Weaving the Ocean

By Ari Bayuaji

Weaving the Ocean is a community art project based in Bali, Indonesia, which was started in early 2020 during the pandemic. The idea was started by the creator, Ari Bayuaji, who discovered an abundant supply of plastic ropes tangled in the roots of mangrove trees near Sanur. Plastic threads from the plastic ropes found on the shorelines and mangrove on the coasts of Bali were converted into beautiful artwork.

Ari looked to Balinese weaving traditions that used cotton and natural colors and discovered ways to unravel the threads of plastic rope and weave them into artworks. The main idea of this project is to replace vanishing natural materials with new “natural” materials that can be found easily and upcycle plastic waste collected from Bali’s coastal areas.

In this exhibit, Ari focused on the Gajah Mina, which has the head of an elephant and body of a fish. Hindus believe Avatara Vishnu transformed into Gajah Mina to save the world and that Gajah Mina represents the God of the sea, Dewa Baruna.

Ari Bayuaji was inspired by statues of Gajah Mina he saw guarding the gates of temples and the bows of boats. In his installation Gajah Mina looks up at a giant jellyfish and plastic objects floating above. ‘I would like to make the audience feel how Gajah Mina, as the representation of the God of the sea, feels hopeless at the bottom of the ocean watching what is going on in the ocean because of our action, human action.’

Selected pieces from Weaving the Ocean are available for sale with proceeds used to support CTC’s conservation programs