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The Young and Creative in Bali

27 April 2009

As soon as stepping on to the ground at the airport of Bali you will see split gates of typically Bali embellished with complicated carvings. Or if you travel to Bali by overland tour at Gilimanuk or Padangbai you will also see these similar gates. These are only some of indigenous arts filling in public places.

In the way to your accommodation, you will encounter several mythological-based statues, religious art like penjor or bamboo pole affixed with some oblation elements, umbul-umbul and so forth. Meanwhile, at your hotel lobby beautiful paintings featuring Balinese life will charm you. Actually, there are myriad more works of other arts that can be explored on this islet of Bali.

Do you know ‘the architect’ behind these magnificent works of art? They are created by local young artists inheriting a high competence from their maestro artists like father, grandfather or even grand grandfather. Most of those informal teachers learned from their predecessor or obtained vision from invisible realm. On that account, other than keeping on learning they continuously maintain contact to the realm through the shrine called taksu. It means to offer devotional services to the Creator and invoke His divine inspiration.

Nowadays, aside from preserving the existing tradition the young generation learns it from school. There are vocational high schools and art institute offering the subjects of carving, painting, dancing and fine arts. It’s on their shoulder the responsibility of preserving, discovering and developing the local art tradition. As the young generation having great spirits, art becomes the right space to pour out their creative energy. With this expression they have channeled energy to the right and positive medium and engendered great works. Local traditional carving arts, for instance, has shown good development. Many young carvers can create an independent job or self-employee at their home studio. Except for assorted handicrafts for souvenirs, they also make carving ornament for home interior. This service has been available almost everywhere on the island. Meanwhile, the dynamic works of young painters can be easily found at galleries or art markets. Those works belong to different styles like young artist, tradition, modem or even contemporary. Most visited art markets on the island are at Ubud (Gianyar), Sanur (Denpasar) and Kuta and Nusa Dua (Badung).

An annual event to see their works is the Bali Arts Festival (BAF). It is a great rendezvous waited for by both artists and art enjoyers or community. It is organized to coincid with school vacation in Indonesia from mid June. The festival will feature all kinds of art; either of classic, modem or contemporary genres. Their creative products will be on display for a month-long. So, you have a good chance to purchase some of them to bring home. Of course, your artistic flavor will be endlessly pampered by rejoicing in performing show, painting exhibition, handicraft, traditional clothes, assorted gold and silver works and many more.

If you plan to spend holiday in Bali, it would be advisable to prepare everything for the event from now on. See how young generation of Bali pours out their creative energy through the height of a massive art event. Also, kindly bear in mind they will share the moment with friends from other regions throughout Indonesia and overseas. Perhaps, one or some of them are your friends. So, you and yours can get reunion in Bali.

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