Press Conference of Teja Astawa's solo exhibition in Sanur, Wednesday.
Press Conference of Teja Astawa's solo exhibition in Sanur, Wednesday.

DENPASAR, Bali (BPN) – Bali famous painter Ketut Teja Astawa to hold his sixth solo exhibition entitled “Terbahak Kritis Estetis ala Teja Astawa” on Friday, September 11, at Zen1 Gallery, Tuban Plaza Shops No.50, Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai, Tuban, Kuta, Badung. The exhibition, which will be opened at 6 PM, will last until October 1, 2020.

At the exhibition, the 49-year-old painter will display dozen of his paintings including two old paintings marking Teja Astawa’s career.

The painting displayed at the exhibition sized 50 x 40 centimeters to 180 x 300 centimeters. All are curated by one of Indonesia’s best curators, Eddy Soetriyono.

Teja said that this exhibition will be different from his previous exhibitions both in terms of theme and in its development.

This solo exhibition is different from the previous exhibitions, both in terms of theme and the painting. In his previous exhibitions, Teja emphasized a simple impression with large objects, and now it is even more complex which is dominated by small objects.

Several solo exhibitions that have been held by Teja Astawa, namely, TW(IN)SIDE (2013) at Kendra Gallery, Seminyak, A Glimpse Back Into the Past Early Paintings of Ketut Teja Astawa (2012) at Art Temporary Space, Plaza Senayan, Jakarta, Fragments of Subconscious Memory (2011) at Tonyraka Art Gallery, Ubud, Batman Forever (2009) at Sunjin Gallery, Singapore, Works of Ketut Teja Astawa (2008) at Roemah Roepa Gallery, Jakarta.

“The difference is in the theme and the painting (process). Now, smaller figures are dominant. In the past, it was simpler. The issues are still about fauna’s interaction with human life,” Teja said at a press conference in Sanur, Wednesday.

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Teja said that he needs a week to finish a painting with fauna as his favorite theme because he feels amazed by its cuteness and innocence. Teja Astawa’s favorite characters are Angry Birds and giants.

Meanwhile, Nicolaus F. Kuswanto, Director of Zen1 Gallery, said that the exhibition planned to be held at a major art event in Jakarta in May 2020. But, due to the pandemic, the exhibition was finally postponed. Thus, Nico finally decided to hold the exhibition back in Bali which the preparation already began in July.

Nico explained the reasons why he wanted to lift Teja’s artworks are because Teja can give a strong impression to show where he came from, and he’s not just doing it in traditional ways but also in modern ways.

“First, people can immediately see that this is an artwork of an artist from Bali. Second, with his work that carries traditional icons and roots, gives a strong impression to represent the region where he lives. But, what the most interesting thing is that he does not present it traditionally, but in more modern in terms of colors, themes, and forms. For me, it’s something new and fresh to show,” Nico said.

Nico said that even though it is held during the pandemic, Zen1 Gallery will carry out the standard COVID-19 protocols as recommended by the government.

Starting from checking body temperature, providing a place to wash hands, requiring the visitor to use masks, to physical distancing, all will be controlled, and visitors entering the gallery will also be limited to 15 people and the rest can wait in a space provided by the gallery.

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“I hope this exhibition can bring benefits to both the gallery and the artist. Apart from that, it is important to show that an exhibition still can be held during the pandemic, of course by following the health protocols.  Besides, it is also to encourage all artists to continue their activities in terms of arts,” Nico explained.

The solo exhibition will be attended by the Head of the Bali Cultural Office, Prof. Dr. I Wayan ‘Kun’ Adnyana. In addition to Teja Astawa’s solo exhibition, at the time, Zen1 Gallery will also launch its official website www.galerizen1.com.

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