A contemporary writer and one of Fiji’s prominent artists, Irami Bulimaivale Uluinasaravi known as Irami Buli, first began drawing in 1990 with charcoal as a 13 year old, drawing inspiration from comic art. His grandfather, who is also his namesake, was a composer and songwriter and Irami continues this tradition writing, dancing and playing instruments, having performed for the Oceania Dance Theater and Vou. Today, he paints from his home in Tailevu.
In his early years, Irami was mentored by an academic professor of the first and second wave of talented artists known as the Red Wave Collective with his first exhibition in 2000 with the collective at the Oceania Center for Arts and Culture, at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. He began collaborating with established artists from the Pacific region including New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Australia.
He has since toured and exhibited in the Pacific region, that include Fiji, French Polynesia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Bali, Indonesia, Jakarta, Japan, Hong Kong, China and the USA.
In the 2012 exhibition in New Zealand, his artwork In the Name of DemoKARASI, which was done in oil on linen, is a powerful work depicting a large two headed heraldic beast. One foot of the beast gropes beneath the earth. It has a dollar sign in its eyes. Set against the vivid red background, surrounding this strange creature is the wonderfully anarchic black fine brush strokes, with god-like spirits floating through the painting. The painting screams confrontation.
In The Name Of Demo Karasi - Artist Irami Buli. Photo Richard Robinson
A Contemporary Painter and writer by profession, Irami artwork is based on storytelling that covers the issues of our modern society. From culture and tradition, environment and the struggles of everyday life, he is quoted as saying “Art is not about portraying a perfect picture. For me it’s more a self-portrait of who you don’t know. The more I dwell within me the more curious I became about the millions of things I don’t know about myself.”
He is one of the frontiers of the current Waisiliva Arts Initiative (WAI) which is based out of the mainland to draw the attention of Urban Influences but to give a different feeling of what Art is all about in a free environment. Buli who is widely known for his characteristic illusion on portraying his way of Story-telling to the people and constantly knocking on the realms of ideas to attain authentic illustration through Visual Interpretation in his Art. He has taught Art locally and internationally in the cause of assisting young artists in mentoring and nurturing emerging artist locally and the Pacific region.
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