Balinese painting maestro Dr (HC) I Nyoman Gunarsa has passed away at the age of 73 in intensive care at the wing room of Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar, Bali, on Sunday afternoon.
Made Wija, an employee at the Nyoman Gunarsa Museum of Contemporary Art, said the painter had undergone intensive treatment since three days ago due to heart disease.
According to him, Nyoman Gunarsa passed away at 11.30. The painter is now placed at funeral home on Jalan Raya Banda Number 1-Takmung, Angkan, Klungkung regency, or about 45 km east of Denpasar.
The deceased left a wife named Indrawati Gunarsa, three children, and seven grandchildren.
Made Wija explained that the family is still coordinating with the local cleric to determine duasa or good day to perform pengabenan or cremation for the former lecturer of Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Yogyakarta.
The maestro who successfully held the exhibition at the national and international level, had initially looked healthy, including on August 4, 2017 when he welcomed the arrival of President Joko Widodo and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo to visit the Nyoman Gunarsa Museum of Indonesian Contemporary Art Nyoman Gunarsa in the District of Klungkung, Bali.
Nyoman Gunarsa, whose works were often inspired by Balinese folklore and the Hindu Dharma legend, built the museum around 1990 on a vast expanse of land with hundreds of collections of paintings, kris daggers, and other objects of art and history.
Nyoman Gunarsa was born in Banda, Klungkung, Bali, on 15 April 1944. He was founder member of the Sanggar Dewata Indonesia artists group there in 1970. Gunarsa has opened his own art museums in Yogyakarta and Klungkung. He has held solo exhibitions in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, France, Monaco, and the USA.
When visiting the Gunarsa Museum, President Jokowi had mentioned he once invited Nyoman Gunarsa and his mother to the Presidential Palace on April 3, 2017.
“He showed me a picture of a great painting titled ‘Jokowi Drinking Jamu’. “To my surprise, Mr. Nyoman knew that the President likes to drink jamu herbs, and he also asked me to see the museum,” Made Wija said, as quoted by Antara on Sunday (9/10/2017).
Nyoman Gunarsa was known as a fan of Jokowi. Even in his last work before passing away features Jokowi, who acts as a Dalang (puppet master). Painted on a 4×9 meter canvas, the painting also features Indonesia’s former presidents; Megawati, Gus Dur, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, even BJ Habibie and Soeharto playing Gamelan. The painting entitled ‘Alangkah Indahnya Indonesia jika Semua Presiden Bersatu’ (How Beautiful Indonesia Would Be If All Presidents Unite).