Tagen, the art of painting “faceless” characters….

Picture of the artist Tagen

Tagen is a leading figure in the artistic world that we have had the privilege of meeting and with whom we have quickly developed a friendship. Tagen is a painter who was born in 1946 in Penestananan, Ubud district, Bali. He is part of the first generation of young Balinese painters who started painting in the 1960s. His teacher was the famous Dutch painter, Arie Smit, who moved to Bali in 1956.

His success was immediate. The artistic world recognises his ability to sublimate a vast and harmonious palette of colours. His artistic signature, recognisable amidst all the others, is based on the “faceless” characters he paints. He is also considered a Master in the art of posture where, behind each painted movement, he suggests a character, an emotion, a perception.


His paintings are a tribute to an Art, which is totally authentic, representing scenes from the daily lives of Balinese villages, such as cockfights, processions or offerings made to temples. His most famous paintings are named “Cockfighting Scene”, “Forest Scene”, “Processions”, where you can admire women carrying offerings in colourful landscapes.

Tagen takes us back to the very essence of what Bali’s soul really is and the richness of its history. A History that includes rice fields, plantations, vegetation and the hard work of many Balinese people who continue the tradition of rice cultivation.

Tagen is one of the favourite artists of d’Agung Gede Rai, our artistic partner and dear mentor. In the gallery of Agung, Founder of the du ARMA Museum in Ubud, the first paintings are those of Tagen.

Tagen is an internationally renowned and acclaimed artist. He has had many exhibitions around the world, including a particularly remarkable one in Singapore, directed by Mr. Lim Chung Ket. Some of his paintings are also on display and are part of the private collections of the most prestigious museums, including Ubud, Puri Lukisan, ARMA, Rudana and Neka Museum.

Several of his works, including Upacara”, are for sale exclusively on the website www.my-obe.com.

To find out more about Tagen’s remarkable exhibition in Singapore, click on the Tagen brochure.

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