Wood sculptures and statuettes in Bali and Java
"I am happy to see that my children do not have to experience the same economic problems I encountered. Their lives are better, full of smiles.""I was born in a village in Gianyar famous for its legendary wood carving tradition. Practically the entire population is a sculptor who sells nationally and abroad. Unfortunately I couldn't be part of my village's carving tradition because my family was very poor. I am the sixth of seven siblings and it was difficult to provide for us. I had to work as a domestic servant from a very young age. Whereas other kids got to play and go to school, I had to get up early and work late into the night. My sole dream was to be a sculptor.
"During the time I worked as a servant, I often observed how others made a sculpture and achieve a good finish. With the economic crisis of 1991 I was dismissed so I started to carve. I pawned my wife's gold and with the money I was able to get started on my own. I used albesia wood instead of suar wood, ebony, sandal wood since I couldn't afford them.
"I never had someone to teach me how to sculpt, I had to learn by myself. I looked for business opportunities by checking out what was already on offer and what wasn't and this is what helps me survive as an artist. I improved in a variety of techniques and finishing processes.
"I believe I can compete with other craftsmen. This belief is so strong and I am supported by my beloved wife. With a strong will and our prayers, God finally gave us a way and our business began to grow. From just renting a small place, then buying the land and now we have our own workshop although it's not too large.
"My inspiration to cultivate this field comes from meeting a person selling sculptures. I bought one and then I started to think of the ways I could develop it into something newer and better.
"What I like best about this art is the coloring process, while the most challenging thing is the finishing process so that the sculpture looks more beautiful and natural.
"Friends around me often refer to me as an honest and hardworking man who loves his family. I am a loving father to three children, and two of them help continue the efforts that I have pioneered, while my youngest daughter is still at the college. I am happy to see that my children do not have to experience the same economic problems I encountered. Their lives are better, full of smiles.
"When my wife gave birth to our first child, I was so excited that I hurried to bury the umbilical cord at home, as per our tradition. Once back in the house, my parent asked the sex of the new baby born, but I replied 'I don’t know!' I was so happy I forgot to ask the sex of my new baby! Whenever I remember this story, I smile -- how silly."