A Balinese Ghost Story

Culture | Mar 19, 2020

According to this Balinese legend, if you witness a white sheet flying towards you, it’s time to run! We’re all familiar with ghost stories. The haunted tales exchanged by the fire after midnight. The one about the creak of floorboards, the mystery of displaced furniture, the distressed ululations of a woman far in the distance. […]

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Batuan Artists: Inspired by Diversions

Culture | Mar 18, 2020

With the Batuan painting style, daily life has long been an inspiration for the artists. Here, Bruce Granquist shares how the everyday diversions of the Balinese inspired certain painters. These pages show three paintings by artists in some way connected to the painting studio of I Made Jata, the most active art teacher in Batuan.  […]

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Don’t Touch My Wife : A Story of Castes and Morals

Culture | Mar 15, 2020

What does a bearded priest have in common with a civet cat? This somewhat cheeky story teaches lessons of faithfulness and morality – because in Bali, morals are best taught through the magic of a good story. People visiting Bali are usually made to believe that there is a caste system and that everyone thus […]

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Ni Luh Vony Dewi : A Free Spirit with a Creative Soul

Art In Bali | Mar 04, 2020

Ni Luh Vony has found freedom and opportunity as an artist displaying her work online; she has found a way to breakthrough without the help of the ‘conventional art world’. The Internet is empowering people and has democratised the art world. It has created a platform that supports a new and dynamic digital art world […]

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Paon: The Philosophy of the Balinese Kitchen

Culture | Feb 28, 2020

In Bali, the kitchen is more than just a place to cook. It is an integral component of the Balinese compound, imbued with philosophy and age-old traditions. You would expect a cultural heritage as dynamic as Balinese cuisine to have its ancient recipes retained on tangible means. However, unlike other traditions and customs in Bali, […]

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The Idea of Morality in Balinese Culture

Culture | Feb 22, 2020

Journalist Eric Buvelot and socio-ethnologist Jean Couteau have recorded 20 hours of discussion about changes that have happened in Bali since the 70’s. The conversation was structured and segmented according to many different aspects of Balinese life, mostly from a socio-historical perspective, to trace all the overturning in Balinese mores since 50 years, when modernity […]

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Bali’s Local Market on Canvas

Art In Bali | Feb 18, 2020

Local markets are a great source of inspiration for painters in Bali and, as contributor Bruce Granquist explains, these bustling scenes become all the more interesting when painted in the intricate and detailed form of the Batuan painting style. Daily Life Everyday life of Bali, both traditional and contemporary, is a rich source of visual […]

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Sandya Gita Kotamaning Bayu

Culture | Feb 17, 2020

A loud cheer erupted as the master of ceremony completed his introduction for the next performance. It was an exciting evening at the Bali Art Festival, as the dance troupe of Badung regency was in a final, head-to-head battle with the representatives of Jembrana regency. A senior lady sat next to me, complementing the previous […]

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Madiksa: A Priest’s Second Birth

Culture | Feb 13, 2020

To become a Balinese Hindu high priest, or sulinggih, prospective priests must first go through the madiksa ritual. Some refer to it as a ‘death ritual’, as for the priest to be reborn as a new, cleansed man or woman, he or she must first “die”. A prerequisite to become a Catholic priest is being […]

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Wayan Arnata: Traditional Practices Fused with Contemporary Ideas

Art In Bali | Feb 12, 2020

Balinese artist Wayan Arnata first came to my attention in June 2013 in the landmark exhibition ‘Irony in Paradise’ by the collective Sanggar Dewata Indonesia (SDI) at the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) in Ubud, Bali.  ‘Nike Barong’ 2013, Arnata’s mixed media reflection upon the changing nature of the Balinese identity depicted the iconic […]

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