Sculpting The Giant
Nyoman Nuarta, a Balinese sculptor was offered to build a statue in Bali. He only wanted to build large statues and managed to convince everyone, including President Soeharto to let him build a monumental statue in Bali.
Rising over 121-meters tall and weighing 3000 tons on top of Ungasan, Bali, the majestic giant contravenes Balinese local norms, purported to be a part of a corruption scheme, and opposed by cultural experts. On the other hand, GWK is projected to be one of Indonesia’s greatest tourism assets.
In 1997, Nyoman projected the statue will be completed in 3 years with the help from the government. One year later, the Asian financial crisis hit, and the 32-year dictatorship regime of Soeharto fell. Things took a turn for the worse when Nyoman and his family had to deal with fraudulent business partners because Nyoman was too easy in trusting other people. In these times, the integrity of his promise to build his dream becomes threatened.
Nyoman said he dreamt about building a Garuda statue when he was just a boy and told his mother about it. In 1997 he came back to tell his mother about the grand plan of GWK only for her to realize this was his son’s destiny. Twenty-eight years later, the statue was finished after Nyoman decided to let go of the entirety of GWK ownership to a private investor. He realized he and his family never wanted to own GWK, but only to build it.