On a visit to Bali, we were taken to this museum as part of a day’s tour. It was, thus, a rather short stop but it has captured a special place in my heart.

As you can see, I’m already in a Bali Art Museum state of mind

Influences from the mythology of the Indian sub-continent are present everywhere in Indonesia and, most especially, in Bali. Thus, it was no surprise to see many stone statues of Indian gods even as we entered.

A sitting Ganesh, chubby and bedecked with flowers

Design  Founder Nyoman Rudana used the concept of Tri Hita Karana, art’s contribution to public wellbeing, to dream up a building combining space and environment, internal and external, including management, staff, the collection and other factors. It is serene and conducive to the enjoyment of art. 

Three stories tall, the building embodies Balinese architecture. Philosophically, it expresses Tri Angga, the three parts of the human body (head, trunk, legs) and Tri Manggala by which a compound is divided into three sections (inner, middle, and outer ). It also symbolises Tri Loka or the concept of the universe as divided into bur, bwah, swah (worlds beneath, intermediate and above).

Another Ganesh, of a more mature age, meditates serenely, also bedecked with Hibiscus. There appear to be some other articles of worship at his feet.

The outer walls symbolise the Indonesian national flag: red (bricks) and white (sandstone). 

Not all the idols were easily identifiable to me. I would dearly have loved to have had someone around to tell me legends of local deities and guardian spirits.

Cute and bizarre creature. I wonder what it represents.

In India, it is common to find Dwarapalakas, guardian deities. These can be found at the borders of small towns, outside temples and so on.

Balinese Dwarapalaka, Rudana
A fanged guardian. Notice the ornate design on his forehead, the folds of his garments, his ornaments and weapon.

What won my heart most was the collection of beautiful paintings displayed in a lofty spacious room where the window overlooked green paddy fields, almost as if reality were another beautiful painting on the wall.

Rudana gallery window
View from the upstairs window at the Art Gallery
Lady in Paddy Field, Rudana, Bali, 2008
A lady attending to paddy, seen from the Rudana Gallery window
Person in Paddy Field from window, Rudana
I’m really not sure if it is a man or woman and nor do I know if this picture shows any difference between a paddy field in India and one in Indonesia.
Statue in Paddy field, near Rudana
The large statue in the distance is yet more evidence of the Indonesian fascination for statues.

Displays This was the outside. I then turned inwards and was lost in swirling lines, colours, a world of dancers on canvas.

Rudana painting 1
Mystical, magical, legendary

I loved the paintings on display. I now read that the entrance fee is high, but includes a free drink and a souvenir from the foundation. We did not get any such thing, I think!

Rudana painting 2,
Balinese Apsara
Rudana painting 3
The painter is obviously into dancing girls! And who can blame the artist when Bali abounds with graceful dancers?

Emerging out of the gallery, we encounter a small group of artists busy at work.

Artists at work_1, Rudana
It must be heavenly to work in this ambience.
Artists at work_2, Rudana
Engrossed in a traditional theme, oblivious of our admiring stares

As we begin to leave the premises, our gazes are drawn to nature’s artistry.

Flowers, Rudana
Nature, the greatest artist

Out of the Way The museum is in a rather remote location and not easily accessible. All in all, it may not be on a must-visit list if you are on a short vacation. Also, Ubud, Bali, where it is located, has many other great places to visit. It will be a good choice if you have your own transport and can spend a day or two in Ubud.

When in Bali, do the Ubud thing Whether or not you visit Rudana, Ubud will offer many chances to shop, see lots of monkeys and plenty of other, more commercial,art galleries.

And so I left but Bali tends to fragrance memories every now and again.

Exiting Rudana
Will I ever see you again?



8 thoughts on “Museum Rudana, Bali, July 2008

  1. Loved going through the blogpost, ma’am. Would love to visit Bali someday. I’m delighted by how you make your travel blog so poetic. The use of lines such as “almost as if reality were another beautiful painting on the wall” brought a smile to my face.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As usual, you were able to eloquently write about such a beautiful adventure in such a way we can feel as though we are right there! I’m so glad I read this and I look forward to visiting Bali someday.

    On the statue you mentioned, I wonder if the pigs have to do with their history and love of pork.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much. It means a lot to read such a comment. You must visit Bali. I think that the month we went was a good season.
      As for the statue, is it a pig? I really have no idea.
      Love of pork would be a bizarre fad in the present and I have no idea about the past of the island.
      So far as I experienced, the food is mainly seafood oriented.
      Thank you for raising the point. I will try and find out more about the statue.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s