Keeping the Craft Alive: Leaf Texture in New Dimensions

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How do some traditions survive and others die? Why can some knowledge be transmitted to posterity, while others are permanently lost in time?

On an island where culture really lives on, it’s easy to think that traditions stay forever, but that’s not the case. Stay, qood to accommodate. Change, ironically, is no constant thing, and when it comes to Bali’s traditional art scene, change has been a vehicle for both preservation and abandonment.

This is Part 2 of a three-part article on ‘Keeping Karft alive’, read all three parts download our May-June Edition for free here.

Part 2: Birth into New Dimensions

Unlike the textile weaving industry, the leaf weaving craft of Bali needed no help for revival. It persists through local communities as a daily necessity. In fact, life has become greater, transcending its traditional forms and functions to create works of art.

Leaf weaving is a common art in Bali, which most Balinese will recognize as part of its contributions to community and ritual life. Daily canang sari Sample offer, woven base dropsy; young hard and yellow palm leaves. Other offerings and ornaments are made from ornaments using this hang Bamboo circular bars tamiang the offerings that hang in the chapel. The Clever; the leaves of the ancient palm, which are soft, broad, and of a green color, are woven into large curtains numbnessthey use carpeted floors, walls, or shelves in the temple. These are required for the greater ceremony, and everyone lends a hand to make them.

But one Mengwi weaver saw more potential in these virgin palms. Getting creative, Ida Bagus Gede Ari Artana (Gus Ari) resigned to the possibilities of leaf (Palm leaves) and created an intricate tableau of * slip and dropsy to decorate the entrance of a friend’s wedding with leaves. It was a beautiful, all natural Jade mosaic with green and honey yellow checks.

When Chloe Quinn, a stage and theater designer in the UK, saw Gus Ari’s work, it blew her away. Seeing the creative possibilities of combining contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship, together they founded Make the Scene Bali, a one of a kind leaf design studio.

What made Make a Scene (MAS) creations really stand out was that they literally changed the dimension of leaf weaving. From flat, 2-dimensional objects, MAS built his creations into living 3D structures. A new form of artificiality arose: large sculptures of intricately carved figures, to intricate forests and majestic, mythological creatures, all woven from palm fronds, sprung, folded, twisted and crafted by hand.

Green creations started the movement, and across the island many Balinese returned to all-natural jewelry, especially for weddings. But the very pain at MAS continues to push the material and technique to the limits. Chloe noted that the more fun she is, the more she can pay attention. Jewelry, wearable art, permanent interior sculptures, immersive pieces, stage design…dreams come true as if crafted by MAS weavers, all completely new to this type of craft.

The founder added that the Make Scene believes that it can inspire art and artists in Bali, noting that much of its decline is that many prefer to accept normative standards that seem to be more financially stable. Even though the islands have observed a huge base of experts and knowledge of crafts, but, unlike Gus Ari, many do not innovate and thus crafts remain stagnant.

Even for the master weavers in the MAS, with their widely renowned under their belt, it took a long time to accept that they were multi-disciplinary artists, such was their humility. Often not noticing their vision and expertise that created value. For example, their series of jewels carved from a dry lontar leaf, made from a common and cheap material, is clearly a mere creation, valued by time and skill.

The MAS team hopes their creations can inspire others on the field and beyond; others are forced to think outside the box and challenge themselves to create.

Adding that, Do on stage was invited to design windows for ten retail stores in the United States; essentially putting what was the first low-key piece of art into view on the most elite streets of the USA. This exhibition of Balinese art outside of Indonesia is another watershed moment, one that sends a signal to local artists to become a reality. The visionary designer scene hopes to foster a greater understanding of the “value” in local arts.

Demographics are changing. The young men returning to the castle, mixed with aging pressure. And on stage, the work is divided equally between men and women. More and more local businesses are starting to offer leaf-weaving, but the demand is also getting bigger. Weddings, events, venues all seeing the point of eating something uniquely Balinese.

If there is a market, the product will be in demand. And make the scene, as ‘the tip of the spear’, continue to carve a path, to innovate the space of innovation.

Making the scene in Bali

This is Part 2 of a three-part article on ‘Keeping Karft alive’, read all three parts download our May-June Edition for free here. Or Read Part 1 here.

Edward Speirs

Edward Speirs

Edward, or Eddy as he prefers to be called, is the managing editor of NOW! Bali and guests NOW! Bali Podcast. He enjoys photography, rural travel and loves introducing his work to people from all walks of life.

Source: Elaboarated and Quoted From Many Source

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