About this Website

Ketut Madra and I met early in 1973 when I lived in his village of Peliatan from late January to early December. We have been close friends ever since.

While working with the Ubud-based Mudraswara Foundation that year, I began collecting Balinese wayang painting, including work by Madra, who, at 33, was already a highly regarded painter of Bali’s traditional stories and legends. In 1974, I guest-curated the first exhibition of contemporary Balinese wayang art in the United States, Legendary Paintings of Bali, at Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum, which included drawings and paintings by Madra.

In 2010, Madra and I decided to create a retrospective exhibition of his work at a museum in Bali. We quickly agreed the exhibition and catalog should celebrate wayang painting as Bali’s oldest painted art form and place his work in that historical tradition in a way that had not been done before. By 2012, Tjokorda Bagus Astika director of Ubud’s Museum Puri Lukisan and the museum’s international curator Soemantri had agreed to host and actively participate in Ketut Madra and 100 Years of Balinese Wayang Painting with work from its collection and from other collectors and institutions in Bali as well.

We assembled an exhibition with 65 paintings by 18 artists from private and museum collections in the United States and Bali. Ketut Madra was the key resource for me in writing the catalog. There is more on the book here. The first draft of this web site was launched in time for the exhibition.

For information on acquiring paintings by Ketut Madra, please see the Contact page of this web site

– David Irons

David Irons