Immersion in the Culture and Arts of Bali
office of international program
Travel, as a source of visual imagery and inspiration, has long been a part of both the European and American painting traditions. The great American painters, Frederic Church, Thomas Moran and Thomas Cole traveled extensively, not only in America, but also to areas as diverse as the Antarctic and South America. As for Matisse, North Africa lived in his imagination until the end. Asia, South East Asia and Indonesia have captured the imagination of many contemporary artists and indeed, occupy a special place in my mind’s eye.
The town of Ubud is the living center of Balinese artistic and cultural activity. Many famed dance troupes, gamelan orchestras, painters and carvers, craftsmen of all types; masters of shadow puppet dramas (delang) reside here and in the surrounding villages of Peliatan and Campuan. The many temples and palaces offer venues for performances of music, dance and drama as well as elaborate funeral ceremonies, and temple festivals. Ubud is situated amidst a spectacular landscape, of volcanic peaks, deep forest and breathtaking, terraced rice fields carved into the mountainous terrain. Hinduism is the dominant religion of Bali and it colors (literally) the rich visual culture of this region.
Professor Andrew Tavarelli, Department of Fine Arts