Hometown: Denpasar, Bali
Lives and Works: Denpasar, Bali
Mangu Putra was born in Selat, Sangeh, Bali, 0n 11 May 1963. He finished his education in Visual Communication Design in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design at Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta (Indonesia Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta) in 1990. His first exhibition was in 1987 at Denpasar. Being a designer did not satisfy him as an artist -- he decided to engage in full time painting in 1998. Since his first solo exhibition in Ubud (1990), he has been considered a valuable painter in Indonesia. He received awards for best work in Visual Communication Design in 1988 and 1990 at ISI Jogjakarta, and was one of the top ten prize winners of the Philip Morris awards in 1994. He worked as a Graphic Designer from 1990 / 1998. He has had solo and group exhibitions in Bali, Jakarta, and Singapore. His creativity has been documented in the book "Mangu Putra: Nature, Culture, Tension" (2000). He currently lives and works in Denpasar.
Mangu Putra’s works arise from intense contact with the world as a conscious expression of his main creative orientation. Representations of natural phenomena, along with the inner pulse of life, form the main stream of his search. The natural world, such as mountains and coasts, are depicted as identifiable objects. Some of his works with abstract designs imply natural images, such as the character of water and the texture and colours of earth or stone. Nevertheless, there is a certain progressive critical vision in Mangu Putra’s way of viewing and interpreting the world. His works are not mirrors of direct observations with the naked eye. Natural objects are shown as if through sophisticated technological imagery, so that they appear artificial, attractive, provocative, and even fantastic. His artistic world is not a natural one but instead is ‘polluted’ by civilization.
It is not surprising then that some of Mangu Putra’s works criticize human activities that damage the world. His series on exploitation shows the slaughter of animals. Rotten fish are dismembered; clean cuts on their bodies imply that this is not due to natural forces.
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