Growing Old as Art: Anti-Aging - An Exhibition in Bali
15 Bali Artists Join Forces in a Single Exhibition at Gaya Art Space - Ubud June 2 - July 2, 2007.
Age has been described as the ultimate thief. Kafka wrote that the meaning of life is that it ends. The end of life, or death, can also be seen as the ultimate motivation for life. Death creates motion, a living towards an abyss that bounces meaning and structure back into any individual life. Life requires death because permanence is sterile. In a very real sense death creates time. And time, for us four-dimensional humans, isaging.
To cheat time is to cheat death, but cheating time is tricky. It can only be done in moments, in a language that is at the other end of the spectrum from the scientific manipulations that extend life.
Art has the power to create these moments of presence, bubbles of temporary permanence without sterility. Art exists in the moment and also has a transcendent meaning that defies time, rejects aging.
Cemeti Art House
Within the Indonesian art scene, the Javanese capital of Yogyakarta is a source of urban energy. The Cemeti Art House in Yogyakarta forms an epicenter in the energetic art seen of that city. Cemeti has become a "home" to both young and more established artists. Artists attracted to Cemeti share and create a distinctive Indonesian urban energy ¾ active, vital, aware, unassuming, questioning and dedicated to a constant bold re-envisioning of their culture.
Click Images to Enlarge
Anti-Aging at Gaya Fusion June 2 - July 2, 2007
From June 2 through Huly 2, 2007 the Gaya Fusion Gallery in Sayan, Ubud will host the work of 15 Cemeti artists comprised of :
. Agus Suwage (objects, sculpture)
. Nindityo Adipurnomo (drawing)
. Christine Ay Tjoe (photography)
. Beatrix (painting)
. Eko Nugroho (drawing, embroidery, painting)
. Codhit (drawing, painting)
. Popok Triwahyudi (drawing, painting)
. Terra Brajaghosa (drawing, painting, video animation)
. FX Harsono (photography, painting)
. Melati Suryodarmo (photography, video performance)
. Jompet Kuswidananto (video art)
. S. Teddy D. (drawing, painting)
. Abdi Setiawan (sculpture)
. Hedi Hariyanto (sculpture, neon installation)
. Anusapati (sculpture).
The exhibition is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. at the Gaya Art Space on Jalan Raya Sayan, Ubud.
29th Bali Arts Festival
Bali's Month Long Festival of Art, Music and Culture June 16 - July 14, 2007.
Artists from across Bali, Indonesia and abroad are Bali bound to participate in the 29th Annual Bali Arts Festival June 16 - July 1, 2007.
Conceived and created 29 years ago by Bali's cultural visionary, then-Governor Ida Bagus Mantra, the Bali Arts Festival has grown to become a staple on the Island's cultural calendar. Night after night from June 16 through July 14, 2007, Bali's best gamelan orchestras, dance and drama groups, and visiting artists from overseas will take to the stage at various performance venues around Denpasar.
This year's festival will see foreign artists from China and Japan perform.
As in year's past. The Festival will commence with a massive parade of artists and Balinese culture centered in the Renon district of downtown Denpasar commencing at 3:00 p.m.
Lured Away by Better Pay, Garuda is Losing Pilots at an Alarming Rate.
The Jakarta Post and other media reported last week that more than 70 pilots have resigned this year from Indonesia's national flag carrier Garuda.
Quoting the head of the Pilots' Union at the Airline, G. S. Stevanus, better pay and working conditions at competing regional airlines are the root cause of the pilots' exodus.
Stevanus said, "this year alone, 77 pilots have submitted their resignations, although only five so far have left, with the others still in the administrative process."
In the previous 18 moths prior to the latest rash of resignations, 110 pilots left Garuda for bluer skies with other carriers.
The Indonesian airline maintains a pilot complement of 550 pilots to fly its fleet of 50 airplanes.
Airline experts state that there is a current world-wide shortage of qualified airline pilots due to rapid business expansion within that sector.
Bali: When You're Hot You're Hot
Condé Nast Traveler Issues its Latest List of 'Hot' Hotels and Spas to Watch - As You Might Expect, Bali is Well Represented.
The prestigious Condé Nast Traveler 2007 List of Hot Hotels and Spas has just been published. Like any list "in the know" for smart travelers, the 2007 list includes the following hotels and spas found in Bali.
. Desa Seni - a collection of ten antique houses from across the Indonesian archipelago and installed on the edge of a Balinese rice field. Rustic, yet tasteful, the Desa Seni has built in all the bells and whistles in terms of creature comforts. It's a long list that includes DVD players, Internet access, and luxurious bathrooms. Outstanding food and free yoga classes are sure to complement any stay at this Seminyak property.
. Kayu Manis Jimbaran Private Estate - is one of Jimbaran's hidden treasures. A very light use of a large piece of land that was once a coconut plantation provides the ultimate luxury of "space" on an increasingly crowded island. Simplicity and excellence at every turn are the hallmarks of the Kayumanis with many delightful Indonesian features yours to discover and explore. There are only 19 well-appointed pavilions - so best book early.
. Bulgari Resort - Bali's newest and most talk-about luxury resort has also made the Condé Nast "Hot" list. Located on the southernmost tip of the Island, this 59 room villa is quickly becoming the preferred haunt for the rich and famous who keep their private jets parked at Bali's nearby airport while they luxuriate at the Bulgari's Spa or dine at one of their premier restaurants.
Incidentally, Bali's Bulgari got a double mention in the Condé Nast Hot List by having their Spa named to the list of Hot Spas - the only Indonesian spa so honored.
Nestled on a high cliff over the Indian Ocean, the views, both inside and outside the Resort, are breathtaking. God takes credit for the views to the sea; Bulgari gets full marks and credit for what you'll find ashore.
Re-Survey of Major Suite Development in North Bali Reportedly Reveals Irregularities and Violations of Local Zoning Rules.
A controversial suite development planned by PT Bali Unicorn (BUC), located on the seaside near Canggu at a local estuary, has caused vehement protests by local citizens who claim the developer violated property lines, zoning rules and desecrated a sacred area reserved for prayer and ceremonies. Large protests by thousands of local Balinese from surrounding villages eventually caused the Government to call a halt to ground work for the project and issue an order demanding the developer rebuild and restore the damaged shoreline of the delta.
The project, owned by the same parties who have developed the Discovery Mall Complex in South Kuta, saw contractors using heavy earth moving equipment to reclaim land by filling in natural lagoons for the construction of suites and supporting structures along the riverfront. Fearing floods and the disturbance of areas held sacred by the Balinese, thousands descended on the project in April threatening sterner action if the project was not immediately halted.
Local government administrators eventually ordered the project to cease construction and instructed the developers to restore the lagoon to its original state.
Protestors were angered that local authorities had granted building and development permits in contravention of local building codes and in a religiously sensitive area. Local citizens are now demanding accountability from the officials who issued the original permits.
Local law also require all project developers to obtain formal approval from local village authorities before proceeding with building. Rules, according to local villagers, which were were ignored by PT BUC.
As part of the efforts to ease tensions, officials called a halt to all construction on the project site and ordered a new land survey be undertaken to determine the true extend on the land titles owned by PT BUC.
The Indonesian-language Bali Post, resports that local officials may have attempted to have the results of the re-survey discussed in close session, a move countered by local a parliamentarian who leaked the survey findings to the local press. The legislator and community activist, Wayan Sutena, said his move was necessary to ensure transparency was preserved in the review process.
In Over Their Heads?
Referring to the site plans resulting from the re-survey, Sutena was amazed to discover that half of the projects land was under water. Incredulous, Sutena was quoted by the Bali Post asking if the plans of PT BUC were for a swimming complex or if the intention was to building a floating hotel.
Bali zoning laws require all development be set back a stipulated distance from the high-tide mark and river banks.
According to the Bali Post, the PT BUC project is comprised of two parcels of land. Parcel HGB 488 comprised of 8.120 square meters, which after survey was found to be 48% (4,400 square meters) below the water line. The remaining parcel, HGB 501 comprised of 37,000 square meters of land was discovered on re-survey to be 45% below the water line (16,470 square meters).
The legislator, who is also a lawyer, scolded the local government for illegally including public access waterways and public shore areas in a private property title.
The re-survey of the project land, if verified, would render much of the 45,120 square meter site closed to any development by PT BUC.
A Complicated Road Ahead
If the latest re-survey results stand, the future of the PT BUC project will be put in jeopardy. Local residents from North Kuta are adamant in their desire to stop the estuary project while the only way to rescind the project permits already granted by the Government is via a lengthy legal process.
Changing Demographics May Change Bali's Character
Will the 'Magic Kingdom' of Bali Soon Have Donald Duck Selling Tickets at the Gate?
A recent article in the Indonesian language Nusa Bali suggests that the increasingly large share of domestic travelers coming to Bali may play a determining role in the future face of the Island.
According to the article, domestic travelers, who now represent more than half of all visitors to Bali, are complaining that Bali's tourist objects are becoming "monotonous." The newspaper quoted a visitor from Surabaya, Suryo Pratomo, who was able to purchase a 3 night/4 day package at a local 5 star hotel for his family for only Rp. 5 million (approximately US$ 568). While Pratomo admitted Bali was still a popular location for a family get away, he reflected the opinion of many domestic tourists who eschew traditional Balinese culture in favor of more modern pursuits. "Bali needs family tourism objects such as 'Dunia Fantasi' (editor: a popular amusement park in Jakarta) or 'Disneyland'." he suggested.
Another domestic traveler, Franciskus Debora, stated that she did not consider Bali a family destination but more appropriate for honeymooners and romantic holidays. Debora suggested that Bali needs to develop a cheap and dependable transportation system to encourage more tourism.
Bali's changing demographics for visitors with the growing preponderance of domestic and regional visitors is almost certain to change the character of the Island over time. Asian travelers, as a general rule, have less interest in dance and culture than European and American visitors. Their demand for more modern attractions may eventually bring an influx of more investment in amusement parks and similar non-Balinese amusements.
Mangku Pastika - Bali's Next Governor?
Former Bali Police Chief and "Time Man of the Year" Being Floated as Possible Gubernatorial Candidate for 2008 Elections.
The police general who heads the national Narcotics Squad the former Chief of Bali for Bali, Inspector General Made Mangku Pastika is mentioned as a possible candidate to become the next Governor of Bali.
The popular and forceful leader, named Asia's Man of the Year by TIME magazine for his role in the apprehension of the Bali bombers, is reportedly being courted by the People's Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI-P) to run for the top post in Bali.
A spokesman for the PDI-P in Bali confirmed to Tempo Interaktif that Pastika had recently requested and received a meeting with the party's leadership in Bali.
While all parties, including Pastika himself, are remaining non-committal on the Policeman's candidacy for the election in 2008, many in Bali believe Pastika's age and approaching mandatory retirement from the police and the General's proven ability to effectively communicate to an international audience make him an ideal candidate for Bali's Governor.
Has Anyone Seen Our Tourists?
Despite Record Setting Foreign Tourist Arrival Numbers, Many Businesses Complain that Business is Bad.
While balidiscovery.com's continuing series "Bali by the Numbers" suggest foreign tourist arrivals to Bali are hitting record highs
[See: April Foreign Arrival Numbers Set New Records], we are often accused of "cooking the numbers" by local observers who have a difficult time reconciling buoyant arrival reports with quite shops, restaurants and hotels across the Island.
And, in fact, local press reports confirm that many handicraft shops and their supporting workshops are closing down in the face of a dramatic downturn in customers as compared with business in the recent past. A similar fate is also being experienced by restaurant owners and small hotels no longer able to generate the necessary cash flows to meet daily operating expenses.
Where are All the Tourists?
Recent surveys carried out by the Bureau of Statistics (BPS) and Bank Indonesia (BI) in Bali confirm that while the quantity of tourists visiting Bali is increasing dramatically, the overall quality of those tourists is on a sharp decline. Increasing competition among accommodation providers, which now include hundred of private villas and new resorts, has made the current lack of quality embodied in current arrival numbers even more apparent. The survey, conducted in January 2007, showed many starred hotels in Bali are running with occupancies at less than 50%, a fact underlining the dramatic over-supply of rooms facing the Island.
The BI and BPS surveys also showed that there have been fundamental changes in the complexion of inbound tourism to Bali. Much of the growth in arrival numbers can be credited to the advent of low-cost carriers serving short-haul markets in the Asia-Pacific region bringing visitors who spend less and stay for shorter duration than their long-haul counterparts from Europe and the Americas.
While the Bali-based survey suggested an average overall length-of-stay (LOS) of 9.87 days, this figure is down markedly from the 11.71 day LOS recorded just a few years ago. That the actual length of stay may be even lower is suggested by the overwhelming preponderance of Bali visitors who opt for a 7-day visa-on-arrival as opposed to the next alternative of a 30-day visa. This is consistent with other results from the survey which show that North Asian and East Asian visitors are staying on the Island for only 6.83 days while ASEAN visitors spend an even shorter period of 5.10 days in Bali.
Overall, 55.20% of all visitors to Bali stay for less than 7 days.
While regional airlines championing "Now Everyone Can Fly" have largely lived up to that promise, the amount of money left in Bali by regional travelers on perhaps their first trip abroad is much less than more seasoned travelers of yesteryear. One local hotelier said that requests for three or four people sharing a single room are increasingly common and these customers leave the hotel to purchase their meals from local street vendors or dine on food items purchased from local supermarkets.
Arguably, if there is a bright side to this situation it is the money reaped by street vendors lucky enough to snare a share of the "new travelers" and the local inns and home-stays attracting the conservative-spending regional tourists.
In the end, however, the overall net effect for both Bali's larger businesses and small local traders experiencing larger arrival numbers comprised of visitors who stay briefly and spend sparsely means that business is down.
Icons of Art
Priceless Collection of Jakarta's National Museum Celebrated in Newly Published Table Top Edition.
Buku Antar Bangsa, an Indonesian publishing house founded by former Minister of Tourism and Telecommunications, Joop Ave, specializing in books celebrating the art and culture of the Nation, recently released a magnificent 308-page table-top book "Icons of Art: National Museum Jakarta" - exploring the priceless collection housed at the National Museum.
One of the oldest and largest museum in Asia, Museum Nasional is home to a collection covering millions of years of natural and human history, representing the cultures of thousands of islands scattered between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The Museum began collecting natural and manmade objects almost 300 years ago - an enterprise that continues to the present day. Containing unique works of art made from almost every kind of material found in the archipelago's seas, forests, and mountains - the Museum epitomizes the national slogan of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or "Unity in Diversity."
Those who wander the Museum will see its huge collection of indigenous arts, items connected to the spice trade, gold, incense, antique ivory, ancient statuary and an unequalled ceramic collection. Now, through the publication of "Icons of Art: National Museum Jakarta" those unable to actually visit the collection in Jakarta can enjoy its collection via the superb photographs and informed narrative contained in the book.
Containing pictures of items from the Museum's collection never before published, this new book appears on the occasion of a major expansion of the National Museum Jakarta. The Museum is a huge source of pride for all Indonesians, and a source of wonder for all who enjoy art. This book will make the collection more accessible to all.
Icons of Art: National Museum Jakarta
by Retno Sulistianingsih Sitowati and Prof. Dr. John N. Miksic
Editor-in-Chief by Joop Ave
308pp. 240 x 270 mm hardcover - ISBN 979-8926-25-0
Published by Buku Antar Bangas (BAB) Indonesia. Distributed by: PT. Java Books Indonesia (Indonesia). International distribution: Berkeley Books Pte Ltd. - Singapore.
Images of Icon Art, Collection of Jakarta's National Museum
Transportation & Cleanliness are Fundamental to Bali
Former Tourism Minister Ardika Tells Local Hoteliers to Never Hesitate to Complain to the Government in Seeking to Improve Cleanliness on Public Beaches.
Indonesia's former Minister of Culture and Tourism, I Gede Ardika, has labeled transportation as one of the most fundamental challenges facing Bali tourism in the future.
Speaking to the Indonesian-language Nusa Bali, Ardika described Bali's current transportation system as "stagnant." Ardika explained, "Bali must develop rapid mass transportation - such as electric trains, an expansion of the airport and the development of an international cruise port."
In comments made at a meeting of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) on May 19, 2005, Ardika also said that Bali needs to develop information technology. "Bali must become an intelligent island with a super information backbone; an island which develops information technology," said Ardika.
Citing the close linkage between knowledge-based tourism and quality tourism - Ardika emphasized the need to develop information technologies on Bali. At the same time, Ardika called on the tourism industry to sharpen its analytical skills and data collection capabilities.
Calls for More Attention to be Paid to Kuta Beach
Ardika told the hoteliers that current condition of Bali's famous Kuta beach saddens him and asked local tourism practitioners to urge the Regent of Badung, Anak Agung Gde Agung, to pay more attention to Bali's world famous shoreline. The former Minister asked where the public toilets built in earlier times to serve tourist had gone and bemoaned the accumulation of garbage along the shoreline.
Ardika urged Kuta beach to follow the example of Sanur beach where a mechanism for keeping the beach tidy is in place and public restrooms have been built.
A Call to be More Critical
Ardika told the PHRI members to never hesitate to be more critical of the government in matters relating to cleanliness, hygiene and health surrounding tourism objects. The former minister said hotel operators must have the courage to complain to the government in order to ensure toilet facilities are available and garbage collection system are in place to preserve the cleanliness and reputation of Bali's beaches.
Asia Rises While European Arrivals Seek Past Glory
Bali by the Numbers: A Look at January-April Arrivals to Bali 2000-2007.
As reported on balidiscovery.com total foreign arrivals during the first four months of 2007 totaled 472,082 - representing an improvement of +38.38% over the same four months in 2006 and the strongest start to any year on record [See: April Foreign Arrival Numbers Set New Records].
Bali's Top 4 Source Markets and the PRC
The graphics presented in this installment of Bali by the Numbers examining Bali's top four source markets for the first four months of each year from 2000 - 2007 show:
. Japanese arrival figures have recovered improving +57.53% in the first for months of 2007 (107,254) as compared to the same period in 2006. Japanese arrivals during the opening months of 2007 performed at near-record levels.
. Australia arrival numbers, while improving +56.65% for January-April 2007 as compared to 2006, still lag some -35.49% behind the first four months of 2005.
. Taiwanese arrivals finished the first four months of 2007 were +9% better than the same period in 2006. A closer look at Taiwan's arrival patterns suggest recovery in that market is mirroring the pattern following the 2002 terrorist attack. All things being equal, expect strong performance ex Taiwan in 2007 and 2008.
. South Korea logged in the strongest opening on record for Bali arrivals, totaling 38,636 for the current year.
. The People's Republic of China may prove itself to be a "sleeping giant" in terms of Bali arrivals. Better flight connections and easier visa access saw 22,263 mainland Chinese visitors come to Bali in the first four months of 2007, up from a near-zero base just 7 years ago. Expect a 100% year-on-year improvement from this market for 2007.
Overall, ASEAN arrivals to Bali hit new highs during the January-April period of 2007, improving +39% over 2006 largely due to the advent of low-cost carriers serving Bali from neighboring ASEAN countries.
. Malaysian numbers led the ASEAN surge, improving +49.5% for the January-April period year-on-year - the best months on record from that market.
. Singapore is proving itself steady and true, improving +14.93% over 2006.
. While North and South America improved +12.8% during the first four months of 2007 as compared to 2006, arrivals from this market are still failing to achieve past glory, lagging -37% behind numbers achieved in 2000 and 2001.
. The U.K. Market is operating at levels similar to 2006. but still trailing overall by 42%-48% when compared to its more halcyon days in 2000 and 2001.
. German arrivals are on a par with 2006, but still playing "catch up" with 2000 and 2001.
. France is back with arrivals up +13.6% as compared to 2006 and setting new records for Bali arrivals.
. The Netherlands also demonstrates strong recovery improving +50.9% over the first four months of 2006 and performing at record levels.
. Russia wins the title of "new emerging market" for Bali improving +65% during the first four months of 2007 over the same period in 2006. Destined to become a major source market for Bali, the Russian traveler is taking full advantage of easier visa formalities and better flight access to holiday in Bali.
Important New Book Examines Bali's Response to Terrorism and Economic Upheaval.
Two well-known academicians have explored the development of tourism and Bali's economy dating from the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s and the series of crises that have plagued Bali through the opening years of the new millennia.
"Tourism, Development and Terrorism in Bali" by London Metropolitan University's Professor Michael Hitchcock and University of Queensland's Dr. I Nyoman Darma Putra, examines government and community responses to the "troubles" that have befallen the world's most popular holiday destination over the past decade.
With a particular emphasis on crisis management in the wake of the Bali bombings, Hitchcock and Darma Putra not only look at the impact of the bombings on tourism development in Bali, but also attempt to expore the root causes of the attack within the larger context of Indonesian politics and the global rise of political Islam.
Separately, the authors visit growing local resistance in Bali to globalization, including opposition to efforts to add Bali's Mother Temple of Besakih to the United Nation's list of World Heritage Sites.
What the Critics Say
. Richard Butler, Professor of International Tourism, University of Strathclyde, UK - "This is an important book for anyone seriously interested in the relationships between the key forces of tourism, globalization and cultural survival and the way they shape tourist destinations. It is made all the more relevant by a uniquely detailed examination of the impacts of terrorism on one such major tourist destination and its response."
. Professor Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney, Australia - "This is the first comprehensive study of Bali in fifteen years, and most importantly the first book since the Bali bombings to explain not only the impact of those bombings, but also the factors in Bali that led to them. This book provides unique insights into how Balinese perceive themselves in these contexts, and how they have reacted to those pressures."
Tourism, Development and Terrorism in Bali
By Michael Hitchcock and I Nyoman Darma Putra from the Voices in Development Managements Series.
Price: £55 or US$99.95
ISBN: 0 7546 4866 4
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