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Fallen Angels: Indonesia’s Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise, Cendrawasih in Bahasa Indonesia, holds a special place as a symbol of New Guinea and Indonesia, drawing visitors from around the globe to witness these majestic birds in their natural habitat on the second largest island in the world. However, for centuries, these birds remained as mysterious as the prized spices

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SUN . CONTEMPORARY Gallery Opens in Pererenan

Opening its doors in Pererenan on 4 April 2024, the new SUN . CONTEMPORARY Gallery showcases an eclectic collection of works by established and emerging Indonesian and international artists. Set across two floors, the sleek gallery space is situated behind the popular Shelter restaurant, tucked away from the main road, allowing for a peaceful browse

Stigma Bali: Art Activism Collective Highlights Significant Social Issues

Social issues that impact upon and divide societies continue to receive increasing exposure from a new local contemporary art activism movement. A recent exhibition by the Stigma Bali collective, their third event since April 2023, was themed Discrimination. The exhibition closed at Joshua District, Kediri, Tabanan, on 4  May 2024. “Stigma is a collective exhibition

Kwangen: Bali’s Fragrant Offering

Balinese people are known for their meticulous attention to detail in their worship practices. There is a ceremony for so many aspects of life in Bali, and each ceremony will have very specific requirements. This is particularly true when it comes to certain rites and offerings, all must be executed with precision, all items present!

­New Venues Highlight Ubud’s Evolving Art Infrastructure

Ubud’s art infrastructure continues to grow while distinguishing the area as Bali’s art and cultural heartland. Constantly progressing as new initiatives and the culmination of planning and hard work manifests into physical form, exciting new venues grant opportunities to the Balinese, Indonesian and foreign communities, not only economically but also by inspiring creativity and developing

How Ubud Open Studios is Helping to Revive Art Tourism in Bali

NOW! Bali Magazine talks with Mila Shwaiko, co-founder and director of Elami & Co, the organisational team behind the Ubud Open Studios (UOS), to learn more about the visionary programme. Visual art is one of the original cultural icons that, during the first wave of tourism, between 1920 and 1942, helped position Bali on the

Piranti Mepandes: Tools of the Tooth Filing

One of the most significant rites of passage for any Balinese Hindu is the tooth filing ceremony, known as metatah, mesangih and for higher castes, mepandes. The ceremony involves the filing down of the top two canines and four incisors, the ‘fang-like’ teeth which are symbolic of the animalistic tendencies, as people enter the adult

Gringsing Nyandang Kebo

The Sacred Gringsing Wayang Kebo

Kurniawati was sitting next to me under a roof covered in jaka fibers, while she was waiting to pick up the daha (unmarried women) for the coming-of-age ritual, part of Usaba Kasa. It was 10 in the morning, “The girls have been getting ready since the morning, while the boys are drinking. We are waiting

Desa Adat Renon: An Ogoh-Less Village

On the eve of Nyepi, Bali’s Day of Silence, the island is in a boisterous and lively state as people celebrate the Ngrupuk Parade. This ritual of sorts sees the parading of the ogoh-ogoh, gigantic and vibrant effigies depicting demons, beasts and ghastly characters (bhuta kala) of Balinese and Hindu folklore. These ogoh-ogoh are made by the

The Flowers of Bali: A World of Symbolism and Colour

Bali, known as the island of the Gods, boasts a variety of magnificent flora. Many of these cherished plants and flowers hold a cultural significance and are admired for their beauty. Importantly, the flowers of Bali play a vital role in various ceremonies, rituals and celebrations. Rooted deeply in Balinese culture, they hold deep meanings

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