If you are looking for the center for Balinese art, it is Batuan Village. Located in Ubud, here is the place to admire Balinese dancing performances performed by graceful Balinese dancers. The pieces are stunning and awesome, from excellent wood panel carvings to paintings. The area is cool and pleasant, base for expatriates or tourists who want to get in touch with Balinese true tropical lifestyle.
Batuan is a popular village in Bali, Indonesia. Batuan is worldly renowned from its artwork and style of painting that is originated in the 1930s and came as a major Balinese artistic style, known as a Batuan painting. Batuan is called as a major painting center and contains a number of art galleries and art that plays a great role in promoting the finest art of Batuan. The village is also known for its performance of the ancient Gambuh dance, performed every Full Moon day. Visiting Batuan, you will see two temples on the western part of the village which are known as Pura Puseh and Pura Dasar. These temples are built in classical Balinese temple architecture style with exceptional carvings. Visitors are then given sarongs to wear during visit to the temples.
Batuan is also famous for carved teak wood furnishings with a fascinating “fat Buddha statue” at the cross road from Salah to Blahatu facing east. Located in central Bali which is about 10 kilometres south of Ubud and about 15 kilometers northeast of Denpasar, Batuan is neighboring to northern Sukhawathi village, another great art center. The land in this part of Bali is very flat. The town is surrounded by streams flowing through chasms or gorges, which provide water supply to the town. Also you can see irrigation canals sourced from upstream dams that provide irrigation facilities to large tract of paddy fields that surround the village.
Batuan is enriched by a number of temples hidden in the labyrinth paths. Also, there are now concrete paved performance pavilions in the town with high roofs where dance performances are held by a lot of dance groups, which have got established now to provide to the tourism in the town; one such pavilion is in front of the Pura Desa Batuan temple. In historical records, Batuan is mentioned as far back as 1000 years. The Hindu and Indian influence in the region in the village is evident from the carvings and temples. In the 17th century, Batuan and the southern part of Bali were controlled by the royal family until a priest’s curse led to their losing their control. And finally they dispersed to various parts of the country.
Primarily, Balinese art forms are categorized under three major types of which Batuan Style (definitely different from the Ubud Style) which originated in Batuan is a style which has absorbed the traditional art form to the present dynamic art styles. The other two Bali art styles are the Ubud style of Ubed and the Sanur style which have been supplemented by an “Young Artists” style of 1960s of Penestanan influenced by the Dutch artists. In Batuan style of painting, the emphasis is the adoption of sombre color, generally in black and white with prevalence of mystic Balinese religious related to sorcery and witchcraft.
Batuan is well known for its miniature painting with great attention to details as well. The artists own eyes that are adept on details as they paint with great patience. Plant life is drawn in a stylized format, but each leaf is painted and shaded. The patterns have the minor figures drawn very carefully. Even the open space is filled with vivacious marks. Scenes emerge from the canvas and retreat into the plant life such as a dog fight, a love affair, group of gamblers, and all shown in a corner of the canvas.
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