Kamasan Village in Bali is the home of the ancient Balinese classical painting that will blow your mind to the 15th century of Gelgel Kingdom, when the painters were started to be famous at the palaces.
Klungkung is the right place for you to enjoy and learn “The real Bali’s classic paintings”.
This painting is painted by Kamasan artists, and only Kamasan artists are allowed to restore them today. From the beginning, Kamasan painters followed a folk-art style. The king had ordered the creation of formalized composition: beautiful, refined and ornamental. The main purpose is not only for decoration but as well as a historical record. History that painted beautifully.
Kamasan as the centre of the painting expansion and traditional carved object is the name of a village in the Subdistrict and the Regency of Klungkung. Geographically, the Kamasan Village is the village in the lowland of Klotok Beach or 3 km from Jumpai Beach. The distance from Denpasar to this village is 43 km, can be reached by motor vehicles, all the road headed the object that is the centres of the painting or carved industry has been asphalted. It could be reached through three routes: (1) the West Route from the middle of the regency city to the south along 1,5 km turned to left direct to the Sangging series, the painter’s traditional place of residence the famous puppet that is Nyoman Mandra.To the south side just a little longer down to Banjar Pande Mas, the centre ukiran gold, silver; (2) the north Route from the Klungkung regency city.
Kamasan is a traditional community of the painting artist. Because of intimate and old of the traditional painting expansion in Kamasan, the artists mention that the paintings in Kamasan has a special style wich is called the traditional Kamasan painting. The art talent grows also to other works of art such as art carved gold and silver and also art carved bullet. Despite from material aspect wich is used, colour cloth of metal follow the change that happen, but the specific characteristic continue to apparently in the theme of the painting or carved that is depicting leading figures of the puppet. Leading figures of the puppet that become the theme of the painting or carved object referred to the story of Mahabharata or Ramayana, also Arjuna Wiwaha or Suthasoma ballad. Therefore, the painting and carved object of Kamasan style or the Kamasan Puppet could be said rather old from the context of its history, that up to now still looks its visible intact. According to the impression of the international collectors, the Kamasan style painting is considered still very soft and sophisticated, clean, not full with details that unimportant and have a very clear order of the story. The core of the painting or carved object is the puppet so it brought the special attraction for the artist or tourists who visited to the Kamasan village.
Kamasan or “Ka -emas(gold) – an” is the name that quite old for people’s community who work in the adequate field of “gold”, the community is called Pande Emas. It is ccordance with the name of one of the series (banjar) in the Kamasan village. The archaeological hill that was found took the form of thrones of the stone, the menhir statue , stone mortar, the stone manger and the monolith with cylinder shape, road paths that was covered by the river stone that had been found during 1976 and 1977, that spread in Kamasan villages, Gelgel and Tojan, gave the guidance that the community is quite old. From the archaeological findings also gave the guidance that the tradition stone (megalitikum) had coloured the life of the community in Kamasan and surrounding area, the life of the community of pre Hindus that was rooted in the period of neolitikum (+ 2000 SM years). The Megalitik tradition is absorbed by undagi or building worker and to pande an in the period afterwards. Since the kingdom concentrated in Gelgel (1380-1651), The King of Ida Dalem introducing Pande as a worker of gold and iron.
The art product of gold or silver carved that had the shape of the plate (such as tray etc.) was made as jewellery equipment of Palace of Suweca Linggaarsa in the Gelgel Temple. Apart from art carved, developed also the puppet painting for the decoration on cloth took the form of the flag (such as the banner), ornamental cloth that become decoration accessories in holy places (the temple) or the building in the palace complex. Since Dalem Waturenggong (1460-1550) the holder of the throne II held the power, the Gelgel Kingdom reached the peak of fame, then Kamasan village become the craftsman’s village. Some of Administratif Units (Banjar) especially Banjar Sangging and Pande Mas could be said as Banjar Gilda or the working group community, the craftsman that consist of houses as well as workshops where they live, work and serve to the King until at the end of their life. The king is gazed as the god of the king who is assigned to guard the world (the universe and his contents) so the harmony and the balance of the world can be reached.
The King should protect and maintain the existency of art because it considered as an important part to keep the harmony and balance of the world. When the central of Kingdom Power moved from Gelgel to Klungkung by Dewa Agung Jambe in 1686, the inherit of Kresna Kepakisan Dinasty still mantain the Kamasan Village as the village of painting and carved object artist. But, nowadays after Klungkung become the central city of one of the regencies in Bali, and the inherit of King and noble become the official of Indonesian government, the banjar (administratif unit) of Sangging and Pande Mas no longer become banjar of Gilda (working group). Eventhough so, the artist of Banjar Sangging, Siku, Geria, Kacangdawa, Peken Pande and Tabanan keep proucing painting and carved object with Kamasan or puppet style. The expansion of the craftsman’s product increasingly heterogenous, not only limited to gold and silver carved but also art carved that have material copper or brass and bullets. The artistic product took the form of the painting or carved object also ordered by local and foreign tourists. Even so, in line with the increase in tourists’s visit, shops souvenir and art in Klungkung, or the Gianyar art market and Denpasar as well as hotels also become the repeater customer from the product of style art of the puppet in Kamasan.
What you can see around Kamasan Village
1. Kertha Gosa (Courts Of Justice), the more famous painted ceiling of the Kerta Gosa has also gone through numerous changes this century. It had to be restored after the devastating earthquake of 1917 and was again repainted during the 1930’s by Pan Sekan, a master artist from nearby village of Kamasan.
2. Puputan Klungkung Monument, The big nation is the nation that could appreciate his hero’s services, that is the series of word motifated the regional Regency government of Klungkung to build the Puputan Klungkung Monument in order to recalls and appreciates services of the heroes who fell and was willing to sacrifice his body and soul as well as his property in maintaining and holding the self-esteem from the rape by colonial.