Sat, 29 Apr 2000

Muniarsih reveals herselft in painting

By Tjahjono EP

YOGYAKARTA (JP): Verbal language is too limited to expressively reveal one's fantasies and impressions.

The Bali-born painter I Gusti Ayu Kadek Muniarsih is trying to express her inner feelings and ideas by using languages of signs, symbols and colors in her figurative paintings currently exhibited at Galeri Seni Cemeti in Yogyakarta through May 14.

Most of the exhibited works clearly have adopted the figurative pengosekan style of painting, a traditional Balinese style.

Lack of formal art education has not prevented her from reaching her present stage of maturity as a painter. She is not only capable of conveying her inner feelings with esthetic skill but also effectively disclosing them to the viewer.

Through her figurative works, Muniarsih is telling her dreams, her hopes and her imagination.

Among her inspirational works are Mimpiku Panjat Gunung, My Dream of Climbing a Mountain (l999), Mimpiku 4 Juli, My Fourth of July Dream, Fantasiku Bersama Komang Pepe, My Fantasy with Komang Pepe (l999).

She shares her personal experience in Aku Merindukan Sepasang Anak, I Miss My Babies, and Kepiluan, Anguish (l999).

In Fantasiku Bersama Komang Pepe, an acrylic on canvas, Muniarsih is eager to recount her deep fantasy with Komeng Pepe. She tries to express a mix of hollow feelings -- affection and disappointment -- through the central figure. She exploits pink nuance mixed with irregular dark green horizontal lines to symbolize the dynamic movement of the fantasy.

Meanwhile in Terasku Indah II (l998), My Beautiful Verandah II, Muniarsih uses a flower pot as the center of focus. Several spiral flowering plants grow from the pot. The acrylic on canvas is dominated with beige and black. Through this work, the artist tries to delineate her own spiritual experience while sitting on her verandah for hours.

In her My Fourth of July Dream, also an acrylic on canvas, Muniarsih exposes high-heel shoes adorned with spiral plants and round objects on a light blue backdrop.

These objects express the artist's dreams, revealing her moral values and cultural surroundings. Tropical society romanticisms and exoticisms have always been linked to feminine objects.

Observing Muniarsih's works, one is exploring the artist's personal experiences and emotions.

A natural artist, she is one of the most prolific female painters in Indonesia. She continues to experiment and explore diverse subjects and techniques.

Muniarsih has been successful presenting her works to the public through single and joint exhibitions. Between l998 and l999, she presented her works in single exhibitions in Bologna, Italy and Australia. Together with artists from the Seniwati Gallery Group, Muniarsiah also organized joint exhibitions at Media Park in Cologne and Nusantara Rainforest Vogelpark Walsrode both in Germany and the Martini Gallery in Hong Kong.

In the Indonesian art community, Muniarsih is acknowledged for her artistic talents, creativity and consistency in developing her own distinctive figurative style, a mix of Balinese traditional and modern elements.