TRANSITORY: Rio Helmi
TRANSITORY An Exhibition of Printed and Painted Images. July 1 until August 1, 2011 at Komaneka Fine Art Gallery – Ubud.
TRANSITORY is something of retrospective of my personal work on Balinese spiritual and ritual culture over the last 30 years, but it is also a new direction for me to be working with mixed media, some of which I have included in this show.
Balinese culture, like all cultures is not a static thing. Over the years I have been photographing Bali, its transient nature has become more evident. I have tried to capture moments of revelation, moments of manifestation, or perhaps even moments of simple discovery of the fleeting. Now, even the way I see my photographs changes, hence the way I present them changes as well. In this exhibition I have included some images I have painted over by hand, perhaps adding to the transient nature of the image itself.
Now, as I paint and gild these familiar images which have become a part of me, I begin to see them in new ways – and I realize that these images in my mind, which I have considered to be indelible in my memory, are transient as well.
The idea of painting over these images didn’t just suddenly occur to me. When I was young I wanted to paint, but never liked what I painted. A few years ago when I started to print my images on canvas I was tempted. When I finally got up the courage to smear oil paints over these images, I thought I would just be tinting the images like they did in the old days. But I was mistaken. The images transformed into something else.
Although I nearly always start with a basic idea of what I am going to do, as I progress with painting over the printed images, inevitably they demand that I abandon any rigid plan and improvise – and a whole new perspective comes to light. Somehow it is fitting: like all living cultures, Balinese culture is transient. Like all living cultures, Balinese culture is full of the unpredictable.
Bali, June 2011
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