Tag Archives: Museum

BALINESE WOOD CARVING

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Ade recently did a couple designs highly inspired on old wood carvings from Bali.

WOODCARVING IN BALI

The craft of woodcarving has never existed in Bali only for decoration purposes.
In the olden days, the fine arts of woodcarving and painting were reserved almost exclusively for royal and religious purposes.
Woodcarving has a very long history in Bali.

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TECHNIQUES

Woodcarving is a skill requiring more precision and sureness than that of carving stone. The carver starts with a clean block of wood which he cuts down to roughly the same size as the piece to be carved. Using very simple tools, the carver lightly taps the highly sharpened instruments. Unlike the technique used in the West, he does not use hand pressure except for really close work. Fine-grained hardwoods such as teak (jati), and strong fruit trees such as jackfruit (nangka), the compact sawo (a beautiful dark red wood), shiny ebony (ebon), tamarind, hibiscus, frangipani, and kayu jepun are the most popular carving woods.

The texture of the grain determines the nature of the piece to be carved. Dark ebony, particularly pieces with striped grain, are best suited for vertical shapes or faces. Rarer are pieces made of unpolished ebony (sanded and brushed only) where you can make out the grain in the wood. The blackest ebony might be used to depict a subject of great dignity. Satinwood, a light striped, beige-colored wood native to Bali, may inspire pieces of a softer theme. The grain often follows a skin pattern or veins in the arms of the statue.

The tradition is, if the statue is not to be gilded or painted it is made smooth with pumice and given a high polish by rubbing it with bamboo. These finished carvings were once treated and stained with oils to achieve a subtle gloss, but now Balinese artisans find that neutral or black shoe polish gives the same result and takes less time.

At the Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) near Bedulu, Gianyar – elaborate Buddhist style carvings cover the entrance near the cave. This carving dates to 9th Century. Woodcarvings is largely links to religious tradition and  to Pura (small private temples) in Balinese home.

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Woodcarving for commercial purpose probably started around 1935. The Dutch traders firstly introduce Balinese woodcarving to Europe. Until now, a lot of Dutch Museum still have a huge collection of Balinese woodcarving. The Dutch take-over of Southern Bali in 1906-1908 not only destroyed the traditional courts of the island but it also shattered the old system of art production. There were new types of art showing up, and the artists made works that were commodities instead of items of religious use of content. This has an important impact on the production of carvings which could now be made and sold at tourist spots all around Indonesia.

For the best collections of Balinese wood carving, the visitor should go to the FA Siadja Wood Carving gallery in the village of Mas in Ubud. It holds a wide selection of carving from 1930s to current style worked in many different kind of wood.

– Lielo

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BALI – SETIA DARMA / HOUSE OF MASK & PUPPETS

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The second highlight of our trip through Indonesia we like to tell you more about is the Setia Darma, House of Mask & Puppets museum in Ubud, Bali.

2 years ago we already had the plan to visit this museum, but at that time we couldn’t find the place and due to some unlucky circumstances on the way we had to return to our hotel. So this year we wanted to give it another try!

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Setia Darma, The House of Masks and Puppets was initiated by Mr. Hadi Sunyoto, a businessman and cultural enthusiast, who has been collecting masks and puppets from different regions in Indonesia for the past seven years. Concerned with the lack of appreciation and awareness towards the disappearing traditional art form of masks and puppets in Indonesia, he decided to create a space to collect, preserve and spread the knowledge of the art form of masks and puppets. As a result, the House of Masks and Puppets was built in 2006.

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They’re mission is to inspire people to learn about the culture of the past for the benefits of the present and future life. And to conserve the art form of masks and puppets from different regions of Indonesia, as well as from other countries. The collection of the House of Masks and Puppets currently consists of approximately 6900 items, of which 1300 are masks from Indonesia, Africa, and Japan; whilst the other 5700 are puppets from Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Although the House of Masks and Puppets has several objects from other countries, the collection mostly consists of items from various regions in Indonesia.

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The collections of the House of Masks and Puppets are housed in four different traditional Javanese antique houses or commonly known as Joglo. These unique Joglos are mostly originated from East and Middle Java.

 

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We can say, this is one of the most amazing museums we have ever visited. A breathtaking collection of masks, perfectly conserved and displayed. We were actually a bit surprised that we didn’t need to pay an entrance fee to enter this museum. (We we’re completely willing to put down 200.000 IDR. if needed to see this collection up close). There even was a worker of the museum who gave us a little tour through the museum and told us more about the different sort of masks and their origins. This is definitely the place to be if you’re interested in masks & puppets from Indonesia and Asia in general!

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Setia Darma, House of Masks & Puppets

Kubu Bingin Cultural Village
Jl. Tegal Bingin
Banjar Tengkulak Tengah
Kemenuh Village, Sukawati,
Gianyar, Bali

entrance fee: free (you can leave a donation to support the museum)

http://www.setiadarma.org/

– Lielo

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GOLD OF THE GODS – WORLDMUSEUM ROTTERDAM

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Last week I saw a news article online that they currently have an exhibition called the Gold of the Gods from Java at the World Art Museum at the harbor of Rotterdam. So that sounded like something we had to see!

– The mysterious world of the Javanese Kingdom remained closed to outsiders for over a thousand years, with only the statues hewn from lava rock at Borobudur displaying the wealth with which the Javanese rulers venerated their gods. The Wereldmuseum is bringing you a world première with its exhibition Gold of the Gods. It is a privilege to show you the most extensive collection of Javanese gold from the seventh to the eleventh centuries on display today, the beauty of which can barely be grasped by contemporary audiences.
On special occasions Javanese royalty would adorn themselves with jewelry originally intended for the gods, in honor of Vishnu, Shiva, and Parvati by embodying them. The jewelry itself was crafted by the most highly renowned goldsmiths, requiring not only superior craftsmanship but also spiritual knowledge as illustrated by the sagas and legends adorning the individual pieces and that portray the active role played by the gods in Javanese society.
The Wereldmuseum is proud to be the first museum in the world to exhibit this collection. Being aware of our tremendous responsibility not only towards the collector, but also with regard to the collection’s history, our aim was to create a presentation that will enable the audience to tangibly perceive the contemporary mysteries surrounding the works on display.
This production was made possible with the cooperation of the Princessehof Ceramics Museum in Leeuwarden, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and, in particular, the National Museum of World Cultures in Amsterdam and Leiden. These museums were willing to lend us several pieces from their permanent collections to enhance our exhibition. Additionally, the Documentation Centre for Ancient Indonesian Art in Amsterdam lent us several photographs of the Borobudur. We are very grateful for these valuable additions to the exhibition.-

 

Yesterday we had a day off and decided to make a trip to the museum in Rotterdam. It turned out to be a very impressive collection of golden jewelry from Java, holding some very exclusive items which we never saw anywhere else before. The set up of the museum is quite simple but classy. You can get really close to the items, exposed in glass showcases  to be able to see the extreme details and complex designs of this ancient jewelry.

Beside the exhibition of the Indonesian gold, there’s a big Tibetan / Japanese section in the museum. Showing a great collection of buddha statues in all different forms and size’s and a great example of a traditional Buddhistic temple. Even the Dalai Lama personally visited the museum in May last year! At the end of the exhibition you will find a gift shop, with a small book section selling a great selection of books about Indonesia,Tibet, batik, keris, wayang, the Pacific, buddhism, etc!

 

Ratu_KidulI was very happy to find this little book about Kanjeng Ratu Kidul by Ruud Greve, The Legend of the South Sea Queen. A Javanese mystery that fascinates me for years already. Soon more about this story on the blog!

Overall it was a nice, educative day out. We would definitely recommend this exhibition / museum to everybody who is interested in ancient jewelry or the Indonesian / Tibetan heritage in general.

You can still visit this exhibition till 6 April 2015.

Entrance: 15,- + free audio tour / CJP: 3,- / free guided tours on every Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information: http://www.wereldmuseum.nl/

 

 

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