arts and crafts

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Why the arts
and crafts of Bali
are special

On a per capita basis, Bali probably has the most accomplished artists & craftsmen in the world. To the Balinese, personal artistic achievement is part of the religious experience

Balinese painting


For centuries, the international art world paid little heed to the talented Balinese painters, who focused on traditional motifs geared for Bali's temples and religious ceremonies.


Then, in the late 1920s several expatriate European artists (including the now renowned Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet) successfully taught and encouraged some Balinese artists to become more modern and daring by capturing scenes of everyday Bali life and landscapes. Today, this work is globally recognized as fine art.


Bali's painting capital is Ubud village, followed by the villages of Batuan and Samasan. The first is more eclectic and contemporary in style while the latter two specialize in Bali's traditional Wayan style. 

Neka Museum

The best way to introduce yourself to Balinese paintings is by visiting the Neka Museum and other leading art institutions (click the "runners-up" link for their capsule descriptions).

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