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Talking about Bali will not complete without admiring its arts. The art
of Bali flows like the daily life of its people. The inspiration seems never
stop to inspire its artists. And the art itself makes people stay longer in
Bali and even come again and again.
Balinese arts & culture have always held mystery & romance for art enthusiasts & foreign audiences, but often skepticism also. Few westerners believe Balinese Dances are anything more than show & are designed & performed for no other purpose than to attract tourist dollars. Hopefully some of this western cynicism & skepticism will be curtailed by writing such as this, "opening up the world behind the art".
We try to justify & demystify nadi. To show its significance in Balinese culture & religion that are so closely interwoven it is often impossible to differentiate between the two. All three, nadi, Balinese culture & Balinese religion are often misunderstood in other cultures. We aim to deepen people's cultural knowledge, under the belief that "awareness creates closeness & love, & nearness to the creator." It aims to increase the number of art lovers, in particular lovers of Balinese art forms.
It makes you aware of yet another aspect, perhaps the most important aspect, of the diverse arts of Bali. These traditions & strong beliefs attached to nadi are an everyday part of Balinese life. It even delves into the scientific, psychological & physiological realms with supporting evidence from a Psychologist
Nadi, or kerauhan, is defined as "the move from physical & mental normality into an abnormal, or "trance" condition." Phenomenon like nadi exists in most cultures but perhaps is not so indelibly imprinted & interwoven with everyday life as this story shows is the case in Bali
Nadi or trance is a state of consciousness & unconsciousness. It is diverse in forms, practices & importance. Nadi is essential in Balinese art & believed to have a significant impact on the arts. With nadi the quality of the art is developed & it is given added value. The transforming power given to artists entering the state of nadi is called Taksu (Spiritual Power). Actors, dancers, puppeteers & musicians may enter nadi when performing, & it is believed poets & visual artists may also enter nadi.
It is written by Balinese to try to clarify some of the mysteries of nadi, & to alleviate the inaccuracies that often find their way into books written from a foreign point of view. Local people are able to portray the people & their arts more accurately. It is translated into English since the intended reader is not Balinese. The English translation is not perfect but don't let this deter you from reading & understanding its content. It will change the way you look at Balinese arts.
"Taksu, Never Ending Art Creativity" is written by Balinese people to help bring to the world culturally, historically & religiously correct information about the little known & understood practices behind traditional Balinese Art, and to highlight the significance of cultural & religious beliefs in art
It explores the connection between art & religion suggesting Balinese art is in fact part of religious celebration, an offering to god. In order to make this offering as pleasing as possible, the artists seek divine assistance to perfect their art form.
It looks at the history of Balinese Art before tourism, in fact even before Hinduism came to the island & the background of the beliefs that are so very important to the people of Bali. It explores European influences: the changes brought about under Dutch colonialism, with the arrival of western artists, then through the influx of tourists in the 20th Century.
Taksu (spiritual Power) is the power given to artists entering the state
of nadi, a trance-like state. Actors, dancers, puppeteers & musicians may
enter nadi when performing, & it is believed poets & visual artists may also
enter nadi, & in doing so gain Taksu.
Some of the art communities
Eggs, banners, paintings, bags, hats and many other goods decorated with Kamasan painting are all available here. The "Kerta Gosa" (Hall of Justice) at Klungkung features some impressive displays of Kamasan style paintings
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