In the Balinese language there is no word for art. I suppose that’s because in one way or another all Balinese are artists and creativity seemingly is in their genes. I often joke with fellow art historian friends back in the states, “if a Balinese gets cut, that isn’t blood you’ll see, rather it’s Grumbacher red oil paint.”
Virtually anywhere you go in Bali you’ll find something going on. In every Balinese compound women prepare offerings each and every day…and each of them is a work of sculptural art. Much like back in the states where one might see a small group of old women sitting around knitting and enjoying the latest gossip, here in Bali you’ll find the same except it’s razor sharp knives in their hands deftly and almost mindlessly cutting away various leaves into elaborate and beautiful offerings, all the while chit chatting away without even looking at what their hands are doing.
All Balinese children are raised with a strong emphasis on art be it performing arts (dance, music or drama) or visual (architecture, painting and sculpture).
Certain areas of Bali are better known for specific arts, for example Batubulan for stone sculpture, Mas for wood carving, Celuk for jewelry, and Ubud for painting, but this artistic pursuits go on all over Bali.
Your best bet once you are here is to hire a private Balinese driver who can take you all over Bali and into the often remote villages rarely seen by tourists.
If you need some excellent recommendations of Balinese drivers that I’ve known for many years, just send me a private message and I’ll gladly respond.
Enjoy your trip!