Bali Island Articles


Treasure island
Religion in Bali
Bali a Shopper's Paradise
Bali's Beaches
Bali Destinations
Boutique Hotels in Bali
Candidasa Bali's Eastern Hub
How to pick the airline to fly to Bali ?
Understanding the Language of the
Nightlife in Bali
Sukawati Art Market
Sunset Dinner at Jimbaran Beach
The Art of Tropical Living
The Ulundanu Temple of Bedugul
A weekend at Pita Maha



Ubud, an Estuary of Art

At the turning of the twentieth century Ubud has become destination for many European researchers and painters. Welcomed openheartedly by the Royal family. They chose this place since it gave them endless inspiration to express their ideas. They came to appreciate the beauty of its nature or even to learn the culture. Ubud is located in the heart of Gianyar regency some 25 km north of Denpasar. The word 'Ubud' originates from "ubad" what means medicine. It seemed it was the ideal place for their quest to be close to nature. 

Now Ubud has become an estuary of art. It is a right area for the development of art since many kinds of art have lived and rooted in the local community. A painter is not necessarily being a painter only. He may also be a rice field farmer or a dancer or has other main activities. Some artists can master several kinds of arts. This is one of the unique characteristics of artists in Bali. So it is not surprising if a farmer works in the rice field in the morning for a while, then in the next few hours he dances on a Barong stage for a Barong and Kris dance. In the afternoon he will continue to sculpt or paint.

Nieuwenkamp was the first artist to visit Bali. He was not only an artist but also a researcher. He was born in Amsterdam in 1876. He has published a book entitled Bali en Lombok (1906-1910). This book is about ethnographic and archaeological studies. It seemed that his book became a useful reference and significant guide for the next who would visit Bali. Later Gregor Krause who worked as a doctor in Bali around 1912 has published a photo album about Bali in 1925. This publication then attracted many others to come to Bali. One of them is Miguel Covarubias. Having lived and made historical studies in Bali for years he then wrote a book entitled Island of Bali.

Up to now a number of famous artists have visited Ubud and even some still nestle there. They come from varied talented artistic schools such as the famous painter of Arie Smith and Antonio Blanco. The nearby favorite destinations like sensational vista of rice terrace at Tegalalang and white heron habitat at Petulu have widely inspired them of painting. And the local artists can also have been influenced from those painters.

Dance performances also found their center in and around Ubud. Should you wish to watch a performance, simply buy a ticket from one of the ticket sellers on the roads of Ubud.Regular performances are on stage at different villages with their own local troupes. There is the romantic Ramayana Ballet, mass Kecak, enchanting Legong dance, and puppet shadow play.


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