Whose Canvas: Stri Ayu Ratna

Spurred by the memory of her childhood, Stri Ayu Ratna realizes her imagination in a new form of art, painting it out on a medium which looks like a modern, modified version of papyrus. The depictions of everyday life in her works seem frank in a series of coherent stories, showcasing a unique way of storytelling through painting.
Briefly, how would you describe your work?
Each of my works has a story; my work is a visualization of a story. Thus, seeing my art is like reading a tale.
How much does Balinese tradition influence your artistic process, as well as the results of it?
Balinese culture doesn’t affect my work so much as the place where I was born and raised is a place of diversity, and it’s also open for other cultures. The diversity and openness of this place is evident from the early history of the port of Bungkulan which had been the stopover for various nations who came to Bali. Indirectly, it was the activities of my grandfather and father who once liked to write on papyrus that have become a memory that accompanies the process of my art creation.
Your works seem very unique; it’s like having a coherent storyline. Where did the inspiration come from?
Inspirations come from my experiences; from my daily activities of my day to day life. For example, attending a religious ceremony which leads me to find something that catches my interest. I also love reading stories, folk tales, fairy tales and novels, and that’s no doubt that the inspirations can sometimes arise from there; sifting through some interesting scenes in the stories which I then visualize through my work.
What do you usually want to convey through your works?
Some of my works are related closely to religious ceremonies as I want to show religious rituals in my hometown which is in North Bali. I also try to modify the visualization work to offset the traditional elements and modern elements. It means that in life in today’s era, we must be good at uniting tradition and modernity, of course without losing the traditional way.
Tell us a bit about the collaborative piece of art that is now being exhibited in Neka Art Museum?
This collaborative work provides a subjective interpretation of the spiritual beliefs of Chinese society. The ‘spirituality’ here is related to Balinese Hinduism that believes that Karmaphala does exist, so does the life of the human spirit after the death.

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