Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
9am-6pm) , the impressive ARMA is the only
place in Bali to see the haunting works by the
influential German artist Walter Spies.
The museum is housed in several tradi-
tional buildings set in gardens with water
coursing through channels. It features work
by 19th-century Javanese artist Raden Saleh. It
exhibits classical Kamasan paintings, Batuan-
style work from the 1930s and '40s, and works
by Lempad, Affandi, Sadali, Hofker, Bonnet
and Le Mayeur. The collection is well labelled
in English.
Look for the enigmatic Portrait of a Java-
nese Nobleman and his Wife by Raden Saleh,
which predates the similar American Gothic
by decades.
It's interesting to visit ARMA when local
children practise Balinese dancing (
The picture of Antonio Blanco mugging with
Michael Jackson says it all. His namesake
Blanco Renaissance Museum (Map pp176-7 ;
One Day
Stroll the streets of Ubud, enjoying the galleries and sampling the fine cuisine. Try to get out on
one of the short nearby walks through the verdant rice fields. Go to an evening dance perform-
ance at the Ubud Palace.
captures the artist's theatrical spirit. Blanco
came to Bali from Spain via the Philippines. He
specialised in erotic art, illustrated poetry and
playing the role of an eccentric artist à la Dali.
He died in Bali in 1999, and his flamboyant
home is now this museum. The design of the
compound is a pastiche of elaborate styles
from around the world.
Jl Raya Campuan; adult/child 20,000/10,000Rp;
Three Days
Take longer walks in the countryside, especially the Campuan Ridge and Satan Valley. Visit the
Museum Puri Lukisan, Neka Art Museum and ARMA (Agung Rai Museum of Art). Attend dance
performances not just in Ubud, but also in the nearby villages. Indulge at a local spa. Drop by
the market in the morning.
Ubud is dotted with galleries - every street
and lane seems to have a place exhibiting
artwork for sale. They vary enormously in the
choice and quality of items on display. Several
major galleries display a huge variety of work,
generally of a very high quality.
Often you will find local artists in the most
unusual places, including your place to stay.
A good example is Nyoman Sudiarsa , a painter
who has a studio in the grounds of his family's
Padma Accommodation (see p188).
One Week or More
Do everything we've listed but take time to simply chill out. Get in tune with Ubud's rhythm.
Take naps, read books, wander about. Think about a course in Balinese culture. Compare and
choose your favourite café, get out to craft villages and ancient sites.
Mon-Fri, 10.30am-noon Sun) and during gamelan
practice (
hours vary) . See p186 for details on
regular Legong and Kecak (types of classic
Balinese dance) dance performances. See p185
for details on the myriad of cultural courses
offered here.
You can enter the museum grounds from
the southern end of Jl Raya Pengosekan
(there's parking near Kafe ARMA) or around
the corner on Jl Pengosekan at the the Kafe
ARMA. The Ubud-Gianyar bemo will drop
you here.
composition of 'Balinese Market' by Anak
Agung Gde Sobrat to see the vibrancy of local
It was in Ubud that the modern Balinese
art movement started; where artists first began
to abandon purely religious themes and court
subjects for scenes of everyday life. Rudolf
Bonnet was part of the Pita Maha artists'
cooperative, and together with Cokorda Gede
Agung Sukawati (a prince of Ubud's royal
family) they helped to establish a permanent
The first pavilion straight ahead as you enter
has a collection of early works from Ubud
and the surrounding villages. These include
examples of classical wayang -style paintings,
fine ink drawings by I Gusti Nyoman Lempad
and paintings by Pita Maha artists. Notice
the level of detail in Lempad's The Dream of
Dharmawangsa .
The second pavilion on the left has some
colourful examples of the 'Young Artist' style
of painting and a good selection of 'modern
traditional' works.
The third pavilion on the right has classi-
cal and traditional paintings and is used for
special exhibitions.
The museum's collection is well curated
and labelled in English, and some of the art-
work is often for sale. The museum has a good
bookshop and a café.
.com; Jl Raya Sanggingan; adult/child 20,000Rp/free;
5pm) was opened in 1976, and is the creation
of Suteja Neka, a private collector and dealer
in Balinese art. It has an excellent and diverse
collection and is the best place to learn about
the development of painting on Bali.
You can get an overview of the myriad
local painting styles in the Balinese Painting
Hall . Look for the wayang works, which are
influenced by shadow puppets.
The Arie Smit Pavilion features Smit's works
on the upper level, and examples of the Young
Artist school, which he inspired, on the lower
level. Look for Bruegel-like The Wedding
Ceremony ', by I Nyoman Tjarka.
The Lempad Pavilion houses Bali's largest col-
lection of works by I Gusti Nyoman Lempad.
The Contemporary Indonesian Art Hall has
paintings by artists from other parts of Indo-
nesia, many of whom have worked on Bali.
The upper floor of the East-West Art Annexe is
devoted to the work of foreign artists, such
as Louise Koke, Miguel Covarrubias, Rudolf
Bonnet, Han Snel, the Australian Donald
Friend and Antonio Blanco.
The temporary exhibition hall has changing
displays, while the Photography Archive Centre
features black-and-white photography of Bali
in the early 1930s and 1940s. The bookstore
is noteworthy and there's a café.
Operated by Suteja Neka, the Neka Gallery
(Map pp176-7 ;
9am-5pm) is
separate entity from the Neka Art Museum.
It has an extensive selection from all the
schools of Balinese art, as well as works by
European residents such as the renowned
Arie Smit.
975034; Jl Raya Ubud;
This small, professional textile gallery and educa-
tional studio (Map pp176-7 ;
972187; www.threadsoflife
10am-6pm Mon-Sat) sponsors the
production of naturally dyed, handmade ritual
textiles, helping to recover skills in danger of
being lost to modern dyeing and weaving
methods. Commissioned pieces are displayed
in the gallery, which has good explanatory
material. It also runs regular textile apprecia-
tion courses (see p185) and has a good shop.
.com; Jl Kajeng 24;
This gallery (Map pp176-7 ;
975485; www.seniwati
9am-5pm Tue-Sun) ex-
hibits works by over 70 Balinese, Indone-
sian and resident foreign women artists.
The information on many of the artists
makes for fascinating reading. The gallery
and workshop aims to publicise Balinese
women artists and to encourage the next
generation. The works span all media and
this place is an excellent example of the kind
of cultural and artistic organisation that can
thrive in Ubud.; Jl Sriwedari 2B;
This large, imposing museum (Map pp176-7 ;
975779;; admission 20,000Rp;
9am-5pm) is the creation of local politician
and art-lover Nyoman Rudana and his wife
Ni Wayan Olasthini. The three floors contain
over 400 traditional paintings, including a
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