Permanent Collection Exhibition

From the Island of Gods - Art of Bali island, Indonesia

Mar 23, 2023 〜 Jun 20, 2023

Asia Gallery, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum

Bali Island is known as a popular tourist destination in Japan. The majority of the population in Indonesia are Muslims, and Bali Island has often been called “the Island of Gods,” where the unique culture of Balinese Hinduism, in which Hindu and indigenous faiths combined was born.

Before the Dutch colonization in the 19th century, the art in Bali, most of which reflecting on Hindu myths, stories, and unique religious beliefs in the universe had grown mainly in courts and temples under the patronage of aristocrats and royal families. On the other hand, such an aspect of Bali, as the Island of Gods, was seen and valued under Dutch colonial rule. In addition, the Bali painting, which attracted many tourists, developed through the effects of encounters with foreign visitors to Bali during the early 20th century. Artists in Bali confronted, sometimes strategically combined themselves with outsiders’ points of view and different values to create or recreate the image of Bali, the Island of Gods.

From traditional Kamasan Style paintings to “Bali paintings” developed during the region’s modernization, this exhibition will feature artworks illustrating the world of rich spirits and the daily lives in Bali.