The frightening Rangda figure at top right of the painting is Calon Arang, a lovely woman who by unfortunate circumstances becomes a wicked widow. She obtains powerful black magic power by worshipping the fierce or dark side of the protective Mother Goddess, Durga (Kali, wife of Siwa, Buddhism: Palden Lhamo).
To attract men's attention, she put her daughter Ratna Manggali at the most attractive way on her lap. But despite the fact that her daughter is the most beautiful woman of the entire 11th century Kahuripan kingdom, no men dare to marry her due to fear for the motherís overwhelming power.
Enraged by the idea that without husband her beloved daughter may never be happy, she put a spell to destroy the kingdom, causing devastation as shown at the background of the painting.
Unlike the birth of Venus, the water surface during the birth of Goddess Prajnaparamita is smooth and calm, except around Her birth. Her shell is kept in balance by the two Hinduism mythical dragons Basuki and Anantaboga. She is the embodiment of the perfect wisdom (Prajna = wisdom, Paramita = perfection). Her perfect insight of the reality as emptiness or not-self (Buddhism: Shunyata, Hinduism: Anatman) is indispensable for the Bodhisattvas and makes that She rules over all contradictions such as wealth, time, religion etc.
That is why Her birth is welcomed by all sides. In the drawing, the contradiction of wealth is symbolized by the boat refugees (middle left, disadvantaged) and the yacht woman (middle right, advantaged). The contradiction of time by mythical birds Garuda (above right, past), submarine, yacht (middle right, present) and spacemen (above left, future). The contradictions of religion by the adherents of various religions. Her birth is blessed by the Balinese Hinduism priest pedanda Siwa (below left, ringing his genta) and Balinese Buddhism priest pedanda Budha (below right, holding his holly water bowl).
Like The visit of the late grandmother I, the image of my never-known late grandmother determines this painting. She appears on the east-bridge of Tirtagangga when a peaceful situation is threatened, expressed respectively by the sleeping child and by the vultures.
Her supernatural appearance is enhanced by the moon scenery and by the dragon sculptures on both sides of the stair, which came to life due to the approaching danger.
Turning the wheel of life continuously in the centre of the drawing is a dancing act of Siwa, the Lord of Dance (Nataraja). As long as addicted to illusion, mankind, in the drawing represented by women of different origins, will always subject to this dance. Amused by the dance, the women do not realize that the reason of their laugh is precisely the reason why it will end.
To symbolize the submission of illusion, Siwa stands upon its embodiment, the demon dwarf Apasmara Purusha.
The painting shows the unexpected encounter of an oriental and a western nymph. On the right side is the Balinese expression of a nymph, Legong. She stands in front of a female western angel, who is also supernatural, heavenly and divine feminine. As they operate on the same spiritual level, most likely they meet each other. Such an encounter would be accompanied by intense curiosity on both sides for the strange appearance of the opposite. At the same time, affection arises as they know they are creatures of the same order.
Meanwhile, as usual on earth, most people swims aimless in all directions, unaware of the encounter above them.
The drawing is also a family portrait, from top left: my daughter Sita, my late wife Marike, my self and my daughter Manik, respectively at the age of 9, 47, 46 and 15.
The painting shows astronauts during spacewalk taken by surprise when Garuda, a Hinduism-Buddhism legendary bird-like divinity, approached them.
Agni is the universal energy when it manifests as fire. In our time, the greatness of Agni is shown when a super tanker is on fire. Even an immense human achievement like a super tanker can not escape from Agniís power.
As God, Agni can take any shape. In this painting He has two faces, allowing His angels to continue adore Him, even though they are in upside down position.
This painting depicts the universal proverb that only love can overcome hate. Rangda as symbol of hate reclines on the lap of a loving Balinese wife. The heart of even the most evil Rangda melts when experiencing her pure affection.
The painting shows a peaceful world threatened by progress. The peaceful situation is portrayed by the Balinese woman, the offerings and the reclining cat. The woman and the cat were disturbed by the progress, represented by the oncoming bulldozer. Often wisdom, portrayed as God of wisdom Ganesa at the front of the bulldozer, is used as an argument to disturb a peaceful situation. The threat is reinforced by the presence of nuclear reactor towers in the background.
In this painting, Siwa turns the wheel of misery, Samsara, for ever. Besides Siwa, Durga is also present as a youthful western ballet dancer. She also dances in joy while turning a car tire, a modern version of the wheel. Durga symbolises the dark sides of Siwa and is often seen as His wife.
One usually wonders why Siwa turning the wheel of misery in joy. It is to emphasize that misery, transiency, destruction and decay are just as indispensable as creation, happiness, preservation and redemption. According to Hinduism-Buddhism, creation, protection and deterioration are different stages of the same entity. In the earthly Samsara existence, as long as life is determined by illusions, these phases will follow each other for ever, just like the spinning wheel turned eternally by Siwa.
The destruction is emphasized by car wrecks and by radioactive waste produced by nuclear reactors.
During this painting, the image of my grandmother emerged continuously. I never knew my grandmother, because she died short after she delivered my father.
The supernatural ambiance is enhanced by the dragon sculptures on both sides of the stair, which come to life by her visit.
Each event can be placed in the continuous flows of creation, preservation and deterioration. Brahma, Wisnu and Siwa are the Trimurti Gods that represent these flows. An unfortunate event, such as a plane crash, is just a part of this continuous stream.
The painting also represents the Balinese cosmos. It is carried by the Bedawangnala turtle, and kept in balance by the two Basuki and Anantaboga dragons. The upper world of Gods, where the Trimurti Gods as pilots control the cosmos, is always displayed at the top, and the under world where the demons feasting on the remains of crash, at the bottom.
The Trimurti Gods and the Agung mountain in the background radiate a white glow, an expression of divinity.
The painting shows the unexpected encounter of an oriental and a western nymph. On the left side is the Balinese expression of a nymph, Legong. She stands in front of a female western angel, who is also supernatural, heavenly and divine feminine. As they operate on the same spiritual level, most likely they meet each other. Such an encounter would be accompanied by intense curiosity on both sides for the strange appearance of the opposite. At the same time, affection arises as they know they are creatures of the same order.
The Hindu concept Triloka divides the cosmos into Bhur, Bhuvah and Svah. Bhur is the under world of demons, Bhuvah is the middle world of man and other worldly creatures, and Svah is the upper world of Gods.
Man himself can be divided into these 3 worlds. His concept of the existence, usually expressed in a belief such as a religion, scientism, atheism, rationalism, humanism, creationism, empiricism etc. belongs to the upper world. The reality as it comes subjectively to him daily, including his view on himself, belongs to the middle world. What he really is, like his unconscious fears and desires, belongs to the under world.
In the present information technology, this division is found in the 3-schemes of information systems. The concept or logical model of a system is the conceptual scheme (upper world). The appearance as experienced by the user of the system, is the external scheme (middle world). The real characteristics of the system, such as the actual electronic impulses in the chip, belong to the internal scheme (under world). In the painting, these schemes can be seen on the printed circuit board.
The painting also shows the Hinduism-Buddhism concept of dualism, which put entities in between opposites such as good and bad, happiness and sorrow, peacefulness and threats. Peacefulness is expressed by the baby, the babyís toys and natural curiosity to discover the world through items such as a computer mouse. The threats are represented by the vultures that are eager to devour the baby, and by nuclear reactor towers in the background.
background are the mountains (from left) Batur,
Abang and Agung, as they were visible from my parentís house in Kintamani,
The rise and fall of women.
building of the Delft Students Corps
in the town centre of
After a view