There is an important moment in the midst of the rise of Bali tourism due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Balinese artist named Made Kaek introduced Bali through a solo exhibition at The Meeting Room Art Gallery, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The exhibition entitled Creatures Emerge, held on November 11-30, 2022, received a positive response from the people in the Land of White Elephants. This work of art also introduces Bali again during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Made Kaek, who has been in Chiang Mai since early November, presented 15 works on canvas and rice paper from a series of imaginary creatures that he has worked on for several years using various media. “I was invited by the gallery for an exhibition. Besides, for almost a month I also carried out the creative process and made a visit to various communities in Chiang Mai who are very active in producing art activities,” he said in a release sent some time ago.
According to Kaek, Chiang Mai is similar to Ubud in Bali with many galleries and art communities, which is a stopover for artists from various countries. This good opportunity is also used to build a network that will be connected with the community he has built so far in Bali. The works of Kaek are more about imaginary people who color many of his works. “These works really begin with creatures that are always disturbing and present in my mind,” said Made Kaek.
Such a strange image always appears. Sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, there are one-, two-, three-eyed or more. Legs and arms come with a different number. They seem to be hunting as enemy or friend. He flashed, came as fast as lightning, and then left just like that as if it had disappeared into the twilight mist. “I am trying to catch those creatures in a complete traps, ink, color, paper, canvas and everything. Gradually, I transferred the image of a mysterious figure, a vague figure, a face that was far from beautiful or a face that was sometimes cheerful on sheets of paper and canvas,” he explained.
Perhaps, it was at this point that Made Kaek’s subconscious recorded images of creatures that caught his attention and wanted to get something special. “In the end, like a symbiosis of mutualism, we need each other. Precisely when I let the creatures, my soul is disturbed, even shaken. Conversely, if I respond quickly with various colors on paper or canvas, this soul feels soaring, ecstasy,” he continued.
Made Kaek further added that in the end he accepted what happened to the subconscious. This is the influence of myths, legends, fables or puppet epics that are familiar in the lives of Balinese people since their childhood. “Clearly, I have been liberated from the shackles after catching these creatures in my nooses into works like those presented in this exhibition. During the process in Chiang Mai, I am sure that other creatures or different creations will be born. Currently, I am still working until I return to Bali at the end of November 2022,” he said.
Director of The Meeting Room of the Art Gallery, Kavin Trikittiwong, stated that he is proud to be able to exhibit the works of Made Kaek, just as he warmly welcomed the works by artists from various countries who had been exhibited at this gallery. “We believe that the artistic expertise of the artist Made Kaek will enrich and be valuable for our gallery’s mission to create unique works of art,” said Kavin Trikittiwong.
Kavin Trikittiwong added that it allowed the gallery to promote cross-cultural understanding among the local artist community. “We view this visit and exhibition of works by the artist from Bali as a positive measure towards regular exchange of ideas between Thailand and Indonesia,” he said. (BTN/015)