I NYOMAN MASRIADI (b. 1973)

Dance

Details
I NYOMAN MASRIADI (b. 1973)
Dance
signed and dated 'MASRIADI 5 MRT 1999' (lower center)
acrylic on canvas
145 x 145 cm. (57 1/8 x 57 1/8 in.)
Painted in 1999.
Provenance
Christie's Hong Kong, 27 May 2007, Lot 8
Private Collection, Singapore
Literature
T.K Sabapathy, Nyoman Masriadi: Reconfiguring the Body, Gajah Gallery, Singapore, 2010 (illustrated, p. 210).

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Eric Chang
Eric Chang

Lot Essay

The figures in I Nyoman Masriadi's works have evolved gradually over a decade-long oeuvre from the neo-cubist figures of the 1990s and early 2000s, to a more graphic rendering of the lines and contours of the body in the mid-2000s, until the present hyperrealist characters which Masriadi paints today. The figures in his paintings are an integral part of his artistic idioms; which form lasting impressions, rich in meaning and expression for those that take the time to keenly observe his work. Seen within this present lot, Dance, and in other works from the same relatively early period, his painted figures often wear mocking, satirical facial expression which fuse an uncanny, vacant stare and a faintly sinister smile. Masriadi often addresses the issues of tradition versus modernity, the pace of development in third world countries, and the commercialization of all aspects of human existence - an inexhaustible list which allows the artist to delve deeper into human nature and cultural issues.
This particular work depicts a man holding the hands of two ladies dancing in line. The man in the middle, a clear reference to the male gender, has a horn leading into one ear and out the other, probably attesting to his being pulled in different directions. The lady on the left, beautifully dressed and made up, displays a wrench stuck into her mouth which suggests the beautiful and materialistic parts of life, with very little to say and even less value to provide. The woman on the right, whose head is replaced with a light bulb, might represent knowledge, and also a certain self-sacrificing suggested by her nakedness. Infused with symbolic meaning, Dance perhaps advocates a position of neutrality: it is no good to go one way or the other. In this work, Masriadi paints a picture of equilibrium to symbolize an imbalance in the world. He addresses the societal issue of placing too much emphasis on the physical aspects of life - we must strike a balance between materialistic issues and spiritual ones and not allow one side to overly dominate the other.
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