Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ukiran Bali- reaching artistic heights

A cursory look may make one think that Indonesian wood CARVINGS are the same. They are not. Motifs vary from one place to the other and the level of skill is not the same among regions. For deep reliefs, the top carvers are in Bali, Cerebon (West Java) and Madura (East Java).



If I have to play favorites, I would gravitate towards Balinese ukiran or carving. Whether the piece is partial relief or full figure sculpture, Balinese carving is distinctive, intricate and stylized. Over the years, I have collected numerous panels and reliefs and obviously, I could not get enough.

Carved panels, Denpasar, Bali

architectural panels

Witnessing the carvers in motion is fascinating. Like art guilds in the past, these workshops offer a ready lesson of dedicated artisanship to those who are willing to stop and observe.

Denpasar carving 0409_01

Denpasar carving 0409_02

Denpasar carving 0409_03

Denpasar carving 0409_04

Denpasar carving 0409_05

Denpasar carving 0409_06

Balinese woodcarver

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coolwaterworks said...

I am amazed by their artistry.
Their working conditions though sadden me...

Farl said...

you have a point. sadly, the same conditions are prevalent in developing countries, the Philippines included.