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Emotional Allegories – An Exhibition by Ipong Purnama Sidhi
Javanese Artists Ipong Purnama Sidhi at Bali's Ganesha Gallery September 3 – October 5, 2009.
Like his deliciously nervous paintings dominated by agitated lines and bright colors, the career of the central Javanese artist Ipong Purnama Sidhi has been both long and fluid. Painter, graphic artist, illustrator, curator and book designer - he began his varied career as a student at Yogyakarta's prestigious art academy. Since 1975, he has exhibited both in Indonesia and abroad, winning national and international praise, including a work stint in Sweden as a graphic artist at Stockholm's Royal University. The works displayed in his current exhibition of works on canvas are dominated by the human figure and profile, each portraying a specific emotional state. Interaction with others and symbolic peripheral images are used to create virtual allegories. As in reality, these are often muddled. Ostensibly "Mother and Child Reunion 3" is a joyous picture of a baby girl and her mother, yet the imposing rigidity of the mom's bouffant hairdo and the generic doll-like child in a pink polka dot dress give pause for thought. Other figures are humorously
estranged, such as the frizzy-haired man in an agitated state seen in "Travel to Hyper-Reality," a work dedicated to a songwriter. Ipong's technique is strongly influenced by graphic art sensibilities with extensive use of black outlines over bright colors. As drawn, the lines are not solid but imbued with nervous energy that causes the image to vibrate. Notably his subjects prefer stripes and polka dots. A developed artist, Ipong has also played an important role as a curator at Bentara Budaya, one of the most important exhibition spaces in Yogyakarta's bustling art scene.
Emotional Allegories An Exhibition of Paintings by Ipong Purnama Sidhi Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort JimbaranSeptember 4 – October 5, 2009 Open Daily 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival Building Momentum
Bali's Hillside Community of Ubud to Host Gathering of Famous Writers October 7-11, 2009.
The 2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is little more than a month away as it gathers momentum towards the presentation of a rich array of panel sessions, readings, book launches, literary lunches, nighttime gatherings and workshops.
This year's theme "Suka Duka: Compassion and Solidarity" will beckon some of the finest writers from 23 countries to discuss the themes of religion, identity, the legacy of colonial brutality and the postcolonial voice, human rights, race and identity, exile, gender, censorship, literary expression, families and love.
This year's festival will introduce an inaugural keynote address, sponsored by the Australia-Indonesia Institute, launching four days of panel sessions, debates, readings and in-conversations with the world's greatest exponents of their craft. Wole Soyinka, the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for literature, will discuss his lifetime of work and activism. Fatima Bhutto, an outspoken poet, journalist and novelist from Pakistan will speak on her country. The brilliant women poets of "Not A Muse," explore Lloyd Jones' heart-wrenching empathy in the Bougainville-set fable "Mr Pip." The unpredictable and eccentric Dany Laferriere will also be in Ubud together with Mohammed Hanif's bearing "A Case of Exploding Mangoes." This year's festival will also pay special tribute to the Southeast Asian experience, gathering emerging and established writers from the region including Seno Gumira Ajidarma, Ng Yi Sheng, Amir Muhammad, NH Dini, Thant Myint-U, Shamini Flint, Wena Poon, Woon Tai Ho, Lee Su Kim and Dede Oetomo. From neighboring Australia, Julia Leigh, Tom Cho, Alison Lester, Sonya Hartnett, Michelle Cahill, Mungo McCallum and Antony Loewenstein are all slated to grace this year's event. In what has become a tradition, writers will also be at play via a program packed full of performance, play readings, music and song, film, humor and food. Reflective of the founder Janet de Neefe's deep passion for cooking, this year's rendition of "Master Chefs of Prose and Poetry" will showcase award-winning authors, poets and playwrights and their favorite recipes featuring dishes from Burma to Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka to Pakistan. Family secrets and stories will be shared or rather, revealed, on the edge of the rice-fields in a three-course global extravaganza. [Ubud Writers and Readers Festival Website]
Be Alert to Terror Threat in the October-November Period
Bali Police Caution Hoteliers Not to Let Booming Tourism Business Diminish Vigilance in Maintaining Safety and Security.
Beritabali.com quoted Bali's Chief of Police, General Sutisna, as warning hotels in Bali to be on guard for possible terrorist acts during the coming October – November period. The Chief's timely warning reflects the high publicity value that another terror attack on the world famous holiday island would bring and the fact that past attacks have occurred during the October - November time slot. Speaking on August 18, 2009, General Sutisna reminded hotel managers to increase their security levels, both within hotels and the immediately surrounding areas. Perimeter defenses, according to Sutisna, can best be strengthened through close cooperation with Bali's traditional villages and local civilian defense teams (Pecalang). The Chief of Police said he hoped the higher than normal occupancies being reported by the Bali tourism industry will not distract hoteliers from their overriding responsibility for safety and security. Bali tourism is currently booming with daily arrivals topping 7,200 tourists as compared to normal daily averages of 5,000 tourists at this time of year.
Help Wanted: More Bomb-Sniffing Dogs in Bali
Bali Police Need 40 Bomb-Sniffing K-9s to Meet Demand from Starred Hotels on the Island.
Beritabali.com reports that Bali's Police force needs 40 bomb-sniffing dogs to keep up with requests for specially-trained K-9s from Bali's leading starred hotels. Requests for dogs that can sniff out explosives have increased in the aftermath of the July 17, 2009, bombings of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta.
The Bali police have a total of 20 dogs in their current K-9 corps comprised of 10 bomb-detecting dogs, 4 crowd control dogs, 5 tracking dogs and 1 narcotic sniffing dog. The shortage of bomb-sniffing dogs, according to the head of the Police animal corps (Unit Satwa Polda Bali), Made Wedra, has compelled the police to rotate the dogs, focusing on high traffic periods and events at local venues.
Despite the shortfall in needed bomb-detecting dogs in Bali, Made Wedra said: "The police prioritize serving the public and protecting them from terrorist bombers. What's clear, we are on a high level of preparedness at all times." Wedra said that ideally his department could use 40 more bomb-detecting dogs and 112 more officers trained to handle the animals.
Adam McDonald Joins InterContinental Bali
Australian Hotelier Brings an Impressive Range of Hospitality Skills to His New Role at InterContinental Resort, Bali.
InterContinental Bali Resort have appointed Adam McDonald as Resort Manager, a role that will see him assume overall responsibility for the operations of the 418-room Bali property. He reports directly to General Manager, Kamal Chaoui. Australian-born, Adam has spent his entire career working in the luxury hotel sector. He joins InterContinental Bali Resort straight from a 4-year stint as Resident Manager at the InterContinental Sydney where he secured a familiarity with InterContinental brand standards and corporate guidelines. A graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with an Applied Science Degree in Hospitality, Adam started his career at Hilton On The Park, Melbourne in 1991 and was promoted through the ranks via a succession of finance-orientated positions culminating in the role of Business Analyst. Adam then joined the pre-opening team for Hotel Lindrum as Executive Assistant Manager. That assignment gave him fundamental responsibility in setting up all areas of operations including Finance, Sales, Human Resources and Food & Beverage. In 2001, he moved to The Westin Melbourne Hotel as Food & Beverage Manager heading a multi-million dollars segment of that hotel's operation. Later he was appointed Director of Rooms, providing the chance to widen his already substantial hotel managerial skills. An avid sportsman, Adam has played an active role in Australian Rules Football throughout his career. He has officiated as a Boundary Umpire in national matches for many years, demanding a high level of fitness and commitment as well as quick decisions under pressure. A dedicated Father and Husband, he says he enjoys taking his beautiful girls, including his wife, out for breakfast, which he considers to be the best meal of the day. Regarding his Bali appointment, Adam commented: "I feel extremely privileged to be involved with an iconic property like InterContinental Bali Resort. I believe the team is a very special group of people who bring the InterContinental brand to life. I am looking forward to experiencing everything that the island has to offer."
Bali Tourism Arrivals Remain Buoyant
Preliminary Arrival Statistics for Bali Show No Discernable Fallout Following Jakarta Bombing Attacks.
Bisnis.com reports that the tourism industry remains optimistic that tourism visitors to Bali will continue to increase, little affected by the July bombings of two Jakarta hotels.
Dharma Tirtawisata, the Director of Inbound Travel at Panorama Tours said that arrivals to Bali remain high following a period immediately following the Jakarta bombings when some cancellations occurred and an entire week when no new bookings were received. Data released by the Center for Information and Public Relations at the Department of Culture and Tourism shows that daily average arrivals of foreign tourists in Bali in the period July 1-16, 2009, just prior to the Jakarta bombing, stood at 7,283 visitors. In the period following the bombing, July 17-27, 2009 the average number of foreign arrivals to Bali rose to 7.938. An evaluation report of foreign arrivals via Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport prepared by the Center for the Management of Networks (P2DSJ) of the Department of Culture and Tourism states that for the first 26 days of July a total of 195,908 foreign tourists came to Bali, an average of 7,535 people each day. This compares to the previous month of June when an average of 6,661 foreign tourists came to Bali each day. A month-on-month comparison for July 2008 and July 2009, shows a 23.3% increase in foreign arrivals - 6,111 daily arrivals July 2008 versus 7,535 daily arrivals for July 2009. Hotels in Bali for July 17-27, 2009, the period immediately following the Jakarta terror attacks, averaged occupancies of 73.44%.
Protecting Bali's Brain Trust
Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Bali Work to Put Helmets on the Heads of Balinese Children Traveling by Motorcycles.
No visitor to Bali can avoid noticing the thousands upon thousands of motorcycles that ply the islands roads and highways. The preferred means of transportation for the majority of Balinese, it is not unusual to see an entire family of 4 and 5 people crowded onto a single two-wheeler. Less seen is the tragic carnage of the dead, dying and horribly injured passing through the emergency rooms of Bali's hospitals resulting from the frequent mishaps involving motorcycles.
Click Images to Enlarge
In an important effort to reduce the casualty toll, Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Bali have launched the Anak Bintang Campaign or Kids are Stars Campaign in an effort to provide safety helmets for kids traveling on motorcycles. Under the first phase of the campaign, four Starwood Hotels in Bali - The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali; The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali; Le Meridien Nirwana Golf Spa Resort and The St. Regis Bali Resort have joined forces to provide initial funding to purchase the first lot of "kids helmets" for the children of staff and associates of the four hotel properties. The next phase, using funds raised via guests contributions, will allow helmets to be provided to other children in Bali. Shown on balidiscovery.com are pictures taken during the launch of the Anak Bintang Campaign, attended by Peter Frawley, Regional Vice-President Southeast Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Speaking at the event, Frawley said: "The Anak Bintang campaign reflects one of Starwood Care Pillars, namely Care to Community as the group is involved, in many ways, in activities within the community in which they are located. Given that children are the future of the world, ensuring their safety is paramount and therefore we are proud to be launching this initiative."
Bali's Lakes are Shrinking
Three of Bali's Four Lakes Have Lost 3-4 Meters of Water Depth.
According to Bisnis Bali, three of the four lakes found in Bali have lost between three and four meters of water depth that must be urgently addressed to avoid a future water crisis. "Anticipatory steps (needed) include controlling the use of sub-terrain water and conserving the surrounding environment," explained Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika. Pastika told the press that the three lakes threatened by decreasing water levels are Lake Beratan, Lake Buyan in Tabanan, and Lake Batur in Bangli. The only Bali lake maintaining a constant water depth is Lake Tamblingan in Buleleng. Governor Pastika continued by warning that in order to control the use of sub-terrain water the government must increase by a factor of ten the tax retribution charged for its use in combination with concrete steps to re-green jungle and critical area for water catchments. According to the governor, "all this needs the support and understanding of a public concerned with environmental protection and the conservational of valuable water resources." Pastika added the cautionary note that Bali retains jungle cover on only 22% of its land surface, a figure far below the recommended level of 30%. Jungle cover in Bali covers a total of 130,686 hectares comprised of 95,766 hectares (73.28%) of protected jungle; 26,293 hectares (20.12%) of conserved jungle; and 8,626 hectares (6.60%) of productive jungle. The forestry service's plans for 2009 call for the replanting and reclamation of 325 hectares of deforested land in Bali.
Get Out of Jail Cards
Indonesian Director General of Immigration Confirms that 44 Officials at Bali's Airport will Not Be Prosecuted for Criminal Corruption.
A page-one headline story in the Wednesday, August 19, 2009, edition of The Bali Post confirmed that the 44 immigration officers caught stealing US$300,0000 in visa-on-arrival funds have managed to escape criminal prosecution. Confirming that the matter will end with only administrative sanctions and a repayment of the misappropriated funds, the Director General of Immigration, Basyir Barmawi, told the press that the visa fee system has been repaired to prevent future misuse of visa-on-arrival funds. Barmawi's statement that the immigration staffers will only receive verbal reprimands and delayed promotion is at odds with a promise issued earlier by Indonesia's Law and Human Rights Minister, Andi Mattalatta, that the case would be handed to State Prosecutors or the State Anti-Corruption Agency (KPK). Barmawi said follow up investigations carried out by his department confirmed that the malfeasance had been limited to Bali's airport, with no similar cases uncovered at other Indonesian air gateways. In response to a question from the press asking why the legal process against the 44 officials promised by Minister Mattalatta would not go ahead, Barmawi said the offending officials were now under scrutiny by a special team from his office. Any future violations by the subject officials would be dealt with “without mercy.” Related Articles [Prosecutors to Pursue Immigration Corruption Scandal?] [Bali Immigration Officers Avoid Criminal Charges] [Corruption Scandal at Bali's Airport]
Roy Marten: Cast in the Role of a Free Man
Local Press Reports Illegal Opening of 110-Room Best Western Resort Kuta.
NusaBali reports that immediately after his release from Cipinang prison on Tuesday, August 18, 2009, Indonesian film star Roy Marten and his family are headed to Bali for a family holiday. The 57 year-old Marten was released on parole from Cipinang Prison in West Java after completing two years of a three-year sentence for narcotics possession, the second time he has been imprisoned on similar charges. Marten has starred in more than 60 Indonesian feature films, commencing his career in 1974 playing an oft-repeated role of a high-school heartthrob. In more recent years, the actor had made a successful transition to playing more fatherly roles in Indonesian soap operas. Marten told the press that he was bound to Bali for a second honeymoon with his wife, Anna Maria Sofyana, before considering how to restart his film career interrupted by his latest imprisonment. Roy, who received a joyous homecoming at his home in Bekasi on the outskirts of the Indonesian capital, told the press the he was blessed to possess an extraordinary family and an extraordinary group of friends. The details of the star's holiday in Bali are being carefully guarded to allow Marten and his family and undisturbed reconciliation after his two year absence.
Best Western Opens in a No Hotel Zone
Indonesian Actor Roy Marten Leaves Prison to Embark on a Bali Holiday with His Family.
Two Bali newspapers, NusaBali and BisnisBali, both report that the Best Western Sapta Petala Hotel in Kuta has opened for business, despite lacking the required operating permits and licenses. As reported previously on Balidiscovery.com, the 110-room Best Western hotel on Jalan Kubu Anyar in Kuta is at a legal impasse with local tourism officials who insist the hotel was illegally erected in an area zoned to specifically prohibit the presence of hotels and apartment units. Local tourism officials in Kuta claim that, short of changing the zoning laws, there is no way they can issue the necessary operating permits. Meanwhile, community members and a former representatives of the Badung Regency's House of Representatives have vowed to file for an injunction with the administrative courts if the hotel is allowed to open. Nusa Bali reports that the hotel has brazenly opened its doors and published a brochure renaming itself the Best Western Resort Kuta. Cita Imbara, who heads the Organization of the People's Aspirations (BAR) and a former local legislator said: "This is too much, we have visited the field and see the situation. They have made a brochure which would (only) be acceptable if they has a license." Umbara insists that the needed permits cannot be issued for the hotel without ignoring local zoning laws which specifically set the area aside for non-commercial private residences. Umbara said: "What's clear is that there must be concrete action from the government in dealing with this problem. If the case is allowed to continue, the resolve of those who enforce local regulations must be questioned. What's even more disturbing, how can a hotel without permits open and be receiving bookings? This is not just talk, we have seen for ourselves and this is the case." The hotel originally opened in 1983 as a 7-room guest house, expanding over time to become a modern 110-room hotel. BisnisBali aptly describes the difficult impasse that local authorities have created for themselves, saying questions are being raised as to how zoning and building supervisors could have allowed such a large project to be built without the necessary building permits. If an exception to the law is granted permitting the hotel to operate, that fact will create an unfortunate precedent, pointing the way for future projects to break local laws as quickly as possible in order to sort out the matter at a later date. The question remains: Will Badung tourism and building authorities have the courage and authority to require the demolition of the illegal building? Efforts by NusaBali to obtain comment by the hotel's owner, I Wayan Wijaya, have been unsuccessful. Related Article [Does the Sheriff Always Win at the Best Westerns?]
Bali in Two Pieces
Bali Girl Djati Walujo Wins 'Miss Bikini' Contest at Miss Tourism Queen International Contest in China.
Yoke Paramita Djati Walujo, who hails from the island of Bali, has won the "Miss Bikini" title during the Miss Tourism Queen International 2009 Contest held in Xinyang, China. So far, so good. But, according to the Bali Tourism Authority and as reported by detik.com, there is more than a little confusion about the winner, the contest she entered and honor she secured for her island. Ida Bagus Subhisku, the Head of the Bali Tourism Service (KADIPARDA), told detik.com: "We've never heard a report from an agent, organization or individual regarding the bikini contest in China. And, we have never issued our recommendation for this contest." Admitting more than a little confusion, Subhisku told the press that his office recently undertook tourism promotions in 3 cities in China, explaining "in that program, we only presented Balinese dance and cultural performances; I don't know if one of our citizens has followed a bikini contest in China." The head of the Bali Cultural Office, Ida Bagus Sedawa, also claimed to know nothing of the bikini contest. Until recently, Indonesia chose not to participate in international beauty pageants, viewing such event as demeaning to young women. And, while Indonesian participants are gradually beginning to compete in these events, many elements of Indonesian society still have strong objections to Indonesian girls appearing in swimsuit competitions. Whether or not her participation in the contest received any official endorsement, the Xinhua News Agency confirms that the shapely Miss Walujo defeated 120 girls from around the world to be voted the best in a bikini in the contest staged on August 17, 2009, in the province of Henan, China. According to reports, the contest has been held annually since 1949, hosted on a rotating basis by various countries. In winning the "bikini contest," Miss Walujo outranked a Russian contestant who came in second, followed by another beauty from the Ukraine.
Kuta Karnival 2009 September 19-27, 2009
Nine Days of Non-Stop Fun, Games and Parades Along Bali's Fabled Kuta Beach.
Back for the seventh year, Kuta Karnival returns featuring more than an entire week of food, music, sporting events and other attractions from September 19-27, 2009. Dubbed a "celebration of life," guests staying or visiting Bali's world famous Kuta Beach can witness or participate in surfing competitions, fun games, open-stage band performances, skateboard competitions, kite-flying contests, tradition art performances, food festivals, turtle release programs, martial art demonstrations, road races, free movies presentations, fishing fun and large street parades. For more information, visit the [Kuta Karnival 2009 Website]
Malaysia, Truly Bali
Malaysian Tourism Accused of Hijacking Bali's Culture.
Television commercial used to promote Malaysian tourism have instead promoted discord between Indonesia and Malaysia. The advertisement, part of the well-know "Malaysia, Truly Asia" campaign, featured a well-known Balinese traditional pendet dance, reportedly performed by two recent graduates of the Indonesian Institute of Arts (ISI) and filmed in Bali. The broadcast commercials are seen in some Indonesian art circles as the latest slap in Indonesia's face by Malaysia, who regularly draw on Indonesian music and cultural icons to promote their national tourism. Underlining local displeasure with these cultural borrowings, tens of Balinese artists staged a protest on Saturday, August 22, 2009, at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Bali. At the protest rally, Professor Wayan Dibia of the ISI presented a written statement against Malaysia's theft of Bali's cultural heritage to a representative of the local House of Representatives. Quoted by the national news agency Antara, Dibia said: "Based upon our observation, the dancers shown in the Malaysian ad were in fact two graduates from the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Denpasar, named Lusia and Wiwik. The picture was taken by Bali Record two or three years ago." In response, Ida Ayu Agung Mas of the House of Representatives said: "As a people's representative, I support the protest and will immediately notify the Malaysian government about the case." The incident has reignited calls for the government to secure copyrights and patents on the icons of Indonesia's rich cultural heritage. In the past, Malaysian has been accused of arrogating Indonesian songs, dances and handicrafts - claiming them as part of the cultural heritage of their country.
SKAL World President Bali Bound
Hulya Aslantas to Address Bali, Indonesian SKAL Chapter on Friday, August 28, 2009.
Hulya Aslantas, World President of SKAL International will visit Bali and appear at a special luncheon in her honor to be held at The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali on Friday, August 28, 2009, at 12 noon. Ms. Aslantas is the Managing Director of Universal Travel Services in Turkey. She was elected president of SKAL International at that organization's 69th World Congress held in Taipei, Taiwan. Established in 1934, SKAL International is the world largest association of tourism and travel professionals with members hailing from 500 chapters in 90 countries worldwide. President Aslantas is making special visit to Bali to call on the Bali Chapter, cited as one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing clubs within the SKAL family. The August 28th luncheon is open to both SKAL members and the general public. A delicious 3-course luncheon is available to guests at a cost of Rp. 200,000 per person (US$20) while members of the Bali SKAL Chapter will be admitted without charge. Reservations are essential, call Gede Juwena at telephone ++62-(0)361-7840212.
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