Putu Bonuz: Magic Sound

April 25, 2014 - May 10, 2014

Maya Gallery is proud to present Magic Sound, Putu Bonuz Sudiana's first solo exhibition in Singapore, which aims to explores the relationship between sound and the creative process. 

Putu Bonuz Sudiana takes the positive energy from his surroundings – from the human voice and natural sounds, to music of rituals and ceremonies – and expresses it rhythmically onto his paintings, until the composition, lines, textures and colours are in harmony with the canvas. Comparing the artistic experience to that of an orchestrated performance, the exhibition prompts us to question the notion and importance of harmony in our own lives.


The Visual Orchestra of Putu Bonuz Sudiana


Putu Sudiana, or fondly known as Bonuz, is one of the most prominent abstract artists in Bali. His work flows intuitively as he articulates himself with the visual language. He creates orchestrations of shapes, colours and textures with srong lines, and expresses them on canvas. To understand the intricacies of Putu Bonuz’s visual language, we must first understand his everyday life along with his philosophies and life views. Not only within the context of how he views the art world, but how he fits into a wider role in society, such as being a husband, father and member of the community. From this standpoint, we can then understand the essence of the visuals that he instils on the canvas.

When the writer paid a visit to Bonuz’s studio in the Banjar Tubuh area in Batubulan, Bali, the painter – who also acts as a Pemangku or Hindu family priest  – was preparing and having a dialogue with his canvas paintings for a solo show in Maya Gallery, Singapore, under the theme of “Magic Sound”.  In this show Putu Bonuz will also exhibit his video documentation and performance art under the same theme. 

While spreading brilliant colours on canvas, he openly talked and humoured about his immense interest in the subject of sound. The plethora of sounds that often tickle his ears has its own distinctive spirit and tunes, acting as an orchestra that feeds on his creative process. For example, Bonuz confessed that he is much more inspired to make works in a fairly noisy environment. That is why he likes to paint while listening to the radio, or while having a stimulating conversation with his friends, who will sometime talk till late nights, and more often, till dawn breaks.

Each sound that Putu Bonuz listens to has a distinctive energy which gives him fuel to orchestrate the visuals seen on the canvas. During social and religious activities seen around the community in Bali, he encounters many wondrous vibes such as the priests’ rhythmic mantram or chants, genta or chimes of the holy bells, and sacred hymns sang throughout the procession, along with the dynamism of the Gamelan, a traditional music instrument, accompanied by sacred dances. He also finds the sounds of nature to be the key element that intuitively nurtures his sensibilities to the subject of sound. All of these sounds delve deep into his memory and turn into a magical energy that guides him to construct rhythmical compositions onto his canvas.

When it comes to filling his works with imagination and harmony, Putu Bonuz acts as a composer who coordinates a collection of sounds into a complete orchestra. He composes the lines, colours, shapes, and textures to create a harmonious composition that is able to stir the viewer’s imagination. In the Magic Sound series, Putu Bonuz attempts to remind the viewer of the importance of harmony in life; he tries to awaken the consciousness that does not see life from conflicting opposites. Living life to the fullest, Putu Bonuz tries to delve into life’s dynamics; he accepts the many troubles and phenomena as he sees them as the spice of life, and therefore needs no questioning. In his eyes, everything will be wonderful if all know their respective places, just like how an orchestra will sound beautiful when each instrument can play in harmony. So let us watch the harmonious orchestrations of Putu Bonuz Sudiana in Magic Sound.

The Artist