Buleleng regency has many unique handicraft products in its repertoire, one of them is glass painting. The art of glass painting can be found in the village of Nagasepaha, near Singaraja. The glass painting art in Nagasepaha is relatively new, it appeared in 1927. The pioneer of this art was Jro Dalang Diah.
The early glass painting in Nagasepaha Buleleng focuses on wayang related themes, such as fragments from the stories of Ramayana, Mahabarata, Sutasome, Arjunawiwaha, etc. The scenes in those holy tales dominated the themes of glass painting at that time. But today, besides wayang themes, other themes related to daily life are used as main theme: social, politics, and mass media. Comical and parodic approaches to the theme are also used.
The history and development of glass painting art in Nagasepaha Buleleng can be divided into three different periods. The first period is known as the Early Period (1927-1950s), during which artists mostly used scenes from Balinese wayang, with no precise setting of time or place. The scenes of this period are based on the concepts of puppetry performance.
The second period is known as the “panoramic” period (1950s-1992), during which landscapes were created through naturalistic art painting. In this period, many people ordered paintings with similar settings as those found in Jelekong painting (West Java) or Sukaraja (Central Java). For more than 40 years, this style gained legitimacy through constant patronizing.
The third period is known as the “decorative” period (1992- now). The involvement of researchers from Undiksha Singaraja, Fine Arts Education Department, gave birth to a new style, thanks to a practice-based research process. The panoramic settings, which were regarded has having no unity of style compared to the wayang designs of the first period, came to be replaced by this new style derived from other North Bali decorative arts.
The tools and materials for making glass painting are Chinese ink, wood paint, and a piece of glass. The production of glass painting in Nagasepaha village is not just dominated by adults but many children are also involved. The glass painting art in Nagasepaha has become a part of daily life of the village.