Mangku Muriati

Year Of The Tiger

solo exhibition

3 September 2023 - 25 November 2023
organized by V-Room Bali
in collaboration with
BIASA Art & Honold Fine Art

V-Room, supported by Honold Fine Art, is excited to present the first solo show of Mangku Muriati in a gallery context in Bali, Indonesia. For this exhibition, V-Room is in collaboration with BIASA Art, which is hosting the exhibition at its Ubud venue.

MANGKU MURIATI: Year of the Tiger refers to 2022 as a marker for the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be remembered always for its profound impact on the daily reality of the common people: In a moment when counting by numbers had a dark and sinister connotation, the capitalist concept of life, as we knew it, was brought to an almost complete halt. Confining some and enabling others to take a breath in solitude and silence, people made up balance about their past, present, and future modus operandi.

Besides practicing painting intensively, Mangku Muriati – appointed by her community – is also a traditional priest. In this body of work, created between 2021 and 2023, Muriati incorporated her personal experience of dealing with her community as a Balinese priest in a time of crisis and much needed solidarity. Fire and its symbolic power as a metaphor for energy is the main subject featured in this series of works. The energy of fire is narrated by Mangku Muriati in her paintings as the representation of the end and the beginning of something new; i. e. the creation of reincarnation in the life cycle of mankind. Her paintings formally investigate the vertical and the horizontal. As monuments for the narrationof everyday life, they open up a space for a different understanding of the beauty of life and death.

This solo exhibition presenting ten recent paintings of various sizes by Mangku Muriati, can be considered as the outcome of a specific artistic dialogue between Mangku Muriati and the two founders of V-Room Bali, artists Fendry Ekel and Marco Cassani.

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Mangku Muriati (b. Kamasan, Bali, Indonesia) is a Balinese painter and priestess from Kamasan village near Klungkung. Muriati was trained to paint in the traditional Balinese Kamasan-style, where aesthetic form and narration relate to the Wayang Kulit shadow play. This form of painting is associated with the East Javanese kingdom of Majapahit, which flourished in the 14th and 15th centuries and helped propagate Hindu faith across the region – now largely retained in Bali. It was from the Kamasan village that artists were traditionally recruited, to produce classicalstyle paintings on cloth (or bark) for religious and ceremonial use as well as to decorate the palaces and temples. Mangku Muriati is the daughter of Mangku Mura (1920-1999), who is considered one of the prominent artists of his generation in Kamasan-style painting. As is common practice in artist families, Muriati from an early age helped her father coloring paintings, learning the craft. She then was also trained academically as an artist at the Udayana University in Bali, and
after graduating, returned to her traditional practice. In the ’90s, at the age of 32, Muriati became a priestess at her local temple in Banjar Siku. She considers painting and priestly duties as complementary, comparing the role of an artist to a dalang or puppet master, who needs extensive knowledge of characters and stories derived from the sacred Hindu scripture Ramayana and Mahabharata. However, the subjects of her paintings and related commentaries frequently refer
to social and political issues in contemporary Bali, such as recently the Covid-19 pandemic. Mangku Muriati also paints portraits of colleagues and herself. Her paintings have been exhibited in Bali as well as internationally.

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