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

Words & Images: Richard Horstman

*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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