I KETUT SUWIDIARTA
I Ketut Suwidiarta is one of Balinese young artists who highlights popular political and cultural themes in his paintings. Suwidiarta was born in Bongkasa village in 1976 and took his undergraduate education in Yogyakarta. From 1998 he studied in the Indonesian Art Institute Yogyakarta, at the Faculty of Fine Arts with a major interest in painting. His early year in Yogyakarta was concurrent with the political turmoil in Indonesia, culminating in the fall of President Suharto and New Order. This period of transition invited lively responses from Indonesian artists and Suwidiarta was no exception. Many of his works was based on phenomena that became topic of conversation at that time. But through his hands, heavy themes (politics) turned and served in cheerful and witty ways.
The development of Suwidiarta’s visual works is a very interesting thing to follow. In 2001 - 2003 visualization of his works were dominated by fat and midget figures. They were displayed as symbols of comedy. Midget and fat person were forms of interpretation in which many figures were depicted (in the political and social context) as people who behave in a stupid way, silly spectacles and having odd physical shape.
In 2004-2005, Suwidiarta’s underwent change in his visualization; fat person and midget were no longer the main themes in the canvases. In this period Suwidiarta seemed getting closer to the realist or trying to get closer to the original form. In addition, he also presented more symbols, and extensive landscapes with a variety of objects as background. The development of his visualization opened more space, repertoire, code and expanded the scope of what he can offer. His world is not merely a respond to the political and social world, but has spread over in emphasizing personal history and bringing the elements of tradition as a starting point and source of ideas.
Suwidiarta completed his studies at ISI in 2005. Later in the period from 2008 up to 2010, he continued his study in the Faculty of Arts at Rabindra Bharati University Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata, India. After completing his study in the country which is the birthplace of Mahabharata and Ramayana, he participated in several exhibitions and art events in Kolkata, India. Upon returning home to Bali, Suwidiarta showed that many of his works were inspired by his sojourn in India. Suwidiarta argued that art and culture he found abundantly in India and are too big to be ignored. The values ??found in India have close connection to the values ??that grow in the land of his ancestors, Bali. However in Bali, a Hindu-based tradition has grown with specific characteristics.
In general Suwidiarta’s style and artistic vision is a form of parody, comedy and satire. Suwidiarta works take various themes, from social issues of everyday life, political issues to cultural dilemmas that can be dynamic phenomena and source of conflict. Satire and irony are continuously highlighted in the development Suwidiarta artworks; satire and irony in association with the world of contradiction, between what is expected and what happened; a world that in reality does not conform to the idealized standard. The world that is said to be burdened with spiritual ideals, but in action it tends to pursue the profane.
Several awards in the field of art that he has achieved including finalist of Nokia Art Award in 2001, and several awards from ISI such as best sketch, best drawing and best oil painting.