Legong Bali by Wayan Wangen, 2010. Wood carving sculpture from Suar Wood, original piece by artist Wayan Wangen.
This wood carving sculpture is titled ‘Legong Bali’ after the very popular and well known Dances here. However, the artist chose to represent it differently. Wayan Wangen has omitted the figurative interpretation and instead he has focused on the simplicity of the Dancers torso. No aextra fanfare, no overcrowding details. This is a sculpture that is capturing the simpler and more honest beauty that the artist perhaps sees in this Dance.
The Legong Dance as we know it today in Bali is very polished it is often the subject of Bali wood carvings. It is costume and theatre with striking feminine beauty of the dancers. It is not a coincidence that in this piece Wayan Wangen has chosen to take away all of that. The line of the face, the curve of the hair and the simplicity of the headdress is a return to a modest beauty.
Perhaps he is remembering how this dance ws in generations past. Perhaps there is a memory of something simpler but far more lasting. This Legong Torso could have been named any other name. This is in fact not about Legong, but about beauty with no embellishments.
Wayan Wangen is a master sculptor, member of the Gus Tilem exclusive Gallery for 25 years. Retired from wood carving, his collection are testament to the artists’ contribution to the golden days of traditional wood carving here in Bali.
A little about Suar Wood (Albizia/Samanea Saman),owing to its popularity all across the world, Suar Wood is known by different names in different parts of the world. In the West, it is often referred to as Monkeypod, Samanea Saman, Parota and South American Walnut. In Thailand for instance it is referred to as Acacia. In Indonesia, people refer to it as Suar Wood.
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