Over the past year, Metis Art’s team has been spending more time discovering the verdant island of Bali. We have been busy setting up an artist residency for emerging Southeast Asian and Indonesian painters at a villa in the heart of Seminyak owned by art patron Michael Chow. There has been a long, rich history of artistic exchange and influence between Singapore and Bali, that we now feel honoured to be a part of. During the recent Singapore Art Week, we spotted several Bali-based artists that shed light on the unique culture and history of the Island of the Gods. 

TABLET: New Paintings by Filippo Sciascia at Yeo Workshop

Based in Bali for decades, an island that has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, Filippo Sciascia’s research bridges the prehistoric, “primitive” and the contemporary. With TABLET, he continues his long-standing fascination with light as an anthropological catalyst.

Customised Postures, (De)colonising Gestures at Gajah Gallery

Curated by Dr. Alexander Supartono, Customised Postures, (De)colonising Gestures is an exhibition that brings colonial photographs and contemporary Southeast Asian art into conversation. This striking work by leading Balinese painter Manou Putra entitled Merayakan Kemenangan (Celebrating Victory) is a fictive recreation of the Dutch Intervention in Bali that confronts us to reconsider the legacy of colonisation.

Translations: Afro-Asia Poetics by the Institutum

This sprawling exhibition curated by Zoe Whitley and Clara Che Wei Pei featured around 100 artists from the African and Asian diasporas. Hanging next to a glittering El Anatsui was Ari Bayuaji, who salvages fishing nets and plastic rope waste from mangroves and beaches in Bali. Bayuaji weaves them with traditional Balinese techniques into a new form of elegant, ecological textile art.

Citra Sasmita’s works using traditional Kamasan temple paintings were also featured in Translations. They reframe historical and mythological narratives from Balinese culture by placing marginalised women front and center.

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