TiTian Bali Art Foundation


Merging perceptions and practices from the past with the present, along with an innovative vision for the future, Yayasan TiTian Bali, a new art foundation launched 29 January 2016 at Bentara Budaya Bali cultural center, is set to revolutionize Balinese art.

The inauguration of TiTian Bali Foundation (YTB), which dedicated to the support and promotion of Balinese visual arts (especially painting and wood carving) coincided with the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Pita Maha artists association in Ubud in 1936.


Chairman of the Board of Advisors of YTB  Soemantri Widagdo during the launching ceremony at Bentara Budaya Bali.

The Pita Maha (great spirit) was formed by Corkorda Gede Agung Sukawati the king of Ubud, along with Balinese maestro I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, and foreign artists Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet. The collective functioned to monitored the progress of a new and developing genre of art, Balinese modern traditional art, while forging new national and international markets for the local paintings and woodcarvings.

“Bali has an enormous cultural heritage that is at risk due to the disruptions caused by modern technological, social and cultural changes sweeping the world,” said the Chairman of the Board of Advisors of YTB Soemantri Widagdo. “YTB will assist Balinese visual artists not only to navigate and survive this massive change, but to become successful enough to drive the creative economies in Bali and Indonesia. We intend to place Balinese art on global platforms.”

TiTian Art Space. Image by Richard Horstman                                                TiTian Art Space, Jalan Bisma Ubud

YTB supports talented Balinese artists to become art-entrepreneurs, to benefit from and to be the drivers of the new opportunities of the 21st century creative economy while maintaining the integrity of their unique cultural heritage. “TiTian Bali is being founded as an effort to “reframe” the potential of Balinese Visual Arts within the creative economy,” Widagdo said who has more than 25 years experience in Balinese arts as a curator, former international liaisons officer with Museum Puri Lukisan and co author of the books, ‘Lempad of Bali: The Illuminating Line’, the catalogue of the life and work of Gusti Nyoman Lempad, and the 2008 Musuem Puri Lukisan 50th anniversary catalogue “Ida Bagus Made – The Art of Devotion”.

The inauguration featured the presentation of the Pusaka Seni (Art Heritage) Award, an annual award to honor achievement to historical and living Balinese artists and art patrons who have made extraordinary life long contributions to Balinese art and culture, and was made to I Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1862-1978) and A.A Muning, the long standing curator of Museum Puri Lukisan.

Wayan Aris Sarmanta  "Kautan Alam dan Batuan" 2015 Image Richard Horstman                               Wayan Aris Sarmanta  –  “Kautan Alam dan Batuan”

A preview of the exhibition “The Concept of Rwa-Bhineda in Balinese Art” featuring paintings in the genres of Balinese modern traditional, and contemporary art by some of Bali’s most talented artists, including Nyoman Dwiarta, Putu Kusuma, Ida Bagus Purwa and Ketut Astawa, was a highlight of the evening. The exhibition continues at the YTB headquarters at the TiTian Art Space in Jalan Bisma, Ubud. The opening was officiated by a representative of the Minister of Cooperatives, and Small and Medium Enterprises, along with the Vice Head of Creative Economy Agency of the Indonesia government Ricky Pesik. “We have had an enormously positive response from the Creative Economy Agency and are looking forward to on going discussions with them,” Widagdo said.

With plans to build a Museum of Contemporary Art (Bali MOCA), an international class museum located in Ubud, within the next ten years, exhibiting both old and new work of the highest quality, YTB expects to inspire new directions and achievements in Balinese art, while being the premier hub for Balinese visual arts by 2021.

Ida Bagus Purwa "Eliquilibrium" 2016 Image by Richard Horstman                                                      Ida Bagus Purwa – “Eliquilibrium”

“There will be two foundations under the umbrella of TiTian Bali, Titian means bridge, or stepping-stone in Balinese,” said Widagdo. “The other the international face that will be a collective of art thinkers and people from different expertise including fundraisers.” Some of the worlds leading academics on Balinese culture, Adrian Vickers, Professor of S.E Asian Studies at the Sydney University, and Associate Professor of ancient history of S.E Asia at Leiden University, Hedi Hinzler will sit on the Board of Advisors of YTB.

YTB will serve as a nurturing, experimental playground and launch pad for young talented Balinese artists and also scouting for new talent. It will educate artists in how they can negotiate with all of the stakeholders in the international art world. TiTian Art Space will function as an office, art space, gallery, meeting place, artists in residency venue, an archival centre plugging into other existing databases, along with a centre for research, studies, and centre of conservation of Balinese art, specializing in conservation in the tropics.

Made Dwiarta 2015, Image Richard Horstman                                                                     Made Dwiarta

The 21st century ushers in a new paradigm of global thinking and the art world is responding and evolving especially due to the impact of the internet and social media which is empowering individuals to develop global brands and presence. Yayasan TiTian Bali is building a new eco system for Balinese art for the 21st Century.

Putu Kusuma 2015 Keliki                                                                    Putu Kusuma

Recent events at TiTian Art Space include a workshop for artists on how to set prices for their art works and upcoming a special workshop on educating young and new art collectors entering the market. For more information on upcoming evens go to the website listed below.

TiTian Bali Art Space


Jalan Bisma #88, Ubud, Bali

Open to the public daily 10am – 6pm

Words: Richard Horstman

Images Richard Horstman & TiTian Bali Foundation

*Author’s note: No part of the written content of this website may be copied or reproduced in any form, including article links uploaded to other websites, for any commercial purposes without the written permission of the author. Copyright 2020

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