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.