"My brother belonged to a group of master carvers in Bali who worked side-by-side for decades. Now, 28 years later, this woodcarving group still exists and I am its elected leader. <br><br> "In the beginning, my older brother, Wayan Sukamara, taught me the various techniques of sanding and finishing. In 1974 I began to sculpt, taking inspiration from some of the finest statues and carvings of our region. The traditional forms and poses were of strong beauty and fine workmanship, which inspired me to learn this style. <br><br> "My favorite statue themes are the Singa, Chili, Garuda, Sri Pudhak, Legong, and Barong. Rama and Sita are my favorite subjects for masks; these are traditional characters in religious mythology and offer a variety of ways for an artist to express creativity and style. For the past four or five years my work has been featured in exhibits in Bali. <br><br> "The influence of my younger years has continued to guide my work. What I wish now is to continue upholding the values of those who taught and inspired me, while being able to continue taking very good care of my family and my woodcarving group. <br><br> "In 1977 I married Nyoman Jati. We now have four girls and one boy; three of them have finished school. We live in the same village where I was born. <br><br> "I have a funny story, one you might not understand if you did not grow up in Bali: It happened once when I brought some of my carvings to Denpasar, our biggest town. I visited the shopping center there, and saw an escalator for the very first time. I really wanted to try it, but, not understanding how it worked, I tripped and fell. Everybody laughed at me. They thought it was very funny, but I was terribly embarrassed!"<br><br> "What I wish now is to continue upholding the values of those who taught and inspired me, while being able to continue taking very good care of my family and my woodcarving group."