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Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The importance of color for the Balinese, causing every religious activity and social community associated with color as a philosophy message. In the context of coloring for interior and architecture decoration, in the Balinese Traditional Architecture there are techniques decoration applied to the building called ‘pepulasan’ techniques.
Color decoration in Balinese architecture generally reveal the natural color, color derived from the materials origin color. To form ‘lelengisan’ (decoration without engraving) and ‘pepalihan’ (decorations which basic shape of Balinese ornament). The beauty of natural colors is a protrusion of the beauty of material origin color, texture and character. The grace and color harmony of natural stone types or wood type which is carved. Just as Ornaments of metal inlay on gold, silver, copper, brass, bronze, supported also by metal origin color.
Material Character Protrusion
Combination of colors in interior decor is a combination of placement settings of materials in accordance with the color and texture. ‘Bebaturan’ (Building level decoration usually placed on wall) is built from the basic artificial stones material combined according to the texture, color and rocks scale that fits it.
Black basalt stone, red brick or red lava rock, gray ‘paras’ stone and white sea stones are the main points of color that can be varied in various combinations that highlight the character of the material. Artificial colors as ‘pepulasan’ coloring decoration in the form of ornaments use basic colors such as blue, red, yellow, green. Black and white is a complimentary color to shading. Decorative forms described by ‘pepulasan’ coloring or general use of color with fabric or paint base of the main color of floral or fauna paintings/carving with a contrasting color. About ‘pepulasan’ generally use two primary colors and to achieving good appearance. The final result of ‘pepulasan’ techniques shows a polychromatic coloring on wood carving, that will make the carving has a high value according to the Balinese perspective.
The Gold Paint (‘Perada’) rules!
Each ‘pepulasan’ color consisting of various basic colors will be added agains with gold commonly called ‘perada’ (noun) or ‘merada’ (verb). There are two types of ‘perada’ paint one is in liquid form and there is also in a form of sheets. ‘Perada’ is not original product of Bali but (imported products) in use was developed by the Balinese artist . Now every balinese carving that is applied to the building (especially in wood material) generally will finished by ‘pepulasan’ techniques and completed with ‘perada’. Because in addition to a beautiful color combination, when gold combined with other colors, is also impressive fancy color indicates a high social status to the owner.
The gold color of ‘perada’ which been use at the outward appearance of a wood which painted with basic colors before. Red, blue and green colors or orange is the primary color daubed with yellow gold ‘perada’ or ‘perada’ gede. Pepulasan and golden yellow ‘perada’ or gold paint called ‘perada’ gede on fabric commonly used for the curtains called atu ‘langse’, decorative fabrics on the edge of the the building roof called ‘Ider-Ider’ , wrapping the pole head ‘kaput saka’, on the bale edge called ‘dedapa’ or ‘leluwur’ or ‘telaga ngembeng’ as a ceiling decoration. ‘Pepulasan-perada’ techniques also used on the fabrics of traditional dancers, the color of the sculpture, masks, and for buildings to dead (Balinese coffin) called ‘Bade’, Tumpang Salu, etc. Once the importance of golden color for the Balinese, the color of gold is also placed on carved holy building like ‘Padmasana’ (the most sacred buildings) until ‘pelangkiran’ (in house shrine).
Materials Natural Dyes
Before the paints manufacturers to fill the lives of the Balinese, Balinese artists use of natural materials to be used as pepulasan, painting and even to dye fabrics. The use of color in Bali Traditional painting has been develop since the time King Bali of was governed, as Dalem Krishna Kepakisan Dynasty government in Samprangan, Gelgel, Klungkung. Balinese puppets color used by the painter who is now known as the art ‘Wayang Kamasan’ painting or ‘Kamasan’ classical painting .
Types of natural materials used to make the Balinese color is ‘kincu’ to get red, pork bones to get white, to black soot, ‘Atal’ to the color yellow, ‘muruh leked’ for blue, until ‘pere’ and ‘deluga’ to brown. Adhesives and coating materials in the process of finishing, used ‘ancur’ imported from Surabaya, ‘kincu’ from China, ‘deluga’ from Europe which can be purchased in Denpasar at that time, the other is the local material (Bali). ‘Ancur, as an adhesive is required in every manufacturing the traditional color.
The use of color in Bali painting, actually have started influenced two foreign traveler artist Walter Spies and R. Bonnet who settled in Ubud (1927 and 1929). They brought a change of The Ubud young painters and they can accept it very well. This foreign painters introduces new variations in the painting, introducing canvas, watercolor (tempera), oil paint, paper, wood to the new themes. This influenced the other painters in Bali, including the use of color in Bali. But the usage of traditional color philosophy and techniques still exist until today, although modern techniques and modern painting are widely use.
Monday, September 21, 2009
What do the colors means by the Balinese People? certainly the answer will variable, but in philosophy, in Bali the color becomes a necessity in symbolize the religion elements or ritual relationing to God. If the color associated with the arts, the art of the Balinese is the breath of life. The whole life of the Balinese can’t be separated with the arts.
This unique philosophy and ritual is very rich with artwork and symbolism, that make Hindu religion in Bali is different from the Hinduism origin in India . In Bali the mixing of various philosophies (such as Taoism, Confuciusism, Buddhism, Tantric, Animism, Dynamism, etc) make Balinese Hindu religion getting rich with the philosophy, implemented by an unique ritual manifestation. Associated with the use of color, The Balinese using colors as symbols in all religious ritual that held, this proves that the Balinese people reached high level of public awareness in art.
Many Balinese Hindu religious rituals or religious teaching is represented with an interesting implementation which using color as symbolism. So in Bali the color as a media/symbol to learning the philosophy of Balinese Hindu Religion.
The following example:
1. 'Poleng' as ‘Rwa Bhineda’ (Dualism) Philosophy Representated
Poleng, or chessboard (black and white) pattern of alternating black and white squares is surely the most distinguished pattern of Balinese color on clothes. Since Poleng is the national color of Bali, it can be found virtually everywhere in the island. Poleng clothes are usually wound round the big tree trunks, big rocks, statues and shrines. Banners, flags, and umbrellas that are used in a procession of the ceremony sometimes made of ‘poleng’ clothes. ‘Poleng’ clothes are also used by the traditional Balinese security forces (Pecalang), poleng cloth is considered to be an obligatory part of Pecalang outfits. There is also a warrior dance (Baris) which is called Baris Poleng Dance. As its name suggests, the dancers' Apparels consist predominantly of poleng clothes.
The chessboard pattern of alternating black and white squares of poleng signifies Balinese concept of Rwa bhineda, a Balinese view of the mutual dualism that make up the whole world. In other word, it is about two opposite thing that depend on each other to exist, such as day and night, low and high, dry and rainy season, bitter and sweet, black and white, etc. This 'Rwa Bhineda' philosophy quite similar with 'Yin-Yang' philosophy of Confuciusism or Taoism. Rwa Bhineda means 'Rwa' = “two” and 'Bhineda' = “differences / opposite”. Balinese believe that the balance of this mutual dualism will brings prosperity and peacefulness to the mankind. This concept of balance is Expressed perfectly by the poleng cloth - the number of white square is always equal with the black one (Sidarta Wijaya, www.blog.baliwww).
2. 'Tri Datu': The 'Tri Murthi' Symbolism
Tri Murthi is the God trinity concept of Balinese Hindu Religion. This concept was made by Danghyang Dwijendra at the Samuan Tiga Temple -Gianyar, when he unites all sects in Bali into Balinese Hinduism nowadays. Tri Murthi means ‘Tri’ = “three” and ‘Murthi’ = “realization of God”, so Tri Murthi means Three manifestations of God Almighty in accordance with his duties. Brahma as the Creator of life, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva as destroyer. In fact the whole (desa pekraman) village in Bali must have 3 temples are embracing the concept. Brahma worshiped at Bale Agung Temple, Vishnu at Puseh temple and Shiva at Dalem Temple.
Relation to Brahma, symbolized by red, Vishnu by black and Shiva with white color. A combination of three colors is called ‘Tri Datu’, is used in every religious ceremonies, buildings, and even used as a talisman for safety. Usually when used for amulets shaped bracelet made of yarn called ‘Benang Tri Datu’ yarn.
Tri Datu is not only attached to buildings or on religion ceremonies, but occasionally, the Balinese attach the threads to their bodies. Around the right wrist - a red thread, around the ankle - a black, and attached to the ear - the white. The use of the Tri Datu is to calm the mind so that it will not be influenced by negative thoughts. The threads can also be wound together around the right wrist or placed on the crown of the head. No matter how the Tri Datu is worn, the threads were placed or attached with prayers to endow the recipient with power, strength, and Longevity.
Those who still have full faith in the power of Tri Datu, use it to cure wounds. The colored threads being wrapped around the open wound directly on the skin as one would use a bandage. For the cremation ceremony (Ngaben), Tri Datu threads take on a new name when they become part of the ritual of ceremonial equipment, being then called (among other possible names) "long-lost" meaning long and lost, possibly because they are consumed in the fire.
Apart from the uses mentioned, on specific occasions Tri Datu is featured in the form of cloth and is worn as clothing by the original male inhabitants of a village. The black being worn as a shirt, the white as an under-skirt sarongs, and the red as an over-skirt. This dress is worn when a Villager is currently carrying out a ceremony at his own temple, or more generally, when the people celebrate "Hari Raya Nyepi" (a day when you must be quite, stay at home, not use any lights. Fires , machines, vehicles or electrical equipment.)
When the people wear dress Tri Datu, they are called "sambangan". The word implies that they are awaiting a blessing or help from God. During the fifth and sixth months of the Balinese calendar, you are likely to see the Balinese Hindus wearing "Sikepan".
This is just another form of Tri Datu, where the three colored threads are plaited tired and the ends together forming a necklace or bangle. Before it is worn it will have various items attached: old Chinese coins (the ones with the holes in the middle), small red onions, garlic cloves, ginger roots and other "Jangu" (medicinal plants and roots). Without the coins and "Jangu" mentioned, the plaited or entwined threads are not "Sikepan" and are, more often than not, merely intended as personal adornment. Sikepan is a symbolic marker of those asking God for a blessing and, more likely, protection from the bad spirits that infest the earth during the 5th and 6th months of the Balinese Calendar.
Each person seen wearing the "Sikepan" is also currently having a Cleans or Exorcism at his or her home to rid the area of bad spirits that cause problems. These exorcisms are called "Tilem" and will be held during the dangerous months mentioned (balinetwork.com).
3. Brumbun (Five colors) Symbolism of Lord Shiva
The Hindu religion teaching mainstream in Bali is Siwa Sidhanta, the main philosophy of this sect told that Siwa as a place of supreme god, and some even think that God Almighty is Siwa. According to the teachings of Shiva Sidhanta this universe is Siwa, so all the material things in this universe is the body of Siwa. Siwa in Bali symbolized by five color called Brumbun or Panca Warna (five-colored).
The color combination is represented in five colors (five color) are: Red (brahma), Black (Wisnu), white (Iswara), Yellow (Mahadeva) and Blue (Sambhu). This color-adjusted to the color in the 'Rajah Nawa Sanga'. All this five color mixed together to become as bethara Siwa.
Application of this color is usually on the offerings made in accordance with these colors, such as caru manca warna (five-colored sacrifice), segehan manca warna (five-colored offerings) and my else. This color is also applied to the holy flag at large Religion on ceremonies or even a sacrifice chicken for the ritual purpose, must have five colored furs called Siap Brumbun.
4. 'Nawa Sanga' coloring scheme
Dewata Nawa Sanga or Nawa Dewata is nine rulers in every direction of the wind, in the of Hindu Dharma concept in Bali. Nine ruler Lord Shiva is surrounded by eight aspects (ww.id.wikipedia.org). Each god symbolized with certain colors and certain mystic specifications. See the following charts: (click to enlarge)
To be Continued...
Sunday, September 20, 2009
In Western Culture coloring process is based on the physical and psychical approaches, then in the east are generally coupled with symbolic elements and supernatural phylosophy. The philosophy of color in Bali is an example of this. Color composition approach in Bali made of those three things (physical, psychic and supernatural).
In the golden age of Bali empire at XV century philosophy has been known about the color. The Philosophy of color which been use by the people of Bali, has lived as long as Greece civilization. Because the philosophy of Bali probably originated from the India Hinduism philosophy, which has growth, experienced and take the long journey.
The 'Nawa Sanga' Coloring Scheme
Philosophy of color in Bali is called 'Panca Maha Butha'. Aristotle says elements of the color contains of water, fire, air and soil, while in Bali plus one element of the Akasa or aether or an empty space. Color composition Bali called 'Rajah Nawasanga', which consists of nine color (sanga = Nine), which is connected with the name of god and the direction of the wind. Seen in the following chart:
'Nawa Sanga' can mean nine colors or nine cardinal directions. 'Nawa' Sanga visual form of a lotus flower (padma) or chakra (circle shaped). The term 'Rajah Nawa Sanga'has been called, because the color of the people of Bali are still associated with supernatural things, is often used in ritual, magic / metaphysics, and used as sacrifice (rajah = sacrifice).
Color differences in Bali (or the ‘eastern’ in general) with Western countries, base on western people's thinking that black and white not included in the colors class (physical approach), because white is a mixture of all colors and quite important role, as well as Japanese philosophy.
There are similarities subtractive color theory in Bali and the theory of the Munsell color system. If the black color in Bali is located in the middle of the circle, then in the Munsell system black and white is the color axis.
'Nawa Sanga' Color Use in Art and Design
In Bali, the color is a physical and spiritual expression are reflected in various works of traditional art like painting, which has a 'Nawa sanga' color scheme to the tint color.
Traditional Balinese cloth fabric called 'prada', 'songket' and the cloth 'gringsing' usually used for the 'Pawiwahan' (marriage), 'mepandes' (cutting teeth) or burning the corpse (Ngaben) ceremonies. Fabrics are used both by women and men. Another usage is as an home décor element decor when large ceremony was held.
The Colors Arrangement of the fabrics base on rajah 'Nawa Sanga' rule. Usually the color of 'prada' fabric using a pure color (high brightness level), such as blue, red, gold, yellow and green. the lotus flower (padma) ornament which been use to combined it. There is another kind of cloth which is more commercial called 'endek’ fabric or hand weaving fabric. The ‘Endek’ fabric color use a bright color (Tint). The 'endek' fabric usually use as man ‘sarong’, but now 'endek' fabric has become the official fashion in a Bali government office.
Usually the colors which allocated for tourism product, more bright and varied, not according to the provisions of the rajah 'Nawa Sanga'.
In the Implemented color into offerings making in Bali, the color of fruits and flowers all arranged in a Panca-puspa or five different colors, namely red, yellow, blue, white and black according to the Balinese Hindu belief, to offer to the god Iswara , Brahma, Mahadeva, Sambu and Vishnu.
The Balinese coffins painting that will be used for the Ngaben ceremony with white , also has a symbolic purpose. This shows that the bodies belong to the white caste (brahmana or warrior) instead of the class of people mostly (sudra or weisya). All coloring step which been use in ceremony has a symbolic value for the Balinese Hindu belief.
Darmaprawira WA, Sulasmi, 2002, Warna: Teori dan Kreativitas Penggunaannya Edisi ke-2, Bandung, Penerbit ITB
Krisna, M, Oktober 1985, Mengenal Warna Tradisional Bali, Majalah Asri