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Balinese Topeng

Topeng - The Balinese Mask tradition of Kings and Clowns
Topeng or 'putting on a mask or face' is indigenous to the island of Bali. It is suffused with the sacred animistic rituals of it's culture. I was fortunate to receive a study grant of the Lisa Uhlman foundation for a Topeng study tour. My tutors were a varied mix of taxi drivers and scholars, adepts in the art from their varied backgrounds. This mythic, story-telling form embraces the exploits of ancient kings and warriors as well as the human comedy of the rustic villagers, the Bondres or clown figures.

It is beyond my skills, knowledge or experience to interprete this work. However, I have experienced the essence of some of these masks and their characters and gestures. I explore this work as an interesting complement to my practice in other mask forms.
Mitch Mitchelson