Street art as a way of expression in Bali

Street art and graffiti are becoming a big thing and new way of expression in Bali.

One of the most interesting examples is a wall that was made in a collaboration between Cinzah and local Balinese artist Slinat in Canggu. They made a huge image of an oc- topus with its tentacle spread all over and an image of Balinese women with a mask beside it. The message seem to be that pollution is widely spread and we should all be aware of global warming issue. Stop polluting the nature because that affects us all in the end. For a long time, street and graffiti have often been associated with urban decay, de- linquency and vandalism. Nowadays these forms of painting are used for beautification and to re-appropriate public spaces. Street art has become one of the most popular art forms among the younger generations, it has become a practice tied to the celebration of urban culture. But there is a difference be- tween graffiti writers or “taggers” as they are often called and muralist who paint street art. One the main differences is their intention.

With a tagger, their main concern is to get their name or their “tag” out there. On the other hand, street artists want the general public to not only view their works but also interact, understand what they are seeing and have an emotional response to the work. Street artists usually focus on iconic visual symbols and colourful artworks rather than tags. Although their art works may contain their tag name, it is not the main focus like that of graffiti works. Instead, they are used more as signatures at the bottom of the painting. In sum, they are trying to make a statement. Same as they did with a painted mural in Canggu.

Also one of the bigger names in street art in Bali is Komunitas Podjok and Djamur who are very well known in Bali scene. Street art, while employing some of the applica- tion techniques of graffiti, often involves a finished product that is ready-made and brought to the location—think stickers, wheat paste prints, and stencils.

Bali Pocket 015 February_page88_image106No one can really say one form of art is better than the other; each has its own characteristic and distinctive background. But it is definitely the art of pop culture that conveys the messages of the culture and existing problems■

Bali Pocket Magazine