All posts tagged: art

ARTJOG 2019: A Retrospective

I must admit, contemporary art is something I have never been able to truly enjoy. Its propensity toward anything “out of the box” which requires deep contemplation to “understand” it rarely inspires me. Of all the artworks that fall into this category, there’s one particular […]


Tang Shipwreck: Digging into Controversy

In the ninth century CE, an Arabian dhow sailed from the Middle East to China, possibly bringing precious cargo from Africa, Arabia, Persia, and other places along its journey to the Far East through the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, and all the way […]


Buddhist Treasures Beneath A Rock

Close your eyes, and hold them for a few minutes… then slowly open them, only when you feel you’re ready. Do you see the infinite blue skies I’m looking at right now? We were in faraway Japan the last time I took you into a dream like […]


Kochi: From Spices to Kathakali

Chapter 3, Part 2 On the Malabar Coast in the southwestern corner of the Indian subcontinent lie old trading ports which served as the main gateways for ancient traders and explorers, from China to Persia, from Arabia to Europe. Calicut, Quilon and Cochin – modern-day […]


Vijayanagara: the Legacy

Chapter 2, Part 3 “In this city you will find men belonging to every nation and people, because of the great trade which it has, and the many precious stones there … the streets and markets are full of laden oxen without count, … and […]


Pura Singapadu: Beauty in Details

We only had 3 hours left before we had to be at the airport in Bali to catch the flight back to Jakarta. But after watching the Barong performance at Batubulan and having visited some of eastern Bali’s most picturesque palaces, gardens and temples we […]


Dance of An Eternal Battle

Since the dawn of mankind on Earth the planet has changed so dramatically, caused both by Mother Nature’s relentless energy to twist, turn and flip the world’s tectonic plates, volcanoes, skies and oceans, and humans’ insatiable demand for resources. So often we hear that the […]


Revisiting Bali’s Spiritual Monuments

A girl in Balinese traditional sarung for woman puts canang sari – a small basket of woven palm leaves filled with colorful petals and shredded pandan leaves – on the ground, then sprinkles holy water on it, puts some incense sticks made from the fragrant […]


A Night of Endless Captivation

It was 7 pm, James and I were seated in Ubud’s wantilan, a shaded traditional pavilion open on three sides with a stage set up for the night’s performance, flanked by Balinese gamelan – a set of traditional musical instruments originally created to lull kings […]


The Moon and The Rock

The moon. For millennia it has been a perennial source of fascination for humans from almost every culture in the world. The celestial object – often perceived as a gentle balance to the mighty sun – plays an important role in many mythologies: from the […]


Feeling, Breathing Ubud

We walked through a small alley, lit only by a few lamps mounted on a fence. While passing a small tree something suddenly fell on my head, too heavy to be an insect but too light to be a snake. I bowed my head, shook […]


Venerating Gods and Spirits in Bali

Delicately carved wooden statues in realistic proportions embellish people’s houses, floral designs are intricately sculpted on temple figurines, and sturdy yet delicate rock-hewn statues stand at major roundabouts and intersections. It is in Bali where statues hold a more significant role in people’s lives than […]