I Nyoman Ngendon Painting - water colour, active 1930 - 1933, 30 works
One of the first artists from Batuan to start painting. Ngendon apparently learned his skill from his cousin, Patera (the first local to contact the Western painters Spies and Bonnet). Dewa Mura was one of his teachers, and he is said to have learned painting by drawing in the dirt. He was said by Bateson and Mead to be no longer painting when they began collecting (1936-1939), and he remained an influential figure among the artists in Batuan, becoming a teacher to many of them.
Bateson and Mead also note that 'Some of his pictures are only MEDIUM SKILL'
1. Been making pictures about 7 years, Work other than picture making: plays instrument in arja. Did not answer the rest of the questions in section 1, about other work, or about finishing the pictures of other people.
2. a. Is doing fewer pictures now than previously
b. He worked with I Keteg.
c. taught: I Tomblos, I Keteg, Ida Bagus Tiba, Dewa Roeka, Ida Bagus Ketut Diding, Ida Bagoes Lanoes, Dewa Tjoekit
Has made drawings for others to complete
Usually works alone, either day or night
Gets his stories from his memory, not from friend or teacher or lontar. Thinks of story then makes picture
3. a. Sells most of his pictures now to Pita Maha, in the past in Museum Badoeng. Is a member of Pita Maha. Has sold to Tuan Hubolt, but not to Tuan Neuhaus. He has sold himself, directly. He has never sold the pictures of friends.
4. Has been taught by a foreigner. He remembers being taught to look at his picture from a distance.
He has been to the homes of: Spies, Bonnet, Sayers. Has worked at home of Tuan Bonnet and picture has been corrected. Also at home of Tuan Spies. He has often brought them completed pictures and had them corrected.
He has often been told by them to correct a picture, for instance to add color.
He has often seen the foreign painters at work (Speed, Dresen, Spies, Bonnet)
He has been told by a foreigner to: copy an old Balinese picture on cloth, to make a picture according to the wish of the foreigner,to copy a picture that he himself has made, to copy a picture by a Balinese artist from another village, to copy a picture or carving or photo by a foreigner. He has not been told by a foreigner to: Copy a picture on a lontar, copy a picture by someone from Batuan.
e. He has tried to: copy the style of pictures from books that he had from school, to copy one of Spies' pictures, to copy a picture from a book. But he has not tried to copy a picture by a Chinese.
5. a. His first picture was wajang-wajangan , but it has been burnt up. He thinks that the first picture maker in Batuan was I Dewa Nyoman Moera. The first picture he saw was by Dewa Njoman Moera. From Batuan.
6. Likes: in Wayang the raksasa and the dedari. The story he likes best is Weatekoeatja. In dances he likes barong nanging melampahan. He likes to watch.
In drawing he likes best to make figures. The step he likes best is ngorten. He has never seen endihan, tonja or lejak, and has never been possessed. He would dare anything on the list, and would dare go to Surabaya etc. if he had the money.
7. He has lived outside of Batuan, in Badoeng at the home of Tuan Hubolt, for a month, in Tabanan for three months with Tuan Resink. He made pictures there.
8. travels: Has been to Tuan Hubolt, Museum, Tuan Ikan, Tuan Spies, Tuan Bonnet, Not to: LeMayeur, Meier, or Mershon. Has been to movies. Has been to Kerta Ghosa in Klungkoeng and Besakih, but not to Batukau. Has been to visit hospitals in Bangli and Badoeng.
co-artists of pictures in coll.: IBP Sentoelan, IB Manpoek
First picture in collection is probably in April or May, 1936, not dated, but mentioned by GB, as "tarbaby" picture. (B 248)
FIRST LARGE: Feb 6, 37, of 19x22, pita maha, rajapala.
Ethnographic picture of wedding ritual, with torso of man and woman in center -- arrangements of ribbons and curtains look like a studio portrait. (July, 27, 37, 15 x16) not very skillful.
He was at one point Spies' favourite painter, although Spies and Bonnet did not like him personally, and he was a member of the Pita Maha cooperative. There are nine pictures by him in the Bateson-Mead Commission. (H. Geertz 1994: 108). The information from Bateson and Mead is contradicted by a set of later works with his signature that were in the collection of Theo Meier, and other works are attributed to him by Meier, although not all of these attributions are definite.
From the Bateson-Mead records of 1937: I NGENDON CENTRAL - SERIOUS ABOUT 20 HIGH SKILL FIRST WAVE LITERATE INTERVIEWED SPEAKS MALAY 9 PICTURES T Questionnaire: Den Tiis, kaula, T estimated age in 38 as 24, same as Ida Bagoes Putu Tantra poor, still living with father, not yet married. names of siblings: I Kisid, Ni Djenek, I Ngendon, Ni Bega, I Poendoeh, I Dengeh. father farms, Ngendon only makes pictures school for 5 years, can read, write and speak Malay, can't read or write Balinese doesn't gamble Mentioned in other interviews: Blotjok, Diding, Djata, Keteg, Lanoes, Poendoeh, Radjeg, Roeka, Sanoer, Santer, Tibah, Tjeta, Tjoekit, IBMTogog, Tombelos.
The earliest date of birth is 1903, but 1911 or 1914/15 more likely. The date in the book Patah Tumbuh Hilang Berganti of 1922 is too late.
The founding figure of the Batuan school. Hildred Geertz's research shows that he went to school for five years (to the Voorvolgschool, Sukawati), and could speak Malay, as well as some Dutch and English. Worked also as an entrepreneur, and had contact with a number of westerners, including Hubolt and Resink. He also spent time in the Theo Meier studios in Sanur or Iseh. During the Japanese occupation, he went to Yogyakarta where he reportedly met with Sukarno and learned nationalist ideas (other sources say 1930 or 1938, but both are too early). He probably did this through contact with the artist, Affandi, and Ngendon joined the nationalist art group Persagi. Also became a member of Parindra. In Yogyakarta he knew Soebroto Aryo Mataram, the son of Ki Hajar Dewantara. During WWII he was sponsored by the Japanese to organise exhibitions of Balinese artists in East Java (info: NIOD newspaper sources courtesy Antariksa). Never married. He became a local leader of the nationalist movement when returning to Bali after the Japanese surrender. Became at Letda under Ngurah Rai and Aryo Mataram, was captured in Ketewel and executed in 1946, 47 or '48. For a more detailed bibliographical account, see H. Geertz (1994: 18, 108). Hohn lists Ngendon as been executed in 1946 (Hohn 1997: 51), a date confirmed by a correspondence between Van Wessem and Bonnet in the Margaret Mead archives, which describes his death as occuring in 1946. The book Patah Tumbuh Hilang Berganti gives his death as 1947, in the graveyard of Den Tiis, other sources say 1948.