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


Dojo co-working in Bali

Dojo co-working in Canggu on Bali quickly became famous after founder Michael Craig started it a few years ago, inspired by Hubud, Balis award-winning co-working space in a bamboo architecture close to nature similar to Green School. Michael loved to bring this co-working spirit to the beach at Canngu. So just a few steps away from the beach, Dojo developed quickly as a vibrant and inspiring place for creative people.

Haren is one of the welcome spirits at Dojo. The japanese word Dojo goes back to buddhist martial art practicing court, a place for intense learning and meditation .

Community spirit as a key issue at Dojo, so it’s a great place to find support, feedback, collaborators.

The founder Michael Craig invests a lot of money in a superfast internet on the isalnd, where high-speed internet isn’t a standard.

Dojos in-house pool is one of the cool features

Sometimes its getting pretty crowded. I met a lot of hard-working, very focused e-commerce people there, attracted by the weekly Meet-Up discussing e-commerce, dropshipping, FBA.

Hosting photographer & filmmaker Meet-Ups myyself, I enjoyed to connect to the creative crowd in Canggu as well as in Ubud.

March 2019 the two most famous co-working spaces on Bali , Hubud in Central Bali and Dojo at the West Coast merged. For one membership you’re free to benefit from both places.

Prices are still affordable and I hope it stays that way.  Canggu is perfect for beachlovers and surfers, but  missing a bit traditional local culture you’ll find more in Ubud area. So by the merge you get the best of both places as a member.

Dojo homepage

Featured Co-working spaces in Bali:

Onion – Dojo – Hubud



Follow the dolphins to Flores

If you ask me for one of my  favorite trips in Indonesia: come on board the handmade wooden boats of Perama and cruise three days and nights to Flores.  That’s Indonesia! See the carpenters shape the boats in their docking on a stop by,  feel the wood under your feet, watch the dolphins following the boat close to Komodo island.

How does it come this tour opportunity is pretty unknown & a secret travel trip? Perama has chosen a promotion, I would have never gone for: they call the tour package “Komodo Hunting Trip”. Well, a stop-by at Komodo island is included, but the beauty of the trip goes far beyond that !

Day 1

Coming from Bali, you have to take the ferry to Sengigi in Lombok,  where the Perama tour to Flores  starts. The first day the Perama bus  crosses Lombok in direction of their dockings, with stops on the road giving insight to local culture & traditions of ethnic groups on Lombok. But the jaw-dropping part for me was arriving at Peramas traditional docking, where they produce their Bugis Phinisi style boats and see the barefooted  carpenters at work.


The boats in the dock look like strange pieces of furniture. Forget all plans – its all  in the head & hands of the experienced carpenters.


Your ship crew lights a bonfire after sunset, the boat leaves direction of Sumbawa, the island east of Lombok. You sleep on the boat – it feels like a adventure of the Seventies. Thank god I escaped the comfort zone. And nowadays -that’s a rare experience!  The captain is an Indonesian, who knows the sea since decades – never felt so safe on a boat.

Day 2

Arriving at Sumbawa coast in the morning,the ship stops at a small Satonda island for some snorkeling & island visit. After that, the boat continues East, with a stop at Kilo beach, Sumbawa.


After another night the ship  reaches the archipelago around Komodo Islands. For me, the beauty of the archipelago itself here around the national park was the most stunning . This was the area where the dolphins were following our boat.  Komodo island was ok, we saw the dragons – but for me personally it was not the main goal of my trip.

Afters stops at Komodo & Pink Beach , the boat continues East.

Getting close to Flores, the archipelago gets more and more beautiful.

The West coast harbor city in Flores is called Labuan Bajo.

If you have a chance to hire a bike and discover the island, its the best way the to discover Flores. But be careful on the winding mountain roads of Flores and cold nights on the bike in the mountain.

More about soon in the next chapter.

Perama Tour link here

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



Bamboo Architect Nau Schlosser

20 minutes North of Ubud Nau Schlosser and Sacha Stone made their dream come true: Akasha. Hidden in the rice fields, artists are experimenting with new bamboo architecture and interior design.

Nau Schlosser is a Spanish architect working an bio architecture with all his passion, leading the art to a new level with computer aided design and collaborating with many like-minded artists.

I met Nau Schlosser contemplating there on his new projects on my first visit there. Akasha was completed 3 years ago.

Like Green School architecture, a new technique helps to make bamboo a lasting material, resistant to insects. Nau Schlosser uses silica to petrify bamboo instead of boric acid, which is used by Green school. More on the techniques at the end of this article.


Part of the experimental playground is the elaborate light design by Sacha Stone, who created the interior design.

Building close to nature is essential for Nau Schlossers architecture.

All design is inspired by nature, like in this new project below

After a computer-aided design process, construction is done fundamentally based on century-old Asian knowledge in Bamboo construction.

Check out Nau Schlossers website here: http://bioarc.co

See also my story and documentary film on Green School

(c) all photos by Joo Peter, architecture plans by (c) bioarc.co

About techniques to preserve bamboo

silica for petrfication here

traditional methods (water, fire) boric acid and lime water:


Film on a mobile version of  treatment with boric acid here




Gunung An

Onion legend Mark Kuan created a new peaceful retreat to enjoy with friends & guests. It’s Friday events called “Steam Sauna Friday” are the most inspirational Come-Together I experienced this season so far, master of pleasure Mark Kuan cares about delicious food, while his guests go for rooftop-sunset leisure, pool , nightly fireplace guitar jam session & more.

Mark Kuan celebrates cooking with his guests, as part of philosophy of life: Enjoy, share, care – all close to nature. His cooking classes are a great introduction to Asian & fusion food.
Gunung An is seated next to ricefields, forest and a small waterfall.

Arriving at Gunung An, visitors cross the jungle bridge to receive a welcoming blessing.

Steam sauna and Spa are seated in nature, floating in dragonfly sounds of the forest around.

Below: Friday night  magic with fire show by Aaron

Homepage of Gunung An here –  on Facebook here
Gunung An on Airbnb  –  See also story on  Onion Collective