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Archetype Re-Reading of Nyoman Erawan

Archetype  Re-Reading of Nyoman ErawanKomaneka Fine Art Gallery Ubud present the works of Nyoman Erawan through a solo exhibition. A total of 60 abstract paintings using watercolor medium are displayed. This new series of works consisted of 50 paintings with watercolor on paper, 4 painting watercolor on paper and aluminum plates, and 5 painting of watercolors on canvas. The exhibition was opened on Saturday (Jun 1) and lasted for a month until July 1, 2013. As a creative artist, Erawan also staged an art performance entitled ‘Chaotic Vibration.’ Visitors to the exhibition consisting of the art hobbyists, artists, and tourists admired the shiny-headed artist from Delod Tangluk, Sukawati, Gianyar.

The current exhibition display different painting works from the previous period. Erawan utilize his own brilliant personal achievement in the field of painting. Similarly, he embraced one of the important artistic production strategies in the contemporary art with new creative breakthrough. In the making of a series of painting Archetype, Erawan accidentally ‘borrowed’ or re-produced the previously existing work of arts, namely his own old paintings. In the world of contemporary art, the art of appropriation emerged in the 1970s, peaked in the 1980s and began entering ‘a new phase’ since the turn of the millennium.

Two stages of appropriation were made by Erawan. At first, he appropriated his own old painting as if he repeated the cremation process, where he ‘destroyed’ his photo paintings. Afterward, his photo printings were manipulated so that the original composition could no longer be recognized and transformed into a new design. Erawan also cut up the old painting print, and then arranged the pieces of picture into a new design being similar to collage.

Inspired by cremation destroying the body to return to its essential elements, Erawan undertook a ‘creative cremation.’ He symbolically destroyed the old painting to return to the artistic essence. His old paintings were dismantled to find out some sort of archetypes: the model or original pattern underlying the creativity of Erawan in the field of painting. Destruction of the old painting process was a strategy to highlight the archetypes creativity to the surface of consciousness that could be developed into new artistic creations.

The designs created by the appropriation practice of the first phase were then appropriated again to produce a new painting. Appropriation of the second phase was implemented by applying multiplication. Erawan created new paintings by imitating exactly the same as the essential abstract motif in the matter of designs as the results of appropriating in the first stage. His final product was a series of Archetype paintings radically opposed to conventional distinctions between the abstract painting and realist painting. New paintings of Erawan had abstract style. However, they were actually painted in a realist style by copying the design or existing painting fragments. The series of archetype painting mark a new chapter in the development of creativity of Nyoman Erawan. His exploration in the art of appropriating inspired by the spirit of Balinese culture open the possibility of the presence of valuable contribution by Indonesian artists to the development of the art in the world. (BTN/015)

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