Typical glass puppet painting of Nagasepaha village, Buleleng, remains to face some problems. One of them is the lack of access to markets owned by the artists. For this condition, painters only rely on the marketing through exhibitions and through direct orders from consumers or tourists visiting Nagasepaha. Even, some painters have close down because they face difficulty in marketing their products. A painter, Ketut Santosa, met in his painting studio told that he had been trying to sell his works through conventional manner for long time, namely selling it in the Bali Arts Festival (BAF) or through painting exhibition in a number of regions in Indonesia with the help of a number of artists and curators.
The sale through the exhibition was one of the most successful. His paintings were sold at prices ranging from IDR 1 million to IDR 4 million. Recently, Santosa managed to sell 100 percent of his paintings in Yogyakarta. “Exhibition is the most demanded marketplace. I do not dare to sell it through the other means, because it can lose out,” he said.
Santosa added, other than through the exhibition, he was currently pioneering the sale through the internet. Unfortunately, the efforts to expand the market access were hampered because the education to master the information technology (IT) remained minimal. Nevertheless, he still attempted to maximally introduce his works through the internet. “A student has made the website for me and I’m still learning it. Right now, I do not really know how to operate it,” he explained.
On the other hand, he also said the marketing problem sufficiently worried him if the glass painting business inherited through generations would go extinct. Even, only eight out of seventeen painters remained to survive today and actively painted. Nine other painters had changed profession into builder because it was hard to market their works.
To preserve the typical glass painting of Nagasepaha village, Santosa and other painters hoped the government could pay attention to their fate. He expected it because the local market was minimal. So the only way to sell his products was to foreigners or owners of the art shops in Bali and outside Bali. “We expect the government can support to preserve the existing craft at our village,” he added. (BTN/kmb)