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Balinese painting: Approaching the art of village painters across cultures

Hill, Christopher (2001) Balinese painting: Approaching the art of village painters across cultures. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis is about art produced in Bali by village painters who have learned traditional ways of painting from mentors. The research places this art in the context of Balinese social and cultural history. Despite various external forces affecting Balinese culture over the last century - colonisation, revolution, political upheaval and most recently mass tourism - the evidence suggests that while Balinese art has changed in line with broader social change, it has survived the various onslaughts and remains highly creative and distinctively Balinese. The art examined in the thesis is produced almost exclusively for foreigners. It thus seems necessary to look not only at the circumstances of its production but also at those who purchase it. The thesis therefore considers Western approaches to the art of other cultures, first in general terms and then as applied specifically to Bali, where identity and cultural production are in some senses "created" to satisfy the expectations of foreign visitors. Concepts of value and quality are examined along with factors, particularly commercialism, which are often considered to have an adverse effect on the quality of art. Three generations of artists (generations in the sense of mentor/student) are examined: Tjokorde Oka Gambir of Peliatan, who was born in 1900; two of his students, Wayan Tohjiwa of Peliatan and Gusti Ketut Kobot of Pengosekan; and two Pengosekan students of Kobot, Dewa Putu Mokoh and Gusti Putu Sana. The work of these artists spans the last century and can be seen as an illustration of changing artistic practice and value. The thesis challenges prevailing views that Balinese art lacks individual creativity and is compromised by the commercialism associated with tourism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Warren, Carol
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