Life in the forest comes to fruition in our new print, Bali Wana by artist Nanoe Ari. It’s his ode to the beauty of the island’s lush tropical flora and fauna, also serving as a reminder of how sacred and fragile Bali’s ecosystem is.
Ari created the print in traditional Keliki style, a romantic interpretation of daily life in the island’s rural villages, as well as Hindu myths and local folklore.
"Keliki style painting is very unique,” he explains. “The characteristic is to have small, detailed objects. It’s a process that requires extraordinary patience."
For Bali Wana, Ari started hand-drawing on paper using pencil to create the intricate details and rich gradations seen throughout, each small section taking many hours to draw. It is then colored using Chinese ink and watercolors to bring the artwork to life.
If you look closely enough you can see many types of trees and animals, like the print's mascot monkey representing fun and joyfulness. Tigers, orchids, chocolate fruit, bamboo trees and rice plants are all included, symbolizing the island’s spiritual heart.
The print is named for the Balinese word for “forest” (wana) and also represents the importance of protecting it for future generations.
Nanoe Ari’s work can be seen at I Wayan Gama Painting School. Instagram handle @nanoeari_art.