Ritual Life

With the Batuan painting style, ritual life has long been an inspiration for the artists. Here, Bruce Granquist shares how important rituals are to the subject and timing of artists and their work. Life in Batuan is saturated with ritual. The steady flow of ritual activity in people’s lives sets them firmly in a sacred

Batuan Artists: Inspired by Diversions

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. 

Bali’s Local Market on Canvas

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

Traditional Daily Life

Below is another painting that attempts to portray a global view of traditional village life. This painting is characterised by its strong overall design. The image is divided into four quarters, bisected vertically by a darker series of trees running through the centre, and horizontally by two processions travelling in opposite directions. Everything seems to

Traditional Daily Life in Bali’s Batuan Paintings

This painting by a woman artist, Ni Wayan Warti, has a stable composition and does not challenge the viewer with either complex iconography, or spatial ambiguity. This is a village at peace and, according to the artist, was done for her own satisfaction. The painting is called Galungan, after a major, island wide ceremony in

Depicting Traditional Daily Life in Batuan Paintings

The area located within the walls of the family compounds or village temples was familiar territory, not necessarily always peaceful or benevolent, but always comprehensible and manageable. Many paintings portray the different stages of an individual’s life, from birth to death. There are scenes of commonplace activities, portrayals of incidents and accidents, depictions of crimes

An Introduction to Bali’s Intricate Batuan Art

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

Bali: Paradise Replaced?

In years past there were several terrorist bombings in Bali which inflicted terrible suffering, they will be remembered as a defining moment in Bali’s history. These atrocities prompted a great deal of soul searching for the Balinese, it made them take a hard look at who they are and what their island is becoming. There

Past & Present : How Bali Absorbs Cultures

Up to the present day, the Balinese have been remarkably open minded and genuinely curious about the life that has arrived on its shores. They could have reacted with fear and anger towards the attitudes and beliefs introduced to their island, some of which are radically different than their own. This is especially true considering

Conservation Kebun Raya

As noted in a previous issue, it is not easy to gain access to the forests of western Bali. This area is intended to be a sanctuary for Balinese flora and fauna. There is another option, however, for a person who wants to get a taste of nature, or an afternoon jaunt with the family

Bali’s Mangrove Swamps

There is one element of the forest ecosystem that is very accessible, but until recently hardly noticed. These are the humble mangrove swamps. Mangrove trees are not very pretty and grow in ill smelling places, so they can be easily passed by in favoUr of more ‘aesthetic’ trees. But ecologists see these trees as primadonnas

West Bali, The Border of Cultivation

If you travel west of Seririt the landscape changes quickly. Except for one road and some scattered villages this is undeveloped land. Contained in this area is a protected forest called the West Bali National Forest. This forest has been left undeveloped, although there are persistent rumours of illegal logging here. There is a stark

Now Bali