Because Murni lived in a traditionally conservative society, her audacious depictions of female sexual experiences – a subject that was heavily censored—caused her works to be labelled graphic and immoral by the general public in the beginning of her career. However, Murni remained undeterred and continued to speak frankly on these issues through her art, not just on behalf of the women in her society but for herself as well.
In Murni Exion di Pantai Senggigi Lombok (Murni’s Action at Senggigi Lombok Beach), Murni bends over and cheekily shows her entire bare bottom to the viewer. With her face turned to look directly at the viewer, Murni’s open body language is almost an invitation to come closer. While Murni conveys that her sensuality is not to be kept hidden, here she delimits further access to her body as the painting’s subject holds out her hand in what could perceived as a ‘stop’ gesture. Yet as the title of the painting suggests, these are ways that Murni takes ownership over her body: she displays its sensuality yet affirms that it is still an entity that should be respected.