Budiana – art from the heart of Bali

Budiana lives in a typical Balinese family compound in the old royal village Ubud –  pavillons in a garden, all full of  delicately  hand-made art, including a family temple. 


1969 Budiana started studying art in Denpasar at age 19. Back then, life  was still very traditional, no electricity on the island untill the mid Seventies, the first phone was installed 1985. A short walk away from his home lived artist legend I Gusti Lempad, born 1862, who reached the age of 116 years, when he died in 1978. Budiana also learned briefly from Rudolf Bonnet (1895-1978) in his late years from 1975-77. Besides Walter Spies, Rudolf Bonnet was one of the most influential artists on Bali in early 20th century.


Sekala and Niskala, the visible and spiritual world – the art of Budiana helps us to connect with Balinese cosmos of belief,  transformation of our soul from birth to death and reincarnation. All emotional process in our heart stirred by his art is connected to mythology and spirituality of interwoven cultural roots. Creative dualism: light and darkness always are part of our life, dynamic movement of our karma, as Budiana explains in”Whirling”, a recent catalogue on some of his major works.

“Heading towards release” is the title of the painting above in Arma museum. Based on the Mahabharata epos, it shows the final moment, when the hero Pandava after all struggles and challenges is marching towards heaven – still facing a last obstacle. The guardians of heaven welcome him, but not his dog. “Without my dog I will not enter”, the hero answers – proofing his pure heart by being willing to go to hell for his dog.

Below a exerpt of s larger painting just finsihed in his studio, celebrating how Bali and Chinese culture meet, building a dynamic relationship.. The good spirit Barong (partly of Chinese dragon origin). and witch Rangda encounter each other in different manifestations.


Since early beginnings, Budiana is also a mask maker (Topeng), sculpturer of sarcophaghi for cremation ceremony (bull,  lion etc. ), statues in the temple – involved in a lot of community work. He also has a passion to teach, studying teaching as well in the Seventies.

Since his childhood he loves deeply Moneky Forest, he told me.  Many of the sculptures in the Monkey forest were created by him. He always enjoyed visiting Monkey forest,  connect to the nature there and creating sculptures inspired by the spirits of the place.


Visiting Bali since many years, I was always touched by these sculptures in Monkey Forest, long time before I knew who made it. The sculptures tune in perfectly with the place, where sacred temple and wild animal meet, very specific, also full of humour and joy of life.


Budiana masters and  combines brilliantly a wide range of techniques and traditions, like sensitive, clear-line black and white drawing style below…



….narrative opulence in expressive black and white …


…ranging to abstract techniques…



….combining it all….



He loves to paint at night, he told me. Life is calming down outside, a meditative atmosphere. More closer to a dream world, it seems.


His studio with grey walls keeps out the hard sunlight. It’s calm and quiet like a retreat, modest, not larger than nescessary. You can sense the atmosphere of very focused and disciplined work, but also the deep connection to the family life in the compound outside – traditional Balinese architecture at its best, garden-like and rich in art, full of life with his children and grandchildren.


Budiana told me about his four children and twelf grandchildren, even some grand-grandchildren. He is at age 69  now, still looking young like in his early Fifties. He practices Yoga to keep fit – and enjoys life.

Thanks for inspiration, Budiana!

Text and photos by Joo Peter, June 2019


Indigenous Film Festival 2019 in Bali

Kynan, a 14 year old filmmaker from Kalimantan (Borneo) was one of the stars of the festival, backed by a powerful grass root movement of a new generation of media activists, using all possible media to communicate with local and global audience. From Papua New Guinea filmmakers taking a risk touching political issues to Ibu Onet, communicating with a Orang Utan puppet as Instagram star to local audience or international productions like Small Island – Big Song showing Austronesian culture interwoven from Madagascar to Easter island.

Emmanuela Shinta, founder of Indigenous Film Festival

Emmanuela Shinta, a young activist from Kalimantan, who just spoke in front of the UN, founded the festival together with David Metcalf.

Co-founder David Metcalf (New Zealand) and Ado-Kaliting-Pacidal (Taiwan) presenting “Musical Healers of Land”

Getting organized: the power behind the new grass root movement are organizations like Ranu Welum Foundation in Kalimantan (founded by Emmanuela Shinta) or Wapikoni Mobile in Kanada, which provides media technology and knowledge to indigenious communities in Canada and supports aspiring filmmakers like Craig Commanda and Jani Bellfleur-Kaltush, who presented their films at the festival.

Craig Commanda and Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush in Q&A about their films and Wapikoni


Rizal Lanni and Yonri Revolt

Rizal Lanni comes from mountain area of Papua New Guinea only accessible by airplane – he is one of Papuan Voices, an initiative of videographers in Papua- check out Rizals youtube channel here . Yonri Revolt is a filmmaker and activist in Papua, also promoting archiving and presentation programs (more here).

Hugo Metz and Charlie Hill Smith

Filmmakers as networkers: Hugo Metz is collaborating with many organizations and channels to give indigenious cultures a voice world wide – check out the huge youtube channel of “If not us then who?” here.

Multi-talent Charlie Hill Smith from Australia works as producer, networker & director in West Papua (trailer of his festival film here)


Uyau Moris from Kalimantan

Music is a powerful messenger, as two other festival films showed, both based on the Austronesian migration over 5000 years, rediscovering common roots, deeply touching in the film Musical Healers of Land by Ado Kaliting Pacidal and vibrant charismatic in Small Island Big Song orchestrating musicians from Madagascar to Easter Island in a project by Bao Bao Chen and Tim Coles.

director Ado Kaliting Pacidal, director of “Musical Healers of Land”

Sometimes nothing is more powerful then the spoken word – as special guest Miliwanga Wurrben, grown up in the outback of Australia, showed in her welcome speeches. It all comes back to basics – an open heart – Thanks for a great festival.

Miliwanga Wurrben


more on the film program here

The next Indigenous Film Festival will be in Kalimantan August 9th to 11th 2019, more here.

Support indigenous filmmakers by donation to Ranu Welum Foundation in Kalimantan here

(see also article Bumi Hijau und Swadaya)





Hubud co-working space Bali

Hubud is a legend – founded 2013 in Balis old capitol Ubud, it was listed in the top ten co-working spaces worldwide for years, award-winning many times. Why? As one of the first co-working spaces it was a  blue-print and model how to do it right, the balance of the best on a highly professional level.

Community spirit, skill shares, meet-ups, inspiring talks, networking, great hospitality and close to nature, the founders knew perfectly what they wanted to go for and make it happen – in the early days of digital nomads shaping what are co-working spaces supposed to be at their best.

Its Bamboo architecture was inspired by Green School. I’m longing to have a work place like that – close to nature. Barefooted in an open space, meeting people from all over the world on a highly active vibe creating & sharing – paradise for me.

To be inspiring, it needs diversity. Not just business-focused people and coders, but also artists, designers, bloggers, NGO people, scientists, spiritual people and much more. I love to drop in this place and meet all this people hungry to create something new, breaking out of traditional stereotypes.

Diversity needs also access for all: Ubud sticks to a fair price model which allows  to join all members events for a low monthly basic membership price. Thanks for keeping it affordable!

Hubud also brought PetchaKutcha and FuckUp nights to Ubud, sharing inspiring life stories and was  one of the pioneers  in creating international cooperation of co-working spaces (Co-working Alliance for Asia Pacific, CAAP) and global learning community (see Hubud global learning).

Members lunch & social events boost the networking.

Thanks for all and keep it going!

Visit Hubud online: Hubud.org

Meet-Up for Photographers, Filmmakers, Creatives at Hubud October 4th 2018

Thanks for coming and sharing!

We were happy to welcome Joe Yaggi, who founded Jungle Run Film productions 1993 in Bali. He worked with BBC, National Geographic and other major broadcasters of documentary film (see also Ring of Fire ). At our Meet-Up Joe talked about Bumi Hijau TV reaching millions Indonesians via local television and his Swadaya project with Rio Helmi, how they raised 25.000 Dollar to shoot a pilot in East Java soon coming out.

Videographer Brian Ebbs presented his latest documentary on the Lombok  earthquake LombokStrong and other works. We also discussed the inspiring work of our colleague Marko Randelovic.

Neyna from Jakarta showed her submissions for portfolio night in Singapore and told us about Doc.Now! workshop  in the Alleyway Café Denpasar and the upcoming MiniKino festival for short films October 6th to 13th taking place in different locations around the island. Have a look on the festival booklet here

Patricia Segovia from Peru showed us, how she started to share her travel experience on social media like her instagram supported by a community back home in Peru

Daiana Paduan from Argentina told us about her travel blog for Spanish speaking audience Dale una vuelta al mundo and how she started photographing to support her writing.

Myself as the host of the evening I presented my latest multi-media history project in my hometown Time Echo ( http://time-echo.de) , my photo reportages on South East Asian culture ( like Ogoh-Ogoh, a reportage used to pitch for a documentary on the same subject now) my Green School Documentary and the launch of the new Travel Blog Cosmic Beachcomber

For blogging, I suggested using WordPress Page builder Elementor, which I discovered on a recent talk on Hubud.

It was a joy hosting, you can catch up  with me on facebook  or on my website Joo Peter

By the way, the cover photo I shot in Jaisalmer, Rajastan.

See you next time

Joo Peter


Dukun Jawa – a Balinese photographer

I’m proud to present my friend  Dukun Jawa, one of the best masters of classic photography on the island.  There are photographer legends like Rio Helmi and David Metcalf working in Bali since decades, but let’s bring much more local artists to the headlines!  My friend Kan Kulak introduced me to Dukun Jawa, who lives east of Ubud in a truly Santai village.

You will spot Dukun Jawa on major traditional events, deeply rooted in and dedicated to traditional Bali culture.

Dukun Jawa runs also photography courses, contact datas below.

Dukun Jawa ( I Nyoman Pujawan )

Photographer, tour photography guide, Ubud, Bali. WA: +6282145025800
email: alassangker@yahoo.co.id www.jawanphotography.com


There are also a lot of young photographer artists on Bali with great potential like Epong, who is also a gifted carving artist.

Below Epong is working on a Ogoh-Ogoh head designed by Kan Kulak.

See also my photo reportage on Ogoh Ogoh on Maptia here