An Exhibition by Gusti Alit Cakra and I Wayan Suarjiwatman at the Ganesha Gallery January 10 – February 2, 2007.
A comparison of the work of the two Balinese abstract artists, Gusti Alit Cakra and I Wayan S. Jiwatman, illustrates both the reason that so many contemporary Balinese artists are drawn to abstractionism, and how two souls can approach the same destination at the same time from different paths.
As a budding traditional artist in Pejeng village, Jiwatman was identified and sent to a high school for young artists in nearby Ubud - the self declared center of Balinese arts. Although he excelled in the more classical curriculum it was not long before he discovered abstract art, much to the dismay of his teachers. Later studies at the art academies in Denpasar, Bali and Yogyakarta would only increase his zeal without diminishing Jiwatman’s connection to other traditional Balinese arts, especially dance.
Gusti Alit Cakra did not attend local art schools but instead headed directly to the national art academy in Yogyakarta where he came under the direct influence of some of Indonesia's most talented and acclaimed abstract artists, including Nasirun and Harjiman. Although he would maintain his Balinese identity as seen by his occasional use of abstracted Balinese motifs in his paintings, he chose to settle in Yogya, the chief center of the Indonesian art scene.
Gusti Alit's paintings have been described as "architectural." Certainly close examination gives the impression that even the dripping paint seen between the sharp edged blocks are pre-meditated. In some ways we can think of his paintings as constructions with forms whose textures and scratched surfaces appear like carefully hand hewn stones fitted together. This feeling is further emphasized by a limited palette of whites, grays, blacks and browns. He will occasionally use strong color but only with circumspection and rarely more than one in any specific painting.
Jiwatman's work relies far more on bold strokes and fuzzier lines. Although some of his earlier work are monotone, he has no fear of combining strong colors and destroying firm edges and straight lines. He is also not afraid of projecting zoo and anthropomorphic images. This is seen in titles referring to animals. In addition, Jiwatman also attempts to visual abstract concepts like "Inhalation."
The works of both of these talented artists have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Notably neither has been tempted to waiver from their dedication to abstract art since their first experiments. Although abstraction might seem superficially alien to Balinese art and culture, there are numerous elements both visual and spiritual that run parallel to the concept of seeking oneself in an intangible world where forms have no connection with the state of illusion that we call life.
Two Paths, One Destination
"Two Paths, One Destination" an exhibition by Gusti Alit Cakra and I Wayan Suarjiwatman open daily at the Ganesha Gallery Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bat January 10 – February 2, 2007.
For more information, telephone the gallery manager at ++62-(0)361-701010.
Aid Through Trade – Imports of Bali
A Scottsdale Company Brings Beauty to Arizona and Much-needed Employment to Balinese Craftsmen.
A Scottsdale, Arizona non-profit organization - The Kearney Alliance is dedicated to helping developing company entrepreneurs sell their goods as a means of alleviating poverty.
Imports of Bali - the retail arm of the philanthropic organization is one of that areas most well-known retailers the subject of TV and print media coverage, local Channel 3's Good Morning Arizona and Channel 15's Sonoran Living - as well as articles in The Arizona Republic and Yes Style. All featured the store's carefully selected range of stunning products and highlighted its philanthropic goals.
Aid Through Trade
"Our mission of 'Aid through Trade' is advanced with every product customers buy at Imports of Bali," said Terry Koch, executive director of the Kearny Alliance. "Purchases directly support skills development and job creation among poor, small-scale producers in Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos."
One Imports of Bali customer, J’Lein Leise, said: "I'm totally impressed with the quality craftsmanship of the products here – especially the innovative sterling silver jewelry and silk scarves. Plus, I like that my purchase helps to support poor people."
Koch said: "The family-based enterprises we work with create stunning handcrafted works of art – jewelry, home décor and fashion accessories – but lack direct access to international markets."
"We fill that need. In doing so, we create lasting jobs which fosters a strong sense of pride in producers' work, their ability to provide basic necessities for their families, and education for their children."
The Kearny Alliance is a Scottsdale, Arizona based nonprofit organization. Its first retail outlet for small-scale Asian artisans, Imports of Bali, is in Scottsdale, Arizona at 14611 North Scottsdale Road.
Key programs of the Kearny Alliance include the Export Service Centre with offices in Denpasar, Indonesia. The Centre assists low-income producers throughout Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos to sell products to buyers worldwide. Imports of Bali is the nonprofit retail arm of the Kearny Alliance. The Imports of Bali retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona, offers a direct sales outlet for small-scale producers in developing countries.
Western Australian Hotels Exploring Steps to Employ Balinese Hospitality Workers.
The recent downturn in the number of Australian visitors to Bali may not mean that Indonesia's near neighbors will have to go without the charm, grace and good service they come to regularly enjoy on an annual holiday to Bali.
Australian press reports tell of efforts underway to obtain short-term working permits for as many as 2000 skilled Balinese hospitality workers to address a critical shortfall in Western Australian hotels. In urgent need, according to Bradley Woods, an executive of the Australian Hotel Association (AHA), are waiters, chefs, kitchen and housekeeping staff to fill positions that are going begging and considered too-hard and too-low-paying for Australian workers.
Woods was quoted as complimenting Bali as an excellent source for hospitality workers. "There are many Balinese companies that can't give enough work to their staff at the moment because of the downturn in the tourism industry over there," Mr Woods said.
Woods is said to be in discussion with Indonesian labor suppliers, the Bali Hotel Association, major hotels in Bali and Australia's Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in steps to allow six and twelve-month working contracts in Australia for Balinese workers.
Flight KI-574 Where are You?
Editorial: Recent Incidents in Indonesia's Civil Aviation Sector Suggest that Those in Charge in the Defense Department and Air Force May be Asleep at the Wheel.
The tragic disappearance Adam Air Flight KI-574 on January 1, 2007, has brought forth a torrent of vociferous and angry diatribes calling for the resignation the Government Minister responsible for transportation and a more stringent safety regulation of Indonesia's burgeoning air traffic industry.
The all-too-frequent reports of Indonesian aircraft crashes, runway mishaps and near-misses suggest that much still remains to be done to increase the professionalism of the national aviation sector. And while we have no quarrel with the growing chorus for safer airways and a more transparent approach to the investigation of all aviation "incidents," it seems that the disappearance of the Adam Air flight last week carrying 102 souls and an earlier incident, in February of 2006, when another Adam Air flight carry 145 people went temporarily missing suggest even bigger issues of national security may be in play.
In fairness to Adam Air's Senior Managers, the February 2006 missing flight in which an aircraft "disappeared" for nearly four hours, making an emergency landing in Sumba – some 800 miles off-course from its intended destination - was handled decisively. That incident resulted in the firing and arrest of the aircraft's Captain and the dismissal of the Company Director charged with aviation safety.
In the most recent incident, however, with the aircraft and its passengers still unaccounted for nearly one week after the reported disappearance, it would be both premature and unfair to try to assign blame and begin laying recriminations.
While Indonesia's Minister of Transportation, Hatta Rajasa, has had to bear the brunt of a storm of criticism over both incidents and the perceived generalized shortcomings of Indonesia's civil aviation industry, the two Adam Air incidents indicate that Indonesia's Minister of Defense Juwono Sudarsono and Armed Forces Commander Marshal Djoko Suyanto also have much to answer for.
Flight KI-574 Where are You?
Both Adam Air episodes point to the glaring fact that apparently no one on the ground in Indonesia has a firm handle on the location and status of the hundreds of civil, private and military flights crisscrossing the Country ever hour of the day.
Seen within the context of the post-911 world where aircraft in Europe and America that make minor deviations from their assigned flight paths and schedules can instantly precipitate a precautionary fighter-jet escort, the catch-as-catch-can style of monitoring Indonesia's skies is especially appalling.
In the case of the February 2006 Adam Air flight headed from Jakarta to Makassar, the aircraft loss radio contact and then flew undetected and unchallenged for nearly 4 hours over or near some of Indonesia's most populated cities, resort areas and largest hotels before landing unannounced on a remote airport with its fuel tanks on empty. In a different geographical context, this is the approximate equivalent of a London-destined flight landing in Rome or a Chicago-bound aircraft suddenly turning up in Atlanta, Georgia.
While the embarrassingly harsh criticism being laid at the door of Indonesia's Transportation Ministry may not be entirely undeserved and will hopefully result in safer air transportation for the flying public, President Yudhoyono also needs to also call onto the carpet his Defense Minister and the Air Force Officer now in charge of the the entire Armed Forces to be asked, both literally and figuratively, - "What's up?"
Unfortunately, if current developments are any indication, both men will find that a very hard question to answer.
Professional Team Appointed to Create a Branding Image for the World's Most Popular Tropical Island Destination.
At special dinner on Friday, December 29, 2006, held for leading Bali tourism figures hosted by the Governor of Bali at his official residence, the launch of a one-year branding exercise for Bali was introduced by the blue-ribbon team of marketing and branding experts.
Taking inspiration from the successful branding campaigns conducted by India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand - the Bali Branding Team has begun a series of intensive interviews with tourism stakeholders and players from key markets to obtain insights and consensus that will eventually result in an effective branding for Bali. Speaking to the Indonesian-language Tempo Interaktif, Gede Nurjaya, the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority, said, "We intend to accommodate all the needs of Bali tourism."
According to a member of the Bali Branding Team, Sumardy, branding is not merely a logo or advertising concept. He explained that branding must posses an internal strength in close alignment with the destination; adding branding should encompass commerce, industry, services as well as tourism.
In the course of the Bali Branding Team's initial assignment, a Bali Brand Equity Federation, based on the Indian model, will be establish for the management and safekeeping of Bali's brand and product identity.
19 More Countries Proposed for Visa-on-Arrival
If Approved, New Countries would Bring to 71 the Number of Nationalities Eligible to Purchase Visas on Arrival in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism have recommended to the Department of Justice and Human Rights that the nationals of 19 countries be added to the list of 52 nations already eligible to obtain a visa-on-arrival (VOA) upon landing in the Country.
Currently citizens from 52 countries holding a passport with at least six month's remaining validity can pay US$10 for a 7-day VOA or US$25 for a 30-day VOA upon entering Indonesia. [See: Indonesia's Visa Policy]
Although a Jakarta Department of Tourism official refused to disclose the names of the 19 countries recommended for the VOA facility, the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia said the following countries are currently under consideration:
Tourism Targets for 2007
The 19 new counties awaiting approval by the Department of Justice for inclusion in the VOA list are part of the Governments plan to achieve 5.5 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2007.
Arrest Made in Ubud Robbery-Assault
Lombok Police Arrest Yopung Man While Two Accomplices Still Subject of Intense Manhunt.
Shocked and dismayed at the brutality of the attack which caused cuts and lacerations to the husband and left the wife hospitalized in Bali's General Hospital, various elements of the community responded by calling on the couple to express their apologies for the rare assault, with hospitalization and repatriation costs guaranteed by Bali's Governor and Gianyar's Regent.
Police Make an Arrest
The Indonesia-language Bali Post reports that police have made an arrest in the case, just 10 days after the incident.
Responding in part to a 30-day deadline given by Bali's police chief to solve the case, police in the neighboring island of Lombok arrested a 25 year-old man on Friday, January 5, 2007, in a small village at the center of the island.
The young man, Dodi Prayoga, has reportedly admitted to police that he attacked 33 year-old Jim Yung Ok with a local sword at The Ubud Village Hotel.
Based on information obtained during the ongoing interrogation of Prayoga, police are now searching for two accomplices in Lombok believed to have played a role in the robbery and assault.
The couple injured in the incident flew home to Korea on Thursday, January 4, 2007.
Walking the Bali Police Beat
Bali's Police of the Chief Gets Up Close and Personal with New Year's Eve Celebrants During a 'Walkabout' of Kuta Beach.
No one can accuse Bali's Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Purwoko of losing touch with the people in his job of working to keep Bali safe for tourist visitors and local residents.
Proving himself a "man of the people," Chief Purwoko spent the early hours of New Year's eve personally inspecting security measures at the U.S. and Australian consulates in Bali, later visiting the Nusa Dua Hotel complex and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana monument.
Running up to midnight, the Chief arrived in the busy night-life sector of Kuta only to find his vehicle caught up in a traffic grid-lock. Undeterred, Purwoko left his car and undertook a 6-kilometer walk through the busy streets of Kuta where he sought out both domestic and foreign visitors to extend his New Year's wishes and gather first-hand information on their holiday experience in Bali.
When asked by a local reporter on the motivation for his walkabout, Purwoko saluted the support of the local populace in maintaining Bali's security and expressed the wish that any distance between his office and the people be eliminated.
Working until the early hours of New Year’s day, Bali's Police Chief undertook an additional walking tour of the Tuban area of Kuta, including rushing to the scene of an early-morning fire at the Thai Express Restaurant.
Low Casualty Count During New Year's Celebrations
Local emergency Room Reports a Relatively Quiet Transition from 2006 to 2007.
While New Year's celebrations in Bali passed without major incident, the annual revelry claimed its bloody toll on the Island's streets and roads.
While authorities report a somewhat more subdued approach to party making than in past years, the Emergency Room at Bali's Sanglah General Hospital treated 73 patients between sunset on New Year's Eve and 7:00 a.m. the following morning. According to reports in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, 60 (82%) of those treated were the result of some degree of intoxication.
Casualties resulting from New Year's celebrations were substantially reduced from the same period in 2005-2006 when 225 patients were treated, of which 61.2% were intoxicated.
A Hospital spokesman said that most of the 73 patients treated over the New Year's Eve were for broken bones and head injuries, with 20 requiring hospitalization. As part of Sanglah's General Hospital emergency preparedness 47 doctors, 50 paramedics and 102 nurses were on duty during the change of year.
A total of 7 people treated through the emergency unit died in 24-hour period starting from sunset on New Year's Eve 2006-2007.
Crackdown on Unlicensed Tourist Transportation
New Stickers from Transport Association Intended to Help Police and Association Members Seeking to Stop Illegal Taxis and Vans.
Numerous unlicensed busses, van and sedans transporting tourists across the island are fueling calls by the Bali Association of Tourist Transport (PAWIBA) for a tough crackdown on gypsy transportation providers.
Despite current regulations which require all tourism transportation to display supplemental license tags - know locally as izin pariwisata, many vehicles operate without the required tags making the offending vehicles liable to possible fines and immediate impoundment when discovered transporting tourists illegally.
The Chairman of PAWABI – Bali, Bagus Soediana, blamed the current abundance of illegal transportation operators for the oversupply of tourist transport and the resulting unhealthy price competition. That price competition, according to Soediana, is causing Bali's licensed armada to operate at rates that are unsustainable for necessary periodic vehicle replacement.
New Sticker System to Be Introduced
To assist the planned crackdown on illegal transport operators, Soediana recently told the Indonesian-language Bisnis Bali that memberships stickers will soon be introduced for licensed vehicles operated by Pawiba members to assist in the identification off illegal operators during the coming crackdown.
Pawiba hopes to have the stickers available for members vehicles in January 2007 in anticipation of enforcement steps to follow in the months and weeks thereafter.
Woodsman, Spare that Tree!
Local Villagers in Legian Protest Tree Removal at Outrigger O-C-En Hotel.
Tens of residents from a local banjar gathered outside the Outrigger O-C-En Hotel on Legian Beach to protest the felling of mature trees providing shade to the shore side.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language DenPost, a local resident complained: "The camplung (Editor: Calophyllum inophyllum) trees are decades old. Is it that easy to cut them down? In fact, they serve a function of providing shade." DenPost reports that the camplung trees stood in an area being prepared for a pond at the Outrigger.
Local villagers joining the protest also called into question the close proximity of the Outrigger O-C-En to the public right-of-way, suggesting the building is not in compliance with local "set-back" laws.
Maxy Mailenzun, a representative of Outrigger O-C-En, received the delegation of Legian residents and told the demonstrators that the removal of the trees was included as part of the building permit granted to the project by municipal authorities.
In response, however, the Head of Badung's Parks Department (DKP)responded, adamantly denying that his office issued the necessary permits to removed the trees at the front of the Outrigger O-C-En. The official, I Wayan Suteja, told DenPost that permits from the Hotel seeking to fell the trees had been rejected by his office who had, in turn, suggested the hotel discuss their desire to clear trees with the surrounding village community.
Following the meeting between the Apartment-hotel and local residents, DenPost reports that a five-point written agreement was drafted providing:
▪ That the hotel will not cut down or kill through any other means protective cover trees on their property.
▪ Compensation will be paid to the community for the trees already removed.
▪ The Hotel must make a commitment to preserve and protect the local environment.
▪ That the Hotel will not cut more trees, changing design plans if necessary to avoid further fellings.
▪ If any part of the hotel-apartment project infringes on lands not owned by Outrigger O-C-En, such construction will not proceed.
Meanwhile, members of the local House of Representatives have indicated they will enquire further after into whether the Hotel helds the necessary permits to cut trees.
The Controversy Widens
Protests over the Outrigger O-C-En's alleged unauthorized removal of trees fronting their property has prompted the local village chief (klien) of Suka Duka Pekandelan Banjar in Legian to publicly question all the permits held to construct the property.
Speaking to DenPost, Rutha Ady, who is also the former Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) for Badung, called on the technical department of the local government to disclose what permits had been issued in connection with the Outrigger O-C-En . Ady said that the very modern design of the Outrigger O-C-En appeared to have ignored local rules stipulating Balinese architectural values in new constructions.
Garuda to Fly Balikpapan-Denpasar
New Service Connecting Bali to Indonesia’s Oil Patch to Commence in March.
Garuda Indonesia have announced that they will soon commence twice-daily service between Balikpapan (Kalimantan) and Denpasar (Bali).
The new service was originally scheduled to commence in October 2006, but has been delayed until March 2007.
Intended to make Bali more accessible to business people, expatriates and Indonesians working in Kalimantan's oil patch - the flights will operate with intermediate stops in Makassar and Yogyakarta.
Garuda is targeting load factors of 70% on the new route.
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