This exhibition centers on paintings collected in Bali by cultural anthropologists Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) and Margaret Mead (1901-1978) during their fieldwork on the island from 1936 until 1939. Utilizing the paintings as a foundation for exploring the stories, beliefs, and daily lives of Balinese people, Bali: Agency and Power in Southeast Asia will guide visitors to a greater understanding of this often romanticized but frequently misunderstood island and examine the role that painters, tourists, and anthropologists had in shaping new art styles for communicating detailed aspects of Balinese society and beliefs.
In Bali: Agency and Power in Southeast Asia, a select number of the Bateson-Mead collection of paintings from Batuan will be displayed to introduce visitors to the collection, its origins, and its purpose in building insight into Balinese culture, belief, and worldview. The exhibition will build from existing literature on the Bateson-Mead Balinese paintings and lead visitors to explore the paintings to develop insight into Balinese daily life and world view. With close examination, visitors will have the opportunity to see representations of traditions from the past that continue to be a source of entertainment in Bali today. Visitors can also study the way that peoples’ interactions and familial relationships are exaggerated to tell stories and create an understanding of actions and their consequences. Finally, viewers will see the role that beliefs related to deities, mythical animals, and ancestor spirits have in the way that many Balinese process the world around them.
Adults – $10, Seniors, Students, and Educators – $7, Children and Members – Free.
Free – Thursdays 5:00 -8:00 pm, and the second Sunday of each month
All visitors, including USC PAM members, must purchase or reserve advance timed-entry tickets online.