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Each offers an interesting experience.
A former kingdom capital rich in cultural heritage. Klungkung is renowned for its classical style architecture and ceiling paintings of the House of Justice and Floating Pavilion (see photo) - and for the traditional Wayang style artists in the nearby village of Kamasan.
The best five:
Neka near Ubud
Bali's artistic jewel. Internationally acclaimed. Admirable presentation. Features Bali-themed paintings by local, Indonesian and foreign artists. (See painting detail on left).
Puri Lukisan Ubud
Classical and contemporary Balinese art. Admirable collection. However, it's difficult to fully appreciate the artistic treasures when the lighting is turned down low, as is sometimes the case.
Classical Painting Museum Klungkung
Outstanding classical Wayang style paintings.
Bali Museum Denpasar
Fine Balinese art collection, but the presentation needs improvement.
Agun Rai near Ubud
Traditional and modern Balinese art. Do not confuse the museum with the nearby gallery.
A single puppeteer manipulates an assemblage of flat leather puppets (see photo). He controls them with mounted wooden sticks while he speaks the lines of the puppet characters in a play derived from epic Hindu stories that tell a moral. A lamp behind the puppets casts shadows on a translucent screen.
The audience (often village residents) sits on the other side, seeing the shadows but not the actual puppets. A small gamelan ensemble sometimes provides background music.
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