The Republic of Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. It is an archipelago comprising of approximately 17, 508 islands. One of its islands, Bali, is one of the most popular holiday islands in the world and boasts a compelling mix of attractions. Stylish beach resorts rub shoulders with historic Hindu temples, towering volcanoes and undulating rice terraces. The island is a visual treat for lovers of exotic culture and also knows how to have fun. There is literally something for every interest. Bali is located just south of the Equator sandwiched between the islands of Java and Lombok in central Indonesia. It is a relatively small island measuring just 90 miles wide and 50 miles from north to south. Bali’s four million strong population is the only Hindu society in Southeast Asia. It combines a unique blend of mainstream Hinduism, Buddhism and ancient animist beliefs and very different in practice from Hinduism on the Indian sub-continent.
Official Language: Indonesian
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
Type of Government: (Indonesia) Constitutional republic, Unitary state, Multi-party system, Presidential system
Stone carvings were mainly used to decorate temples and palaces and the carvers had much more leeway in their use of subject matter than the artists and illustrators. There is little difference between the iconography decorating temples and that of private buildings. Gateways represent the dividing line between the inner and outer worlds. As well as portraying deities and demons, the carvers included many scenes from public life and there are many temple surfaces enriched with the antics of the Dutch colonists, including scenes of bicycles, drunken parties, car breakdowns and even airplanes.
The place synonymous with the traditional form of Balinese painting, is the village of Kamasan, near Klungkung. Up until the beginning of this century, and under service of the king of Gelgel and Klungkung, it was only natural that the painters and illustrators, called "Sangging", should settle in this one area. As it was not uncommon for ruling families from other parts of Bali to acquire the use of a Sangging to decorate their own palaces or temples, the Kamasan style of painting quickly spread throughout the whole of Bali.
Wood carving, like stone carving, has traditionally featured largely in the temples and palaces on Bali, with little free standing 'sculpture' work produced commercially. Immaculately carved "demons" and "mythical beings" decorate pillars, door panels, lintels and window shutters with the aim of protecting the building/s from evil intruders. With the arrival of European influences, wood carving started to develop along more innovative and commercial lines.
One of the most striking things about Bali is the rich variety of cloths and materials that are to be found in the thousands of shops across the island. Batik, a wax and dye technique artform, is thought to originate from the Javanese word 'tritik' which describes a resist process for dying where the patterns are reserved on the textiles by tying and sewing areas prior to dying, similar to tie dye techniques. Another Javanese phase for the mystical experience of making batik is “mbatik manah” which means “drawing a batik design on the heart”.Ikat cloth is an essential part of the traditional Balinese costume. The ikat technique was brought to Indonesia many centuries ago by traders. It has since developed into a high art in Bali and continues to challenge its dyers and weavers