The Facebook-based web page Bali: How Much Is Too Much? passed a major milestone today, by reaching over 100,000 participants. A defiantly non-commercial page, it began at the end of 2013 to expose the sheer scale and quantity of tourism development engulfing the paradise island of Bali. Since then it … Continue reading
Here’s an update on the very intriguing situation I have been thrown into, and have navigated faithfully for the past two years. A three-page summary of the news to date (and the background of this regrettable situation) can be downloaded by clicking here: Susi Johnston Situation (3.5MB – Be patient.)
Here’s the weirdest, wildest and probably the best event of the Bali summer season: Empire of the Sun at Potato Head Bali Beach Club in Petitenget, 19 August. Feeling a bit bored? Jaded? Nothing new to do? Under-awed by the faux-fabulousness of (yeah yeah) normal nightlife? Then pay attention.
Travel guides and glossy magazines call Bali paradise and wax poetic about the island’s glories, and how peaceful and spiritual a place it is. Of course, there is some truth amid all the hyperbole, but reading the local newspapers written in Indonesian gives a somewhat different impression. There is evidently … Continue reading
Brand spanking new, and smack up against Biku Tea Room, here’s CARGA. It’s a retail emporium taking traditional Indonesian ideas and materials and throwing them sideways. In delightful ways. Tradition with a twist.
This year there are only five places to go Christmas shopping in Bali. Number Two: Word of Mouth, on Jalan Kunti near Bali Deli. The place is a showroom-playroom with a cafe and bar. Talk about one stop shopping. If you have to find gifts for everyone on a long … Continue reading
When in Bali, please take my advice and listen to word of mouth — meaning Word of Mouth Bali, of course, the showroom-playroom of Valentina Audrito (below, out in front) and Abhishekar Khumbat (below, third from left), on Jalan Kunti in Seminyak. Val and Abhi always colour outside the lines … Continue reading
I’ve just had another massive overdose of masterplans. I have feeds and searches set up to keep tabs on new developments in Bali. It just doesn’t stop. Here are just a handful of the scores of new projects that have drifted across my desktop lately. Read on, to get a … Continue reading
In case you were wondering about the massive construction project in between The Legian and KuDeTa on Seminyak beach, here’s the scoop. It’s called The Seminyak. How imaginative. Especially since it’s right next door to The Legian. How much did they pay their marketing think tank to come up with … Continue reading
August and September (and now even October) are the high season in Bali and it is always hectic. Parties. Gatherings. Visitors. Vernissages. Launches. Lunches. Dinners. And all manner of special events and festivals. The huge number of visitors, both those we know and those we don’t know, makes it impossible … Continue reading
The Yak Awards is a grand orgy of self-congratulatory silliness (see acrobats at the party spelling out YAK in bodies, above), and if you understand that from the get-go, you’ll be a fan of the Yak Awards, just like we are. It’s a small-island phenomenon that’s basically a barrel of … Continue reading
The Living Room balanced the effect of KuDeTa’s annual I’m an Angel party this year by hosting a I’m a Devil party on the same night, July 31st, the last day before Bali’s official party season begins. We chose to go to the devil, since KuDeTa parties these past five … Continue reading
They call August the silly season in Bali. Well, I’ll drink to that. I did drink to that come to think of it, starting at the end of July. I toasted silliness in general on July 25th at the birthday beach party for Ian Macaulay of Elite Havens and a … Continue reading
Stereo.type, the subject of the current exhibition at Kendra Gallery, is one of the myriad projects of artist-designer-activist Ebon Heath. It consists of metamorphosed typography which transmits subtle messages about printed words themselves and their broadest meanings. The title Ebon selected for his website, “listeningwithmyeyes” voices eloquently the peculiar effect of freeing … Continue reading
Urban sprawl is eating up Seminyak, Kerobokan and beyond. Years ago, in Legian they said, “We’ll never be like Kuta! So crowded! Such a mess!” Then in Seminyak, they said, “We’ll never be like Legian!” And in Petitenget they said, “We’ll never be like Seminyak!” But the advance of urbanization in … Continue reading
Nice party. Beautiful people. Harrowing canvasses. Clearly, this ain’t no fooling around, even if it did take place in Bali, the ultimate island for fooling around, art-wise and otherwise. But a wonderland, Bali is not. A rabbit hole to wonderland, this exhibition is not. We are at Biasa Artspace, Bali’s … Continue reading
Start Here: Too Much Text If art works demand a seven page “curatorial essay” then perhaps there is something amiss, some loose threads in the fabric. Shall we examine some random loose threads trailing out with frayed ends from this unravelled exhibition? Bearing in mind that loose threads … Continue reading
OK here we go, a bit late. The best gallery opening of the winter holiday high season in Bali was just before Christmas at Biasa Artspace. Indieguerillas were the artists, a husband and wife team out of Central Java, who hail from the worlds of interior and graphic design and … Continue reading
This four-storey development is under constuction in Seminyak. It’s a 100-unit condotel right on Jalan Laksmana (“Eat Street”). Each unit will offer 50 square meters of location location location. But not enough room to swing a cat. Probably not pets allowed anyhow, so perhaps that’s not a big concern.
This one has nine units, with just 300 – 350 square meters of land per villa. I don’t know if I would call that a “villa”, exactly. But they’re not apartments, for sure. Maybe they should be referred to as compartments? The project is called “The Seminyak Beach Resort“. Again a … Continue reading
The Sing Ken Ken apartment block soon to rise high in Seminyak. “Sing ken ken,” in Balinese means, “No worries, mate.”
I blogged last week about W Retreat & Spa Bali, which is a major work in progress on the site of the old Intan Hotel in Seminyak, slated to open September 2009. Starwood Group’s W Hotels division has been very tight-lipped about the whole project, as I mentioned previously. W’s … Continue reading
Finally, here are photos from the Ugo Untoro/Filippo Sciascia vernissage at Biasa Artspace (which I posted about a couple weeks ago). Your patience has been rewarded. Sorry, no photos of Ugo. He’s kind of shy. The tense reciprocity of Ugo and Filippo’s collaborative works is visually arresting, and crackles with static electricity. Viewers were … Continue reading
In case you hadn’t noticed, W Hotels is creating a huge luxury resort on the beach in Seminyak. It’s in Petitenget, to be precise, and the site entrance is directly next door to Bali Catering Company (best take-away gourmet shop in Bali). W Hotels is the hip luxury brand of … Continue reading