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The Bicycle Diaries by Nyoman Sujana Kenyem

line The Bicycle Diaries by Nyoman Sujana Kenyem

Komaneka Fine Art Gallery cordially invites you to the opening of

A solo exhibition by Nyoman Sujana Kenyem

Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 6 pm

Komaneka Fine Art Gallery
Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud,
Gianyar 80571, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 976090
Fax: +62 361 977140

The exhibition will be held through January 18, 2012
The Gallery opens everyday: 8am – 8pm

by Jean Couteau

“I came upon the theme of the bicycle by mere chance,” says Kenyem with his usual smile, “by
recalling my days as a student at Ubud’s junior high school. I rode my bicycle to get to school.
Everything was so calm and natural. Now, things have changed. One is not secure anymore
on the roads. The traffic is heavy. If some people, now, take to riding a bicycle instead of a
motorbike, it is as a reaction. It is their way to protest against the changes that have taken
place. It is for all these reasons that I have taken up the theme of the bicycle,” he concludes,

What does one see in these works? Bicycles and riders set against various backgrounds of
leaves and nature. Here they ride against the whirling of cosmic forces; there they pedal
casually up a slope. In other works a single rider perches on the top of a man’s head or on the
stretched arm or leg of a woman. But always the bicycle, and always a little rider man—who
is not actually riding, but standing on his bike.

Kenyem is visibly letting himself go. He dreams, apparently aimlessly. Of the past. Of the
need to move forward. Of his insignificance compared to nature. Of love. But always, in all
these works—and here he rejoins the theme of his previous works—he features himself (the
rider), Nature and the world. Can it be said that the underlying theme he is exploring is no
different from before: the relation between microcosm and macrocosm? Perhaps, but it must
be added that he presents it here in a more relaxed and spontaneous way. His approach has
become non-intellectual: he talks about himself, and it is through himself that he happens to
question his own position with regard to nature and the world. He is no longer making any
statement about his Hindu-Balinese identity. This identity simply appears in the transparency
of his dreams. Thus his expression is more natural, more from the heart.

It is only in the three-dimensional expression of his creativity—his bamboo installation—
that Kenyem’s love of nature and questioning of his place in it takes the connotation of a
statement. The installation consists of a triangular bamboo structure standing in the middle
of the gallery’s pool. Small mirrors are stuck on its sides. The structure symbolizes the world,
calling to mind the Mandara Giri (cosmic Mountain) as it stands in the milky sea, here the
pool. When we look at the mirrors, it is our own images that come back, with a haunting
question: what have we done to this world?

Simple, neat, and direct: such are the works, such is the smiling man.

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  1. Courtland Loeffler

    My wife and I would be very interested in purchasings a piece of Mr. Kenyem’s work. We were fortunate enough to visit his gallery in Ubud several years ago, but were not able to obtain anything at that time.

    What would be the best way to see some of his art and potentially buy something?

    Thank you very much.

    Courtland Loeffler

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