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  Communal Art

Whereas in the West, an artist pours a great amount of energy into establishing a distinctive style and technique to achieve personal wealth and fame, Balinese artists subordinate their ego to the needs of the community and to the requirements of the belief system.

Art is an expression of their collective thought. Many paintings, carvings, and sculptures are made communally in workshops, where a master craftsman supervises a group of apprentices.

A statue or a gamelan composition may also frequently be the work of more than one artist, and the instructor may very well execute a portion of a pupil's painting.

Though the colors and technique might be easily recognizable as the work of an individual, artists repeatedly use traditional standard themes and motifs executed in the local style. More decoration than art, the products of Bali's non-academically trained artisans still show a mastery of craftsmanship.



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