|Size||22.5 cm x 22.5 cm|
For Australians, Bali is easily the best known and most frequently visited island of Indonesia. It is thus surprising that Bali: island of the gods is the first comprehensive exhibition of Balinese art to be held on this continent. Drawn exclusively from the Gallery’s rich and varied holdings, it showcases some of the most exciting sculptures, paintings, textiles and manuscripts in our Indonesian collection. Together these works demonstrate the brilliance and dynamism of the only remaining Hindu culture in the Southeast Asian region. The pantheon of Hindu deities and the great epic tales of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are of paramount importance in Balinese art. The many temple festivals across the island demand the display of magnificent works of art, both transitory and enduring. Brilliantly detailed hangings for temple shrines are filled with gods and demigods in scenes of battle, diplomacy, seduction and heroism. Brightly painted sculptures also depict key figures in Balinese cosmology, including the great Hindu god Wisnu astride the giant Garuda and Sinta’s kidnapping by Rawana, from which the dramatic conflict with Rama’s monkey army ensues. The distinctive figure of the ancient rice goddess Dewi Sri ornaments textiles and offering containers. This publication features some of the finest works of art—silk and gold textiles, ritual objects made from precious metals, intricately carved architectural features, finely drawn manuscripts depicted by some of the island’s most skilled artisans.