As one who has lived in and been involved with the world of art, particularly the art of painting, my love for that world has grown daily. My interest and dedication increased dramatically after seeing the collections of two museums in Bali, the Puri Lukisan Museum and the Neka Museum. The identity and individuality of each of these museums is truly reflected by their unique settings and distinctive collections.
Through the good fortune I experienced in the world of art, I have had the opportunity to collect paintings that I feel are complementary to and congruent with the collections in the two museums mentioned above. I began collecting paintings seriously in 1980, and the works I sought were those that were an expression of the depth of the artist's sensitivity -- paintings which moved me, and to which I felt a spiritual connection.
The collection includes the works not only of Balinese artists, but also of Indonesian painters from islands other than Bali, such as Affandi, Sudjono, Hendra Gunawan, Srihadi Soedarsono, Abas Alibasyah and others. There are also works by foreign artists who drew inspiration from the natural beauty and culture of Bali. Included are paintings by Rudolph Bonnet, Arie Smit, Le Mayeur de Merpres, Wilem Hofker, Antonio Blanco, Theo Meier, Donald Friend, Hans Snel and others.
I have always been greatly impressed by the paintings of Walter Spies and Raden Saleh and they have been placed in a special collection.
The collected paintings are now in a museum that has been given the name Museum Seni Agung Rai / Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA).
The Museum is to be managed by the ARMA Foundation, to sustain its continuity. One of the main goals of the foundation is to preserve and promote the arts and culture, not only of Bali, but of all Indonesia.
In fact what has been accomplished to date is only a beginning. Nonetheless I hope that the establishment of ARMA will contribute to the treasuring of the arts in the Ubud, Gianyar area, which is the center of artistic life in Bali.
Finally I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the founders and the board of the ARMA Foundation, to give thanks and express immense appreciation to the government officials, the artists, and all of the others who have assisted us in the establishment of this museum. Of course, praise and prayers of thanks to almighty God, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, as it only through God's grace that what we envisioned has been realised today.
-- Ubud, June 9, 1996
Chairman of the ARMA Foundation
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