When the guitar begins to be strummed, the strains of prayer songs echo in every corner of the gallery, strengthening the taksu or divine vibration of every stroke on the canvas. Before the prayer is over, a dancer moves swiftly to the rhythm of the song. Sometimes it is silent between guitar strums, sometimes flows with the rhythm of the prayer.
For a moment, the atmosphere is silent, modern dance stomps to give new enthusiasm which is still in a pandemic condition. The music and energetic movements seem to invite everyone to keep working and be more creative. Without a command, visitors gives their appreciation with a standing ovation.
Such beautiful atmosphere is part of the opening of his solo exhibition entitled Refresh at Komaneka Gallery, Monkey Forest Street, Ubud, Gianyar, on Saturday (Jun 25). I Made Sumadiyasa, the artist sang the prayer songs and was then responded by Nyoman Henni Kesari who is also his wife, and their second daughter, Made Hening Arisma Dewi. The art performance of the compact family did not only provide entertainment for exhibition visitors, but also offered a new spirit to never stop being creative.
In the solo exhibition opened by the owner of Komaneka Gallery, Koman Wahyu Suteja, the artist I Made Sumadiyasa exhibited eighteen paintings of various sizes, including Dialogue measuring 150 x 200 cm, Dancing on the Horizon sizing 150 x 200 cm. Mountains Symphony sizing 150 x 350 cm, Motions on the Beach sizing 200 x 300 cm and Morning Grace sizing 200 x 380 cm. Eighteen works made from canvas with acrylic colors were made within 24 hours in the gallery. “As an established painter, I Made Sumadiyasa can still give new surprises in his work,” said Koman Wahyu Suteja.
With increasing experience, Made Sumadiyasa has evolved, did not only become an individual artist, but also started to work by involving other energies, which come from the environment, and especially from his family. “Made Sumadiyasa’s work this time is the start of a new post-pandemic order. As if it presses the reset button, a work with fresh colors and a wider composition is born, as a reflection of the desire to be free from the shackles of the restrictions that have existed so far,” said the son of the owner of the Neka Museum, Pande Wayan Suteja Neka.
The Refresh exhibition presented truly different works. Sumadiyasa wanted to refresh the garbage of negativity raging in his head and then processed it into creative behavior and positive thinking. For more than two years, he has been haunted by Covid, but, to increase his body’s immunity, Sumadiyasa must keep moving, expressing through works in the hope that it will continue to give energy to the spirit of creativity. “So, we as a family in the public activity restriction (PPKM) situation continue to process, learn to deal with uncertain situations, while still learning to think positively and keep working,” he affirmed.
These works are not old ones, but started from the living gallery at Komaneka Gallery on June 1, 2022. During the living gallery, Made Sumadiyasa chose the time to start working at 02:00 in the morning. In the silence and tranquility of the early morning, Made Sumadiyasa felt that he could focus more on praying in the cool and calm atmosphere of Ubud in expressing his ideas while working.
In the living gallery, this graduate of the ISI Yogyakarta returned to learn and to process his breath, refresh his mind and feelings during the two years of downturn in PPKM due to Covid-19. Sumadiyasa carried out activities by strengthening togetherness in the family. His wife, Nyoman Henni Kesari, participated in responding to the chanting of Sumadiyasa’s prayer, with a simple dance. Then, the children also interpret it by practicing dancing.
During public activity restriction, the art galleries limited their activities. Komaneka Gallery, one of the art galleries on Jalan Monkey Forest Ubud, has the idea of inviting artists in Bali to work for 24 hours. Then the artist’s work is exhibited for a whole month. During the pandemic, this painter from Lalanglinggah, Tabanan, is still actively working. In addition to making exploratory works in paintings, Made Sumadiyasa also makes his time by playing acoustic guitar and sings simple prayers to learn to connect with the Almighty. He thanks for the blessings and universal energy that always flows, but is often not realized.
The results of chanting pujas and simple prayers are summarized in the album entitled BERKARMA–(standing for singing, working and chanting mantras). In this album, Made Sumadiyasa made duet with Wayan Balawan, a famous guitarist from Batuan, Gianyar, Bali. The BERKARMA album was supported by the physician writer, Dewa Putu Sahadewa, the founder of the Dedari Art Institute, launched last year at Geoks Singapadu belonging to Prof. Dr. I Wayan Dibia. In the repertoire of Indonesian art, the name I Made Sumadiyasa is no stranger.
His painting style, an abstract expressionist, has made his name as one of Indonesia’s top painters. Many of his works have graced art galleries and museums in Bali. Likewise many others are collected by foreign art lovers. His painting studio in the Batuan area, Gianyar, is filled with extra-large sized works. In the studio, the father of Luh Putu Dimas Virgantini, Made Hening Arisma Dewi, and Nyoman Arum Puspa Wedanti, works every day.
Sumadiyasa is one of the Balinese artists who from a young age has penetrated the international world. His perception of nature has made Sumadiyasa an ascetic and inherent in nature’s breath. He intensely talks about nature creatively through his works. With his abstract expressionistic works, in the early 1990s, this graduate of the Indonesia Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta surprised the public and gained international appreciation. As a student, in 1995, he was invited to the Art Asia exhibition, the International Fine Art Exhibition, and the forerunner of Art Basel Hong Kong. One of his works was made the cover of Asian Art News magazine, an important art media in Asia (1996). (BTN/015)