News : Rest In Peace ‘The Golden Touch’ I Nyoman Gunarsa

“Drawing lines as I sing, coloring as I dance” — I Nyoman Gunarsa

Bali and expressionist style become a bonding node in artistic inspiration for I Nyoman Gunarsa. In his early work, Nyoman’s works tended to be expressionist, then developed to Balinese theme, offering abstraction, aringgit (wayang) deformation, dancer movement, then synthesized all form of offering, aringgit, also the dancers. His consistency in exploring Balinese art distinguished most of Nyoman’s works from other painters.

Born in Klungkung, Bali in 1944, Nyoman Gunarsa honed his artistic talent by studying painting at the Academy of Fine Art Yogyakarta (ASRI). After graduating, he also actively taught at the academy as a lecturer. In 1970, Nyoman founded Sanggar Dewata Indonesia which made Bali as the central theme in the works of its members. Continued in 1989, Nyoman established Museum of Nyoman Gunarsa’s Contemporary Painting, Yogyakarta. He also established the Museum of Nyoman Gunarsa’s Classic Art Museum in Klungkung, Bali which was inaugurated in 1994.

As an artist, Nyoman Gunarsa was active in holding solo exhibitions. Not only in Indonesia, but also in Malaysia, Australia, Netherland, Japan, Singapore, French, Monaco, and USA. Beside exhibitions, his art trails were also recorded in Books entitled Color of Nyoman Gunarsa (1993), Nyoman Gunarsa (1995), Nyoman Gunarsa Moksa (2004).

Nyoman also achieved awards such as Pratisara Affandi Adi Karya Art Award (1976), Karya Terbaik Biennale III dan IV Jakarta (1978 dan 1980), Lempad Prize (1980), Medali Perak Biennale I Seni Lukis Yogyakarta (1988), Dharma Kusuma Cultural Award from the Government of Bali (1994), dan Satyalancana Kebudayaan Art Award from the President of the Republic of Indonesia (2003). Seven artwork of Nyoman become the collections of the National Gallery of Indonesia which automatically are also the state collections. They are Calon Arang (1968), Balinese Offerings (1981), Open Ceremony I (1977), Open Ceremony II (1977), Open Ceremony III (1978), Open Ceremony IV (1973), and Wayang (Mandalangi). His works were also presented in several traveling exhibition of the National Gallery of Indonesia. For example: “Ziarah” in Yogyakarta (2015); “Bumi Tadulako: Mareso, Maroso Rupa” in Palu also “Spirit Khuai Jukhai” in Lampung (2017)

‘The Golden Touch’ is gone. He passed away on Sunday, 10 September 2017. Though his body is no longer exist, his soul and spirit in creating artwork keep on alive and inspiring the next generation of Indonesian art. Farewell, I Nyoman Gunarsa.