Depicting a blue-skinned woman walking confidently as she sports a two-piece swimsuit and headscarf, Aku di Lovina Beach is a rare work by Balinese artist I GAK Murniasih, otherwise known for her bold, grotesque depictions of the female body. Murniasih often drew from her vivid dreams and rich subconscious, painting surreal imagery of disembodied erotic body parts or strange creatures morphing into objects in her distinct, childlike style. When she depicted the woman’s body, she seldom revealed a head or a face, keeping the subject’s identity hidden or ambiguous. Yet, in this work, the woman’s body is full, shapely and undistorted; crucially, her face has proportioned, recognisable features, showing a serene, unburdened expression.
Against the context of Murnaisih’s oeuvre, fraught with allusions to sexual trauma and a complicated relationship to one’s body, Aku di Lovina Beach is a poignant, powerful display of a woman at ease with her body and subjectivity. The figure is not without imperfections: a long, deep scar runs through her right lower thigh to her knee—yet despite the wound, the woman is whole.