3The Artist Related life events to his art 1973: Nyoman joined the Faculty of Fine Art and Design, Bandung Institute of Technology1979: When he was still a student, his works invited controversy because, against the advice of his professors, he chose mimetic representation as the basic concept of his sculpture, while the art academy favored a kind of modernism that produced semi-abstract sculptures – emphasizing the search for the base essence of a subject rather than depicting it as it might actually look.To the teachers in Nuarta time, they thought they were presenting a new idea in this emphasis of the abstract. To Nuarta, he wanted to take what was real and re-represent it in a way that challenged tradition and communicated to a future audience. He was actually at the forefront of Indonesia contemporary art movement.
4WhenIn the 1970s, Indonesia under Suharto's New Order developed and advanced in many areas.Previously, Indonesia under the rule of Sukarno had developed a form of fervent nationalism in their victory against three and half centuries of Dutch colonial rule.This moral stand closed Indonesia from the many opportunities that could be gained from an international relationship.Suharto's New Order while brutal on many counts opened Indonesia to the West.State-owned companies were divested and Western nations were encouraged to invest in many of the developments in Indonesia through a change in policies and laws.Many international events and activities thus found their way into Indonesia and Indonesia became richer from its export driven industry. However, on the downside, while absolute poverty was eliminated, there was a great deal of corruption and embezzlement by the people in control of these transactions.
5Which s IndonesiaTwo trends came to surface in the dynamic modern Indonesian art development.1) To explore traditional and primitive art of the Indonesian archipelago, undertaken by modern artists.2) To diffuse differences between the Bandung and Yogya group, in the form of joint activities by young Bandung and Yogya artists under the name of New Art Group (Kelompok Seni Rupa Baru).This period was later viewed as the decade in which Indonesian artists became conscious of the importance and the gravity of the need for an Indonesian art identity, to show difference from Western art identity that was dominant then.Artists associated in this period: A.D. Pirous, Sunaryo, G. Sidharta Soegijo, T. Sutanto, Haryadi Suadi, Jim Supangkat, Nyoman Nuarta from Bandung; Hardi, F.X. Harsono, Bonyong Muniardi and Dede Eri Supria from Yogya. Later, a few of them moved to Jakarta and established themselves as Jakarta artists, among others, Hardi, F.X. Harsono, Dede Eri Supria and Jim Supangkat. Jim Supangkat left his status as artist and changed profession to become art critic and curator.
6What Essentially interested in war, violence and deception. In the 1960s, when the communist party tried to dominate political life in Bali, Nuarta saw the use of the Mobile Brigade of the police force. Leaders of other parties were arrested and threatened. With the subsequent fall of the Communist Party (associated with President Sukarno), they were similarly interrogated.This time, it was by the military. Parties and individuals associated with the Communists were hunted down. They were killed while the military commands and watches from a distance.The military is thus often seen in Nuarta's work as bodiless and an insidious presence.In his other works such as 1992 Rush Hour, Nuarta displays an interest in the occurrences in everyday life, where everyday themes demonstrate the hidden metaphors of life, not
7WhatMan vs nature: Nuarta is concerned with the relationship between man and nature. Nuarta’s life and work was born of diverse traditions: That of his native Bali and the “traditional culture” of Modern Art. These two form the basis of his development in art.Community boundaries: He is concerned with communities and their boundaries--be it local, national or international. He is challenged by the boundaries both man and nature inflict on the self – whether it be physical or mental.
8WhyThe new art movement appeared as a push to put importance in the need for progressive development in Indonesian art, to anticipate developments and challenges in many fields - politics, economics, social, culture, science- and technology - facing the Indonesian people. Diversity in creations increased, and artists' visions expanded, as consequence of expression forms offered by the New Art Group.Their approach toward art creation tended to diffuse and combine art disciplines - painting, sculpture, graphics, ceramics - into one creation.
9How“To me, reality is only a source of ideas. Realistic depictions in my works do not always have any connection with reality. In my works ideas from reality can have symbolic meanings” - NuartaIn his sculpture, Nuarta mainly uses realistic forms as a basis to develop a certain visual language. He wholly believes in communicating with his audience.
10HowTaking on narrative tendency, Nuarta's works are heavily influenced by Balinese sculptures.They are often in reference to a story or an unfolding event.However, Nuarta does not follow the Balinese tradition of deformation of figures through elongation and decoration. Rather, Nuarta's works are often naturalistic.These centered around the use of negative spaces and forms, creating 'unseen' figures cloaked by sculpted cloaks and robes. These figures seem to take on metaphoric significance as 'the evil spirits', a foreboding presence. (See Group IV, 1978)Nuarta uses copper wire mesh to create wind-blown fabrics that describes the invisible form and contours of a figure. The wire mesh while being a sheet capable of retaining form was also equally evocative as one that reveals through its 'transparency'. To Nuarta, this property of the wire mesh appeared to hold meaning as he used and exploited its significance to greater effects in his sculptures. (See Five Officials, 1990)
11HowAbout SculptureSculpture is the art of producing in three dimensions representations ofnatural or imagined forms. It includes sculpture in the round, which can beviewed from any direction, as well as relief, in which the lines are cut into aflat surfaceSculpture has been a means of human expression since prehistoric times.The ancient cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia produced an enormousnumber of sculptural masterworks that had ritual significance beyondaesthetic considerations. The sculptors of the ancient Americas developedsuperb, sophisticated techniques and styles to enhance their works, which were also symbolic in nature. In Asia sculpture has been a highly developed art form since antiquity from the Chinese and Indian Art and Architecture histories,Sculpture works may be carved, modeled, cast or constructed. Each technique has a profound effect on the outcome, or feeling of the work.
12Group IV, 1978Human forms only recognized by the traces they leave behind - in this case, empty robesMay refer to the role of military as invisible puppet masters in the political upheaval of IndonesiaUnseen figures appear to be metaphors for ‘the evil spirits of Balinese folklore
13Five Officials, 1990Shows a group of government officials engaged in discussionOfficials appear as hazyimages; bodies join together to become one and are filled with holes, like a smokescreen.Faces are flat and featureless.Only details on jacket and ties have a realistic shape.
14Fish 1991 and Bird IV 1992- Simplifies the forms of fish and bird- Makes use of traces of movement that illustrate speed- Effect of speed gives an impression of the presence of energy, like agust of wind
15The King, 1996 Copper & brass, 225 x 425 x 200 This sculpture depicts a tiger pouncing, perhaps to attack its prey or its predator.The title - “King” originally referred to a male monarch of a territorial unit. The position referred to one that was passed down by blood or lineage. The term implied ruling for life.The Tiger, once known as King of the Animal World, now lives at the mercy of man-kind. This magnificent beast captured in copper and brass is perhaps a monument to the change in the authority of nature. The Tiger also represents physical power and awesome magi sty of hunting, challenging and ultimately dominating.Stylistically: This sculpture could represent Nuarta's concern over the fast route to extinction for the tigers. Tigers that used to once roam freely have to be put in zoos or conservation centers for protection.Another idea is that the tiger is a talisman for safety or protection. The artist himself have this sculpture at the entrance to the grounds wherehis studio resides. Talisman: A magical figure created under certain superstitious observances to which wonderful effects are ascribed; theseal, figure, character, or image of a “heavenly” sign engraved on a stone, or on a metal corresponding to the star, in order to receive itsinfluence – IE a good luck charm.
17Background situation: Reform, 1998, welded bronze, 140 x 80 x 70 cmBackground situation:
18Interpretation:Nuarta is not afraid to represent a harkening, violent presence of man in his works. In Reform, he depicts a dog barking in a mode of attack or panic. The dog stands above footsteps which can clearly be seen. The footsteps could symbolically be the tracks of military troops. The dog may be actually encountering them, or reacting to their presence in society.Stylistically: In the Balinese context, a barking dog (esp. at night) is an ominous sign. Both physically and spiritually it represents a state of restlessness in society. Balinese believe dogs can sense the existence of an evil spirit. Nuarta is using a traditional Balinese context to communicate contemporary phenomena--that the military is upsetting the spirit of calm in the land.Reform, 1998,welded bronze,140 x 80 x 70 cmHow does this artwork relate to the context of Balinese art? (symbolically, it touches on Balinese social sentiments, reconstructing them directly in modern techniques)• How significant is Nuarta “treatment” of an animal? Is it the focal point of the piece? What do you suppose the animal is defending?• What does this piece say about Man vs. Nature? Why is the dog so ragged looking?
19TechniquesReform, 1998,welded bronze,140 x 80 x 70 cm
20Interpretation: Rush Hour II, 1992 Copper & Brass, 360 x 53 x 143 cm In Rush Hour II cyclists are depicted hastily peddling against the wind. They are caught in a moment of full speed pursuit. Featured in an endless physical quest; rushing, yet not arriving anywhere. They are wholly focused on their goal of moving ahead. Symbolically, one way of interpreting this piece is as a metaphor for modernism• Can you relate a theme of modernisation to this work? Do you like the piece? It’s quite lovely. If the artist intended this piece to be a commentary on modernisation, would you say he is criticising it?“I believe that, within our lives there are energies and powers which we cannot see. These powers are dynamic and always moving. In this condition of constant movement, like the mind which never ceases, we can feel those unseen powers.” – the artist” - NuartaRush Hour II, 1992Copper & Brass, 360 x 53 x 143 cm
21TechniquesSculpture encompasses a variety of techniques such as modelling, carving, casting, and construction. These techniques each materially condition the character of the work. Modelling permits addition as well as subtraction of the material and is highly flexible, but carving is strictly limited by the original block from which material must be subtracted.Casting is a reproduction technique duplicating the form of an original whether modelled, carved, or constructed. It also makes possible certain effects that are impractical in the other techniques. Top-heavy works such as this that would require external support in clay or stone can stand alone in the lighter-weight medium of hollow cast metal. Such a hollow technique of casting is employed here.• How does understanding hollow casting effect your thoughts on this piece? Does it change the notion of the cyclists representing modernisation?• How do you think a sculpture is cast?
22Struggle/Caught, 1994 Copper & Brass 370 x 93 X 178 cm This sculpture depicts fish caught in a net. Displayed on land, it impacts a viewer even more than if you were to view it in water, as the fish have been removed from their context of existence, shrouded in a net.You might think using a net could well be one of the most primitive forms of catching fish. Fishing was initially used as a means of survival, but due to mass-urbanisation and the rapid transformation of land, it has become a necessary and profitable trade. Fishes that fed the hungry are now feeding the greedy, and many waters are becoming over-fished.Struggle/Caught, 1994Copper & Brass370 x 93 X 178 cmWhy has the artist chosen to show us caught fish? Is it a statement on environmentalism?• Could he also be telling us something metaphorically about the handling of the natural environment?• What about the moment of being caught in a net? Symbolically how does that relate to you and me?Stylistically: Nuarta’s work is often referred to as Mimetic Representation. Simply put, he imitates a certain moment or aspect of a subject. Notice there are children below the piece, trying to hug the fish…or help them.• What is the main subject here? It this piece about fishing? The image he has depicts is of the fish struggling within a net, symbolically why might it be important to isolate such a moment?
23This sculpture depicts a dog tearing up a floor mat This sculpture depicts a dog tearing up a floor mat. The mat is actually part of the dog’s own body. Thus, the dog is tearing up his own being.The action of a dog tearing at a mat is futile in and of itself. Usually, the dog is experiencing emotions of aggression, frustration or is simply bored and quite gleefully is destroying something.* The fact that the artist has chosen to represent the mat and the dog’s skin as the same substance is interesting and what makes this piece unique. How?First Fight, 1994Copper and Brass186 x 92 x 70 cmStylistically: This work serves as an example of Nuarta’s analytical view of ‘man and nature.’ As he posses a serious understanding of the natural form of his subjects, it allows him to manipulate them for symbolic meaning.* What do you think about the title of the work? What do you think it means? First Fight refers to the internal fight with oneself that many people experience in life—it involves the lessons in overcoming oneself for a greater sense of being and purpose.
24First Fight, 1994Copper and Brass186 x 92 x 70 cmTechnically: Nuarta has chosen to use the medium copper and brass – and has hollowed out the sculpture, depicting it with a level of transparency or “lightness” of materials.* Is this sculpture effective? Does it feel powerful to you? If so, would you feel it was as effective if it was solid bronze? Wire mesh? (The work rendered in heavy materials yet hollowed out seems to convey the severity or magnitude of the subject yet, allows for the movement and perhaps almost playful nature of the dog in tearing up a mat).