Balinese Art: scratching the surface

iuI had no idea. I was told that Ubud is where the art is. But there’s no way to convey the full meaning of that statement except perhaps by of a full-length Go-Pro movie recording a ride from Sukawati in the south all the way north past Tegallalang, about 20 km.

The road is lined with studios, galleries and art outlets of all kinds: stone, antiques, glass, ceramics, metal, painting, fabrics, wood carving, wicker and ethnic art from other parts of Indonesia. Have I missed anything? It’s there. My original intention was to ride south to Batubulong to see the stone craft and antique statuary vendors linking the road there for about half a kilometre.



It didn’t turn out to be quite as compelling as I had imagined. A record of the devotion intrinsic to this culture, and also lots of repetition. Along the roads south and north from Ubud, there isn’t much repetition of design.


I almost completely passed this place, the Rudana Museum. I missed the main sign. The grounds were obscured by a wall of vegetation, but a peak into the property stopped me. I drove in to find a private museum and art gallery. I was the only guest. A guide toured me through four buildings of contemporary Balinese art surrounded by beautifully manicured grounds. I was free to photograph anything. And it’s all for sale. Of course. Here’s a sampling:





Carved from the stump of a tree.







Looks like bead work, but it’s not. A micro color design




Not my welcoming party.

The Rudana Art Galleries. Free (Museum charges 100,000 INR). Not to be missed.







3 thoughts on “Balinese Art: scratching the surface

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