The Guardians of Bali’s Culture

Culture | Aug 08, 2019

Bali has been named one of the world’s top destinations several times now, but along with the tourist influx comes modernisation. Yet, amidst today’s modern Bali, where asphalted roads have taken over a good portion of rice fields, the sound of the traditional Gamelan music still echoes across the island, and the traditional sarong and […]

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The Story of the Origin of Time

Culture | Aug 06, 2019

Bali is an extraordinary place in which, like in ancient Greece and India, there are still stories that can be read as stories, or as philosophical teaching. One of these stories is the Kala Tatwa, the story of the Lord of Time, Batara Kala. The story below is only a slightly edited version of the […]

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Discovering Contemporary Art in Purpa Art Gallery

Art In Bali | Aug 05, 2019

Purpa Art Gallery Bali opened its first gallery in Ubud in 1970; it’s one of the oldest galleries in Bali. The owner, I Nyoman Purpa, was one of the most eminent curators and collectors in Indonesia. In 2014, her daughter Ari Purpa opened her own gallery in Seminyak, specialising in modern and contemporary Art by […]

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August 2019’s Temple Anniversary Calendar

Culture | Aug 02, 2019

Bali has been dubbed the ‘Island of the Gods’, but could just as easily be referred to as the ‘Island of a Thousand Temples’. These temples, being sacred sites for the Balinese Hindus as worshipping places, are also important features on the island’s calendar of events and festivities. Bali’s unique calendar system, known as pawukon, […]

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The Sacred ‘Medal Agung’ Gate

Culture | Jul 27, 2019

The most famous attraction in Klungkung, Kerta Gosa was built in 1686 inside the complex of the Semarapura palace.   Today, Klungkung is mostly known for its Hall of Justice known as Taman Gili Kerta Gosa, a historical site located in the heart of Semarapura, the regency’s capital. Kerta Gosa’s court room is an elevated […]

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An Introduction to Bali’s Intricate Batuan Art

Art In Bali | Jul 24, 2019

Batuan paintings are remarkably dense with deeply saturated tones. Their images are often dark and sometimes macabre, but they are always carefully made and carefully balanced. The forms in the paintings swirl and intertwine, they repeat each other and expand outwards until they transform into new shapes and new patterns. They create labyrinths of pulsating […]

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Balinese Architecture: A World of Order & Harmony

Culture | Jul 17, 2019

Balinese villages give an extraordinary impression of order. Houses are all identical and strikingly parallel in layout; with family temples, kitchens and rooms occupying the same relative position in the walled compound. Large temples, likewise, all have the same structure with their main shrines occupying the same kaja kangin (east-mountainward) corner. This Balinese sense of […]

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Genevieve Couteau : The French Virtuoso That Bali Art Historians Failed to Cite

Art In Bali | Jul 16, 2019

Volumes have been written about the foreign artists who have visited, lived and worked on the island of Bali during the first half of the 20th century. Walter Spies, Rudolf Bonnet and Theo Meier are celebrated icons, while Hofker, Covarrubias and Le Mayeur are all praised for their special talents. These artists, however, are all male.  […]

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The Bade Makers: Bali’s Coffin Craftsmen

Culture | Jul 10, 2019

Tucked away in a back street on the outskirts of Denpasar is a strange and wondrous sight. Every few days this wide, open shed is populated with beautifully wrought animals. Fine looking bulls are the main production although sometimes you might see a pig, a dog or even a lion.  They are bade, effigies used […]

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Penjor: The Meaning Behind Bali’s Decorative Bamboo Poles

Bali's Biggest Celebrations | Jul 08, 2019

The bamboo poles that line the street during times of ceremony are called penjor , they are more than just simple decoration, as Jean Couteau explains: The Balinese have a knack for displaying their religious spirit in various visual ways. Their rituals are so beautiful, indeed, that one sometimes wonders whether they are not almost […]

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