"I combine fabric and the painting as symbolisation of body and souls."
About the Painting:
The work of Citra Sasmita, who was born into a family of artist performers, draws heavily on the tradition of painting closely associated with the village of Kamasan on Bali. The Kamasan style depicts narratives from Indic and local epics, and is believed to have taken root in Bali in the fifteenth century. Here, the material culture that contextualizes the production of Kamasan painting on cloth is also present in Sasmita’s work. She uses fabric prepared in the traditional manner: first primed with a rice paste mixture, dubbed bubuh for the porridge it resembles, the cloth is then dried and polished with a cowrie shell. However, in the stead of conventional male-centric tales, the artist orients her imagined narrative fragments around feminine energies, which are embodied in both the female figure and in elements of the natural world, e.g trees, water, fire. In Sasmita’s universe, contemporary notions of ecofeminism are channeled through the visual vocabulary of Kamasan painting: nature is essentially female, representative of resistance against the disastrous hegemony of patriarchy and capitalism both.
About the textile that the drawings are mounted on: "My interest in textile started from the book "Fabricating Power in Balinese Textile" written by Urmila Mohan, she is my good friend an anthropology and doctor from New York University. She opened my perspective about fabric as it is related to the history of trading in Bali (the Dutch and British fought for Bali port before The British chose Singapore) and textile had become a big commodity in Bali. Fabric trade held secret codes transported from a kingdom in Bali other kingdom in archipelago to share information. Urmila discussed about the ritual function of the fabric, the colours and motif as a protection. " - Citra Sasmita
The fabrics chosen by the artists are contemporary fabrics mass produced in Bali during 1998 and 2000 for Balinese rituals (prayers and marriage) but are styled after an old collection from that time.
The combination of the textile pattern is related to our traditional language of belief system and my painting is an accumulation of my cultural memory of seeing “Rajah” the balinese sacred symbol.