Monthly Archives: May 2016

Artotel Sanur

Sculpture by Pintor Sirat. in front lobby of Artotel.                            “The Orca’s Dance” – Pintor Sirait – Artotel Sanur

Artotel, the Indonesian chain of art themed hotels that have become fresh inclusions upon the skyscapes of Jakarta and Surabaya have newly opened for business in Sanur, Bali.

Opened in April 2016, and located near the intersection of Jalan Danua Tamblingan and Jalan Kusuma Sari in the popular coastal tourist precinct of Sanur, Artotel has taken a locally inspired icon, the kite to feature as the interior design, and hotel room decoration theme. The kite, or in Bahasa Indonesia, layang layang is a local cultural icon and from the months of May through to October the southern skies of Bali are home to multitudes of kites set aloft by the powerful, seasonal south easterly winds blowing from the ocean. This sight is one of the distinctive features of Bali during this time of the year.

According to the Balinese Hindu mythology the boy cow herder Rare Anggon, an incarnation of Lord Siwa invented the game of kite flying and to the Balinese Sang Hyang Rare Anggon is known as the God of the Wind. One of the most grandiose annual celebrations on the island, the Bali Kite Festival, is celebrated with great enthusiasm during the month of July in Padang Galak, near Sanur. A religious event, the festival symbolizes expressions of gratitude from the Balinese people to the Gods for the abundant agricultural harvests.

Ceiling decorative panels painted by Kemal Ezedine - Neo Pitamaha                           Art Designs by Kemal Ezedine – Dining Area of Artotel

Artotel features art on display in the reception, lobby, dinning and art space areas, and upon the bedroom feature wall within the hotel rooms. Two large steel sculptures by renowned Indonesian artist Pintor Sirait grace the Artotel entrance and within the atrium above the art space. Distinguished by colorful flowing forms, both organic and imaginative, these works are a highlight, creating dramatic contrasts with the interior design elements of Artotel.

“Pintor’s artworks took quite sometimes to evolve,” Artotel’s Art Manager Safrie Effendi said. “Taking about a year and half to develop the concept and complete the two masterpieces. The installation, however didn’t take long, only half a day per sculpture.” Sirait’s “The Orca Dance” combines brilliant red, minimal flowing forms of whales weaved together within a courtship dance and is positioned within a water feature. Blue and green curved forms reflecting the dynamic motion of oceans wind chopped surface define Sirait’s “White Caps” that is perfectly suspended upon wires meters above the Art Space becoming another distinctive feature of Artotel.

interior design features      Afternoon Filtered Light Highlights the Interior Design Elements of Artotel.

Outstanding features of Artotel are the guest rooms that balance interior design elements with the feature bedroom wall that has been decorated by an imerging local artist. Each of the four levels of the hotel’s accommodation have received the personalized touch on feature wall inspired by the kite theme by the four participating artists, Made Valasara, Kemal Ezedine, Natisa Jones and Ines Katamso. Valasara’s intrepretations include his signature embossed technique creating white fluffy clouds that are suspended upon the wall to which he has depicted random greys clouds and red angular forms representing kites and black lines as the chords. Kemal Ezedine renders his colourful graphic art upon the feature wall inspired by his innovations from the Balinese modern traditional art that became famous in the 1930’s. While Natisa Jones and Ines Katamso translate their playful, feminine inspired artistic creations to the feature walls bringing vibrant energy to the rooms.

The dinning area of Artotel features large timber panels suspended from the ceiling and seemingly floating above the tables akin to large kites. The panel feature the graphic art designs by Kemal Ezedine, colorful and dynamic, taking on abstract and realistic forms in his trademark technique that he has developed in recent years from his in depth investigation into Balinese art. This enormous project took the artist many evening of dedication to complete and is both a credit to his artistic drive and commitment and Artotel’s vision to create a unique art landmark in Bali – a vibrant destination for both visitors and hotel guest.

"Recycled Robot" Hendra BaliArtGasm“Recycled Robot” Harun Djarun – From the Exhibition “As Above – Never Below”

Multitudes of square wooden, moveable panels line the interior walls of the feature, internal stair well of Artotel, also reflecting the kite theme. The raw timber add a strong organic element while the shear number of diamond shaped panels has an enormous aesthetic impact. Morning and afternoon light the shines into the stair well through giant skylights above creating wonderful and delicate shafts of light that are a photographers dream. Artotel is a multi level and multi dimensional artistic experience that inspires the creative mind and is a joy to explore.

Artotel’s premiere exhibition “As Above, Never Below” opened 13 May inviting hotel guests and the local art community to celebrate Artotel’s introduction into the art landscape of Bali. The exhibition features 2 & 3 dimensional mixed media works by local young artists Yosef Olla, SLINAT, Sangut, Gennetik, Dios Beding, Novaloid, Alit Satura, Aswino Aji, Hendra BaliArtgasm, & WAR, and continues through until 13 June.

Artotel exhibition space oncluding sculpture in atrium by Pintor Sirat                “White Caps” by Pintor Sirait Suspended Above Artotel Art Space

“Every Artotel in each city is a platform for the local artist to showcase their artworks through-out exhibitions. I personally love to give opportunities for any artist to showcase their works,” Effendi said. “Artotel’s annual art program will feature regular curated exhibitions in our multilevel gallery space featuring emerging local artists. We wish to consolidate Artotel Sanur on the Bali art calendar so the art community is aware of our activities while positioning ourselves on the Bali art map so Indonesians and international visitors to Sanur can enjoy Artotel.”

“Cerita” Artotel Sanur’s in house guest magazine positioned throughout the hotel and in each guest rooms will profile the artists who have contributed their talent to the decoration of the hotel along with high lighting local art and cultural attractions of the area.

At Work Made Valasara     Balinese Artist Valasara at Work on a Feature Wall Creation within a Artotel Room.


“As Above, Never Below” 13 May through 13 June 2016

Artspace of Artotel Sanur – Bali

Jalan Kusuma Sari 1 Sanur

Ph: +623614721000

Painting by Made Aji Aswino                                                   Painting by Made Aji Aswino

DSCF5011                                 Artotel Guest Room Feature Wall Artwork by Valasara




“Awaiting Light” – Rio Saren

"Supermoon"                                        “Super Moon” – mixed media –  Rio Saren

“Awaiting Light” is Balinese artist Rio Saren’s latest solo exhibition open 6 May at Santrian Gallery in Sanur. Saren presents 28 mixed media works, paintings and installations inspired by sources of light and the moon.

The human experience, along with the cycles of life are themes important to Saren who often depicts wheels, adopts circular structured compositions and canvases, even steel bicycle wheels for his paintings frames. This is akin with the Balinese Hindu philosophies revealing that life is in a constant cyclic motion – in a process of birth, death and then renewal, from the physical, into the invisible worlds.

"Beruk"                                                                       “Beruk” – Rio Saren

Ever willing to experiment, over recent years Saren has been integrating cultural icons into his mixed media works. Dried coconut shells, for example, that once functioned as traditional utensils become subject to his creative ideas in which he has added pieces of timber to creative wonderful figurative creatures. Saren’s home studio in North Denpasar, that he shares with his Japanese wife and their two aspiring young artist children, reflects the scope of his diversity. Here he investigates the potential of many traditional Balinese icons and natural materials as the source of fresh expression. At the Santrian Gallery entrance Saren’s installation “Beruk” consisting of hanging objects shaped from coconuts decorated with his characteristic figures and forms that compliment the breadth of his creative ouvre in “Awaiting Light”.

Gong                                                                “Gong”  – Rio Saren

Within the exhibition Saren has paid great attention to the aesthetic qualities and the finished surface of his works. He has applied layers of sand mixed with glue to create a fine evenly textured surfaces to which he applies paint and then finishes with a gloss coating. Utilizing the visual potency of metallic bronze and gold paint in several works and also the embossing technique to build rounded 3 D surfaces also increases the dynamic aesthetic qualities of his works.

Upon his painting “Awaiting Light” he forms measured textured patterns upon the sand surface adding dimensionality to the work while increasing the abstract elements in the composition. “Super Moon” is an enormous 200 x 200 cm circular canvas contrasting red against green colors adding to the works visual tension.

Awaiting Light                                                  “Awaiting Light”  –  Rio Saren

Other circular canvases include “Dead Moon” reflecting on the one night of the month when the moon1s form in the sky is the least visible, “Lunar Eclipse” communicates of the unusual nature of the rare natural phenomenon when the suns light is temporarily obscured by the moon.  “Reaching For the Moon” depicts a figure with long out stretched arms casts up into the sky. “The Gruesome Moon”, on the other hand depicts facial expressions of unease and displeasure.

“Melahirkan” (Giving Birth) is a strange, almost unsettling image of a women giving birth, an enormous upside down face is depicted between her legs. “Gong” is a colorful mixed media, bowl shaped 3 Dimensional work that’s structure is the amalgamation of various found objects. His compositions always appear as a milieu of colorful flowing organic forms, often abstract and figurative, with mysterious faces and expressions, and always metaphorically charged. Under gallery lighting conditions Saren’s creations come alive, glowing with lustre, life and light.

Melahirkan                                                          “Melahirkan”  –  Rio Saren

“Menintip” is a collection of 3 small art objects that are fastened to the gallery wall in which Saren adopts the elements of mystery and surprise. Two small wooden doors open to reveal an inner compartments, an electrical cable with a switch ignites a small light positioned inside and artificial light then brings to life these intriguing little worlds.

Rio Saren was born in Denpasar in 1981 and studied fine art at ISI Depensar (Indonesian Art Institute) graduating in 2008. He is a popular and regular face within the Bali art community and has consistently exhibited in group exhibitions in Bali in past 8 years. Through remaining true to his own intuition Saren has succeeded in creating his on signature style that is easily recognizable here in Bali.

Menintip                                                              “Menintip”  –  Rio Saren

“Awaiting Light”, Saren’s third solo exhibition is a delight, and wonderfully comes alive within the Santrian Gallery. Rich in beautiful colors and flowing forms, his yin & yang compositions are both graceful and at times unsettling, however a potent essence within his works makes them irresistibly attractive.

“Awaiting Light”

Continues through until 24 June 2016

Santrian Gallery

Griya Santrian Hotel

Jalan Danau Tamblingan 47

Sanur, Bali


Art & Pilanthropy in East Bali

"Eidos" by Michael Daube set within the wonderful surrrounds of Alila Manggis REsort. Image by Richard Horstman                                                             “Eidos” – Michael Daube

Art and philanthropy are inseparable for both involve the essence of giving. Nowadays as world governments continue to take the axe to the public funding of arts, increasingly the responsibility is in the hands of the private sector, and the artists themselves, to help support the development of art.

During March the Alila Manggis Resort, set on the tranquil east coast of Bali, hosted a 5 day artists in residency program “Bridging the Artistic Realm”. The program culminated on 26 March Easter weekend with the exhibition “Art Builds Bridges” and was attended by over 80 people.

Digital images upon walls  by James Wilkin. Photo by Richard Horstman                                                     Digital Images by James Wilkins

“Art Builds Bridges” features paintings, photographs and sculptures by four international artists, James Wilkins, Silvana Sutanto, Michael Daube and Laila Azra, along with four works by UWCSEA grade four primary school students. Carefully curated by Wilkins, featuring a grouping of smaller and larger works, the exhibition is being held in support of the United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) Global Concerns “Bali Bridges“.

Bali Bridges Global Concerns is a part of the services project created by UWCSEA, a school in Singapore that combines education and philanthropy and where services are a part of the curriculum.  Bali Bridges was founded to support Bali non-profit organization Yayasan Whidya Asih, established in 1975. Widhya Asih supports communities living on or under the poverty line by sponsoring children from the early years of education through to university, through seven children’s homes and community development programs. UWCSEA established their partnership with the Widhya Asih in 2006 along with providing material support to improve the existing facilities in the childcare centers.

Photography by Silvana Sutanto. Image by Richard Horstman                            Black & White digital Photography by Silvana Sutanto

“The event came into fruition after a discussion with Alila Manggis GM Hemal Jain,” said art and charity event organizer Henny Scott, an Indonesian resident of Singapore whose son attends UWCSEA. “Alila Manggis has been a supporter of Bali Bridges events in Singapore for 4 years and we wish to do more together. There is a good fit, combining art and philanthropy at Alila.  With increasing visitors to East Bali it is important to increase their exposure to the art and culture.”

“We believe in giving back to the community and are excited by this collaboration of art and the art of giving,” said GM Hemal Jain. “We are proud to bring the culture of art and philanthropy back to East Bali.”


Mixed Media Painting by Laila Azra

“During our stay each artist offered morning and evening classes to Alila guests in watercolor and photography,” said painter, sculptor and designer, Michael Daube who is also the founder of CITTA, a charity which serves to empower some of the most at-risk communities across the world by creating schools, hospitals and women’s cooperatives. Daube’s “The Myth of Er”, blue mouth blown glass forms made from voice sound patterns linked together and hanging down into a pond, flexible, organic and flowing are an exhibition highlight. “I loved working with the children both from Singapore and Widhya Asih orphanage in Singaraja North Bali to produce some very fun murals upon the orphanages’ exterior walls!” he adds.

“Art Builds Bridges” is the debut exhibition of Indonesian photographer Silvana Sutanto who is the recipient of numerous prestigious regional and international awards. Sutanto’s excellent black and white photographic studies of nature and wildlife have taken her to the farthest corners of the planet. “Storm of Wings” captures the moment when hundreds of birds set off in flight, while “Zebra #18” presents a herd of zebras river side, their distinctive black and white stripes being the visual feature.

"Myth of Er" Michael Daube, Image Richard Horstman                                                             “Myth of Er” – Michael Daube

Inspired to explore the unknown, “Brother 1,2&3” are expressive oil paintings by Indonesian artist Laila Azra that add dynamic color and abstract flowing forms to the diversity and strength of the exhibition. Part time Bali resident, American artist James Wilkin exhibits a number of luminous digital images printed on aluminum, his subject matter ranges from abstract geometric forms to zen inspired compositions of nature. “The best art works are constantly humming their message into the mind of the audience. Like a mantra that repeats itself subconsciously the power of art is unceasing,” Wilkins said about the potency of art.

Commenting upon facilitating workshops with Alila guests he adds, “The sharing of a few simple skills can open the floodgates of many artworks for individuals who may now be set free from being stopped.”

DSCF4778                              “A Random Group of Objects” – UWCSEA Students

Of the four works donated and done by UWCSEA students, “A Random Group of Objects” in its simplicity of composition and forms is delightful addition to the show. A percentage of the proceeds of the larger artworks will be donated while 100% of the proceed of the small works by the four artists will go to Yayasan Whidya Asih.

“We wish to consolidate Alila Manggis’ Easter art weekends on the Bali art map,’ Jain said. “Easter 2017 we will present a special promotional package whereby guests can enjoy casual socializing with the artists, the exhibition opening and attend the program of artist led culturally inspired workshops. Look out for more curated art and cultural events at Alila Manggis.”

Bali Bridges. Students from UWCSEA Singapore & from Widhya Asih orphanage. Image care of UWCSEA

UWCSEA Student from Singapore with children from the Whidya Asih Orpanage Singaraja

“Art Builds Bridges” will be extended for one month, continuing through until 27 May.

Alila Manggis Bali

Buitan, Manggis, Karangasem, Bali

Ph: +6236341011



“Conexion & Contradiccion” – Rie m

the geography of the human being                                        “The Geography of a Human Being” 2014

During a recent conversation with Japanese artist Rie m my intuition gave me a clear prompt – “My quest is to investigate the process of change”.

Over the following hours (and ensuing days) Rie’s story began to unfold. Our discussions granted her the gift of reflection, while allowing me insights into her creative and personal journey. Born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1978, from 1998-2000 Rie studied design at the Okinawa Art University. Prior to this she studied Chinese calligraphy twice a week for ten years. While at university Rie’s nomadic desires began to call.

Over the past 16 years Rie’s travels have taken her throughout S.E Asia and beyond. Rie lived in Ubud in 2001, Taiwan 2002, and Central Java in 2003 (studying at the Indonesian Institute of Art, Yogyakarta ISI). Late in 2004 she returned to Japan and during 2006 Rie had traveling exhibitions in Bali, Canada, New York and Japan. From 2009 Ubud was her home for another year, followed by 12 months in Malaysia. She lived in Mexico from October 2013 to August 2014, then back to Japan, and later on to Malaysia exhibiting in the Langkawi Art Biennale.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                                           “Moving Off” 2016

“I create through the spectrum of my travels,” Rie said. “Via collage, utilizing an array of beautiful fabrics and papers I have collected along the way I represent and mix together the different cultures I have experienced.”

“It’s an intuitive process of layering materials and playing with colors to create movement, symbolizing my identity and inner world. I love to transform things that would otherwise be forgotten.” Rie’s compositions often feature harmonic rhythms shaped by spontaneous, repetitive circles and flowing lines; coded with cultural memory from many countries.

alighting                                                                          “Alighting”

While living in Mexico Rie’s collages began to evolve, expressing herself with more assertive personal and environmental statements. While her technique is akin to a meditative experience, Rie admits underlying tensions were contributing to her work.

“During 2014 – 2015, for one year I stopped making art. The decision came about suddenly when I returned to Bali and discovered work I had stored away had been destroyed. This was an enormous shock, and other personal events unsettled me as well,“ she said. “During my contemplations I realized that I had become bored with my art, and I questioned if I wished to continue the struggle of being an artist. I felt my passion was lost and my energy all chewed up. It was the perfect time for me to step away.”


“I Trust You” 2016

In December 2015 Rie returned to Ubud to begin an artist in residency program at Villa Pandan Harum. After a break she has returned to her art with a fresh perspective, and a sense of inner resolve. Rie’s artistic experience is intricately linked with her emotional world and she has had to endure a period of inner conflict in order to be transformed – as a person, and an artist.

“I had to face myself, my conflicts and contradictions, especially the destructive, controlling side of my ego personality. Since returning to Bali, however I have become less obsessive and more accepting, allowing things to unfold. I have been listening to my intuitive voice and my art has become more honest. After feeling stuck for 3 years I am now moving on.”

“This is a reflection of my personal life and letting go of the past.”

melodies of time                                                                        “Melodies of Time”

Rie m presents 30 works in her third solo exhibition in Bali – “Conexion & Contradiccion”. Some works date back to 2010, however the majority have been created during her artist in residency program. Her new work is a departure, taking on fresh dimensions. Compositions feature less paper and fabric, yet more images burrowed from the print media. Minimalist in structure, with calligraphy and paint, the figurative form, even landscape inspired compositions have become the basis of Rie’s new exploration.

“In life we are guided by a sense of where we wish to be, but not always will our behavior take us there. My artworks are expressions of the feelings that are born during this process. What is important as an artist, and a person, is to be courageous and to embrace change.”




“Conexion & Contradiccion” opened on 22 April and continues through until 22 May 2016 at Villa Pandan Harum,  Gang Pandan Harum, Jalan Raya Agung Gede Rai, Banjar Abian Semal, Lotonduh, Ubud Bali