Visual Arts in Bali is a standard work for a wide audience about Balinese visual art in the 20th century.
The book follows the line in the change of patronage under which Balinese artists traditionally worked. The enormous distance in shape, function and aesthetics between traditional Balinese and Western art, that existed around 1900, was significantly reduced under the influence of colonial rule and the arrival of many foreigners. Western artists travelled to Bali and often settled there, which initiated a mutual dynamic in visual art. However, the constantly changing social and political circumstances did not play a very significant role. The book follows all these developments from the beginning of the 20th century, when the Dutch colonial rules were imposed, until the integration of Balinese culture in the wider global tendencies of the 1990’s.
Wim Bakker and his partner Marian visited Bali regularly from 1972. Over the years they built-up an extensive network among Balinese artists and art dealers there. They knew many now internationally famous, yet late Balinese artists personally and Wim recorded their stories. This information gives the book, that Wim Bakker has been working on since 2000, tremendous value, just like the many never previously published artworks. A book for everyone who admires the wealth and beauty of the Balinese culture and is interested in its background and the changes this art went through in the 20th century.