Made Wianta: Love

at-last,-pertamina-steel-sheet-and-metal-cutters,-2008,-Photo-courtesy-of-Kendra-Gallery

Reprinted with minor modifications from C-Arts Magazine, May 2009.

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

—Carl Jung

Leave it to Made Wianta to name a show Love. And then do the theme justice.

Wianta’s latest, at the newest addition to Bali’s small but vibrant repertoire of contemporary galleries, Kendra Gallery in Seminyak, takes time to unfold. The exhibition has so many strands, layers and styles that at first it feels like a hodgepodge, a gallimaufry tied together by little other than color. Almost like a retrospective that manages to be simultaneously jarring and at peace.

The importance of Wianta to art in Bali can hardly be overstated — he is, in a sense, Bali’s Picasso — and Love’s curatorial text by Jean Couteau implicitly acknowledges the quasi-retrospective feel of the show. It provides the clearest overview of Made’s history as an artist that I’ve yet read. “Bali found in Made Wianta its true abstract language, a very successful one at that,” Couteau writes, then goes on to describe how Wianta went beyond this language that he’d created. Because if there is one consistent theme through all of Made’s work it is this sense of constant going beyond. And in Love, he transcended even this patter of hyper-energized movement forward: Love looks backwards as well as forwards, requiring the full context of memory.

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