufferers to socialize publicly and become more
accepted in society.
Consumers have a big inflence on creativity especially in the area such as Balinese
paintings. According to one painter who has lived in Yogyakarta for many years,
Taufik Kamaja, "Balinese painters do not pay much attention to creative value,
their target is to make a quick sale. In Yogyakarta it is very different, the market
is selective and therefore artists are encouraged to work better and paint more
When tourists come to Bali they are exposed to many paintings, not only in art shops, but
also on the streets from vendors. Taufik Kamaja added, "Bali has spoilt it's
painters as it is too easy for thorn to sell their works. In Yogyakarta creativity
creates the market and not the other way around, for that reason we have popular
painters like Basuki Abdullah".
It seems a shame that there are many painters in Bali who paint only for money, instead
of producing pieces that are purely out of inspiration.
The 'relief' deco-crative style of painting has become more popular recently and there is
a high demand for this particular work.
One well-known 'relief' painter is Ponirin who has his gallery in Sanur. He uses Balinese
life as the project and theme for his works. Ponirin commented that he is
interested in the uniqueness of Bali to be the background of his paintings, instead
of somewhere like Borobudur temple. Besides this, the value of relief style paintings
is quite high and there is a good overseas market. Ponirin has had many orders
from Holland and now he is developing markets in Singapore, Japan, Australia and
America. Assisting Ponirin in his expansion internationally is colleague Hingki.P.
from PT Polar Grafis.
According to Hingki, the local market is quite good however in comparison a painting
sold overseas can reach up to US $ 2,000.
BALINESE PAINTINGS RESOLD FOR
Bali's unique culture has created big business with prospects in all artistic areas
especially painting. A lot of overseas dealers come to Bali in search of paintings,
which they can later resell in their own countries. Such paintings do not necessarily
come from popular and well-known artists. They are average quality paintings, which
are bought relatively cheaply and then resold for a profit. One such dealer, Hingky
H.P from West Java commented, "I come to Bali almost every 2-3 months, the works
that I buy are resold in Singapore, Japan and America. Some paintings can sell for
up to US $2000-". Bali has a wide range of painting styles available
including decorative, impressionist and realism. Such works are available in all
regions of Bali with a large artist base in the Ubud area.
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