time wasters bucket list The art of being idle
A NEW ART SPACE IN THE HEART OF UBUD OPENS IT DOORS TO THE PUBLIC AND IS READY TO REVOLUTIONISE BALI’S ART SCENE IN A BIG WAY
Cata Odata, which means white heart in the old Javanese language, is the brainchild of Ratna Odata and Djunaidi Kenyut – two Indonesian artists who bumped into each other in Surabaya.
“I was at this art supply store and was just about to walk out the door with my things, when I stopped at this bulletin board to read a flyer about an art exhibition that was held by Kenyut. I asked the shopkeeper about it and he said I should ask the artist himself, who apparently was sitting in the store as well. And so I did. That was how we started talking, and then last year we came up with the idea of Cata Odata,” explains Ratna.
The art space opened in June this year on Penestanan Street and occupies a threestory building, complete with a gallery, studio and three bedrooms for artist residence. Cata Odata is focusing on artists from Bali and East Java, particularly Surabaya, Kenyut’s hometown, and they are currently representing six artists, including Rio Saren, Romi Setiawan, Imam Sucahyo, and Anas Etan.
They are also involved in art projects at several other places in Bali, such as Paradiso Ubud – a cinema, cultural centre
and raw food restaurant – in addition to a famous resort in Padang Bai.
Unlike other galleries or art spaces, Cata Odata doesn't just showcase works of art. Ratna and Kenyut try to build an alternative space for people to enjoy what's on show. “We want to build a space where people can just come and take pleasure in what we have here without fear, and the artists are also welcome to use our studio downstairs, just as long as they have a clear vision of what they want to do,” explains Ratna.
Ratna's and Kenyut's commitment to building a community where various artists can work together with shared visions and goals has already been proven in their artist residency programme, where they would pair an international artist with a local artist to do a workshop or project together. Furthermore, the guest artist could stay for free at Cata Odata's artist residence on the top floor, and be provided with daily meals. This artist residency programme usually lasts up to three months.
“Over the years, I've seen a lot of young artists who have big talent and potential. However, because of the gallery system today, which only cares about capital or income, it's hard for these young artists to really get the exposure they need. That is why we want to build Cata Odata as a community, especially through our artist residency program. We want to be a trendsetter, not a trend follower,” adds Kenyut.
So far, they have invited artists from Canada and Korea to take part in the artist residency program. And this month, they will be working with a dancer from Jakarta.
Ketut explains that what makes Cata Odata special is that the space is also a place where people can learn from each other and exchange their experiences.
“What makes our place really unique though is that this is a home; this is our home. Both Kenyut and I literally sleep here. This is the place where we live, cry and laugh. We have an emotional connection to this place and to the artists we collaborate with, because when those artists come, they're coming to our house, not just some gallery. So there's that extra emotional influence here,” says Ratna.
Both Ratna and Kenyut have a strong art background. Kenyut graduated from an art school in Surabaya called Sekolah Menengah Seni Rupa, where he lived in an art studio with other artists. “I received hands-on practical knowledge from the studio where I lived, while the theoretical knowledge I received from the school,” Kenyut recollects.
Ratna meanwhile has a degree in professional theatre set design and performing arts management. She chose theatre because she sees it as a melting pot for art, where all forms of art mesh together and it is not just about one person.
Although they run Cata Odata together, Ratna and Kenyut still work on their own personal projects from time to time. Ratna was involved in a theatre project in Jakarta titled “Daun Terakhir” last November, where she also asked one local Balinese artist, Made Bayak, to feature his works of art in the set design. Kenyut was also recently involved in the first Langkawi Art Biennale in Langkawi, Malaysia, last October.
“But again, even with our individual projects, we still prioritise Cata Odata. Because this place can only exist through the community and the people who support us,” adds Ratna.
Jl. Penestanan Kelod, Ubud (opposite from Pura Dalem Penestanan) For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org