A collection of short stories, essays, blog-posts and photographs from Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ubud High « A Bali 'Art Attack ~ Think about it for a second

The last time major economic disasters hit Bali – the 2002 and 2005 bombings – many of Bali's artisans and artists packed up their easels and chisels for good. Silversmiths became taxi drivers; painters became barmen; wood-carvers became sheet-changers in hotels.

The result? A generation of Balinese art that was never made.

The Balinese Art Market ~ Paintings for Sale on Bali

Sales and commissioned work ~ Buy direct: from Artist to Buyer

Modern, Contemporary and Traditional Balinese Art / Street~Urban Art and Murals
Street-art mural of a traditional Balinese market from the 1930s in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Photorealistic urban art by an anonymous street artist in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

THIS NEW SECTION is an experiment – a free space for Balinese artists to share their work, and to hopefully sell a piece or two in the process. Help them out. These are very hard times. No commission fees will ever be taken by Ubud High. This is a sales-fee-free zone.

Artist takes all.

Please contact the artist or their representative directly if you are interested in buying or commissioning their artwork.

The impact of the Coronavirus on Bali's artists and their families is crushing, and tourism won't be making a comeback anytime soon. The Balinese economy is running on fumes. There is little-to-no social security to speak of on Bali. For young artists, their art is their lifeblood; for the old, their pension; and for those artists who have passed away, a chance for their families to swap some very tasty, bequeathed art for food and schooling.

Artists' or representatives' contact details are provided below each of their portfolios. Please contact them directly for enquiries, payment, collection or delivery.

Dig deep, or just enjoy the free market scene...

Om Swastiastu.

Street-art mural of a traditional Balinese market from the 1930s in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Photorealistic urban-art mural of a traditional 1930s-style Balinese market by an unknown street artist in Badung, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
September 9, 2020.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.


Traditional and Modern Balinese Paintings for Sale

Traditional Balinese Artists

I. Made Tubuh (b.Batuan, Bali 1942 –)

The Batuan School of Painting / Traditional Balinese Art / Hindu religion / Mythology / Traditional scenes / Tourism

Balinese painting for sale by the artist Made Tubuh from Batuan, Bali, Indonesia

'Lomba Layang-Layang' (Kite Festival).
100cm x 70cm. 2010. Framed. Acrylic on canvas. Artwork by © I. Made Tubuh, Batuan, Bali.
Photograph by © Ubud High.

See more traditional Balinese paintings for sale by Made Tubuh ⇨


I. Ketut Murtika (b.Batuan, Bali 1952 – d.2019)

The Batuan School of Painting / Traditional Balinese Art / Balinese-Hindu religion / Mythology & mysticism

Balinese painting for sale by the artist I. Ketut Murtika from Batuan, Bali, Indonesia

Untitled.
70cm x 50cm. Unframed. Acrylic on canvas. Artwork by © I. Ketut Murtika, Batuan, Bali.
Photograph by © Ubud High.

See more traditional Balinese paintings for sale by I. Ketut Murtika ⇨


I. Ketut Sutama (b.Ubud, Bali 1960 –)

Traditional Balinese art / Balinese-Hinduism / Traditional Balinese life / Farming

Painting of traditional Balinese farming life by the artist Ketut Sutama of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

'Judul Memanen'. 2016.
100cm x 75cm. Unframed. Acrylic oil on canvas. Artwork by © Ketut Sutama, Bali.
Photograph by © Ubud High.

See more classical 'Ubud-style' Balinese paintings for sale by Ketut Sutama ⇨


Contemporary and Modern Balinese Art ~ Street Art & Murals for Commission / Canvases & Digital Art for Sale

Modern Balinese Artists

'Wild Drawing' ('WD') ~ Bali's wildest 3D street artist

Urban art / Installations

Banksy-like and anonymous, the Bali-born 'Wild Drawing' is a globally acclaimed street-artist whose urban art graces walls from Asia to Europe. Wild Drawing – 'WD' – is a member of The Pojoks, a Bali-based street-art collective.

He's also a master of the 3D trompe-l'œil...

Urban art from the Bali-born street artists Wild Drawing of Nusa Penida, Indonesia

⇨ Get ready to have your brains blown out. 3-Dimensions turned into 2D, and vice-versa. Bali's best-known street artist – and master of the 3D trompe-l'œil – Wild Drawing of Nusa Penida, Bali Province ⇨
Street Art by © 2020 Wild Drawing ('WD').
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

See more street art and murals by Wild Drawing of The Pojoks


Not for Sale ~ Art Galleries in Ubud, Bali

ARMA ~ The Agung Rai Museum of Art

Classical, traditional, contemporary and modern Balinese art

Ubud's ARMA – the Agung Rai Museum of Art – is home to over 200 modern and traditional works of art that paint Bali's story in ways you've only dreamt of.

File under 'Rare Left Field'.

Balinese painting by I Wayan Turun of Lord Arjuna and Dewi Supraba as they are escorted to heaven by angels

'Arjuna Wiwaha' at the ARMA Art Gallery, Ubud, by I Wayan Turun of Tebesaya, Peliatan, Bali.
After killing Natakwaca, Lord Arjuna the archer sits side-by-side with Dewi Supraba as they are escorted to heaven by angels.
Courtesy of the ARMA Foundation.
Photograph by Ubud High.

'Sabung Ayam' (Cock-fighting) by the Balinese painter I Ketut Tagen of 'The Young Artists School of Painting', Penestanan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

'Sabung Ayam' (Cock-fighting) by the Balinese painter I Ketut Tagen – another young pupil snatched from the cradle by Dutch artist Arie Smit to form his stable of 'Young Artists' in Penestanan, Ubud.
Courtesy of the ARMA Foundation.
Photograph by Ubud High.

See 29 more works of art at ARMA ~ The Agung Rai Museum of Art in Ubud, Bali ⇨


Not for Sale ~ Street & Urban Art on Bali

Urban Artists in the Wild ~ Bali's Street Art Scene

Street art for the masses ~ the most public of Bali's art scene hidden in plain sight on the walls of Canggu, Seminyak, Kuta and Ubud.

Street art in Canggu by the graffiti artist Quint, and a wild rabbit by an unknown urban artist on the road to Ubud in Bali, Indonesia

An eclectic mix of street art and urban murals on the walls of Canggu, Seminyak, Kuta and Ubud in Bali, Indonesia.
Photographs by © 2020 Ubud High.

See 26 more works of street/urban art and murals on Bali's walls ⇨


Street art, murals, graffiti and tagging by international urban artists at Taman Festival Theme Park in Bali

Street art in Bali? The derelict theme park of Taman Festival has become an urban-art magnet for international muralists to spray, paint, sketch and stencil their way onto the decaying walls of history.

Take a tour with Ubud High...

Urban art, murals and graffiti galore at the derelict and haunted Taman Festival Theme Park in Bali

Urban art, murals and graffiti galore at the derelict – and most definitely haunted – Taman Festival Theme Park in Bali. Just watch your step...
Photographs by © 2020 Ubud High.

See 30 more works of street and urban art at Taman Festival, Bali ⇨


© 2021 John Storey. All Rights Reserved.


The Last Pic

Portrait of the Day

Pre-Covid-19 Times ~ Portraits from Bali by Ubud High

Photograph by © Ubud High.


The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

© 2021 John Storey. All rights reserved.


Urban art of a young Balinese girl using a smartphone by the street artist Wild Drawing of Bali, Indonesia

Search Ubud High

Popular search terms ~
ganesha / scooter rental / covid / street art / scorpions / rainy season / hornets / nyepi / trance / balinese paintings / wellness and yoga / snakes / dengue fever / bali spirit festival 2022


The Ubud Handbook

The Ubud Handbook

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your free guide to living in Ubud and Bali in an online nutshell.

Religion Matters

The Tale of Ganesha the Globetrotter ~ Bali's Elephant-Headed Hindu God

A young Lord Ganesha writes a chapter of The Mahabharata with his broken tusk at a stone-carver's shop in Batubulan, Bali, Indonesia

‘First stop on Shree Ganesha's round-Asia tour was a spell in Buddhist Tibet with its strong tantric leanings – a convenient spot to re-invent himself as Vinãyaka, and then as the dancing red Nritta Ganapati – before a full-blown alter-ego revamp as the scarlet, twelve-armed Maharakta Ganapati. Now, Maharakta Ganapati was unusually fond of skullcaps filled with human flesh and blood – and this we might charitably put down to a bad trip.

After all, what happens in Tibet stays in Tibet...’

.. ➤ ..


An American Calonarang ~ Trance & Possession on Bali

Balinese-Hindu offerings of rice, money, sweets, holy water and flower petals at Sebatu Springs, Bali, Indonesia

‘To cut an all-night story short, the mask was donned by a dancer who fell into a deep trance. But instead of staying in the temple, he began to run. And run. He became violent and uncontrollable. He ran for four kilometers down the road – the crowd scrambled after him. He ended up in a cemetery just past my house, and in the dead of night began to do frenzied battle with unseen foes...’

.. ➤ ..


'Nyepi' ~ Bali's Hindu New Year, and the Day of Silence ~ Melasti, Ngerupuk, Ogoh-Ogoh & Manis Nyepi

Balinese-Hindu devotees pray as sacred temple objects are bathed and cleansed during a Melasti ceremony before Nyepi on Pantai Purnama in Bali, Indonesia

‘If previous New Years' Days have seen you waking up with a crippling hangover trying to remember what you did the night before, maybe it's time you headed to Bali in March. Nyepi – the Balinese Day of Silence, and the start of the Hindu Saka New Year – is a day, a night and a day you'll never forget....’

.. ➤ ..


'Kajeng Kliwon' ~ A Very Bad-Hair Day on Bali

Film poster for Indonesian horror film 'Kajeng Kliwon: Nightmare in Bali'

‘Kajeng Kliwon is the kind of day when anything that can happen will happen. It invariably does.

You have been seriously warned...’

.. ➤ ..


Personal Stories

Diary of a Market Girl

Photo-realistic urban art by an anonymous street artist of a 1930s market scene in Bali, Indonesia

“When I had my sixth and seventh babies at the hospital – my twin girls – the doctor ordered me to have a Caesarian. And without asking me, he tied my tubes off as well.

I think he thought I'd had enough babies...”

.. ➤ ..


Food Talk

Durian ~ The King of Stink

“On the third bite,” says one hater, “it was as though I'd just eaten a diseased, parasite-infested animal with a bad case of rabies. I prayed I wouldn't be sick because I really didn't want to taste it again on the way back up...”

.. ➤ ..


Culture Bites

Cinema Paradiso ~ Bali's Seat in the History of Indonesian Cinema

1932 Virgins of Bali Thirties nudie-cutie bare-native film poster 1930s Bali, Indonesia

‘Boobs and political censorship have never been far from the Silver Screen – in Indonesia, they're its bedrock. The silent flicks of Thirties' Bali sucked hungrily on the island's bare-breasted cabinet-postcard image that encouraged so many gilded tourists – and dodgy film-stars like Charlie Chaplin – to visit its sultry, forbidden shores...’

.. ➤ ..


Getting Around ~ Bali 'Biking

Surviving Bali on a 'Bike

Motorbike accident victim being treated for a leg-injury in an Ubud clinic in Bali, Indonesia

“For me, some of the most dangerous people on the road are white people. I avoid them like the plague. You can tell the ones who are going to hurt others – the fixed grins, the hunched over the handle-bars, the wobbling around corners and shouts of indignation when they finally hit someone – because they have absolutely no idea how life and the road works around here...”

.. ➤ ..


It's Silly Season Again ~ Renting a Scooter, and Crashing it, on Bali

A monkey tourist crashes his scooter in a road accident in Bali, Indonesia

‘She tears into the traffic. She can't stop. She narrowly misses hitting a car head-on, swerves past a mum on a 'bike and slaloms across the road. Before she hits anyone – it's a miracle she doesn't – she falls in a bad-sounding heap of bent metal and smashing plastic. A group of Balinese rush to pick her up before the cops see her...’

.. ➤ ..


The Other Side of the Coin ~ Just Another Motorbike Accident on Bali

Mural by an anonymous street-artist of a crashed, burned-out Honda 70 scooter in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

‘She starts sweeping and I notice that she's limping. There's a spreading bruise and an angry graze running past her knee and down her calf. She wants to carry on cleaning – I sit her down and ask her what happened.

She's shy; I press...’

.. ➤ ..


Health Matters

Let's Get Wet ~ The Rainy Season on Bali

Blue sky pokes from behind a gathering of stormy monsoon clouds over Bali, Indonesia

‘Rule number one on a monsoon day? Don't get wet.

You may not realise that getting caught in a cloudburst or shower on Bali – particularly if you're on a motorbike – is the tropical equivalent of walking naked outside during a Prague Winter after a lukewarm bath.

It'll really slow you down. The shivers, hot-and-cold flushes, a chesty cough, diarrhoea, sneezing, stomach pains, a belting headache and aching bones are all at the top of the list...’

.. ➤ ..


Scorpions, Mosquitoes, Hornets, Poisonous Caterpillars... And Other Strange Tails on Bali

‘Nowhere is free from the tax of life. We all have to pay for our slice of Bali paradise – and this often comes in the shape of our biting, stinging, crawling, flying insect-cousins.

It's the downside of environment-sharing...’

.. ➤ ..


Holidays from the Jungle

The Heads of Trunyan

‘Agricultural, and unpractised in the dark art of handling international tourists, the aristocratic farmer-people of Trunyan have acquired a damaging reputation for aggression. Their unique tourist draw – a jungle-cemetery where bodies are left in the open to disintegrate underneath a magical banyan tree – is regularly shunned by travellers on the time-sensitive tourist circuit...’

.. ➤ ..


Lombok ~ A Line in the Sand

‘Ten meters away and the young man finally looks up – an inane, animal-like grin taped across his face as his girlfriend grips his porcelain butt and grimaces towards the empty blue sky. They disengage like street dogs, utter an invective in Russian, and stare...’

.. ➤ ..


Tourism & Self-Enrichment

Eat, Pray, Self-Love

I love-heart Ubud, Canggu, Seminya, Sanur and Kuta in Bali, Indonesia

‘My concentration's shot to pieces. The spaghetti keeps falling off my fork. She's on her third large beer now. She starts to say 'facking' even more, and is speaking so loudly that people passing on the street have begun to look her way, and she's spitting bits of ciabatta bread and tomato and fish into her friend's dinner...’

.. ➤ ..


From Ubud With Love

Will you marry? in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

‘I'm staying at a cute, family-run bed-and-breakfast – a homestay – on Ubud's trendy Jalan Goutama. A young member of the homestay's family tours her compound, blessing it with incense and rice and flower-petal offerings in little hand-made palm-leaf boxes.

All is well in Bali's spiritual capital...’

.. ➤ ..


A Dutchman Goes to a Gypsy Fortune-Teller

‘A Dutch boy in Holland goes to a gypsy fortune-teller who tells him that he is, in fact, Balinese. Afterwards, his uncle visits the Island of the Gods and brings him back a wooden carving of a bare-breasted lady.

Lucky for him it wasn't one of those funny-shaped wooden bottle-openers that looks like a cock...’

.. ➤ ..


The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

Yoga-wear for an Ubud yogini manifesting her abundance, exploring her Divine Feminine and inserting a Jade Egg at The Womb Temple near The Yoga Barn in Bali

‘Shake out those Kundalini Awakenings with some HoopYogini™ and Bhakti Boogie® at the Yoga Barn. Celebrate The Divine Feminine with a splash of Shakti Dance. Puff up your lungs in a Sacred Breathwork Immersion Workshop®, insert a Jade Egg for luck at The Womb Temple™ and polish it off with some tantalising Manifesting And Abundance.

You know you're worth it...’

.. ➤ ..


Urban art of a young Balinese girl using a cellphone by the street artist Wild Drawing of Bali, Indonesia

Search Ubud High

Popular search terms:
ganesha / covid / scorpions / scooter rental / trance / yoga and wellness / hornets / nyepi / balinese traditional paintings / rainy season / snakes / 2022 bali spirit festival / dengue fever


And finally, the weather

Today's weather forecast for Ubud, Bali, Indonesia ⇨

Fake styrofoam clouds over the main 'Cloud' stage at the 'Plastic-Free Gili Air Music Festival' near Lombok, Indonesia