The Coral Triangle Center (CTC), a Bali-based environmental NGO, has unveiled ‘Weaving the Ocean’, an art installation and exhibition by Indonesian artist, Ari Bayuaji, showcased at their Center for Marine Conservation in Sanur.

Weaving the Ocean 1

The Coral Triangle Center has always made it its mission to continuously educate people about the oceans, and how to preserve and protect them. Regarded as the world’s epicentre of marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle is the space of ocean enclosed by Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, where you’ll discover 76% of all known coral special on Earth along with 37% of all known coral reef fish species.

The CTC’s Center for Marine Conservation, which was established in 2017 in Sanur, is an education and learning centre where visitors can enlighten themselves with interactive and educational experiences that are enjoyable and insightful.

Weaving the Ocean Art Installation and Exhibition

Weaving the Ocean 4

The CTC currently has an art installation and exhibition by Ari Bayuaji entitled ‘Weaving the Ocean’, which was first unveiled on Monday, 5 September 2022 at the Center for Marine Conservation. The event was attended by the artist’s peers, NGOs and the gallery’s representative. CTC Executive Director, Rili Djohani, kicked off the exhibition by sharing the background of the process behind the exhibition, held in the centre’s courtyard.

This unique exhibition is a community art project that transforms discarded plastic ropes collected by Ari from Sanur’s mangroves, which he then turned into works of fine art. For the exhibition, he repurposed the plastic ropes and transformed them into remarkable representations of Gajah Minah – the Balinese God of the Sea – and giant jellyfish floating and rising above the ocean floor.

I was grateful for how beautiful Bali was. But when I cleaned up the beach closest to my house, I found many plastic ropes. I thought it was the starting point for creating these things. I did some research about the weaving culture here. Then, I combined it with what I found at the beach, the plastic ropes,” shared Ari.

Renowned for his artistic incorporations of objects found and collected from different parts of the world, Ari states that found or ready-made objects that construct his creative material might be ‘old’, however, he imbues his craft with passion influenced by contemporary issues – case in point, plastic pollution as depicted in his ‘Weaving the Ocean’ art installation.

In the ‘Weaving the Ocean’ art installation at CTC, he highlights the Gajah Mina – a mythical figure with the head of an elephant and the body of a fish. Several temples in Sanur are decorated with Gajah Mina as the guardian of their gates, while many of the fishermen’s jukung boats feature Gajah Mina’s head carved on their bows. The mythical figure is also believed to be an embodiment of the God of the Sea, Dewa Baruna.

My sculpture of Gajah Mina is inspired by the statues and carvings I have seen in my daily life in Sanur. I think it is very important to have this sculpture as an installation with my other works at the Coral Triangle Center. Constructed with wood, plastic threads found on the beach, and hand-woven plastic and cotton threads (as the scales), the creature is looking up at the giant jellyfish and other plastic objects floating above it. I would like to make the audience feel how Gajah Mina, as the representation of the God of the sea, feels hopeless at the bottom of the ocean watching what is going on in the ocean because of our action, human action,” he added. 

The ‘Weaving of the Ocean’ art installation will be on display for the next few months at the Center of Marine Conservation, which is only the first of a series of exhibitions that will be launched in the coming weeks ahead, leading up to the full opening of their Exhibition Hall in October.

The CTC is committed to future collaborations with artists who are in line with their vision for healthy and clean seas for people and nature. Artworks that are part of this current exhibition will be available for purchase with proceeds going to support CTC’s marine conservation programmes across Indonesia and the Coral Triangle.

For more information, please contact +62 811 3940 0400

CTC Center for Marine Conservation
Jl. Betngandang II, 88-89, Br. Semawang, Sanur
+62 811 3940 0400 |

NOW Bali Editorial Team

NOW Bali Editorial Team

This article has been written or uploaded by NOW! Bali's in-house editorial team.