Sawidji Beginnings. As a community, artists and artisans in Ubud Bali do not need to point to a particular event in history to highlight their creative talents. They are well known for artistry. The story of how Sawidji Artist Collective began has come from that history. However, Sawidji coming together is due to a changing reality.

Artists in Bali are facing many transitional challenges that may make it difficult for its long term survival. In particular, traditional arts, with its authentic methods and purpose have many challenges to keep thriving. Traditional methods in the majority take time. They were not invented at a time when streamlining, or lean efficiency for high productivity was an issue.

These methods are special because they are carriers of layers of a deeper life philosophy. Most certainly not centred on commercialism. For these reasons, traditional methods are not cost efficient in todays fast market. Mainly because it does not fit the profile for mass production.

‘Sawidji’ is of the old language. Its roots in Kawi, meaning focus and intention. We chose our name as an affirmation of our intention. To focus with complete intention, our creative development. To revive its pure and unadulterated spirit.

The visual partner of our name is our logo, depicting the rice plant full with grain. In general, rice has many layers of meaning in Balinese-Javanese culture. For example, it represents fertility, Mother Nature, abundance and wealth.

However, more specifically, our logo depicts the rice plant that is heavy with grain. This has a specific significance to our cultural values.

There is an old proverb that is well known in Bali ‘ semakin berisi, semakin nunduk’. The heavier that it is filled, the more that it bows back to the earth. It is a lesson that our elders teach us. A lesson in humility.

The Rice Metaphor

As the rice grows from a young shoot, it grows tall and straight towards the sun. Much like that of the young generation, full of dreams and ambitions. A lesson to for the young, as we grow older and are filled with knowledge. Life brings the blessings of success and failures. We should be humble and remember our beginnings. Remember the earth by which all our blessings come.

It is a beautiful proverb, a beautiful lesson. Here at Sawidji Artist Collective, we have big dreams to aspire to. With our focus and dedication, we wish to remember our origins, our roots. Not to forget the humility and wisdom imparted to us from our Ancestors. That knowledge and good fortune is a gift. We are merely vessels and guardians of these gifts throughout our lives.

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