“There is a hero in everybody’s heart”

What hero means to you?

A muscular guy wearing a spandex costume and could fly to save the world? Well, it is only in movies.

If you sometimes see that phrase above and wish to know a little more about it, we’re going to tell you that every one of you is a hero, even if only for yourself or for your surroundings.

Let’s look on this Bali’s local hero, who contribute his life not only as an artist but also the environment activist.

He is Made Muliana, oftenly called Made Bayak, born in Tampaksiring, Gianyar on June 27th, 1980. He studied at Indonesia Institute of Art in Denpasar (1999-2005). Besides painting, he is also musician, and educator.

He is one of the few young Balinese artists, who try to give testimony to the social conditions that occurred in Bali. He talked a lot about the issues of capitalism, tourism, and environmental damage.

For example, the art project “Tribute to the Asian Tigers” in February 2011, which is a project for his band’s second album “Geeksmile”, he made paintings as an illustration of each song.

In these works, he tells a lot about capitalism, consumerism, war, oil, or other global issues that affect the lives in Bali as a local and international tourism destination.

He spends his time recycling plastic waste into an artwork that he named Plasticology, which is a combination of the word plastic and ecology. Simply put, the science of utilizing plastic waste.

Using his terminology, he criticizes the problem of plastic waste in Bali. He remembers, back in the days where everyone still uses “luu”, the food wrappers from banana leaves. There was no plastic at the time. People could throw luu away carelessly, because it will become fertilizer for soil.

Then, Bali tourism is growing rapidly, and people use plastics everywhere, and throw it away thoughtlessly.

They are not aware, that is not the same “thing” as they used before. Plastics need tens to hundreds of years to decayed. If it burned, it can cause environmental and health pollution. The people does not get an information, let alone education, where the waste is supposedly disposed.

Made Bayak then used plastic waste as a medium of work. The reason is simple: Plastic waste does not have high selling value. As for bottles, boxes, especially iron, the scavengers are looking for them, but people tend to throw away the plastic waste.

The plastic waste that he uses is various. Starts from plastic bags from mini market, bottle labels, and snack wrappers. The garbage dump becomes a shopping mall to look for materials.

The medium for painting, which was originally a canvas, was replaced with plastic waste. After he collected it, he formed it into a certain object depends on his imagination. Painting using plastic as a medium is not an easy matter. Because the colours are varied. Complete with pictures and tag products which are also varied. After the composition is neatly arranged, he give a little touch of paint with various techniques that he mastered.

His experiment turned out to get a positive response from the people. The idea of ​​using plastic waste as a medium of art is considered a brilliant idea.

His criticism of environmental issues is followed by concrete steps as a solution. To be more echoing, the concept of plasticology was introduced to the public. Unexpectedly, the people’s response to the concept was quite high. Many people are interested and care about his campaign.

Until now, there have been dozens of classes and workshops about plasticology held by Bayak. There are thousands of participants. And interestingly, the classes are free!

Nevertheless, Bayak still tries to be realistic. Not all people agree with his idea. However, he believes, one or two people from those classes could certainly have the same spirit as he has.

In the last two years, plasticology have been exhibited three times in Europe. Twice in Germany and once in Italy. This year, he plans to hold an international exhibition again. Australia and Germany are included in the list of his plans. Although he has been travelled to many countries, he has never exhibited his artworks in Jakarta. Therefore, sooner or later, he is planning to do it.

He hopes that one day plasticology could be add as a curriculum in education system in Indonesia. With an eye to young generation to be more aware and to find the problem solving to this worldwide problem. It may have only a little impact for the environment, but at least it can contribute to today’s civilization through fine arts.