Traditional Balinese Color Philosophy: The Mother Earth’s Color Decoration (Part 2)

‘Pepulasan’: Color Decoration Techniques in Balinese Interior and Architecture

The importance of color for the Balinese, causing every religious activity and social community associated with color as a philosophy message. In the context of coloring for interior and architecture decoration, in the Balinese Traditional Architecture there are techniques decoration applied to the building called ‘pepulasan’ techniques.
Color decoration in Balinese architecture generally reveal the natural color, color derived from the materials origin color. To form ‘lelengisan’ (decoration without engraving) and ‘pepalihan’ (decorations which basic shape of Balinese ornament). The beauty of natural colors is a protrusion of the beauty of material origin color, texture and character. The grace and color harmony of natural stone types or wood type which is carved. Just as Ornaments of metal inlay on gold, silver, copper, brass, bronze, supported also by metal origin color.

Material Character Protrusion
Combination of colors in interior decor is a combination of placement settings of materials in accordance with the color and texture. ‘Bebaturan’ (Building level decoration usually placed on wall) is built from the basic artificial stones material combined according to the texture, color and rocks scale that fits it.
Black basalt stone, red brick or red lava rock, gray ‘paras’ stone and white sea stones are the main points of color that can be varied in various combinations that highlight the character of the material. Artificial colors as ‘pepulasan’ coloring decoration in the form of ornaments use basic colors such as blue, red, yellow, green. Black and white is a complimentary color to shading. Decorative forms described by ‘pepulasan’ coloring or general use of color with fabric or paint base of the main color of floral or fauna paintings/carving with a contrasting color. About ‘pepulasan’ generally use two primary colors and to achieving good appearance. The final result of ‘pepulasan’ techniques shows a polychromatic coloring on wood carving, that will make the carving has a high value according to the Balinese perspective.

The Gold Paint (‘Perada’) rules!
Each ‘pepulasan’ color consisting of various basic colors will be added agains with gold commonly called ‘perada’ (noun) or ‘merada’ (verb). There are two types of ‘perada’ paint one is in liquid form and there is also in a form of sheets. ‘Perada’ is not original product of Bali but (imported products) in use was developed by the Balinese artist . Now every balinese carving that is applied to the building (especially in wood material) generally will finished by ‘pepulasan’ techniques and completed with ‘perada’. Because in addition to a beautiful color combination, when gold combined with other colors, is also impressive fancy color indicates a high social status to the owner.
The gold color of ‘perada’ which been use at the outward appearance of a wood which painted with basic colors before. Red, blue and green colors or orange is the primary color daubed with yellow gold ‘perada’ or ‘perada’ gede. Pepulasan and golden yellow ‘perada’ or gold paint called ‘perada’ gede on fabric commonly used for the curtains called atu ‘langse’, decorative fabrics on the edge of the the building roof called ‘Ider-Ider’ , wrapping the pole head ‘kaput saka’, on the bale edge called ‘dedapa’ or ‘leluwur’ or ‘telaga ngembeng’ as a ceiling decoration. ‘Pepulasan-perada’ techniques also used on the fabrics of traditional dancers, the color of the sculpture, masks, and for buildings to dead (Balinese coffin) called ‘Bade’, Tumpang Salu, etc. Once the importance of golden color for the Balinese, the color of gold is also placed on carved holy building like ‘Padmasana’ (the most sacred buildings) until ‘pelangkiran’ (in house shrine).

Materials Natural Dyes
Before the paints manufacturers to fill the lives of the Balinese, Balinese artists use of natural materials to be used as pepulasan, painting and even to dye fabrics. The use of color in Bali Traditional painting has been develop since the time King Bali of was governed, as Dalem Krishna Kepakisan Dynasty government in Samprangan, Gelgel, Klungkung. Balinese puppets color used by the painter who is now known as the art ‘Wayang Kamasan’ painting or ‘Kamasan’ classical painting .
Types of natural materials used to make the Balinese color is ‘kincu’ to get red, pork bones to get white, to black soot, ‘Atal’ to the color yellow, ‘muruh leked’ for blue, until ‘pere’ and ‘deluga’ to brown. Adhesives and coating materials in the process of finishing, used ‘ancur’ imported from Surabaya, ‘kincu’ from China, ‘deluga’ from Europe which can be purchased in Denpasar at that time, the other is the local material (Bali). ‘Ancur, as an adhesive is required in every manufacturing the traditional color.
The use of color in Bali painting, actually have started influenced two foreign traveler artist Walter Spies and R. Bonnet who settled in Ubud (1927 and 1929). They brought a change of The Ubud young painters and they can accept it very well. This foreign painters introduces new variations in the painting, introducing canvas, watercolor (tempera), oil paint, paper, wood to the new themes. This influenced the other painters in Bali, including the use of color in Bali. But the usage of traditional color philosophy and techniques still exist until today, although modern techniques and modern painting are widely use.
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