an Exhibition by NIKOLA KOSTIC
at John Hardy Boutique and Gallery, Seminyak

TRANSITIONS by NIKOLA KOSTIC plays homage to Bali as a source of inspiration in both content and technique as well as a process of change, shifting from one state of being or seeing to another. A photographic exhibition playing with shadows and paint, from kite festivals to ceremonies Nikola Kostic takes us on his personal journey of discovery and finding balance between shadow and light.

Nikola Kostic was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1973. He moved to Bali in 1998 after receiving an offer to help his uncle who was making jewelry. He left his life as a musician behind to start a new adventure on the other side of the world. His uncle gave him a camera, it was the first time, here in Bali, that Nikola held one and looked through its lens. This opened a new chapter in his life and career. Nikola began to use photography as a way to observe and document life, to record fragile moments, and create a visual journal of his life in Bali and beyond. “People said with a camera you see less, but for me, I saw more. It enabled me to focus and tune into life and what was going on around me.” Nikola Kostic.

Nikola started to print his artworks on clear acrylic plates on top of a white background, creating shadows reminiscent “Wayang Kulit” shadow puppets shown across Indonesia. In Bali, leather puppets called Wayang Kulit, are used for both entertainment and sacred rituals. During nighttime performances, the puppets’ shadows are cast against a white cloth stretched on bamboo and lit by an oil lamp above the puppeteer’s head. For the “Dalang”, who sometimes serves as a priest, each performance is a mix of artistic skill and religious knowledge.

Nikola uses color to add further dimension to images by painting on the back of his acyclic photos. A technique that harps back to traditional glass painting practiced in Indonesia for centuries. The tradition of glass painting can be found in several regions, namely Solo, Yogyakarta, Cirebon and Bali. In Bali, the art of glass painting can be found in the village of Nagasepaha, near Singaraja. The early glass painting in Nagasepaha focuses on Wayang related themes, such as fragments from the stories of Ramayana. Today, it has evolved to capturing moments of daily life.

A prominent theme in Nikola’s work is the tradition and community of kite flying. Flying kites in Bali hold deep cultural significance, kites are believed to carry messages to the God and spirits, asking for blessings and good fortune. Today in Bali, there are several kite festivals organized when the winds are strong to celebrate and hold competitions to keep this amazing tradition alive. “The first time I saw Bali kites was in 1998 and I was immediately fascinated with the chaos and adrenaline that sent the parade of color into the sky”. Nikola Kostic. Later, his work and focus shifted from the sky to the ground, to the people controlling these magnificent creations of the sky. “The community of people who fly kites are the foundation, one can see it in the way they greet each other, treat each other, and work together. Flying kites brings out our inner child” Nikola Kostic.

Guests can enjoy the art and installations adorning the interiors of the John Hardy gallery, Seminyak, where there will also be workshops on glass painting as well as social events bringing community together to celebrate art and Indonesian culture.

The exhibition runs from 14th Dec 2023 – 20th Feb 2024 and is free entry.

The John Hardy Boutique and Gallery at Seminyak is located at Jl. Raya Petitenget, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Badung, Bali 80361 and the telephone number is +62 (0) 361-9344-244 / +62 (0) 811-3811-8003

Open daily from 11 am – 9 pm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.