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Art: Photo-realism in stone

Bath stone, for a British herpetologist.(August 2009) Do lizards give you the creeps? Then don’t decorate your terrace with Ongky Wijana’s Komodo dragon. The limestone sculpture is brought so close to life by the Balinese artist that a fleeting glance would have one thinking, the reptile was about to step out of the underbrush.

Wijana stems from a family tradition of stone sculptors. He produced a wide range of traditional motifs in stone for hotels, temples and private villas. Through his wife he came in touch with Western culture. Seeing the working methods of stonemasons and nature were „very enriching“.

The incredible precision of his work draws much admiration and awe. His Komodo dragon is not the only life-like sculpture. Billy the dog made of red limestone could stretch and sniff at any moment. Mere photos are all the artist needs as a model.

He writes: „I’m hoping to be able to travel more in Europe in the future to see what modern and traditional stone carvers are doing.“

Ongky Wijana

Photos: Reg Jones