Last Saturday I presented a program on Indonesian arts and antiquities for a group of young CEOs in Ubud, at Gallery Macan Tidur. Based on these snapshots it looks like I gave an animated performance – – despite the fact I was on crutches, having only just been liberated from a pesky leg cast following an injury last month. My crutch served well as a pointer (below), to indicate the locations of various peoples in the Indonesian archipelago.
The approach we took to consider Indonesian arts and antiquities was to observe the contrast between tribal or primitive styles and courtly or “classical” ones. One finds strongholds of primitive, tribal and archaic cultures to this day in the inland, and mountainous areas of Indonesia, as well as on less-accessible or less-trafficked islands, while more courtly styles tend to be found in coastal areas which were centers of trade and cultural exchange.
We explored how this pattern of distribution allows us to reflect on the nature of society throughout the region during various periods from pre-history to the present day. To illustrate these themes, we examined a variety of textiles, objects, weapons and jewelry from a wide range of cultures across the archipelago, dating from the stone age to the information age.
I very much enjoyed meeting this group of young business leaders who were in Bali to participate in a weekend gathering of the Pan-Asia chapter of YPO (The Young President’s Organization). Their weekend schedule, masterfully organized by Balistarz, was chock-a-block with every imaginable activity that Bali has to offer. Including a Saturday night barbecue bash at the Morabito Art Villa which they were kind enough to invite me to join. Great party, but a bit difficult to negotiate with only one foot functioning. Great company. The vivacity, intelligence and creativity of YPO’s Pan-Asia chapter members gave me new optimism for the future of the region. Go, YPO.