Ida Bagus Putu Purwa, 33, is an artist from Sanur who has been portraying his feelings on canvas since he was in high school. He shared his day with Carla Albertí de la Rosa.

I usually get woken up at 6:30 every morning by my wife, who struggles getting me out of bed so I can take my daughters to school. I don’t even have time for breakfast in the morning. I just jump on the bike and take two of my daughters to school. The third one is only one year old, so no school for her in a while.

I drop them at school at 7 and then I go directly to my studio in Denpasar. I have breakfast at a little warung next to my studio: some coffee with sugar and some bread. I like to have bread by itself and for the rest of the morning I’ll just snack on some crisps or nuts.

I sit in my studio and think: What will I create today? I can feel the inspiration anytime. Daily activities can be so inspiring.

My oldest daughter, who is now 12, has influenced my style a lot. She’s autistic. We found out when she was four years old. I was very depressed and frustrated at that time. There were no schools for autistic children in Bali and I had no money. I used to paint beautiful women and dancers, but when I knew my daughter had autism, my style changed. I brought my depression onto the canvas. Now I paint by transferring my problems into my paintings. I always paint myself.

I might bring out a blank canvas and wait for inspiration. My inspiration doesn’t come every day. I look in my laptop for pictures of male models and choose one of them. Then I draw myself, my face, with a different body. I used to paint my own body but now it’s not fit enough, so I borrow other bodies. But every painting is part of me. Art is for me a picture of my life. And when I see my paintings a few years down the line, I know how I felt back then.

At 12 I pick my daughters up and take them home for lunch. My wife cooks, and she decides what’s on the menu, but I love fish with rice, Balinese style with spices. I drink water but sometimes beer if I’m around friends.

I have a nap for an hour and around 2 or 3 I go back to my studio. It’s my favourite place on Earth. In many of my paintings I’m flying; it’s all about freedom. Many times I feel I’m not free since I have responsibilities with my family and my community. So I just want to be left alone. I could stay one month in my studio and not go out or see anyone. Maybe I just want to experience what the feeling is for someone who is autistic – the feeling of loneliness.
But I enjoy being alone.

I sometimes paint myself wearing a mask, because we cannot know the inside of people; everyone has a mask. People don’t know me like I don’t know them. In other paintings I look angry, because it’s how I feel inside. I put part of my problems on the canvas and it makes me feel relieved.

Sometimes friends and other artists come around my studio to share ideas and we talk about art.

I go back home at 5 and spend time with my family. I sometimes go to an art exhibition or walk along the beach with my family. I love eating in different places, but I go with my friends since my autistic daughter has a special diet and we can’t eat out. We have a special menu for her and every week I need to buy food just for her. She cannot have sugar and must eat gluten-free food, caffeine-free and just natural food with no sauce or additives.

We don’t have dinner together because everyone eats when they’re hungry. I like to spend my evening watching TV and particularly enjoy watching comedies. I fall asleep around 10, thinking about my future and how I can look after my family and make their life better.

1 Comment

  1. karen says:

    I am coming to Bali in June and hope to meet families with children with ASD and help in some way.
    How wonderful that you are an artist and can share your amazing skills with your daughter.
    We all communicate in different ways, you in art.