Made Kaek: Amorphous and Colorful Self

Jumat, 15 April 2022 : 17:09

His character is always cheerful, sociable, warm, and friendly. In various encounters, including when meeting him in his studio and private gallery – Rumah Paros – in Sukawati, Gianyar, Made Kaek (55) passionately shared stories about the creative process, artistic ideals, and as an artist how he maintains his passion of creation. His daily life is fairly simple, but is doesn't mean his life experience is mediocre. On the contrary, from his works, we can see Made Kaek's colorful self-sublimated from various periods of creation as well as a reflection of his maturity as a person and as a creator. 

Surely It is not an easy effort to achieve a unique and authentic work with stylistic and aesthetic as done by Made Kaek at present.  An artist who was born in Denpasar, 23 January 1967, originally departed from an abstraction style, merely an attempt to sublimate the reality or events he observed directly. He has also experienced a black and white creation period by managing Chinese conte and ink according to the gloomy phases of his life; suffered from prolonged illness and was overshadowed by the loss of his father in his youth. The phases of life and the period of creation he went through are reflected in articulation of art, space and field on his canvas. The freedom of creation may not only be born from his light daily sharing, but his experience of traveling across countries. He had visited Venice, Laos, Hanoi, Japan, and others. 

How did Pak Kaek finally find a variety of creative expressions with this countless amorphous works? 

I learned to paint self-taught, merely following a pleasure or hobby. Like, I tried to make sketches of objects around me, just free-doodles. The most important thing is that the drawings or sketches build shapes, it doesn't matter whether the drawings have to resemble certain common shapes or not. And frankly speaking, I'm not really good at drawing shapes, that's why I chose abstraction. But that choice is really conscious, not merely a technical matter, yes, but in my opinion, abstract can give birth to a richer expression and perspective on an object. 

Then, how did the awareness of choice of forms lead Pak Kaek in various periods of creation? 

It was actually because of my association in the world of fine arts, gradually I also learned about the creative process of other artists, such as Nyoman Gunarsa, Made Wianta, Nyoman Erawan, including Wayan Sujana Suklu and others. Exploration of forms, media or mediums in various creative periods is nothing but my anxiety as an artist to continue to work and try various possibilities. 

In early periods, I did often deform the shape or abstraction of human figure or other objects. You could say this is a kind of starting point for my anxiety as an artist. 

Then, in the next phase for some time I explored the monochrome style with black-and-white drawing options using Conte and Chinese ink. This is probably a kind of a struggle point for me, both as an artist and as a private person. During this period, many deformative strokes were combined with spiritual or mythological elements, and many sketches that I deliberately made on paper because I really liked the medium. 

 The latest, a series that is said this amorphous is full of colours. Upon a number of phases, I started to express my strokes on the canvas more freely and was really limited by a certain shape or form. 

Are these amorphous works finally the culmination of Pak Kaek's restlessness search as an artist? 

Maybe I don't want to call it as the culmination, or the end, because it gives the impression that we have arrived or have finished. In fact, the process of creating and finding it is a continuous process. I don't want to be complacent and stop here. 

The works in current amorphous series might be more accurately described as exploring my abstractions towards essential things and avoiding things that seem banal, boisterous or overly verbal. As a painter, I don't want put forward myself-will, or the content of certain messages that can actually become aesthetic tyranny and limit our freedom as creators. 

If there is no specific message content, then what do you exactly want to express through Pak Kaek's works? 

My amorphous works do not have any tendency to express social messages, protest the situation or be burdened with representations. All the choices of colors, compositions, and even amorphous forms are expressions of freedom and celebration of our daily lives which are both solid and solitary. Even if you just want to read it as a message, it is merely an expression of freedom for Freedom itself.

 As an artist, Pak Kaek does not only work in a private studio, but also established Rumah Paros, an alternative gallery providing the widest possible space for art appreciation for artists and young people. Was it sparked from Pak Kaek's cross-border association? 

Rumah Paros (Paros House) or Paros Gallery has been my dream for a long time. After completing my study at the Faculty of Law in Yogyakarta, I returned to Bali in 1991. I began to be active in the association of fine arts in Bali, including joining Sanggar Dewata Indonesian. At that time, art galleries in Ubud, Sanur, and Denpasar were still limited, so I was motivated to establish my own gallery with a more egalitarian system. We share and provide space to young artists too. 

Now, after more than 20 years, I aspire that Rumah Paros is not only an alternative gallery presenting various exhibitions and art appreciation events, but also providing a space particularly for young people to meet and exchange their visionary ideas. Currently, I am designing a small studio for an artist's residency as well as an area that can be used as a stage for performances in Rumah Paros. In the future, when the circumstance has recovered, we are ready and open to various artistic activities and artist collaborations. With today's technology and digital developments, anything is possible. 

Young people now have to start pursuing a more intense creative world, not just to become artists, but to hone their personalities, learn good management, and build a vision for the future. And I was inspired a lot by Bli Made Wianta. 

What is Made Wianta like according to Pak Kaek, and what is inspired from socializing together so far? 

Starting from a friend, Ema Sukarelawanto, who invited me to visit the house of a well-known artist, Made Wianta, on Jalan Pandu, Denpasar, my closeness with Bli Made Wianta began to develop. We often discuss various things, from art to emerging social phenomenon.  Decades of friendship hold numerous beautiful and memorable memories.

Bli Made Wianta in my eyes is one of the artists whose thoughts are very visionary, no wonder he is one of the great Balinese artists whose name echoes all over the world. Bli Wianta's ideas and perspectives inspired me in art. The thing that makes Bli Wianta stand out among other artists, as he taught me, is that being an artist we don't just work, but also understand art management, how an artist manages his works.

Once we had traveled together to Venice, with Suklu and also Panji Tisna. During almost 2 weeks in Venice, Bli Made constantly surprised me with his various 'crazy' and creative ideas. 

 So, from the meeting with Made Wianta, the existence of Rumah Paros and the upcoming residency program, what are Pak Kaek's goals and objectives? 

As said, I was inspired a lot by Bli Made Wianta. Apart from being an excellent, creative artist, and having crazy ideas, he also has a good art management. Made Wianta is also one of a few artists documenting his work process properly and completely. Perhaps this is also because of his wide association and years of residency abroad.

 So, from that circumstance we can learn that the right ecosystem of creative association is also important in honing our skills as artists. Thus, making organizational management is also the core point, because as artists we must continue to grow, it is not enough to stop as creators in the studio, but also to be able to manage artworks and to present them in public domain. 

Documentation and personal archives are important, it is not only for our own creative journey, but also as historical records, and as study materials for young artists or art students. 

In the future, I want to realize that dream in Rumah Paros, through collaboration and residency programs. Paros is a warm, familial, and intense meeting venue. There are special programs and activities involving surrounding local artists. Thus, anyone coming to Rumah Paros or residence, can also gain in person experience with a personal touch and a strong local atmosphere.  

In June 2022, Rumah Paros will hold an Un-Harmony solo exhibition while introducing the residency program.

Pak Kaek is not only an artist working in studio, but also often manages exhibition programs, not only at Rumah Paros, but also by involving several colossal-national exhibitions, such as Bali Megarupa and Bali Kandarupa. How did Pak Kaek view the opportunities for Balinese art in international arena through these two big events? 

It is obvious that there are differences in our roles and points of view when it comes to being an artist or an exhibition manager. As a person involved in preparation in the field, I realize that it is not easy to manage a colossal art event, there are many things that must be considered from upstream to downstream.

However, from the two events held periodically every year, Bali Megarupa since 2019 and Bali Kandarupa since 2021, I see that Balinese artists actually have extraordinary potential. Their creative exploration and wandering should be appreciated. What is emerged is not only the works of modern contemporary artists that are accommodated through Megarupa, but the riches of classical Balinese art and its derivative achievements, which are presented through Kandarupa, are also proven to be always superior. 

From the two events, it can actually be seen that the creative spirit of Balinese artists continues to grow, moreover, not a few of them are indeed departing or are inspired by the heritage of Balinese agrarian cultural memory, philosophy, technique, or traditional forms, then meeting the modern-contemporary knowledge and experience, thus creating works which can sit side by side, even compete with the achievements of world artists in the international arena. I am optimistic with the future of Balinese art. 

So, that’s the character of Made Kaek who is always humble and open. The achievements of his works are the result of sublimation and creative as well as intense association. He has no feeling of hesitation to learn and gain knowledge from anyone. Moreover, he is always happy to share with other artist colleagues, providing his personal time and space for a togetherness realized through Rumah Paros. (WW/ID)


Place, date of birth : Denpasar, 23 January 1967

Address                  : Rumah Paros

                                Jalan Margapati, Banjar Palak, Sukawati, Gianyar Bali

Solo exhibition 

1997 : Solo exhibition at Pesona Bali Resort Seminyak, Bali

2002 : Solo exhibition at Gallery Sembilan Lod Tunduh Ubud Title “Humanity and Eccentricity” (Catalog) Solo exhibition at Tree Monkey CafĂ© & Gallery Ubud

2006 : Solo exhibition at Ganesha Gallery Four Season Jimbaran Bali title “My Playful Journey” (Catalog)

2017 : Made Kaek #50 at VIN PLUS, Seminyak, Bali

2021 : Amorphous Made Kaek at Jimbaran HUB


1990 : Youth and Sport Minister of Indonesia

1991-1992 : Bali Art Festival

1995 : Citra Usadha Indonesia Foundation Award


4 + 1 = Venice (Publish @2004)

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