A Dreamworld of Colors Exhibition: Bali

A Dreamworld of Colors, water color paintings by Agus Budiyanto, is currently on exhibit at Ganesha Gallery, Four Seasons Resort Bali, through Sept. 27. The Indonesian watercolor artist has obviously matured in his work after more than 28 years of creating and experimenting with colors and form.

“Agus has crossed the border between the natural world and that of his dreams,” said Bruce Carpenter, consultant for Ganesha Gallery and art historian. This is clearly evident when one views the painting Mirror, which is a reflection of the image.

Budiyanto plays with our perceptions, as on one side of the painting there are sweeping brush strokes in red, while the other side consists of similar brush strokes but in vivid blue. Upon closer inspection one can discern a hint of calligraphy.

Budiyanto gets his energy and inspiration to create these striking water color paintings from natural and New Age music.

In his painting The Ballad of Colors the natural element appears in the background in soft purples and blues blended together. The foreground consists of sweeping strokes of fuchsia, indigo and green. This beautiful “dreamscape” has a rhythm that is undeniable.

“I’m not painting real nature. It comes from my mind. This painting is about the spiritual side of nature that we don’t always see or recognize,” explained Budiyanto.

In There Are Words Inside the Colors, we see the original shape of a lotus flower painted in vivid blue — not the actual color of a lotus. Thus, Budiyanto creates another dimension for the viewer; it is open to our own interpretation.

True to the title of this piece, there are abstract words rendered in calligraphy that is hidden among the bright red and pink flowers.
Budiyanto’s philosophy of life is artfully expressed through his paintings, which illustrate the natural flow of life — if we can let things flow and be in harmony with nature, then all else will flow.

Clearly, this way of thinking has served him well, as Budiyanto’s paintings seem effortless in their compositions. Yet, watercolor is one of the most difficult types of media for any artist to utilize; once he makes a mistake the painting is ruined.

Watercolor artists are scarce in Indonesia, because the climate in not conducive to this kind of medium. Budiyanto dares to explore techniques such as calligraphy and abstract styles, which are much more challenging to create using watercolors.

He makes use of special “Arches” paper from France, which not only gives strength but also a unique characteristic feel.

“He also shows how close the relationship between an abstract with pure colors and broad stroke painting is with reality,” said Carpenter.

This is reflected in both A Distant Look, a powerful abstract that depicts the backside of a woman’s body with broad strokes and figurative calligraphy, and Migration, in which several fish swim through water that appears to be bubbling with motion.

Gerak Tari — also known as Dance Movements, is a swirl of blue and green on a yellow background. The dancer is not perfectly defined, yet there is no denying that she exists.

Perhaps the most striking and enigmatic work here is Wild 1, which consists of sweeping strokes of deep purple and blues on a white background. Again we see the characteristic calligraphy at the center, which is undecipherable.

Budiyanto conveys simplicity in his art that is at once beautiful and powerful. The imagery in his paintings evokes a “dreamworld of colors” that is truly profound.

The viewer is able to get a glimpse of Budiyanto’s intuitive insight of nature and the world. He reminds us of how colorful the world really is if we just open our minds and feel its natural rhythms.

On the Net: www.agusbudiyanto.com

A Dreamworld of Colors
Ganesha Gallery
Four Seasons Resort Bali
Jimbaran Bay, Bali
tel: (0361) 701010
through Sept. 27

Michele Cempaka