Citra Sasmita (b.1990, Indonesia) was born in Tabanan, Central Bali in 1990. Descended from a lineage of performing artists, Sasmita naturally developed a keen interest in art. However, she initially chose to study literature and physics at Udayana University and Ganesha University of Education respectively. But her interest in art was renewed when she chose to join a theatrical troupe as a university student.
Sasmita’s subsequent occupation as an illustrator for the Bali Post provided her with the opportunity to develop her abilities as an artist and she soon begin to participate in exhibitions. Her aforementioned immersion in the respective fields of literature and physics influenced Sasmita’s decision to produce artwork that addressed contentious social issues. In 2016, she garnered the attention of art critics when she exhibited a painting that depicted a woman kissing the severed head of a pig. Intended to serve as an indictment of the widespread abuse of women in Balinese society, the painting affirmed Sasmita’s s credentials as a courageous and socially conscious artist who was not afraid to take on controversial topics. She thereafter went on to exhibit an installation entitled ‘‘Mea Vulva, Maxima Vulva’’ which featured an assortment of ceramic vaginas together with a set of scales. Embodying Sasamita’s musings upon the entrenched social inequalities within Balinese society, the installation further augmented her reputation as an artist who was determined to explore the less savoury aspects of Balinese culture.
She has participated in various exhibitions such as Merayakan Murni, Sudakara Artspace Sanur Bali (2016), Mabesikan Project, Art for Social Change Presentation, Jakarta (2017) and Synthesis (Wonders of Indonesia), Bulgaria, (2019). Her most recent solo exhibition called ‘’Under the Skin’’, was held at the Yogyakarta based Redbase art institution in 2018. In 2017, she was awarded the Gold Award after winning the UOB Indonesian Painting of the Year competition, a milestone that cemented her stature as a rapidly rising figure within the contemporary Indonesian art world.
Ode To The Sun, 2020
Prepare to have all your preconceived notions about Balinese art upended as the Yeo Workshop presents ‘‘Ode to the Sun’’, a solo exhibition featuring artwork by the maverick young Balinese artist Citra Sasmita.
A rare exception in the otherwise male dominated world of Balinese art, Citra Sasmita challenges the patriarchal nature of Indonesian society. Her artwork unequivocally rejects the ubiquitous aesthetic depiction of Balinese women as passive decorative elements that exist primarily for the gratification of the tourist gaze. Consummately utilizing traditional elements that have been selected from the ancient but vibrant cultural legacy of Bali, Sasmita endows her female figures with a powerful agency.
Exhibition Catalogue for Ode To The Sun- Download PDF