Citra Sasmita’s imagery draws from the myths and misconceptions of Balinese art and culture to question the woman’s place in society and to create a post-patriarchal mythology. Her practice investigates...
Citra Sasmita’s imagery draws from the myths and misconceptions of Balinese art and culture to question the woman’s place in society and to create a post-patriarchal mythology. Her practice investigates notions of identity by subverting the idea of gender. Her hybrid figures, with multiple heads, from which trees proliferate, tackle social issues such as child marriage, gender-based violence and women's rights. Sasmita's work focuses on unraveling the myths and misconceptions of Balinese art and culture. She is also deeply invested in questioning a woman’s place in social hierarchy and seeks to upend normative constructs of gender.
Sasmita never studied at an art institution. She received a diploma in Literature, from Udayana University (2008) and one from the Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences at the Ganesha University of Education, where she majored in Physics Education (2009). This is where Sasmita's dream to become an artist took off. She joined the campus theater group and became a short story illustrator in the Bali Post. Her time as an illustrator deepened her knowledge of art. Sasmita began actively performing in exhibitions in Bali and outside of Bali.
One of her long term projects, 'Timur Merah Project; Harbor of Restless Spirits' is located in Garden of Six Seasons, ParaSite. The painting on cow hide reflects the Kamasan Balinese painterly language that Sasmita has been developing in her practice. It represents a geography of female figures, fires, and various natural elements, composed whimsically in an unfolding of pansexual energy. While rooted in mythological thinking with Hindu and Balinese specific references, the scenes create a dialogue with the contemporary process of imagining a secular and empowered mythology for the post-patriarchal future.
‘I tried to trace the marginalized narratives in Bali and then find cultural links through literary sources, images and texts and then try to reconstruct a symbolic journey from a journey through the stages of life, narrative of warfare and sexuality. Women's figures become a central role in their portrayal as the role of women in historical records and readings is often missed. So that the heroic and protagonist sides that have been displayed through a masculine perspective, can be seen again the process of formation through another perspective.’ - Citra Sasmita
Citra Sasmita (b. 1990) studied Literature at Udayana University (2008) and was enrolled in the Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences, Ganesha University of Education, where she majored in Physics Education. She was the recipient of the Gold Award at UOB Painting in 2017. Recent exhibitions include the XV Biennale Jogja (2019) and a solo exhibition Ode To The Sun (2020) at Yeo Workshop, Singapore.
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