CSII - Community Seniors

Living the Life by The Hidden Maestro : A CSII Project

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As we all know, Bali is famous for its rich culture and has produced many great artists from various fields of art. On March 10, 2022, Act Global assisted Kurnia Wardani Miftha Huljanah in conducting an intergenerational talk with Mr. I Made Sudibia, a painter from Sanur, Bali. In addition to the CSII program: Community Senior Involved International, this opportunity is carried out to build the relationships between the younger generation and the elder.

Who is “Made Sudibia?”

I MADE SUDIBIA, he was born in Sanur, Bali on July 15, 1959. He had an artistic talent since his childhood, which is aided by the fact that the majority of his family members are artists. Mr. Sudibia told me that he had loved drawing and painting since he was a child while singing Balinese songs and taking in the atmosphere of traditional Balinese life. In addition to having artistic talent, he has been the class star since elementary school. He was able to win the Painting Competition and beat his seniors in grade 9 even though he was in grade 7 at junior high school. Mr. Sudibia had been working with oil paints and canvas media since then.

He Studied painting at Sekolah Tinggi Seni Rupa Indonesia ‘ASRI’ (STSRI ‘ASRI’, Indonesia College of Fine Arts) in Yogyakarta, from 1980 to 1988. Since his student days, he has been a member of the Sanggar Dewata Indonesia artist group in Yogyakarta. In 1980 he received awards in the Watercolour Painting Competition and Sketching Competition from STSRI ‘ASRI’. From 1991 he was a lecturer in art at Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (ATSI, Indonesia College of Art; now Institut Seni Indonesia Denpasar) in Bali. He participated in group shows in several countries such as Indonesia, Monaco, Kuwait, and Australia.

The Past

Mr. Sudibia recalled the show in Monaco as one of the most memorable because he had to give up paintings that had been sent irrevocably due to the difficult process of regulation at immigration, which also cost a lot of money. Mr. Sudibia performed the Rejang Dance, a Balinese ethnic dance performed only by and for women. The dance moves are straightforward but progressive and agile. The Rejang dance performance is usually held at a temple during a traditional ceremony or a Hindu Dharma religious ceremony.

“Pouring our thoughts into art can make us wiser in our daily lives. Art can unravel complicated situations.” – I Made Sudibia

The themes of Mr. Sudibia’s paintings had taken from the social realities of Balinese life. However, Sudibia tends to be more interested in traditional destinations that have close cultural contacts, such as meditation, the activity of Balinese dressing up in their ritual clothing when going to temples, folklore, or even the subject of mythological beliefs. Which has the character of the invisible, illusory nature. “My concentration and exploration are only on traditional Balinese life because this theme cannot be exhausted. From what I’ve experienced, there’s still a lot I haven’t done,” he said.

He is also known as a master sketch maker.

Obstacles encountered:

Loving His Works

Pak Sudibia realizes that his love for his art is very deep. Sometimes he finds it difficult to give up his art to be bought by others because of this love.

Pak Sudibia admits that he is quite a sensitive and sensitive person.

This sensitive nature is also a challenge and obstacle for Mr. Sudibia, who in Balinese life we ​​have many cooperation activities, especially when there are religious events, ceremonies, or cremations.

Sometimes this makes Pak Sudibia less focused on his work.

This is one of the reasons he resigned as a Lecturer at Institut Seni Indonesia Denpasar, to have more time to work.

However, he encountered challenges in marketing his paintings along the way caused by factors such as the economic crisis and the pandemic.


Mr. Sudibia’s biggest challenge and obstacle is also business management.

He enjoys painting and creating art, but he is not serious about promoting and selling his work.

Nonetheless, Mr. Sudibia’s paintings are well-known and hold a special place in the hearts of art connoisseurs.

It is also proven by the help he has received from other artists and art activists, one of which is the provision of necessary painting media such as paints and canvases.

Because they already miss his work.

This is because Mr. Sudibia has been on hiatus for a long time due to physical health issues, which make it difficult for him to move and paint again for several years, causing him to become less productive.

Mr. Sudibia regained his spirits and stood up after being lost in frantic thoughts and unfavorable circumstances.

He did not stop trying to recover so that he could carry out his painting activities and productivity again.

At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has become a new challenge for Mr. Sudibia and other artists in Bali, due to the lack of foreign tourists and painting collectors in Bali.

As we know the tourism sector and the arts are interconnected. However, as time went on and his health began to improve, Mr. Sudibia realized that he had to get back to being productive and working.

For him, an artist must also be consistent to work, even though the situation is still in a pandemic atmosphere, but we must keep trying and survive.

Keep Learning

Mr. Sudibia has also seen positive changes as a result of technological advancements when compared to the previous era.

It is now easier to obtain information, particularly when looking for ideas by looking at the work of artists all over the world.

Mr. Sudibia is also enthusiastic about technological advancement and wishes to learn more about it; he believes that to keep up with technological developments, we must prepare ourselves.

As a result of the convenience of this technology, it is hoped that young people will be able to better utilize existing facilities to be more productive and work.

In this case, we from Act Global also had a discussion with Mr. Sudibia about technological advances that he can use to promote his work online so that it can be more easily reached by art enthusiasts, especially in a pandemic environment like this.

However, the role of young people in this implementation is unquestionably required to assist seniors in carrying out and supporting their activities.

To the youth

Raising awareness of environmental issues through art

Mr. Sudibia is passionate about the environment and the effects of global warming, in addition to his love of art, painting, and traditional Balinese culture. Based on the interview results, he stated that art, in this case, environmental art, can also convey positive messages that demonstrate concern for the environment. He is very concerned about our current state of nature, especially when he sees mangroves filled with plastic, glass, and other waste, which prevents the mangrove shoots from growing. He hopes that young people will become aware and take action to protect the environment, rather than simply voicing their concerns.

Making Art a Part of Daily Life

Mr. Sudibia related a story he heard from western collectors who see art as a necessity in life. Especially if you need to get away from work and the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We can become more sensitive by enjoying art, and with this sensitivity, we can learn about various values that must be suppressed and expressed. It also makes us wiser in dealing with life’s difficulties. According to him, everything in life requires art, including dressing, because we must know how to style and cut our bodies so that they look beautiful to the eye and inspire self-confidence. Life becomes less monotonous and boring as a result of art.

Learn to be patient from dialogue with a work of art

He believes that today’s young people are too preoccupied with activities or work to appreciate the beauty of nature and the simple things in life. As a result, he advises young people to learn to converse with works of art. For example, when we see a painting, we need time to converse with it (not in a rush). Dialogues with artwork provide us with new perspectives and know its values and messages. We gradually gain the ability to feel emotions that we may not have previously experienced.


Written by Kurnia Wardani

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