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Explore the mind of Cokorda Martin, where art flows from personal experiences and cultural heritage. Inspired by Balinese and Chinese mythology, and a family legacy steeped in creativity, Martin's work is a vibrant reflection of his world.

Published on
12 July, 2024

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Can you tell us more about you and what you do?

I am an artist from Bali, born in the Klungkung district in 1995. I discovered my passion for art through my family's artistic background. Drawing inspiration from the ornamental carvings adorning my home, which are a legacy from my ancestors, my interest in drawing art blossomed. My adopted style is influenced by Balinese painting and sculpture, as well as Chinese and Japanese art. I infuse my art with vibrant, futuristic elements and pop colors, while incorporating themes from Balinese mythology.

Every artwork tells a story. What inspired your cover design, what narrative or message are you conveying through your cover design, and can you share the creative process that led to its final form?

The artwork I created for my collaboration with ana tomy tells the story of a Black Horse ridden by a Balinese mythological Knight, which I entitled "Erang." "Erang" means a Spirit of Struggle, and I want to convey a message through several elements contained in it. A "dark horse" is a mysterious creature that signifies uncertainty about things around you. This is the right time for you to look deeper into yourself. It will help if you have spiritual guidance that will support you in finding yourself. The Knight with a scary but smiling face indicates a struggle and the spirit to keep moving forward. In this work, I want to give the message that deep knowledge of ourselves will give us the spirit to be more focused on fighting to achieve something we want to accomplish.

How does creativity connect to self-expression for you?

I believe that creativity is inherently linked to an actor's expression. Our creativity is influenced by our past experiences, emotions, and knowledge. Personally, creativity for me is a way of expressing myself, as my work reflects my memories, knowledge, and interests.

In your perspective, what role does creativity play in empowering individuals and communities, and how have you witnessed this power in action?

In my case, I'm not exactly sure what defines my individuality as an artist, but I can explain that I create works based on my feelings and experiences, whether real or unreal, and what I observe in my environment. I draw a lot of inspiration from Balinese culture, and this plays a significant role in creating something unique in every piece of my work. I often immerse myself in classical literary works and stories of Balinese and Chinese mythology, which were passed down to me by my father and grandfather. Art has always been a part of my family, as my grandfather and father were also artists. Lastly, the uniqueness in each of my works is a natural reflection of the cultural heritage of Bali and China, which is evident in almost every aspect of my life, and the classical literature that has been a part of my family's heritage continues to influence my current work.

In your perspective, what role does creativity play in empowering individuals and communities, and how have you witnessed this power in action?

The power of creativity is undeniably real. I draw inspiration from Balinese culture in spiritual and social matters. In Bali, creativity plays a pivotal role in shaping the individual, small, and large communities. One remarkable example is the visionary work of our ancestor, Mpu Kuturan, who created an agricultural management system called "subak" outlined in his literary work, "Dharma Pemaculan". This work provides guidelines for farming, irrigation, building dams, and agricultural rituals and calendars. The "subak" agriculture system remains crucial to the sustainability and food security of Bali. This demonstrates that creativity has the potential to significantly impact individuals and communities.

Have you faced any challenges in maintaining your individuality in your work, especially in the face of trends or external expectations? How did you overcome them?

I have felt this and experienced changes in my artistic style over time. I've realised that change is natural and reflects my evolving taste and interests. Ultimately, I've found that creating artwork holds greater value than just commercial worth. While references and inspiration can sometimes make me doubt my vision for a piece, it's important to stay true to my individuality and have confidence in my work.

What advice would you give to emerging artists who are trying to find and express their individuality through their work?

"just start first"

What’s the one thing you want to accomplish this year?

I aim for simplicity in life and integrity in my work, as well as to prioritize health and seek more collaborative opportunities for creating something with value beyond commercial gain.

Where can we see more of your work?

Follow my instagram @treasurecult.work

Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Wirebound
RM 148.00
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
Pre-order: Cokorda Martin 'Ride the Black Horse'—A5s Trio Book
RM 148.00
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