The Barong painting, which took the theme by the painter Affandi, gave the meaning of being a spirit king who asked for long-toothed lions with thick blond hair. In one of the mythologies, Barong is described as accompanying King Airlangga, heir to King Dharmodayana’s throne, to defeat Rangda.

When look from other mythologies, Barong and Rangda are considered to have a balanced of strength. Whichever is blessed with eternity, it is a battle that never ends. Therefore, with the same intensity who continues to fight without one losing party.

The story of this eternal battle which later became the Barong dance struggle. In the Balinese Hindu spiritual belief, there is the concept of rwa bhineda which means two harmonious differences. Basically, this concept explains the universe created by the Almighty where the conditions are in pairs but have opposite properties. Like those paired with evil, men with women, black with white, and so on.

Barong in Affandi's soul 1
Affandi was born in Cirebon, West Java, 1907 – 23 May 1990. As a painter with an expressionist style, he is well known in Indonesia and internationally. Affandi in the 1950s held many solo exhibitions in India, Britain, Europe and the United States. Affandi is a very productive painter who has painted more than two thousand paintings.

The differences between the pairs of characters with each other in the Hindu concept are seen side by side. Let not deny each other or negate. Rwa Bhineda discusses two conflicting things that actually balance each other so that it goes in harmony. For this reason, Balinese see differences not as challenges that must be eliminated, but made into harmony.

The theme of balance which becomes this concept is manifested in the mythological relationship between Barong and Rangda. The eternal feud Barong and Rangda symbolize the good and bad that actually exists. Both good and bad, they cannot be removed from human life. Goodness due to bad or quarrels that occur. And vice versa. Something is considered bad because there is honor which is a comparison parameter.

Affandi’s painting objects are full of symbolic meanings to connote basic human conditions. Therefore, the Barong dance depicting here is not only a depiction, but also symbolizes the eternal struggle of these opposing forces. Exhibited through explicit emotional resonance with the things he chose through the act of painting, Barong was a motif that was seen by artists repeatedly during his trip to Bali.