Sawidji supports traditional and contemporary artists whilst inspiring innovative adaptations. Knowledge sharing and appropriate product designs to have a balanced division between art and commerciality.
For artists without economic independence, the creation of their art is not free. Its purity is compromised by the very real need to make a living and make concessions to cater to a market.Dewi Dian
Sawidji is about nurturing artists to continue the practice and development of their talents. Artists in a traditional community with limited exposure desperately need this support.
How we do this is by utilising different platforms and digital tools to share our artworks and forging appropriate commercial projects inspired by our art and culture that everyone can enjoy.
Everyday, our practice of art continues to teach us something. Just as important is sharing our knowledge. That our community and others may find the same joy, that Art may be the bridge to connect each other.
About Sawidji’s Objective
Firstly, a little about Sawidji and what we are about. We believe artists in our community should have a plausible choice. To practice art for no other condition than simply, to do their art. By nurturing positive and transparent systems that promote collaboration and originality, we can begin to minimise the numbing effect of standardised art for market. Inject a fresh challenge to embrace a true creative spirit again.
Knowledge Sharing is Survival
Another view we take is the importance of knowledge sharing as a means for our arts’ survival. In other words, sharing knowledge of traditional techniques and cultural influences that others may have more knowledge of our arts’ cultural and contextual origins.
Sawidji Artists Part of Sawidji Management
Finally, its important to emphasise, our gallery, our art and product designs are brought to you from us collectively , with complete transparency. Our group of founding artists collaborate on projects and bring our works to you with everyones well being in mind.
We operate on very simple principles. Honesty, Creativity, Empathy and Teamwork. We encourage you to take the time to go to our artists’ page and meet them. They are the reason Sawidji was formed. They are at the heart of Sawidji.
Now that we have shared what our values are, you may wonder how it came about. Sawidji Artist Collective is very much a community founded on long standing friendships. Together, facing a particularly difficult crossroad, brought to the fore by the challenges of 2020.
Industries have drastically been affected by covid-19. Prior to this artists have already faced a challenging decline in the demand for original artworks. Moreover, the present condition of fine arts in Bali and its authenticity is open to debate. It is in a precarious state of transition.
Our artists have lived their whole lives reliant on their art for their livelihood. Art which had a market due to the influx of tourists to the island. That has been stripped away in a very short time. To make matters even more dire, the majority of traditional artists have no access to the internet . Or any exposure to e-commerce solutions.
As a result of their isolation, their creative process has become almost completely driven by consumer tastes. In many cases, art is dictated by a commercial market driven by tourism. Hopefully, this is one way as a collective, the Sawidji incentive can provide an alternative way our artists can thrive. To be creatively independent again.
Tourism, Too Much of a Good Thing
So, as a result of tourism, these talents previously enjoyed international popularity for many years. Its safe to say, that popularity had both positives and negatives. For example, the impact of mainstream commercialism resulted in many forms of exploitation of Balinese art and its artists. This is certainly a negative aspect.
Today, the art market in Bali is impacted by the changes of tourism. As with the nature of trends, they come and they go. The artisans of Ubud are a living legacy of amazing generational skills.
Skills whose value has been determined by an industry completely disconnected from the arts. And ultimately, as a result, they are struggling to find anew their footing. Their place in a world where they are already half forgotten.