Carving art of rustic wood carvings

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When browsing the product categories of our online store, you will notice that most of the carved wood art sold is of Indonesian origin - carved by native artists from islands in the archipelago such as Bali , following the ancestral heritage. The wealth of details brings life to the figurative, realistic and abstract sculptures , which not only convey local beliefs, but also rescue the spiritual essence that underpins the history of wood carving .

Indonesia has a long tradition of handmade sculpture , both in stone and wood, although the latter natural raw material is the most exploited due to the diversity of species and possibilities of use in interior decoration - from architecture, with foundations and carved doors , to utilitarian objects and Zen arts such as trays , pots , cardholders , Buddhist and Hindu sculptures .

Balinese Spirituality and Sculpture

The first Balinese sculptures were made with a spiritual purpose to protect temples.

Like painting , sculpture is one of the oldest forms of communication, expression and cultural transmission. Following this perspective, we come across the deep Indonesian spiritual connection reflected in the intricate carvings that make up Balinese wood art . This essence persists in Balinese decorative sculpture due to its origin with a purely spiritual purpose that was displayed in palaces and temples, around the twelfth century.

The characteristic artistic manifestations were especially potentiated in the 14th century when the Empire of Majapahit founded a colony south of Bali . Painting and sculpture enjoyed prominent roles by keeping Buddhism , Hinduism , daily life in the rice fields, fauna and flora, as well as the rituals involved in dance , music , theater and religiosity as inspiration.

The essence of Buddhist philosophy remained in the wooden art promoted in the Majapahit Empire.

The decorative artistic bias of wood carving developed on the island, however, only occurred after the 16th century, as a result of cultural exchange with Dutch colonizers. By his hands , Indonesian handicrafts were disseminated in Europe, causing a strong demand for buying Balinese works and the migration of artists from various parts of the world to the archipelago, such as Rudolf Bonnet and Walter Spies in the mid-twentieth century.

The beauty and the aesthetic and technical improvement that we find today are also remnants of this encounter that changed the meaning of art in Bali, transforming the Balinese city Ubud and its surroundings such as the Mas village into artistic poles by displaying the excellence of handcrafted art by the local artisans in teak , suar , albizia , crocodile , ebony , hibiscus wood , among others.

Indonesian culture as artistic inspiration

Bali's sculptures are sustainable, made with reforested wood and native tree roots.

Along with the use of wood as the main raw material, Indonesian art maintains the sustainable concept in works such as abstract masks and realistic sculptures of animals inspired by Indonesian fauna; especially by favoring reforested wood and ancient roots , taking advantage of the hardiness of Bali's native trees to promote handicrafts with an exclusive style.

He shows that you don't have to visit the island of Bali to realize that art is related to nature, either because of the material or because of the aesthetic reference of flowers , birds , lizards , snakes and ducks . Nature, when referring to what is born, extends to abstract arts inspired by family affection, which show the maturation of craftsmen.

Abstract art revealed the maturation of the work of Balinese craftsmen after Dutch colonization.

When art closely connected with ancestral rituals and spirituality gave way to the decorative and commercial purpose of transmitting Indonesian culture and promoting local tourism, handcrafted wood carving became the most exclusive way to take a little piece of diversity and charm from Bali back home. As a result, in every manual notch in the wood turns out to be an aspect of Balinese culture and daily life.

This path has made Indonesian crafts more diverse, encompassing contemporary art with stylized sculptures ; traditional art such as Balinese masks and ceremonial panels; Zen art like statues of Hindu gods and Buddhas ; utilitarian objects , handcrafted furniture and handcrafted musical instruments , in order to meet different desires in decoration.

The Bali style in interior decoration

Carving animals out of wood is one of the most exclusive ways to have a little piece of Indonesia at home.

Although there may be many stylistic interventions, such as colorful paintings or antiques in Balinese carved and embossed carvings, the natural look of wood is essentially appreciated by Balinese craftsmen . Tonality, texture and softness are some factors that contribute to simple or complex projects being successful and offering a light and harmonious aesthetic.

The set of techniques in perfect balance in choosing the wood, hand carving with chisels and the style of sculpture is extremely favorable for interior decoration with the peculiar rustic style of Bali . And even if the proposal for the environment is different, such as industrial or classic, the wooden arts will maintain visual harmony, in addition to promoting the feeling of warmth.

The natural look of rustic wood is used to enhance sculptures and other Indonesian handicrafts.

If it were possible to sum up the essence of the Bali style that vibrates in works of art in just one word, “naturalness” would be a strong candidate, after all it not only fits unpretentiously into different environments but also speaks of the immeasurable value of natural beauties and handicraft work of the true riches of the Island: the people who live there.


Milene Sousa - Art & Tune

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