PUBLISHED October 22nd, 2018 11:00 am | UPDATED May 18th, 2020 05:35 pm
Home to the pristine oceanfront resorts of Uluwatu and terraced rice paddies in Canggu, Bali’s sandy beaches and lush greenery are testament to the island’s natural beauty. However, it’s also home to local artisans, painters and visionaries, as seen by the many art galleries dotting the island. Some of them are dedicated solely to the craft while some of them share spaces with cafes and hotels, making it easy to organize an art day out in Bali. And to help you out, here are some of the best contemporary art galleries in Bali at the moment!
With their new location near the centre of Canggu, Crate Café has dedicated some of the space to a gallery extension, where simple grey concrete walls and modern interiors provide artists a platform to showcase their work and connect with people. This hub for contemporary creatives houses a concept store, Crate Concept, and Crate Lounge. Past exhibitions at Crate Gallery include Rik Lee’s illustration show Some Girls, the Brooklyn On Filmexhibit by Yasmin Suteja, and ax exposition of minimalist tattoo works by Steve Marlon.
Crate Gallery is located at Jl. Canggu Padang Linjong, Canggu, p. +62 812 3894 3040. Open 6am – 5pm daily.
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Located in the heart of Seminyak, Nyaman Gallery is an eclectic contemporary art gallery curated by Melvine Amar. The elegant and cozy space has been a home to emerging Bali-based contemporary artists for almost four years. Walk in and be greeted by a marvelous selection of Indonesian primitive art & décor amidst the 10 international and local artists featured, including Australian printmaker YOKII, street artist QUINT, illustrator BunnyBone, and collage painter Jean-Michel Aucler. The friendly gallery team is present to answer any questions you might have, and don’t miss out on the exotic Balinese sculptures displayed on the second floor. They’re currently expanding their space to accommodate creative workshops and more exhibition space, so stay tuned to learn more.
Nyaman Gallery is located at Jl. Basangkasa No.88, Seminyak, p. +62 361 737929. Open 9am-9pm daily.
Look out for the glass container with racer motorbikes by the window and the strong aroma of coffee when passing Sayan street, and that’s where you’d find Workshop, which has evolved from a breakfast and coffee spot into a homey lounge that doubles as a gallery space for Bali-based artists to exhibit their artworks. Decked out with comfy sofas and a big wooden table great for working on your laptop, Workshop has a photo-studio corner that you can book for photo shoots as well as a secret cocktail menu they only trot out on exhibition opening nights and during evening events. Seriously, try their dragonfruit gin emulsion – you won’t regret it!
Workshop is located at Jl. Raya Sayan, Ubud.
TONYRAKA Contemporary and Modern Art
Established in 1968 as Raka Gallery by former wood carver A.A Gede Raka Wurayuda, the name changed in 1997 when his son A.A Bagus Tony Hartawan took the reins. The TONYRAKA today is a cultural platform representing mainly Indonesian artists such as I Made Wiradana, Eddie Hara, and Ketut Susena, as the growth of the local art scene remains its main focus. On top of hosting exhibitions like The Choreography of Cutting; a solo exhibition by Sally Smart, TONYRAKA has also participated in major art expos such as Art Stage Jakarta in 2017 and Singapore Contemporary Art Show in 2016.
TONYRAKA Contemporary and Modern Art is located at Jl. Raya Mas No.86 Mas Kedewatan, Ubud, p. +62 81 236 008 035. Open Mon-Sun 10am-5pm.
The Slow Gallery
Not only is this island-chic spot known for its 12 luxurious suites, its restaurant by Chef Shannon Moran, and its proximity to local pubs and Echo Beach, The Slow is currently one of the most hyped about gallery spaces in Bali. This is mostly due to its private collection of featured artworks by the likes of Chris Searl, Kate Bellm, and Brad Gerlach on the restaurant walls and spaces available for event and exhibition bookings (like the rooftop). It’s currently hosting a show by Australian artist Otis Hope Carey this month!
The Slow is located at Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.97, Canggu, p. +62 361 2099000.
Sudakara Art Space
Sanur’s art scene has been enriched by creative hubs and casual galleries such as Rumah Sanur and Ghostbird + Swoon, and then, there was Sudakara Art Space. Tucked away in the gorgeous SUDAMALA complex amidst the suites & villas, Sudakara is no stranger to controversial subjects like gender, identity, sexuality and violence, evident from their celebration of feminist artist I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih with a show of works by emerging artists from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Italy, and the Philippines. Sudakara Art Space also works closely with Ketemu Project, a visual arts collective and social enterprise hybrid based in Bali and Singapore.
Sudakara Art Space is located at Jl. Sudalama No.20, Sanur, p. +62 361 288555. Open 7am-11pm daily.
Inspired by the dimly-lit listening venues in Tokyo’s back alleys and basements, Studio Eksotika is a six-seat audiophile bar blasting tunes from 70s Indonesian disco and psych to Japanese jazz and new-age. They host killer contemporary art exhibitions from rising artists all around the world as well, such as the debut art show by Bujang Rimba, a fund-raising art show for Lombok, and a showcase of Lucas and Sons’ handcrafted surfboards during RESIN FOUNDRY. The best part? Studio Eksotika never separates music from art so expect rad music gigs from contributing DJs at every exhibition opening.
Studio Eksotika is located AT Jl. Petitenget No.51, Seminyak. Open Mon, Wed-Sun 5pm-12am. Closed Tue.
Founded by Ratna Odata and Djunaidi Kenyut, this humble gallery in Penestanan is a creative studio with a variety of collaborative platforms (Co.Lab, Co.Studyand Co.Atelier) and a frequent host of art exhibitions, biennials, and art programs. One of the few spots that run interdisciplinary programs like Bare Journal and interactive art displays that allow more audience interaction, Cata Odata also provides studio spaces for creative workers such as an art residency experience and a well-equipped working space. Watch this space as Cata Odata is making their way into a brand new Ubud location that will be announced soon.
Top image: Cata Odata