Listening to the Wood

Art Gallery

Many creative artists live on Bali with its fertile energy – Bhagawati introduces two of them: Sunder and Abir who talk about their art installations which they create by tuning into materials and letting intuition guide the outcome.

Sunder and Abir met “by total chance” in Marrakesh, Morocco, last year. Soon after, Abir moved to Bali and two creative talents merged in their love for art, and particularly discovered their joy in creating sculptures and art installations.

A well-known local gallery called ‘Warisan’ (means heritage) made a workspace available to them and, most importantly, a pile of left-over materials from furniture productions and a large selection of tools – and their creativity took off.

Sunder said, “The way we usually work is taking a piece of material in our hands, asking ourselves what we can do with it; we talk to the piece to find out what it wants to express. And then we work on it with charcoal, water and/or oil paint and observe how they mix by themselves.”

Encounter detail
Hand n Hand
Xilabrea 1
Xilabrea 2
Xilabrea 3
The island
Island Detail
Tertium Datur
Into the void
Void detail 1
Void detail 2
Void detail 3
Void detail 4


A typical example is the piece called ‘Hand n Hand’: Looking at a piece of driftwood, the idea of hands came up. They took photos of their own hands, printed them, cut out the shapes and then painted the images realistically onto the wood.

Almost a dozen artworks are already being exhibited at the gallery and they are buzzing with many more ideas. Sunder said, “I don’t believe in boredom, there is so much waiting to be tapped into! We are excited to see what we can create together, following ideas and all the steps until the final creation emerges.”

Sunder and AbirDhyan Sunder (aka Alex) was born in Rome, Italy, where he also grew up. As a young adult he traveled much, heard about Osho, made many sannyasin friends, and visited the ashram in Pune in 1998. He moved to Bali, Indonesia and for many years has been a very creative and busy garment designer (labels PoisonBabe and Retox). He enjoys working on music projects, being a DJ, paints, renovates houses and also has a 15 year-old son called Dylan, who grew up on Bali. During a group at Miasto in 2013 he took the jump into sannyas.

Abir was born in Morocco and was a freelance documentary film maker, focusing on women and femininity. She had several acting roles and made theater productions while also owning fashion labels Handmade and Abir Creation. She co-owned fashion/art shops in Rabat and Casablanca. While working at a contemporary art gallery she met Sunder and came to Bali to be with him.

BhagawatiBhagawati is a regular contributor

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