Gajah (Elephant)

Wayan Novi

Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size of work: 150 x 130 cm
Price: SGD $8000
Size of frame: H155 x W135 cm

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In Bali and in Java, people follow a system of constellations known as wuku. A wuku is one week in the Balinese Pawukon calendar. A cycle of the calendar comprises 30 wukus or 210 days, and it guides both Javanese and Balinese societies to determine auspicious dates for celebrating and holding ceremonies.

The 30 wukus are based on the story of a kingdom ruled by Prabu Watugunung with his wife, Sinta. They have 27 sons and each wuku takes after the name of a character. Every wuku is assigned a corresponding guardian God, a symbolic tree and animal, and an appropriate ceremony that can rid of bad luck. By referencing the wuku, one’s character can also be read by knowing which God is the assigned guardian of that week.

The 22nd wuku in the calendar is known as Wuye/Uye and the locals celebrate the prominent Tumpek Kandang ceremony. The Tumpek Kandang ceremony is a tribute to the God of Creation and Preservation, Shiva or Pashupati, who looks after all beings in the universe including animals. On this particular day, the locals celebrate and show gratitude towards their domestic animals by treating them Banten (offering).

About the Artist

Born 1989 in Angsri (Bali) / Based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Jogjakarta-based Balinese artist Wayan Novi has developed a distinctive personal vision of the importance of everyday objects and their beauty in the simple village life he grew up in. Novi’s paintings depict vivid memories of himself–growing up in the mountainous Angseri village inBali with its pivotally cold weather, and the kitchen . The best place for his family members and friends to hang out was always near the warmth of the fireplace; in the kitchen. His intricate pictures reveal the details his eye captures in and around this living space, and through this visual depiction, narrates a series of stories around family, bonds and relationships.Novi’s dedicated mark-making on a canvas forms an impressionable yet neutral landscape for everyday objects to find their place. Having lived amongst farmers since young, his pointillism embodies the philosophy of agriculture and its spirit of hard work. Determination eventually rewards success and invaluable growth. Every mark inscribed is as if a seed is being planted,and with persistence, a beautiful harvest awaits the artist and the viewer–the finished work of Novi.