by Richard Horstman



The influence of mass tourism and cultural traditions has been instrumental in restricting the development of contemporary art in Bali.



SkullsWhile the Balinese government has yet to be forthcoming in its support of the local contemporary art community and its potentials to generate economic and cultural benefits, it is a new initiative by the Indonesian government’s Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Industry that is pioneering the way.


The local contemporary art community has cause for a new and positive future outlook. A unique contemporary art program in Bali kicked off on the 17th October in Ubud – Bali ACT – Art and Culture in Tradition. This promising event features 100 exhibitions and events in galleries and artists studios and museums throughout Bali until 22nd November 2013.


The official opening was held at Agung Rai Museum of Art in Ubud officiated by Mrs. Marie Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy – Indonesia. An art performance by senior Balinese artist Nyoman Erawan, punctuated the evening followed by an exhibition of his paintings and installations, as well a showcase of the ARMA’s collection.


Today (Oct 18th) a seminar, “The Development of the Fine Arts in Culture and Tradition” will be held at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Denpasar, including presentations by senior Indonesian art and cultural identities.




On the 19th October at Bentara Budaya Cultural Center, Jalan I.B. Mantra, Kewetel as a part of the Bali ACT a workshop, “Art Projects & Entrepreneurship” will be held for art college and vocational school students, facilitated by leading local art educators.




Following these events will be a series of exhibitions showcasing the local and foreign artists in the mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, digital art, installation, video art and performance.


The Indonesian government has pledged to continue this event again in 2014. For more information: