Abstract Paintings of Bali: A Fusion of Art, Religion and Philosophy

I. Wayan Karja


While abstract painting tends to be claimed as a Western art product, this phenomenon is not entirely the case in Bali. Balinese Abstract Art was born from Balinese beliefs, faith, and the power of local art, religion, and philosophy. Therefore, this research explains that abstract art emerges from the strength and uniqueness of ethnic art and culture. This article aims to examine the self-balance between microcosm and macrocosm as the main goal in the Balinese philosophy of life. Painting in Bali in the last three decades has led to abstraction. This abstraction is based on narratives and icons, including symbolic and non-symbolic elements, with the use of line and color as the main components. This development is rooted in Balinese cosmology, art, tradition, religion, and traditional culture. The philosophical aspects of the Balinese way of life became the main source for Balinese artists' creativity: therefore, although this painting is very abstract, it is most likely to be strongly based on Balinese cosmology in Balinese Hindu culture. Naturally, the structure of life in Bali is rooted in a hierarchical order. Based on the idea of balance between the macro and micro cosmos, Balinese people aim to live life harmoniously. The various dimensions of life according to Balinese philosophy often inspire visual artists. The limitation of this study is that the literature and cultural artifacts are very limited. Balinese artists are not used to describe artworks; they prefer to focus on their practice. The perspective of this study can open opportunities for international dialog and bridge between ethnic and international art.


Keywords: Bali, painting, abstract, religion, philosophy.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.55463/hkjss.issn.1021-3619.61.4

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