Suriawati Qiu, A Tale of Tenganan_Touching Hearts, Giving Life, 2011

Woven metal wire objects, sizes variable
Artist Statement

Stumbling upon Tenganan by chance, I first discovered the village through storytelling and their women. The more I got to know the women of Tenganan and their roles, the more they fascinated me. My work is about these women and their stories.

Trisna is one such woman. She is a weaver who continues the tradition of Tenganan’s most precious heritage - double-ikat weaving of gringsing cloth - believed to confer magical protective powers for the wearer. As her house became a shop in recent years, Trisna who weaves in her house/shop took on the role of shopkeeper, greeting visitors who step into her shop/house. This platform made her storyteller to a larger audience. Trisna extends the myths and legends of Tengnanan by recollecting them to visitors, including her nieces and nephews, and tourists.

Trisna told me stories of the Tenganan people - their myths, their rituals and festivals, their privileges, their rules, and ways of life. Through Trisna, I got to meet her sister Mutriasih, who is married and has a young daughter, continuing Tenganan’s bloodline. Mutriasih raises her child amongst her close-knit family, almost in the constant presence of the women. Growing up this way, her daughter imbibes and practices Tenganan’s traditions as part of everyday living.

Everyone has a story to tell… there were moments when I was exceptionally touched... and these are the moments I want to share with you. Touching Hearts, Giving Life is a tale of 4 generations of women: Ibu Tua Semer, Ibu Landri, Trisna, Mutriasih and Deni Wiratyani. The work is my yearning and hope for Tenganan, that through storytelling it may live on for future generations to come, touching people’s hearts just like it did mine. Everyone has a story to tell… there were moments when I was exceptionally touched... and these are the moments I want to share with you.


Touching Hearts, Giving Life is a tale of 4 generations of women: Ibu Tua Semer, Ibu Landri, Trisna, Mutriasih and Deni Wiratyani. The work is my yearning and hope for Tenganan, that through storytelling it may live on for future generations to come, touching people’s hearts just like it did mine.