99FM – Your Inspiration Station

A Namibian Learning About Breaking the Rules of Art in Bali

“To me, art is the only thing that will never restrict you.”

A Namibian artist and performer, LeXi spent one year studying Fine Arts in Indonesia. 99FM’s MYD Art sat down with LeXi to talk art, learning and what we as Namibians can learn from art in Indonesia.

99FM’s MYD Art asked :
What do you personally love about art?

“I love that you can express yourself in any way that you feel comfortable. This can be with words, with colours, or with shapes or textures. To me, art is the only thing that will never restrict you.”

How did you end up studying Fine Art in Bali?

“My mom’s fiancé knew some of the people that worked at the Indonesian embassy  in Windhoek and he told them about my art. I was then invited to apply for their scholarship program. I was then awarded a full scholarship to go an study in Bali for one year. While there are a multitude of University’s in Indonesia, I went to study at the Art Institute of Indonesia.”

Is it possible for other Namibians to get a bursary like this?

“I was the only Namibian applying at the time and only the second Namibian who went on this bursary, however this is open to all Namibians. All you need to do is apply at the Indonesian Embassy.”

Would you recommend Namibians to take up such as opportunity?

“Yes, because I believe that like quicksand, that if you stay in you end up getting stuck deeper and deeper, Namibia can suck a person in deeper. If you stay for too long without a chance to get out and experience something new and different, you’ll find you never leave. ”

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What did you study and learn while you were in Indonesia?

 “I went to study fine arts and crafts such as leather carving, wood carving , ceramics, batik etc. This is what I learnt at University there. Outside of university I learnt how to play Balinese music and dance traditional Balinese dances.

What are some of the artistic learnings that you brought home to Namibia from Bali?

“In Indonesia I learnt the fine detail in artistic creation. In Africa, we have our own African style wood carving for example, where in Bali wood carvings are done with tiny delicate detail. I would like to fuse these two styles of word carving to create something new and beautiful.”

“Another thing that I learnt in Bali, was how to break the rules when it comes to art. Here in Namibia while I was doing art in school, I was taught to follow the rules with regard to the use of colour. Yet in Bali colours that are not supposed to go together are put together. In Bali, they break all the art rules and it looks amazing. It was freeing to see a different take on the same thing and see all that can be done.”

Is there anything you would like to share with Namibia on how we view the arts?

“Namibians see arts as a hobby and that is where our eyes need to opened.  Sometimes it not a hobby, it’s what drives you. For many people, what drives them is art.”

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