Bahagia by Nyoman Handi is a mixed-media painting. Handi works with acrylic, inks, watercolours and often different types of pens. Highly experimental in his technique, Nyoman Handi is known for pushing personal limits in his explorations.
In these miniature paintings, there is a beautiful spontaneity and energy from the artist. Handi is known for his large mixed-media installations as well as canvas works. Handis’ smaller works on paper have an intimate and directness.
In ‘Bahagia’ meaning ‘Happiness’ in Bahasa Indonesia, we see the rendition of the Three Wise Monkeys. Hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Originally this is a Japanese pictorial maxim that originated from a 17th-century carving over a door in the Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The carving was done by Hidari Jingoro. However the philosophy that the Three Wise Monkeys embody probably arrived in Japan in the 8th Century with the Tendai Buddhist Legend from China.
There are similar phrases in Confucianism. Found in the Analects of Confucius, which reads: “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety”.
Here, Nyoman Handi takes the pictorial maxim that we have come to know and love and have painted them directly in human form. The stylistic influences of ancient cave paintings, allude to our simpler beginnings and serve as a reminder that in the cultivation of virtue there is happiness ‘Bahagia’.
Nyoman Handi is part of Sawidji Gallery and Artist Collective. Learn more about the artist Nyoman Handi.