Denpasar ● Thu, August 11 2022
Gede Sukarya has a natural affinity with cows, a highly revered animal in his culture and village of Bulian, North Bali. His exploration into the potential of cowhide, outside of the iconic traditional conventions, realizes new possibilities in contemporary art expressions.
Belulang ( cowhide in Balinese), upholds a distinction as an essential element in Balinese Hindu religious rituals. Leather-based ceremonial items are common, the Wayang Kulit shadow theater being one of the most well-known rituals still practiced today. Belulang is transformed into highly-decorative features of barong (lion-like creature and character in Balinese mythology) and topeng (colorful mask) performance pieces and headdresses. The hide contains a philosophical dimension, honored with spiritual values. The skin is processed untanned according to strict methods to maintain its sacred integrity.
Born in 1995 in Bulian, Buleleng regency, Bali, Sukarya's village adheres to an unusual, old custom. Aci Bulu Geles is a sacrificial ceremony for ancestors involving cows in which each village boy must participate. Having grown up with a close association with the domesticated animals, Sukarya discovered an intuitive calling to investigate belulang as an artistic medium.
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