Here is a series of Flash video clips from Haskia's performance.
Here is an interesting blend, I think, of the Chinese and Indian cultures. The overall look of the dragon is Chinese... but the creature has a trunk and tusks.
This section of the museum traced the modern history of the country, from the time of the colonial Dutch occupation, to some fearsome years of Japanese occupation during WWII, to liberation and independence in 1945.
A really spooky spider was between some of these stones, suspended about waist-high, and from leg-tip to leg-tip I would say 4-5 inches. Fortunately, it did not mind that I was creeping up on it.
Shaking an Angklung makes a tone that corresponds to a note on the traditional scale. The diameter and cut of the bamboo determines the sound. Here, multiple Angklung are hung side by side.
Making the sounds correspond to the traditonal tones made it possible to play modern music and orchestra compositions. This was a recent innovation, started by Daeng Soetigna during the 1950s.
Nyoman Nuarta is a native of Bali, and one of Indonesia's cultural icons. He is a fabulous sculptor who has not been without a great deal of controversy. My guess is that he is publicly critical of the strong political and social traditions that, in his view, are holding Indonesia back from developing at a rate that he thinks ought to be taking place. He's also managed to become a gazillionaire, so he has a entire multi-acre compound devoted to his art, and to the promotion and patronage of young contemporary artists. This is his museum, which has an interior that is a bit like an Italian villa. You can visit his web site:
Unfortunately, some of the most spectacular (and political) sculpture is located in the museum, and one is not allowed to take photos of these peices.
Well, unless, of course, there is absolutely no one else in the museum with you and you check out the cameras in the ceiling to find the dead spots on the floor, and you turn off your flash and shoot quickly.
This was one of my 3 favorites. The sense of motion in the all metal and mesh sculpture is astounding. Unfortunately (for real) I was not able to get pictures of the other 2... if they are in his book, which I picked up, I'll scan them for you.
Nuarta's workshop is in a ravine, just over the hill from those tree people. In general, this is the view you get of it: from a distance. Take note of that person and that tall scaffold he is walking by, it will be important later.
Fortunately, one of the advantages of coming in as a visiting consultant to a country is a great deal of openness about showing off, so I was invited into the workshop area.
Nuarta was there, as he is most days, supervising some work on a big project. I got a chance to chat with him for about 30 minutes or so, heard about the projects I will tell you about, and (of course) asked him to sign the inside of his book for me.
Truth be told, these pictures are not from the day I actually met Nuarta, so you will not see him. Like a complete and utter dodo, I left my camera in my room when I dropped off my computer at the hotel before we came over here. I was so eager to get some pictures that I asked to come back the next day, which my hosts were kind enough to accommodate. Nuarta was off to Jakarta that day, and the workers were at lunch... so it was me and the art.
Here's a sort of cast-off art junk area.
This is the Garuda Wisnu Kencana, an idol of Hindu mythology. Vishnu is mounted on Garuda, his mythical bird-companion. Nuarta is involved with a project in his native Bali called the Mandala Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK), a cultural park. The centerpiece of this project is a 146 meter tall gold-plate version of this idol, sitting atop an 11-story entertainment complex. That would be 480 feet of sculpture, on top of the 11 story building. Let's calibrate that for a moment. The staue of liberty is 151 feet. The Eiffel tower, including its 79 foot antenna, is 324 feet. And the ground to roof height of the Sears Tower in Chicago is 442 feet (although the antenna brings it to 527). Are you with me here?
The project has fallen into controversy, however, because of the sheer size of the thing. The religious leaders (and recall, this is a Hindu idol in a predominantly Muslim country) are saying the spiritual balance of the island will be disrupted, and the crass commercial nature of the whole operation is inappropriate.
The armless upper bust of Vishnu is installed at Bali already. This segment is 23 meters high (75 feet; about half the size of the Statue of Liberty), and you can see the proportion of this segment to the planned while, above.
I think Nuarta's goals are quite clear and extremely ambitious.
He wants to create commercially attractive destinations with noteworthy landmarks (after all, I just used 3 of them as gobal points of reference). He also has that political agenda that is running afoul of the religious majority.
I lifted this image from the web, by the way. I did not go to Bali.
Meanwhile, back at the workshop...
Never one to be deterred, Nuarta has begun his second huge and even more controversial project. And friends, this is an exclusive. The public is just recently aware of these plans, and these are not images that are widely available.
The plan is to build an 80 meter (262 feet) statue of Noah (as in the ark) on a hill in North Sumatra, a large Christian enclave. At which point you have to say: that old Nuarta's at it again!
The Statue of Liberty will come up to about his waist; here in the official plaster cast model of Noah. There will be an elevator that goes to the right hand, and the plan is that youcan walk out on it.
Wait, wait... there is more. You will love this. The plan is to also build a 150-room hotel, uphill from Noah, in the shape of (yes, you guessed it) the Ark.
There are threats that this could spark an internal religious war, and that extremists would take action on this figure if installed.
Recall that scaffolding I asked you to pay attention to earlier? It was the back of the head of Noah.
Here is the front, on scale with the hand of Vishnu. Those big open cylinders on the ground: those would be the fingers of Vishnu.
And here is the view from a distance away.
That's it from Indonesia.
Over and out.