Balinese artist I Made Djirna explores ‘The Voice of Nature’ in upcoming solo exhibition in Singapore

I Made Djirna, left, and a digital version of his artwork Alam Purba, right. Photos supplied by Mizuma Gallery in Singapore
I Made Djirna, left, and a digital version of his artwork Alam Purba, right. Photos supplied by Mizuma Gallery in Singapore

Renowned Balinese artist I Made Djirna, whose paintings will be on display at Mizuma Gallery in Singapore later this month, is asking a question fitting of our time through his brush: “Is this pandemic that we are going through right now also a form of nature’s voice trying to tell us something?”

The Voice of Nature, a solo exhibition curated by Hermanto Soerjanto, will run from July 24 until Aug. 29. It features nine of Djirna’s works, wherein the artist explores “the awareness of the relationship between humans and nature,” according to a statement issued by Mizuma Gallery.

The works of the 64-year-old artist appear to have been heavily inspired by “Tri Hita Karana,” which means Three Causes of Well-Being. Anyone who has lived in Bali long enough is certainly familiar with this Balinese Hindu philosophy, which consists of harmony with God, harmony among humans, and harmony with nature. 

“According to Djirna, nature and humans communicate through natural signs,” the exhibit prompt reads, before giving the examples of ordinary occurrences such as the cloudy sky as a sign of rain and the chirp of certain insects signifying the change of seasons. 

“Unfortunately, modern humans like us are too involved in our daily activities that we often ignore ‘the voice of nature.’ We even tend to no longer respect nature so that the balance of the relationship between humans and nature is disturbed.” 

Djirna, who grew up in Ubud, is known for exploring the social and cultural issues in Indonesia, as well as human relationships. His works use different materials, techniques, and styles, wherein he translates his thoughts and emotions into paintings and installations. Djirna’s arts have been exhibited all around the world, including Australia and the United States. 

One of Djirna’s more recent works is a gigantic jungle-like installation titled Unsung Heroes, which was displayed at the Jakarta Biennale back in 2017. The artwork had been made from thousands of rocks the artist had collected from beaches across Bali, which he later sculpted and tied up one by one. Djirna said at the time that the work was a tribute to everyday heroes, whose stories are often forgotten.

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