I Madé Moja comes from Batuan, a traditional arts village in Bali, known for its classical music and dance, fine woodcarving and unique painting style. These time-honored traditions are passed from one generation to the next and continue to thrive, despite great changes in the culture and economy of Bali. Moja’s father, renowned painter I Madé Budi, passed on the amazing ink and watercolor technique of Batuan to his son, who has taken it in new directions here in the U.S.
The technique starts with a pen and ink sketch, which is then shaded with Chinese ink for a 3-dimensional effect. Watercolor or acrylic paint is added in a series of layers or “washes” and finished with bright highlights to complete the sense of depth and dimension. The compositions are often very detailed and complex, drawing from Hindu mythology, traditional village life, and nature. This style and caliber of Balinese painting is rarely seen here in the United States. Moja’s work has been shown internationally and featured in numerous books detailing the art and culture of Bali.
Since moving to the Bay Area, Moja has branched out artistically. In addition to teaching and experimenting with new themes in his painting.Moja has also worked extensively with ShadowLight Productions, a non-profit theater company based in San Francisco that takes its inspiration from classical Indonesian “wayang kulit” (shadow puppet theater).