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Anthony Forge: Research in Bali, Indonesia

Anthony Forge: Research in Bali, Indonesia
E074184 Painting - Front, Bali, Indonesia, Southeast Asia 
© Australian Museum 
photographer: AM, Photography Dept - Photographer Unknown
 
Anthony Forge went to Bali in October 1972 with the intention of investigating 'Symbolic Systems in the Maintenance of Hierarchy'. After almost a year in the field, he gathered a large amount of data, including 104 of the paintings, now kept in the Australian Museum. This collection of Balinese paintings is often the Forge Collection. It was later enlarged by Forge's collecting trip in 1979 and the subsequent bequests of his private collection in the 1990s.

Bali represented the opportunity to examine art in a 'stratified' society. Forge argued that most previous research in Bali had drawn on the religious and social ideas of the aristocratic classes, while the oral traditions of the Sudra Balinese, who constituted about 95% of the population, had scarcely been recorded. Forge's investigation was focused on the ritual and traditions of the village of Kamasan, the major centre for the production of classical paintings. His research involved a great deal of photography, study of the paintings and taped discussions with artists, temple priests, experts in various life cycle rituals, and traditional healers. Drawing on this extensive body of evidence, Forge asserted that the Sudra Balinese accepted the Hinduised aristocracy, while sometimes mocking them in symbolic terms. He argued that this covert questioning of the established hierarchy contrasted with overt behaviour in Bali in which elaborate forms of respect were virtually universal. One of the Tantri stories about the High Priest and Bull illustrates this assertion (see Tantri: the Story of High Priest and Bull, Balinese paintings E74211 and E74253)

The study of the Kamasan paintings was an important part of Forge's research and he obtained the assistance of several Kamasan artists, including Mangku Mura, Pan Seken and Nyoman Mandra. Forge's primary informant was Mangku Mura and most of the commissioned artworks were produced by him and his family. Forge spent many evenings talking to and recording Mangku Mura explanations of the narratives and iconographic features of his paintings. Forge also enjoyed searching for old paintings and other antiques. He frequented the antique shops which line the main street of Klungkung, now known as Semarapura, and befriended several of the local antique dealers. Once he and his family had established themselves in a house in Kamasan village and it became known that he was interested in 'old things', Forge often found potential sellers waiting outside his front door to offer their paintings and artefacts for sale.

While in Bali, Forge was offered a position as Professor of Anthropology at the Australian National University in Canberra. He took this position in 1974 and remained associated with the university until his death in 1991. Forge returned to Bali in 1977 to produce a film about Balinese culture for the BBC series Face Values which famously involved landing a helicopter in a field in the middle of Kamasan village. In 1979 he spent a few months in Bali, coinciding with the Eka Dasa Rudra ceremonies at Besakih Temple, held once in a hundred years. During this period he conducted brief investigations with Balinese artists in other parts of Bali including Ubud and Batuan. He also assembled his second, smaller collection of paintings for the Australian Museum. Many of these paintings are classical works, sourced from other centres of traditional painting outside Kamasan, including the Tabanan and Gianyar districts. He also commissioned some new paintings from Kamasan artists.

In May - July 1978 the Australian Museum held an exhibition of 60 Balinese paintings from the Forge Collection and he wrote the catalogue Balinese Traditional Paintings, which remains one of the most thorough references on Balinese classical paintings to date.

Related Publications:

Forge, A. (1978). A Village in Bali. Face Values: Some Anthropological Themes. A. Sutherland. London, British Broadcasting Corporation.

Forge, A. (1978). Balinese traditional paintings: a selection from the Forge Collection of the Australian Museum, Sydney. Sydney, Australian Museum.

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© Australian Museum

E074160 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074161 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074162 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074163 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074164 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074165 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074166 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074167 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074168 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074169 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074170 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074171 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074172 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074173 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074174 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074175 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074176 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074177 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074178 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074179 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074180 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074181 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074182 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074183 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074184 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074185 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074186 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074187 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074188 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074189 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074190 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074191 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074192 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074193 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074194 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074195 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074196 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074197 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074198 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074199 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074200 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074201 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074202 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074203 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074204 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074205 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074206 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074207 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074208 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074209 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074210 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074211 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074212 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074213 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074214 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074215 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074216 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074217 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074218 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074219 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074220 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074221 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074222 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074223 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074224 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074225 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074226 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074227 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074228 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074229 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074230 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074231 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074232 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074233 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074234 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074235 - 25/10/1976, flag, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074236 - 25/10/1976, flag, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074237 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074238 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074239 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074240 - 25/10/1976, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074241 - 25/10/1976, flag, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074242 - 25/10/1976, flag, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074243 - 25/10/1976, flag, Nusa Penida, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074244 - 25/10/1976, flag, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074245 - 25/10/1976, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074246 - 25/10/1976, painting, Bangli, , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074247 - 25/10/1976, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074248 - 25/10/1976, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074249 - 25/10/1976, painting, Bangli, , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074250 - 25/10/1976, flag, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074251 - 25/10/1976, flag, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074252-001 - 25/10/1976, painting, Batuan, Gianyar District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074253 - 25/10/1976, painting, Batuan, Gianyar District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074254 - 25/10/1976, painting, , Gianyar District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074255 - 25/10/1976, flag, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074256 - 25/10/1976, flag, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074257 - 25/10/1976, painting, Sukawati, Gianyar District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074258 - 25/10/1976, calendar, Sukawati, Gianyar District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074259 - 25/10/1976, calendar, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074260-001 - 25/10/1976, painting, Djasi, Karangasem District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074260-002 - 25/10/1976, painting, Djasi, Karangasem District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E074261 - 25/10/1976, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074262 - 25/10/1976, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E074263 - 25/10/1976, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076373 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076374 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076375 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076376 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076377 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076378 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076379 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076380 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076381 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076382 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076383 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076384 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076385 - 23/10/1979, painting, , Bandung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076386 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076387 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076388 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076389 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076390 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076391 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076392 - 23/10/1979, painting, Wangoyo Gede, Tabanan District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076393 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076394 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076395 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076396 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076397 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kabo Kabo, Tabanan District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076398 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076399 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

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E076400 - 23/10/1979, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076401 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076402 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076403 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076404 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076405 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076406 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076407 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076408 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076409 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076410 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076411 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076412 - 23/10/1979, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076413 - 21/8/1984, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast

© Australian Museum

E076414 - 21/8/1984, painting, Kamasan, Klungkung District, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093473 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093474 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093475 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093476 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093477 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093478 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093479 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093480 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093481 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093482 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093483 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093484 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093485 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast
E093486 - 10/2/2006, painting, , , Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Southeast