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

« Bali 'Art Attack « Bali's Street Art Scene ~ Graffiti Artists & Murals in the Wild

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

Street art of a traditional Balinese woman drinking fruit juice by Sri Agung Ratnasari of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Urban art by one of Bali's very few female artists of a traditional Balinese woman sipping mischeviously on her fruit juice at Warung Kila in Mas, Ubud, Bali on March 29, 2021.

Commercial mural by © 2021 A.A. Sri Agung Ratnaswari (Twitter: @ratnaswari_).
Photograph © 2021 Ubud High.

“The Balinese people feel like they're beautiful, exotic fish in an aquarium – always on show for the visitor. But the visitor can't hear us screaming. So we paint.”

From a conversation with 'The Pojoks' Street Art Collective in 2020.

Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, depicted as a spray-can- and roller-wielding street artist in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Lord Ganesha comes in many guises – but is rarely seen in his alter-persona as the blissed-out four-armed street artist extraordinaire. Complete with can of spray-paint, roller, a paintbrush... and what appears to be alpha-inspiration being leaked from his raised right hand. (The pet mouse is, of course, the elephant-headed deity's go-to form of transport.)

On Jalan Hanuman in Central Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Spraypaint artwork © '@NZIEGRAM'.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Bali 3D street art of a traditional, topless Balinese girl from the 1930s looking at social media on her smartphone in Ubud, Indonesia

3-D street art of a traditional, topless 1930s-style Balinese girl drawn in by social media and her smartphone on a wall near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Urban art by © 2014 Wild Drawing of 'The Pojoks' street artists' collective.
Photograph by © 2015 Ubud High.

Artwork by the street artist 'Wild Drawing' of a Balinese boy going hungry due to unemployment and the collapse of the tourist industry in Bali, Indonesia

'Covid-19 vs. Hunger' (August 2020) by the street artist 'Wild Drawing' of a Balinese boy going hungry due to unemployment and the collapse of the tourist industry following the catastrophic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on Bali's economy.

3-D urban art © 2020 Wild Drawing ('WD') of the 'Komunitas Pojok' art collective.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Street mural of a young Balinese woman at the side of the road in Singakerta, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Street mural of a young Balinese woman at the side of the road in Singakerta, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Photograph © 2021 Ubud High.

Surreal, cock-headed street art by an unknown urban artist on Monkey Forest Road in Ubud, Bali

Tolerance is exhibited and practised at every level by the Balinese people – one of the most patient, accepting, and most forgiving races I have ever come across.

In this slightly sarcastic take, an alien-headed foreigner carries a cockerel's head on a stick, a pink balloon and a sign appealing for tolerance at a sacred level.

Less 'om', more 'um'.

Surreal, animal-headed street art by an unknown urban artist on Monkey Forest Road in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Graffiti street art of a Balinese Salvador Dali sipping on a cup of kopi luwak in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

A Balinese Salvador Dali goes all film noir over a cup of kopi luwak in Ubud, Bali.

Surreal street art by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Street art of a muzzled dog-man tired of being hounded by gossip in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Tired of being hounded by gossip?
"Don't talk about me."

Street art by © 2014 'Peanut Dog' of The Pojoks street-art crew in Denpasar, Bali.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Commercial mural of two pink flamingos grace the walls of a cafe=restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Not all murals have to be cutting, socio-political commentaries. Some can just be beautiful and restful. There's a growing trend for cafes and restaurants in Ubud – and Bali – to hire an artist-friend to make a business just that little bit more inviting and special.

On Jalan Hanuman in Central Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Commercial mural by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Commercial mural of a kecak dance performance in an Ubud restaurant near the Sacred Monkey Forest in Bali, Indonesia

Commercial mural of a kecak dance performance surrounding a serving-hatch in an Ubud restaurant near the Sacred Monkey Forest in Bali, Indonesia.

Mural by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Street art of a pirate's abandoned treasure chest on a lane in Ventral Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Random street art of a pirate's abandoned treasure chest on a lane in Central Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Urban Artwork by unknown street artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Urban Mural at the AllCaps Graffiti Park in Canggu of a shocked, traditional Balinese woman by an unknown street artist

Four-eyed shock on the face of a traditional Balinese woman as she stares at the abyss of contemporary Bali.

Urban mural at the AllCaps Street Art & Graffiti Park in Canggu by an unknown street artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Commercial mural of a young, 1930s-style Balinese girl wearing a ceremonial headdress outside a 'Conscious Tattoo Parlour' in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Another commercial mural – this time of a young, 1930s-style Balinese girl wearing a ceremonial headdress outside a 'Conscious Tattoo Parlour' in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Commercial street art by © ARTXPAN.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Street art at the AllCaps Park in Canggu, Bali

Street-art graffiti at Beach Garden bar & restaurant on Jalan Batu Bolong in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.

Surfing, skateboarding and trying to look super-fly on your brand new, custom-made Deus motorcycle is pretty much the order of the day in Canggu – or 'Little Moscow' – for the newly monied wave that has washed up on this small Hindu island's coast.

Commercial street mural by © ARTXPAN.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Street mural by the urban artist Quint of a young beautiful woman in the AllCaps Store & Art Gallery near Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

Street-art graffiti stencil at the AllCaps Street Art Gallery & Store in Mengwi by the legendary Quint – originally from Indonesia's Sumatra, and now one of Bali's leading urban artists. Favourite topic? Hot women in unexpected places.

Street art by © Quint.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Street art by the Balinese urban artist Timmy Turtle of a man wearing a plastic bag as a mask on the wall of Kulidan Kitchen in Ketewel, Bali

Social-political street art by the Balinese urban artist 'Timmy Turtle' of a man wearing a plastic bag for a mask on the wall of Kulidan Kitchen and Art Space in Ketewel, Bali.

Something tells me that this has something to do with plastic bags, and freedom of speech on the island.

Street mural by © Timmy Turtle.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Street art of a busy traditional Balinese village market scene complete with plastic bags and rubbish in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Street art of a busy traditional 1930s-style Balinese village market scene complete with plastic bags and rubbish in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

Urban art by unknown street artist.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Mural by the Balinese street-art collective The Pojoks of the Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib who was assassinated by arsenic poisoning in 2004

A mural by the Balinese street-art collective The Pojoks of the Indonesian human rights activist and founder of the Kontras organisation Munir Said Thalib, who was assassinated by arsenic poisoning during a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam in 2004.

Urban art by © The Pojoks Street Art Collective in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Mural of a Balinese boy with angel's wings holding a seedling of hope at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali, Indonesia

Mural of a Balinese boy with angel's wings holding a seedling of hope at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali, Indonesia.

Urban art by © 2020 SLINAT ('Silly In Art') of The Pojoks Street Art Collective.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Keep in touch with the ones you love, even if it's by jungle wire

More innocent, pre-smart-'phone times. Totally enamoured with the trompe-l'œil jungle-wire telephone cable. Mural in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

Street art © 2018 Peanut Dog.
Photograph © 2021 Ubud High.

Times are hard for families kept apart by pandemic restrictions, stay in touch with the ones you love

Times are hard for families kept apart by pandemic restrictions – keep in touch with the ones you love. Mural in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

Urban art © 2018 Peanut Dog.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

A horny, junkie rabbit lost on the road somewhere between Seminyak and Ubud in Bali, Indonesia

Urban art of a strung-out, horny junkie rabbit lost on the road somewhere between Seminyak and Ubud in Bali, Indonesia.

Street mural by unknown street artist.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Urban art of a gun-toting outlaw on the lawless streets of Canggu in Bali, Indonesia

Commercial urban art outside a restaurant of a gun-toting outlaw on the lawless streets of Canggu in Bali, Indonesia.

Mural by unknown street artist.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Stencilled urban art morphing the attack on the Twin Towers on 911 with the McDonald's logo on an Ubud street in Bali, Indonesia

An urban stencil morphs the 911 attack on the World Trade Center's Twin Towers with the McDonald's logo on an Ubud wall in Bali, Indonesia.

Street stencil by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2015 Ubud High.

Ubud street art of a tourist being attacked and robbed by a band of monkeys in the town's famous 'Monkey Forest'

Ubud urban art of a hapless tourist being attacked and robbed by a band of thieving monkeys in the town's famous 'Monkey Forest'. This large mural in Penestanan – a long, funny story from beginning to end – was spray-painted over a couple of years later.

Street art by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2015 Ubud High.

A street mural, now vandalised, of a tourist being run over by a tourism bus on the walls of Penestanan in Ubud, Bali

A street mural, now destroyed, of a tourist being run over by a tourism bus on the walls of Penestanan in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
I used to really enjoy driving past this every day.

Street art by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2015 Ubud High.

Street tagging, graffiti taggers and street-art vandalism in Ubud, Bali

The same wall in Ubud, six years later.

What the monkey-forest-tourist-bus-crash street-art story turned into is a tagging horror show – a wall for graffiti-taggers to p1ss on and mark their territory with.
More LA or downtown Derby, less Ubud or Bali.
This is urban art's bottom line: a contemporary mirror to the society we live in.
But this one looks a little cracked.

Graffiti and tagging by UrbanNob Inc.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Graffiti-tagging involves the repeated use of a single symbol or series of symbols to mark territory

'... of graffiti, known as 'tagging,' which entails the repeated use of a single symbol or series of symbols to mark territory. In order to attract the most attention possible, this type of graffiti usually appears in strategically or centrally located neighbourhoods ...'

Just remember to open your fly and cock your leg before you get the can of spray-paint out, boys.

Tags and graffiti by... oh, who GAF.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Vandalised urban art in the streets of Denpasar, Bali, by the street artist SLINAT

What monkey can't do, monkey destroy. There are two types of human in this world: makers and breakers. You're either one, or the other.

Vandalised urban art in the streets of Denpasar, Bali, by the street artist SLINAT.

Mural by © 2018 SLINAT ('Silly in Art').
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Your early-morning alarm-clock cock stencilled and painted by the street artist Quint in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

Your early-morning alarm-clock cock stencilled and painted by the Indonesian street artist 'Quint' in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.

Street art by © Quint.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

A commercial zebra mural at Zest vegan restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

A commercial zebra mural at Zest vegan restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Urban art by © ARTXPAN.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Street mural of a pot-bellied, or topless and pregnant, monkey poses with a margarita and cheesy taco outside Taco Casa in central Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Street mural of a pot-bellied monkey posing with a cheesy grin, a margarita and a taco outside the Taco Casa restaurant in central Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Urban art by unknown muralist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Bali street art of a cute, shy baby monkey checking for customers during the Covid-19 epidemic on Batu Bolong road near Old Man's beach bar in Canggu, Indonesia

Bali street art of a cute, shy baby monkey checking for customers during the devastating Covid-19 epidemic on Batu Bolong road near Old Man's beach bar in Canggu, Indonesia.
Commercial mural by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Graffiti street art of a hand holding a cat in Ubud, Bali: I don't care

Cat-calling? Know how you feel, man. Get that sometimes too. On the Sayan road in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Graffiti street art by unknown street artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Primitive graffiti art of a blue face on the Sayan road in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Primitive graffiti art, but I like it. I like the blues. On the Sayan road in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Graffiti street art by unknown street artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Commissioned mural of 'The Black Pearl', a pirate-ship complete with skull-and-crossbones, on the wall of a restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Commercial mural of 'The Black Pearl', a pirate ship complete with skull-and-crossbones, on the wall of a bankrupt restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Street art by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

A marine-blue street-art graffiti mandala graces the wall of Old Man's bar & restaurant on Batu Bolong beach in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

A marine-blue street-art mandala graces the wall of Old Man's bar & restaurant – now shuttered due to the Covid-19 epidemic – on Pantai Batu Bolong in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.
Commercial mural by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

The perfect Canggu Instagram-selfie spot? The street-art mural outside Old Man's bar & restaurant on Batu Bolong beach in Bali, Indonesia

The perfect Canggu Instagram-selfie spot? The street-art mural outside Old Man's bar & restaurant on Batu Bolong beach in Bali, Indonesia.
Urban art by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

xxx

Commercial street art of a Balinese barong mask outside Canggu's Beach Garden near Old Man's beach bar on the Batu Bolong road in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.
Urban mural by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

A traditional Balinese masked barong makes his presence felt on a wall in West Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

A traditional Balinese masked barong muscles his way through the graffiti and tagging on a wall in West Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Street art & graffiti/tagging by unknown street artists.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Masked-up safe sex street-art-style in the time of Covid-19 on a wall in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Crossing the thin red line...
Masked-up safe sex street-art-style in the time of Covid-19 on a wall in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Graffiti/street art by © 2020 AGA.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Bali mural of a pensive Western foreigner peering out from the walls of a house on Batu Bolong road on the way to Old Man's beach bar in Canggu, Indonesia

Bali mural of a pensive Western foreigner peering out from the walls of a house on Batu Bolong road on the way to Old Man's beach bar in Canggu, Indonesia.
Street art by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

xxx

An old Balinese woman gazes out from Bali's past into the new vegan vision of Ubud at Zest restaurant in Penestanan, Ubud, Bali.
Commercial mural by © ARTXPAN.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Bali street art of a traditional Balinese woman peering over a set of Trunyan skulls at Beach Garden near Old Man's bar on Jalan Batu Bolong in Canggu, Indonesia

Bali street art of a traditional Balinese woman peering over a set of Trunyan skulls at Beach Garden near Old Man's bar & restaurant on Jalan Batu Bolong in Canggu, Indonesia.
Urban mural by © ARTXPAN.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.

Urban art by the street artists SLINAT and Wild Drawing of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask to ward off Covid-19 as she chooses between her vanishing tourist-dollars or growing rice to survive the pandemic

Urban art by the street artists SLINAT and Wild Drawing of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask to ward off Covid-19 as she chooses between her disappearing tourist-dollars or growing rice to survive the pandemic.

Urban art by © 2020 SLINAT ('Silly in Art') and Wild Drawing of The Pojoks Street Art Collective.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

A pale-faced tourist plays it as iced-cold as she can in this commisioned mural at Kulidan Kitchen and Art Space in Ketewel, Bali, Indonesia

A pale-faced tourist plays it as icey-cold as she can in this commisioned art mural at Kulidan Kitchen and Art Space in Ketewel, Bali, Indonesia.

Mural by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

An evil, self-possessed, Facebook-ready smartphone tries to steal the consciousness of its unsuspecting user on a wall in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

"Press me! You know you want to..."

An evil, self-possessed, fully-conscious Facebook-ready smartphone tries to steal the soul of its unsuspecting owner on a wall in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Street art by unknown artist.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

A Balinese mother and her child wear gas-masks to combat worsening pollution in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

A Balinese mother and her child wear gas-masks to combat worsening air pollution in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

Street art by © SLINAT ('Silly in Art').
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Street art protest against air pollution and breathable air in Bali, Indonesia

A silent request by SLINAT for clean, breathable air in an increasingly polluted Bali.
Part of The Pojoks group-exhibition 'Rencana Bencana' ('Disaster Plan') in a disused warehouse in South Bali, Indonesia.

Mural by © SLINAT 2020.
Photograph by © Ubud High 2020.

Large mural in progress by the contemporary Balinese street artist SLINAT

The street art process.

Sketch your mural out in a notebook. Photograph it with your smartphone so you can zoom in later for details. Find a large wall. Grab some paint, a roller and an extendable rod, hang with your friends, and start work. Voilà.

Street art by © SLINAT 2020.
Photograph by © Ubud High 2020.

Street art of a topless 1930s Balinese woman protesting against mass tourism and pollution on a wall in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

"I want to retire from being exotic."

Street art by the Balinese muralist SLINAT of a traditional, topless 1930s Balinese woman protesting against air pollution generated by mass tourism on a wall in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

© 2014 SLINAT of The Pojoks Street Art Collective, Bali.
Photograph by © 2015 Ubud High.

Finished work by the contemporary Balinese street artist SLINAT

Brain food. Mural by the contemporary Balinese street-artist SLINAT. Part of the 'Rencana Bencana' ('Disaster Plan') group-exhibition by the Komunitas Pojoks Street Art Collective at an undisclosed, disused warehouse in South Bali, Indonesia.
Street art © SLINAT 2020.
Photograph by © Ubud High 2020.

Street art of Bedawang Nala, the holy turtle of Bali, carrying a fortress of dollars and greed on the back of her shell

According to the Balinese creation myth, only the world-dragon Antaboga existed. And while Antaboga meditated, it created Bedawang – or Bedawang Nala – a giant she-turtle who carries the world on top of her shell.

In this street-art representation of Bedawang Nala, the now-horned holy turtle carries a fortress of dollars and greed on her back.

Mural by © 2020 The Pojoks Street Art Collective from the group exhibition 'Rencana Bencana', or 'Disaster Plan'.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

The hated figure of Donald Trump next to the sacred temple at Tanah Lot on Bali, Indonesia, where his 'Trump International Golf Club and Resort' has been illegally built

Street mural of Donald J. Trump – a foreign investor who is reviled on Bali for his insensitivity in building a hotel and golf-course overlooking one of the island's most sacred and revered Hindu temples at Tanah Lot.

The largely empty 'Trump International Golf Club & Resort' is mired in controversy – not least for renaging on labourers' salaries and irregularities in original land purchases.

Street art by © 2020 The Bali-based Pojoks Street Art Collective.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Donald Trump is cast as a fire-tongued devil over his investment in the Trump International Golf Club and Resort that overlooks the Hindu temple of Tanah Lot in Bali, Indonesia

Who rubbed the very stable genie up the wrong way?

Donald Trump is cast as a fire-tongued devil over his investment in the 'Trump International Golf Club & Resort' that convenes Balinese building regulations, while a worried $100 Benjamin Franklin note hides sheepishly behind the sacred Balinese-Hindu temple of Tanah Lot in Bali, Indonesia.

Street art by © 2020 The Pojoks Street Art Collective.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Street art of a close-up of Gollum's, or Smeagol's, crafty eye in a mural just south of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Street art of a close-up of Gollum's – Smeagol's – crafty eye in a mural just south of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

"Bali? My precioussss..."

Urban art by © 2015 Wild Drawing ('WD').
Photograph by © Ubud High.

The Balinese cartoonist Gus Dark paints a self-portrait of himself painting a mural by Slinat on the walls of Kulidan Kitchen and Art Space in Ketewel, Bali

The famous Balinese cartoonist Gus Dark paints a self-portrait of himself painting a mural by Slinat on the wall of Kulidan Kitchen and Art Space in Ketewel, Bali, Indonesia.

Street art by © 2018 Gus Dark and SLINAT.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way... by The Pojoks street art collective of Bali, Indonesia

The mark of a class act.

Urban art by © 2014 The Pojoks Street Art Collective in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

"I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way..."

The Komunitas Pojok – The 'Pojoks' Street Art Collective, Bali, Indonesia.


More Balinese Street Art at Ubud High

Bali street art, Canggu graffiti & murals ~ AllCaps Graffiti Park and AllCaps Art Gallery & Store

If you're on Bali, bored stupid with CovidWorld and in dire need of a quick, deep brainwash, drop by the AllCaps Park in Canggu to fill your eyes up with the bizarre, the beautiful and the downright off-the-wall murals, graffiti and street art.

It's a trip.


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

Urban & street art, murals, tagging and graffiti at the derelict – and most definitely haunted – Taman Festival Theme Park, Bali.

Just watch your step...

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

Photographs by © 2020 Ubud High.


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

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 ⇨

Street art by © 2020 Wild Drawing ('WD').
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.


Classical Balinese Paintings

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'.

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


© 2021 John Storey. All Rights Reserved.


The Last Pic

Portrait of the Day

Portraits from Bali by Ubud High
Young female beggar from Muntigunung, Bali, on the streets of Ubud

A beggar from Muntigunung on the streets of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia.
Portrait 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

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Bali's Street Art

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

Street art and graffiti murals at Batu Bolong beach in Canggu near Old Man's bar and restaurant, Bali, Indonesia

➤ Bali's Graffiti Artists & Street Murals in the Wild...


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

Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, depicted as a spray-can- and roller-wielding street artist in Ubud, 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

Graffiti street art of a Balinese Salvador Dali sipping on a cup of kopi luwak in Ubud, 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...”

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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...’

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

Commercial street art mural of a Balinese man sitting astride his Norton motorcycle as his wife hovers with daily offerings

‘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...’

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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...’

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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...’

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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...’

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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...’

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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...’

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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...’

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A Dutchman Goes to a Gypsy Fortune-Teller

Wooden cock bottle openers, Ubud Market, Bali

‘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...’

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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...’

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

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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