The town of Ubud is the undeniable artistic heart and soul of Bali's art. It
rests among lush hills and rice terraces. The vacation lifestyle is markedly
different from Kuta's, the island's other major tourist magnet. It's more
cultural, less hedonistic. Life proceeds at a slow pace, even for visitors,
which is part of the charm. The locales are open and friendly -- and you
encounter few pushy vendors. Day trippers from the southern beach resorts miss
out on the special sense of place. You need to stay in the Ubud area for at
least several days. It's an insightful, unforgettable experience.
Stone Carvings at Batubulan
Ten km northeast of Denpasar, Batubulan is a village known throughout Bali for
its ornate door-guardian statues, carved of soft paras volcanic tuff. Until
these became popular for secular use earlier in this century, the carvings
were only used in temples or palaces, but this art form has spread extensively
in recent years and is today found in homes and public buildings.
Silver Works at Celuk
Although many arts and crafts have prospered in Celuk, the village
has evolve, into a center for silver and gold smiting. Almost every home in
the village contains small scale production facilities fulfilling orders
placed by large shops and exporters. Bracelets, rings, earrings and brooches,
to name a few of a wide range of products produced here, have started to enter
the export market.
Wood carving, like stone carving, has traditionally featured largely in temple
and palace architecture with little freestanding 'sculpture' work produced
commercially. Immaculately carved demons and mythical beings decorate pillars,
door panels, lintels and window shutters with the aim of protecting the
buildings from evil intruders. The village of Mas near Ubud is probably the
best known for its carvings of female figures, Buddhas, characters from Hindu
epics and the traditional Topeng and Wayang Wong masks.
Balinese Paintings at Ubud or Peliatan
Influenced by the Western use of perspective and everyday-life
subject matter, the Ubud style is one of the most Expressionist of all the
Balinese schools. Despite this, Ubud art still retains many traditional
features, including attention to detail and very stylized characters. Among
the better known.