Made Aswino Aji, a 32-year-old single artist from Ubud, shared his day with The Bali Times

It’s my goal to give artists a place to share ideas, research and watch quality movies in the evenings.

It may seem lazy compared to other Balinese people, but I get up at around 10am every day. I go straight to make coffee and start drawing. Although most of my days are very flexible, I have to work consistently to make sure I have the bulk of drawings I need for my exhibitions.

I just finished putting together a group exhibition with contemporary artists and craftsmen in Denpasar, so I’ve been busy writing statements about the exhibition and giving interviews. I had to do interviews in five places in one day, which was really tiring.

I always have exhibitions in the works, either group exhibitions like the one now, or solo ones like one I have coming up in April and May in Yogyakarta and Semarang.

Those ones should be really fun as they are the same exhibition in two cities and include the audience participating in the making of my drawings.

When I have exhibitions away, I have to travel to set them up; I’ll be going to Yogyakarta at the beginning of April and then heading straight on to Semarang. But for now I’m preparing the drawings for those exhibitions and aim to have 50 to 100 done in the next month and a half, which means I really have to push myself to work throughout the day.

I spent 10 years studying art in Yogyakarta, and because I was so happy with my life there, I didn’t come back to Bali for six of those years, so I live a different lifestyle to a lot of other Balinese people.

I was raised in a very artistic family. My father, I Wayan Sika, is an artist and professor, owner of the Sika Gallery in Ubud and also the pioneer of the art group Sanggar Dewata Indonesia, so art is really in my blood. So as much as I have to push myself to make enough drawings in time for an exhibition, it’s what I do and have always wanted to do.

Inspiration is all around me, from other artists to TV, advertising and the news. I spend time observing the people around me and for a long time my work has been about lies. Everybody lies, and everybody is pretending to be something or somebody that they’re not. All my current work features characters with Pinocchio-style long noses.

I continue working through the day, taking breaks to communicate with friends and gallery contacts, mostly through email, and of course check Facebook, which is a bit of an obsession at the moment. I probably spend far too much time on Facebook. I also spend some time updating my website with new work and exhibitions.

I’m working on plans to open a café and small library in the gallery my family owns in Ubud. It’s my goal to give artists a place to share ideas, research and watch quality movies in the evenings. I’m trying to find investors; one person is already on board from Jakarta, but I need more startup funds. Hopefully, I’ll be able to raise enough money to get this going this year.

When I really need a break from work after a whole day of it, I hang out with friends, have a couple of beers and chat in the evenings, but I always go home and carry on working. Most nights I woke until 12 or 1am and then spend some time online. I don’t go to bed until around 3 or 4am, which is when a lot of other Balinese people are getting up to go to the market and start their daily chores. That lifestyle isn’t for me, though. I will just carry on staying up until the early hours of the morning to get my thoughts and ideas onto paper.

Filed under: One Day

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