House of Wayang Kamasan

AN EFFORT TO COMBINE ART AND BUSINESS

Whenever you feel like going on vacation in East Bali, spare some time to visit the splendid Sinar Pande Rumah Wayang Kamasan located in Banjar Pande, Kamasan Village, Klungkung Bali. Owned by I Wayan Pande Sumandra, the artistic house offers paintings and exquisite souvenirs of Wayang Kamasan, which includes fans and bags decorated with wayang (shadow puppets) ornaments. Bali fans, in particular, are well-known worldwide for their gorgeous designs. Wayang Kamasan patterned fans are no exception. Thus, it is foreseeable that each fan is set with a relatively high price of 600 thousand rupiahs.

This fact should be no surprise considering the deep philosophy hidden behind their creations. Each painting is a handmade work of art. I Wayan Pande begins the process by drawing sketches on a sheet of calico cloth previously smoothen with natural seashells. The material is produced manually in Kamasan Village as well, taking shape in the surrounding areas of home industries. For each stroke, I Wayan Pande needs to reach pure serenity and full concentration because none of the sketches can be erased, therefore requiring total precision. Afterward, the sketch is handover to artisans for coloring.

“(Our) artisans who do the coloring are housewives working from home. I delegate this task to them to help them financially. Only when we receive orders in large quantities with tight schedules, I request several people to work in the studio,” explained I Wayan Pande. Before the year 2000, Wayang Kamasan used natural colors from hard lumps found on Serangan Island. But since the island went through reclamation, it is difficult to collect this kind of natural material. As a consequence, Wayang is now colored with acrylic.

Regarding the numbers of product sales, Wayang Kamasan is doing quite well thanks to tourists. I Wayan Pande collaborates with tour agencies to ensure his place is part of the tourism destinations in East Bali. Covid-19, however, has caused sales to decline significantly. “Right now, (we) only rely on online orders,” said I Wayan Pande frankly. “Bags and fans sell better than paintings because they are more functional. Fans, for example, are commonly used in pre-wedding pictures.” If you are interested, you can also purchase I Wayan Pande’s beautiful merchandise through Instagram @sinar_pande.

For every item purchased, you will contribute to the continuation of Wayang Kamasan.” I use some of the profits to buy painting materials for children learning how to create Wayang Kamasan,” stated I Wayan Pande who since February 2019 has started to give free painting lessons in his yard. I Wayan Pande invited the children himself. This approach has proven to be successful. The children are no longer attached to their gadgets and are willing to learn how to paint. These days his pupils are not only children from Kamasan Village but also children from Denpasar City and other villages, all eager to learn in his workshop.