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Art Terms

Kamasan Painting

Epic World in Decoration

A traditional art from Bali, Indonesia, originating as court painting of the Gelgel Kingdom under the influence of the Majapahit Empire and developing in particular in the village of Kamasan in the 16th century. Ink and pigment made from plant seeds (red, blue, brown, yellow and flesh tones) are applied to cotton canvas largely for the purpose of decoration in courts or temples. A special feature of this style is the use of line drawing to depict the subject in a flat manner, a direct result of the popularity of traditional shadow puppetry (Wayang Kulit) at the time, thus this is also referred to as Wayang Style art. Subject matter is invariably the great Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and continues to be produced in the same way today.

[Nakao Tomomichi]

Artist Unknown (Kamasan) "Rotation of Mandala Mountain" unknown Balinese traditional pigment on clot

Artist Unknown (Kamasan) "Mahabharata" unknown Balinese traditional pigment on cloth

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