Bali arts guide: Where to shop, learn and create

Bali arts guide: Where to shop, learn and create


Text: Adibah Isa

Sick of Aussie-run stores ripping you off with their outsourced goods? We find out where to shop for all things Indonesian

For textiles: Threads of Life Textiles

Textiles are more than just a piece of cloth — they speak volumes about local identity, ancestral spirituality, land stewardship and social organisation. You'll uncover these and more at this retail and gallery space, which houses works from 1,000 women across 11 islands in Indonesia. This fair trade business recently took part in a panel at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, where they shared on sustainability — so you know your cloth came from good hands. You can also sign up for a Natural Dye Batik class for a hands-on experience of a day in a life of a textile maker. You'll never look at an ikat shawl the same way again. Jalan Kajeng No. 25, Ubud

For contemporary art: Tonyraka Gallery

This art institution is one of Ubud's oldest, founded in 1968. Presenting both contemporary and tribal art, its sprawling compounds house a garden, a courtyard and two galleries. Currently, a collective of Indonesian artists are showing in 'Violent Bali', curated by Adrian Vickers, a professor of Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Sydney. As its name suggests, the works deal with Bali's violent past — from its roots, Dutch period, Japanese rule and Indonesian revolution to now. It's a garish show — but a timely reminder of the issues that remain underlying in this Island of Gods. Jalan Raya Mas No. 86 Mas, Ubud

For interiors: The Hobo Store

There's a wealth of interior stores in Seminyak, but if there's only one you need to go to, head to The Hobo Store. Trust in creative director Anna Pretty: She's worked with the likes of Philippe Starck, Tom Dixon and Zara Home. Awash in muted and cool tones that will complement the modern home, the store features rattan tables, up-cycled colonial '40s vintage furniture, school chairs in Javanese batik and hand-made terracotta from Lombok. Wall art with a human touch is also a hit, with handcrafted metal and hand-painted photo frames to pick and choose from. Jalan Raya Kerobokan No. 105, Seminyak

For ceramics: Gaya Ceramic

"Gaya" translates to style in Bahasa Indonesia, and as soon you enter the glasshouse that is the Gaya Ceramic retail shopfront, you'll understand why. Zig-zag floors and white brick walls form the backdrop of this space, which is decked out in ornamental and functional ceramics. At the back end, a team of ceramic-makers work with clay that's been produced from just across the street — but it's far from a sweatshop. They wear tees that say "Proud to be a potter", and move ceramic around like it's butter. You'll discover that Gaya Ceramic's table settings, lighting and decoration not only appeal to the home owner — their repertoire of clients include Bulgari Hotels and Resorts, Ritz-Carlton, Aman Resorts, Cheval Blanc, and even Singapore's own dessert maiden Janice Wong. Debuting in early December, look out for their first bath collection which will include a range of fragrances inspired by four traditional ceramic glazes. Jalan Raya Sayan No. 105, Ubud


To view more insider tips from our #BuroInBali guide, click here