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Ashri & Friend_88x73_1998_oil on canvas.jpg

Ashri & Friend (Balinese ladies) (阿什莉和朋友) (巴厘岛女郎), 1998, Oil on Canvas, 88 x 73 cm

Artwork Highlight

Travelling throughout Bali in search of novel scenes and subjects to draw, Koeh often visited rural villages rather than remaining within the more crowded city centres. For the artist, the villages offered an idyllic space where nature and man coexisted, all the while steeped in the exoticism of Bali’s culture. A similar combination of naturalistic imagery with Balinese women is seen here, as the artist positions the figures of the two women within a swirling mass of greenery. Yet another example of the artist’s expressive approach to art, the colourful jumble of the background serves to recenter the viewer’s focus on the women. Like in his other Bali paintings, the women are clad in traditional Balinese clothes, with golden armbands circling their biceps. Threaded into their hair are frangipani flowers, or kembang jepun, commonly used as accessories and offerings in Bali. Clad in saturated hues of red, yellow and green, the painting practically demands the viewer focus on it. The side eye from one of the women is spellbinding as well.
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