Satya Cipta (1988)


Art Exhibition at The Oberoi, Bali.
From August 31 to October 06, 2019.


Jalan Kayu Aya, Pantai Seminyak, Kuta, Bali


flyer web Satya



When talking about a Balinese artist one usually talks first about Balinese culture, or about the way this artist has ‘escaped’ from this culture to become modern or contemporary. In other words, it is as if Balinese artists ‘existed’ only through the prism of culture.

Not so Satya. When seeing her works, one does not have to talk about her education or cultural background. In Satya’s works, it is not Bali that is the topic, either as tradition or as ‘change’, it is Satya herself - Satya the person, the woman, in her fears, nightmares and fantasies. Yes, she does not draw what she draws because she knows traditional iconography or she has read about feminist statements. She needs no heritage nor intellectual backing. What she expresses just blurts out. It is an urging: it has to come out, happen what may. It is the reality of her mind and imagination. She does it using Balinese drawing technique and style. But she would do it any way, in whichever style and technique.

Why? Because whereas most artist learn and follow trends, Satya does not. She has a world of her own. This is the rarest of things.

Don’t think it is easy for Satya in Bali. Her works are not only sexual fantasies. She confronts head on the rudeness of male patriarchy and sexual power. Who dares in Bali to talk about sexual violence and its troubling encounter with eroticism? Nobody but Satya! Who dares to depict women as reversing the roles, trampling a man’s head or testis? Satya again! So it is no surprise she has hard times finding acceptance among her peers: What she talks about is deemed improper.

Improper, may be. But Satya’s work would be of meagre interest if they were only improper, if she only dealt with women’s revolt. She has a pen that bristles with impatience and imagination. Even though she has learned to draw only in the last two years – after studies theatre in Jakarta— her drawing line has a purity and suppleness few succeed to achieve even at the end of a long career. What will it become in a few years, when the wildest forms of her imagination will come still more naturally at the tip of her fingers, when she will dig yet deeper, and more freely, in the depth of her psyche? When she will fully master, not only form, but colour?

Satya is lucky to have a great mentor, Ketut Budiana, the Padangtegal maestro of Balinese fantastic art. Her technique is for that reason that of her master. Yet, whereas his works deal with ‘philosophy’, with the ‘Place of Man in the World” in a cosmological perspective, Satya’s works deal with the ‘complexities of a woman’s inner world’. As the old master transfers his soul and technique to his young female disciple, transmission in Balinese art is passing from philosophy to psychology. Welcome to the future, Satya, may we all welcome your talent.


Jean Couteau Ph.D


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