Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Woodcarver's Legacy

The July day was uncomfortably warm, and we were after something we could do to take us out of the sun's glare. What could be better, we wondered, than a spacious art gallery, full of shady nooks, cool file, and interesting work? But, which one? After a quick consultation with ourtrusty guide bock and a map, we made our decision to visit the Njana Tilem Gallery, on JI. Raya Mas, in Mas. We didn't have much information. The guide bock briefly noted that Ida Bagus Tilem, son of famed woodcarver Ida Bagus Njana, was legendary, widely regarded as the best wood sculptor of all time. Tilem was chosen to represent Indonesia at the New York World V Fair in 1964, a tremendous honor. It also said Tilem died in 1993 of a massive stroke, at the age of fifty- seven.

We read about how his family and students; still keep his gallery and workshop open in order to carry on his tradition of carving, even beyond his lifetime. The bock's brief summary of Tilem's contribution to the Balinese art and history of woodcarving intrigued us, and roused our curiosity We were eager to see his work. At the Njana Tilem gallery entrance, staff members greeted us with smiles and courtesy. They noted my camera and politely informed us the taking of photographs was not permitted anywhere on the gallery premises. They told us we could stay for as long as we liked, and we could walk freely through the many gallery rooms, but we were not to take pictures or make drawings of any kind. We agreed to obey the rules, and we were welcomed inside. A slender young man rose from a chair behind the door and introduced him- self. He informed us he was a student woodcarver, an apprentice in the workshop. He said he would be happy to act as our escort and guide if we liked, at no charge. We accepted his; offer and were on our way, glad to have someone with us who could answer our questions, and maybe help, us learn something about Balinese woodcarving. We soon discovered the "gallery" was actually"', composed of a series of large, airy rooms filled with flowers and greenery, spread out across two floors. The rooms were breathtakingly beautiful.

Everywhere our eyes rested, there were ebony, teak, hibiscus, sawo, and jackfruit sculptures - each one more exquisitely carved than the next. l was frankly amazed to think a single man, even one as supremely gifted as Ida Bagus Tilem, could have had such a remarkable output of work in one Lifetime. l said as much to our Guide. He replied with a smile that the carvings were not all personally carved by Tilem. He said that many of the pieces, especially those for sale in the gallery, were the work of Tilem's many students. Ida Bagus Tilem, he said, was a caring teacher who helped his students grow to their full potential as artists. He habitually taught the apprentices to be patient with the wood as they worked. He wanted them to carefully and meticulously draw out the shapes and images with their hands and tools, using their inner awareness of the wood's properties, rather than brute
.force Tilem always stressed the importance: of focusing on the act of carving, rather than the rewards and praise that might come of it. Hundreds of woodcarvers apprenticed them-selves to Tilem over the years, and under his tutelage, many have become masters in their own right. Today, the student woodcarvers in the workshops study under Tilem's former students. Our guide said that as a young man, Tilem faced the vexing problem of limited finances, and he had a hard struggle at times to live Ok and raise his family while he loamed his craft.

As a direct result of that early Privation, once Tilem's gallery flourished, he generously arranged to provide even the poorest students with both materials and tools, and a place in his shop to sell their work. "These very works all around you, in all these rooms," the guide said. 1 asked how to tell which carvings were by which artist, and he laughed, waved his arm toward in a sweeping gesture and said, It does not matter, does it? They are all Tilem's, are they not?" He went on, "However, l think you will know which ones Tilem carved with his own hands. They are the very best. You will see." We saw an entire room filled with wooden sculptures based on the Ramayana stories, depicting familiar tales from Hindu mythology. In one corner, tall and graceful Ramas, bows drawn as steely-eyed, they hunted down the Golden Deer. In another corner, monkey generals offered small golden rings to gorgeous Sitars as pledges of her consort's true love. There were fierce battle scenes carved from enormous blocks of wood in which armed and grim Ramas and Rawanas crashed through the heavens crossing weapons. The expressions on the faces, the jewels in the armor, the flowering buds crushed under the hooves of the warriors' steeds - all of it incredible, all of it coaxed from the wood by the artist's imagination and skill. Passing to the next room, we saw life-sized teak carvings of farmers cutting rice in the fields, daubs of wooden mud carved onto their sinewy arms and ankles. Crouching sawo wood men pitted their fighting cocks in battle, holding the carved baskets high above the ground. Each raised cock feather was as finely carved as a filament. Whip-thin ebony fishermen cast their sweeping nets across flowing rivers. Tamarind dancing girls, their arms and faces and legs

smooth, hips and breasts gently swelling, smiled suggestively as they invited onlookers to their dances. In all the carvings, from the largest to the smallest, we saw always the hint of an invitation to join whatever activity the sculptor rendered. The next room was smaller, filled to bursting with fish, frogs, and birds of every size and description, covering every available surface. These carvings were so delicate and realistic, executed with such extraordinary detail, we would not have been surprised to see them leap about, swim, or fly away In this room, our guide constantly encouraged us to pick things up, touch them, turn them in our hands. He wanted us to feel the warmth and weight of the wood.

He wanted us to appreciate the magic of Tilem's genius. We were completely unprepared for the surprise that awaited us in the largest chamber on the upper floor of the gallery. In this room were sculptures that had to be seen to be believed, carvings certain to be coveted by woodcarving connoisseurs and international collectors. Here, a herd of deer, dozens of the little Balinese Kidjang, bounding through the air in graceful arching leaps across a rampaging river. All in teak, the size of a small truck. There, two enormous stallions, rearing in a fight over a mare grazing nearby. The stallions' hair was etched to follow the lines of muscle, tendon, and bone. All in jackfruit wood, larger than life. Given the precision of the etching, l thought the tool of choice was likely to have been a surgeon's scalpel, rather than a chisel or woodcutter's saw.
Just beyond, in the final room we toured, l saw a full-length, life-size carving of a young woman raising her arms, her sarong loosened and falling away, her face an image of ecstasy, As l stood contemplating that graceful hibiscus girl, l was suddenly gripped by a sadness l could not name. Not far away from the lovely dancer we saw two rough blocks of ebony and mahogany sitting in the corner, each lock crudely marked with crayon. The wood blocks still showed traces of the saws and axes that cut them from the

living trees.l asked our guide what these blocks of wood were for, and why they were sitting in the display room. l thought perhaps some wood intended for the workshops was brought by delivery men through the wrong door and inadvertently left behind.

l could not have been more wrong. Our young guide reverently explained these rough blocks were the last pieces of wood Tilem touched with his hands - he was preparing to work with this wood, right before his untimely death. l was not able to tell by looking at the crayon marks what Tilem may have been thinking as he touched, turned, and evaluated those blocks. He saw something nobody else would or could see, and as a gesture of respect, his family and his students maintained that wood in the came state it existed on the day he died. l could now name my sadness. l felt a keen sense of loss, knowing Tilem's bands would never again take up a chisel. Tilem's hands would never again shape a piece of wood into something magical, mythical, or mundane. As l looked at the rough wood blocks, l was reminded that a woodcarver's work should serve as an extension of nature, as a way of enhancing man's communication with the

natural elements of his world. A woodcarver must learn to synthesize his humanity with the natural world in order to achieve true artistic expression. A woodcarver must love the uncarved wood as much as, or maybe even more than, the finished piece. A woodcarver understands there is always the promise of tomorrow in the unfinished wood blocks. This was something Tilem understood. In the Mahabharata, there is a lengthy passage describing Yudishtira's initial encounter with his father, the god Dharma. Yudishtira was dying of thirst as he stumbled across a broad, clear lake. Dharma disguised himself in the form of the lake spirit, and as a test of worth, commanded Yudishtira to answer some questions before slaking his intense thirst. The spirit told Yudishtira he would be struck dead if he tried to drink before answering, or if he answered any of the questions incorrectly. Although parched, his tongue swollen, his lips cracked arid bleeding, Yudishtira managed to correctly answer all of his inquisitor's questions.
miracle of all?" Yudishtira considered the question carefully, then replied, It is this. All over the world, every day, thousands of men's lives end.

And every man in the world awakens in the morning and thinks to himself, today, l will not die." The god, well pleased by his son's answer, revealed himself in his true form, and invited Yudishtira to drink from the lake. Ida Bagus Tilem believed in that greatest miracle, too. He woke every day and worked with the wood, right up until the day he died. The finished carvings remain with us as testimony to his genius. Tilem's own work, and the work of his students, represent the triumph of his will and imagination over the limitations of his body, and the limitations of time. Perhaps the images he was preparing are still inside the wood. One day, perhaps someone whose vision is as clear and whose talent is as great as Tilem's will lay hands on that wood, and the figures will emerge. Those uncut blocks await the loving chisel held by an inspired artist's hand. As we thanked our guide and then stepped out once more onto the sunlit bustle of traffic and pedestrians on JI. Raya Mas, l was thinking about the student woodcarvers sitting quiet and cross-legged in the workshops, shaving, cutting, carving, and dreaming about what was inside the wood they touched. l was thinking about those students, about how their work was truly a celebration of their creativity, and a tribute to Ida Bagus Tilem. In that moment, l understood the woodcarver's true legacyThe final question the disguised god asked of his son was the most important. It was, "Yudishtira, what is the greatest

Marsha L. Browne

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Influence of Religion in Balinese Woodcarving

The Buddhist image should show faces of Benevolence and Wisdom;
The Confucian sage must have a manner evincing loyatly, faithfulness and righteousness;
The Hindu image must have the demeanor of immortality and divine deliverance;

Chinese architecture can be seen from the adoption of Imperial Foo Dog which normally An imperial guardian lion, also called a Fu Lion or a Foo Dog, and called Shi in Chinese, is a kind of statue believed to have powerful mythic protective powers that has traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, temples, emperors' tombs, government offices, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), until the end of the empire in 1911.

In Bali a similar statue in form of Lion or called Singa with a lion also stood in front of palace, temples. Balinese believe Singa has the power to ward off evil. Admired for its strength, the Balinese believe Singa will protect their household and thus place statuettes at entrance.

A History of Balinese Woodcarving

The craft of woodcarving has never existed in Bali solely for decoration purposes.
In the olden days, the fine arts of woodcarving and painting were reserved almost exclusively for royal and religious purposes.

Louis Nizer said " A man who works with his hand is a labourer, a man who works with his hand and his brain is a craftsmen, but a man who works with his hand, his brain and his heart is an artist". Following this definition, in the olden days all the woodcrafters in Bali use their arts for religious purpose.

Woodcarving has a very long history in Bali. At the Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) near Bedulu, Gianyar - elaborate Buddhist style carvings cover the entrance near the cave. This carving dates to 9th Century. Woodcarvings is largely links to religious tradition and Pura (small private temples) in Balinese home.

The influence of Hindu style traditional carving was completed in 13th to 14th centuries when Bali became Majapahit colony. The old Balinese carving were constrained by tradition - mainly producing Gods, Goddesses and Demons figure.

Before the Dutch conquered Bali in 1908 and up to Indonesia independence in 1945, the island was divided into a number of small independent kingdoms. The kingdoms fought sporadically adn often against each other, providing easy target for the Dutch to controlled the powerful kingdoms in central and south Bali. Some kingdoms preferred Puputan (Holy death by mass suicide). Two kingdoms to escape and surrender, the royal families of Gianyar and Karangasem agreed to exchange their political power for a peaceful life. As a result Gianyar, with its eight districts surrounding Ubud became the center of arts in Bali.

Woodcarving for commercial purpose probably started around 1935. The Dutch traders firstly introduce Balinese woodcarving to Europe. Until now, a lot of Dutch Museum still have a huge collection of Balinese woodcarving. The Dutch take-over of Southern Bali in 1906-1908 not only destroyed the traditional courts of the island but it also shattered the old system of art production. There were new patrons of the arts, and the artists made works that were commodities instead of items of religious use of content. This has an important impact on the production of carvings which could now be made with free themes and content. Mas area were already making birds and statues for commercial purposes: the new freedom of expression was turning a formerly religious art into mere handicraft. At this stage Bali was ‘discovered' by Western artists whose influence would give a new turn to the evolution of its arts. Several of them elected residence in Ubud, in particular Walter Spies (1895-1942) and Rudolf Bennet (1895-1978). With the support of the Sukawati House of Ubud they set to encourage the budding renewal of sculpture and painting, distributing material and guiding the artists with advice and criticism. The westerners also functioned as dealers, channeling Balinese works to international connoisseurs. This movement encourages woodcarvers to explore new style and carving technique - the usage of the woodcarving also expand to decorative and commercial purpose.

In a matter of years, the production had grown to guide the renewal movement through more official channels. This was the Pita Maha association (1936-1942), a guild of Balinese plastic art, whose name has now become identical with the renewal movement. The renewal of sculpture that took place in late 20's was both thematic and aesthetic. The first themes which came to the mind of Balinese carvers once they did not work for religious purposes were depictions of elements of their daily life: people sitting, drinking from pitcher, resting, squatting, talking. The Balinese started looking at themselves with a new, ‘candid' eye.

Soon, however, a stylistic evolution took place. The first one led to the ‘invention' of the sleek style. It was apparently evoked by Walter Spies in 1929, who, while commissioning two woodcarvings from the Blaulan sculptor I Telagan Blaulan, gave him a lengthy piece of wood he had just obtained for this purpose. To his surprise, I Tegalan did not cut the piece of wood into two as ordered but produced instead an elongated work. Associated with a sleek working of wood, a style was born. Much of the future evolution of Balinese sculpture would consist in playing with natural proportions: first elongating them, then, after the war, shortening them, producing the ‘style' still in favor today. There were several masters from this style: Ida Bagus Glodog, Ida Bagus Taman, Ida Bagus Ketut Roja, Doyotan, and Sondoh.

The greatest of them, however, was undoubtly Ida Bagus Nyana, a brahmin and traditional architect from Mas. Nyana innovated mainly in the imagination he showed while playing with mask, shortenings parts of the body, lengthening others, often giving his works an eerie, almost surrealistic quality. At the same time Nyana did not work his wood more than needed and he stuck to simple daily life themes. He thus avoid ‘baroque' trap into which fell many Balinese carvers. Nyana was not only a gifted carver but also a well-respected priest who help to design local temple in Desa Mas, Ubud. in 1974, Nyana received a high national award from President Soeharto in recognition of his art.

Another master of the new style was Cokot, from the mountain village of Jati , North of Tegalalang. Cokot used a minimalist technique. He would look in the mountain of strangely shaped trunks and branches and turn them, with as little working on the log as possible, into an assembly of gnarled spooks and demonic figures. Iconographically, these characters were derived from figures often found as part of the decoration of Balinese temples, but Cokot treated them in a free way, and, more importantly, took them to the fore by embedding them into huge trees and branches. He thus created a strong, expressionistic genre unique to this day. Ida Bagus Nyana and Cokot were artists from the Pita Maha years, but their productive career took them into the 60s and 70s. Most of today's Balinese sculpture is inspired from their works.

The sleek style of Balinese sculpture has considerably evolved since the 60s. To the simple lines of the original slender and squat carvings have succeeded a baroque working of wood that lets little space untouched. An important artist nevertheless appeared, Ida Bagus Tilem, Nyana's son.

Unlike Nyana and the artists of Mas, and even unlike Cokot, Tilem dared to change the proportions of the characters represented, not only by adapting the shape of his characters to that of the piece the wood he was working on, but by using for that purpose rotten logs that had been ‘cleaned' up, and would come up as gnarled shapes well suited to express twisted human bodies and faces. Tilem thus created for the first time a genuinely individualized system of representation. He marked the arrival of true modernity in the world of Balinese sculpture.

For the best collections of Balinese wood carving, the visitor should go to the FA Siadja Wood Carving gallery in the village of Mas in Ubud. A wide selection of carving from 1930s to current style worked in many different kind of wood is available.

Beside the two main styles of sculpture discussed above, other genres should be mentioned: Batubulan produces soft-stone works of gods and demons, Teges has made a specialty out of hyper-realist animals, and the Tegalalang area has become a huge workshop for false banana trees, flowers, etc, not to mention the wooden jewels of chess boards made in Tampaksiring area, the wooden panels of Batuan, and the many sculptors scattered around the island. For wooden masks, the most famous villages are Singapadu, Mas, and Batuan.

Era of Commercialization
In 1969 a new opportunity arose for the industry as the Government of Indonesia started to promote Tourism in Bali. A lot of Foreign tourist came to Bali and many woodcarving centre started to emerge in the surrounding village of Mas. For example in Kemenuh, woodcarving co-operative for handicraft purpose were established.
This co-operative provides material, marketing and financial assistance.

In 1974, a mass production of smaller design less intricate carving (carved cats, frogs and fruits)locally known as "pop arts'. As less carving skill required, mass production resulted quick economic return and lower quality carving. However this provide a quick economic return for a large group of people.

Nowadays they are also produced for enjoyment and commerce.' Men of every caste are artisans, and in Mas live some of the most talented. The best known is lda Bagus Nyana, who in 1974 received a high national reward in recognition of his art. For many years he has not sold his beautiful and original carvings, which may be seen at his home. His son, lda Bagus Tilem, is one of the most talented sculptors at Mas.

Potrait of Ida Bagus Tilem

"The childhood shows the man, as the morning shows the day"
- John Milton
Born in the village of Mas, Bali, on the 13th of Dec, 1936, into a long tradition of family woodcarvers, Ida Bagus Tilem showed an early fascination for the art which was to become his whole life. Despite the relative material poverty of his childhood, his fondest memories are of his childhood days. Preferring the company of his elders to that of the roaming village children, he spent his days seated at his father's side on a mat on the hard-packed earth of the family compound, watching the
wonder, and Ida Bagus Tilem's favorite evenings were spent following his uncle's Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppet shows from village to village, his father's performances in Wayang Wong Drama and Topeng Mask Dance, and listening to the vivid tales of his grandfather. This strong influence on his basis of thinking and philosophy of life at a most impressionable age, which he is now fully able to appreciate, instilled in him an unquenchable creative desire. He spent hours struggling with his father's carving tools to bring to life small off-cuts of wood, remnants of his father's creations.
His father, Ida Bagus Nyana, born in 1912, was as a young man recognized as one of Bali's most talented sculptors of wood. A quiet, unpretentious, and unassuming man, Ida Bagus Nyana allowed his son to develop his skills unhindered, gently stressing the importance of patience and the total no-compatibility of materialism with creativity.
Slowly, the child developed his talent, despite battered hands from his first few attempts with his father's razor-sharp chisels, carving tiny animals and birds, and traditional figures from the Wayang stories. These he was able to sell to the random tourist, and the only art gallery on the island at that time, in Sanur. He saved up for a bicycle to go to school, and at high-school age used to ride 20 km to Denpasar every Sunday afternoon for the week's school in town, returning the following Saturday to immerse himself once more in his carving. His parents could not afford the expenses of schooling, so he carved for his education.
In 1958, because of family financial problems, Tilem decided to leave school and set up a studio in Mas at his home, where he sold his own work, and was able to contribute to the family income. Local boys used to come and sit with him. He now has more than 100 apprentices and the same number of fully fledged carvers working with him.
Recalling his own frustration as a youth trying to develop his skill and knowledge on the few materials available, he furnishes wood and tools to those as yet unable to buy their own, helps them to use material to its fullest possible potential, and then provides an outlet for sales in his studio.
Now a father of four children, Tilem is ever conscious of the importance of family tradition and his cultural heritage. Since his first trip abroad, when he was chosen to represent Indonesia at the New York World Fair in 1964, he has had numerous overseas exhibitions and demonstrations in Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Austria, and Mexico. He uses each trip to develop his knowledge and appreciation of art, but always finds himself eager to hurry home to his family and village, and to carry on with his work.
The important element in Tilem's work is his love of it. He is never so happy as when he is shirtless, seated cross-legged on a mat in a quiet place in the family compound, totally involved in his carving. The work of the artist is an extension of nature. The gentle curves and shapes of human limbs fuse with the glowing grain of the wood to attain a subtle synthesis of humanity and nature. Tilem has no lack of inspiration. His childhood experiences, his extensive collection of antiques, and his discoveries on overseas trips are an infinite source of subjects and ideas for new creativity, and each piece bears the stamp of his own brilliant craftsmanship.

(created by John Milton)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Desa Mas – How the Village Get Its Name

Brahmanical Woodcarving Village

The village of Mas lies on the main road, 20 km to the north of Denpasar and 6 km before Ubud. It is located 2 km north of Sukawati Craft Market before Peliatan Village. Today the village appears as a succession of palatial art shops, as Mas has developed into a flourishing center for the woodcarving craft.

Mas actually played an important role in Balinese history during the 16th century, as it was the place where a great priest from Java, Dang Hyang Nirartha (also called Dwijendra), had his hermitage (griya)

Desa Mas - the abode of Brahmana Mas, descendant of Dang Hyang Nirartha

Dang Hyang Nirartha is a son of Dang Hyang Semaranatha, holy priest of Majapahit kondom. Due to destruction of Majapahit kingdom and the invasion of Islamic influence in Java. Dang Hyang Nirartha move to Pasuruan. Subsequently he travelled to Blambangan and received protection from King of Blambangan Sri Aji Juru. Due to religious dispute he move to Bali with nine of his children.

In Bali, he is known as Pedanda Sakti Wau Rauh (literally: "The Newly Arrived High Priest") . He was Saivite religious figure, a well know architect and expert in medicine, carving and literature. He came to Bali in 1489 to become the chief counselor to Gelgel King Batu Renggong. He was invited to Mas by prince Mas Wilis (Tan Kober). Here the pedanda acquired great fame through his teaching, and gathered many disciples. Subsequently he was married to Prince Mas' sister Sang Ayu Mas Gemitir. Through this marriage he has four son : Pedanda Timbul, Pedanda Alangkajeng, Pedanda Panarukan and Pedanda Singaran. Later he also took the maid of Mas Prince, from this marriage he has a son, IDa Patapan. All his childrens from five wife stayed and studied in Desa Mas where there is a lot of Pule tree. Subsequently this area known as Pura Taman Pule.

His literature achievement - he wrote a lot of Lontar. Some of his literature masterpiece are : Nusa Bali, Kidung Sebamengkang, Cara Kusuma, Ampik, Langerang, Mahisa Langit, Bewer, Mayadesawantaka Dharma Pitutur, Wacistacrya, Karya dharma putra, Dharma sunya Eling nand many more.

In his old age, Dang Hyang Nirartha did Dharma Yatra - or Holy Roadshow to various place in Bali and also Lombok. In every temple he visited, not only he preached, he also restore, renovated and build temple by combining Balinese Architecture with Javanese Hindu Architecture. He restored 19 Temple including the famous Pura Tanah Lot in Tabanan, Pura Taman Pule in Mas

The family of Ida Bagus Njana and his son Ida Bagus Tilem are descendants of this famous priest. (Ida Bagus is a name for Bhramana caste). There is a legend when the priest stuck his wooden stick in the ground of the village, a miracle happened. The stick became alive and became a living tree with golden flowers, from which the village of Mas derives its name (In Indonesia Mas means Gold). The priest also predicted that all his descendant will live from wood. True enough, the village now is the famous village for woodcarving.

Most of Mas Brahmana in the olden days has a profession as Architect, Farming and Priest.

The priest's fame reached the court of Dalem Baturenggong in Gelgel, who, impressed by Danghyang Nirartha's superior wisdom, appointed him the King's counselor and court priest.Based upon his instructions, many temples were built, especially after his moksa (holy death). His belongings - bajra (holy bell), black shirt, mattress and staff - are now kept in the Mas griya, and the Pura Taman Pule temple was built on the site of the priest's griya.

Realm of the Blessed Craftsmen
The gods are also said to have bestowed talents on two of Mas houses: the skill of the shadow puppet master to Griya Dauh, and the skill of woodcarving to Griya Danginan. Ida Bagus Njana is belong to Griya Danginan. At first, the woodcarvers (sangging) were all brahmanas who worked only on ritual or courtly projects. Their disciples (sisya) learned the craft from them, and woodcarving skills were transmitted from father to son. The traditional wayang style prevailed, featuring religious scenes and characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata epics.
In Pura Taman Pule, we can still observe the stone sculpture and temple ornaments design by anchestor of Ida Bagus Njana and the work of Njana himself.

During the 1930s, under the influence of Walter Spies and Pita Maha, a new style of woodcarving developed here. The motifs were more realistic, and inspired by everyday scenes featuring humans and animals. Several of these early works may now be seen in Ubud's Puri Lukisan museum.
During this period, woodcarvings began to be appreciated and purchased by foreigners, but only after 1970 did the real boom take place.

The first art shops in Mas were those of Ketut Roja (Siadja & Son), followed by Ida Bagus Nyana and his son Ida Bagus Tilem, and Ida Bagus Taman (Adil Artshop). At first they all produced works of quality in limited quantities, mainly working with locally available woods. A more abstract style was later developed by Purna and Nyana, featuring elongated, curved lines and woods such as ebony and sandalwood. Later oil, in Pujung and Tegallalang, Cokot began to carve roots into demonic figures.

Woodcarving shops
Dozens of woodcarving shops now line the main road. The most famous and the best gallery is Njana Tilem Gallery - this is the best place to see the balinese woodcarving. Normally guides don't like to take people here because they do not normally pay commision. You must see the collection room of Ida Bagus Njana and Ida Bagus Tilem - it is truly a museum piece quality.

Ida Bagus Tilem's daughter Ida Ayu Raka run her own gallery - Araka. Ida Ayu Raka's taste is really exquisite and some of her piece is really unique one-of-a-kind woodcarving.

The other gallery worth mentioning is Baris Gallery. The location is south of Njana Tilem Gallery. The Gallery is very humble yet it has the largest collection of Wayan Darlun's collection. I Wayan Darlun is recognized as the best student of Ida Bagus Tilem.

Bidadari Art Gallery also has several pieces of woodcarving of Tilem's student such as Wayan Darlun, Made Rema, Wayan Mudana.

Tantra Gallery is owned by the brother of Ida Bagus Tilem. However the collection is pale in comparison with Njana Tilem's Gallery. Ketut Puja is another Tilem's student which own gallery, his gallery is near to Baris Gallery. However Ketut Puja seem focus more on selling the sculpture rather than concentrating in producing the piece himself. The setting is quite similar to Njana Tilem's Gallery. The price also quite similar, however the quality is one-par lower compared to Njana Tilem's Gallery.

One of the shop which must be visited for Woodcarving fanatic is Casa Luna in Ubud (Opposite of Museum Puri Lukisan), Casa Luna also possess quite large collection of Wayan Darlun. The price is relatively expensive however the piece is really good.


Located 100 in from the road on the east side, Pura Taman Pule does not take its name from the holy pule trees growing behind it, but means "Beautiful Garden";
Danghyang Nirartha is said to have planted a purple flowered tangi tree in it still growing behind an altar in the jaba tengah (middle court) from which a golden bud sprouted, which gave the village its name. At the back of the main temple, a padmasana surrounded by a pond is said to have been the place of his hermitage. People from all over Bali come to pray there, not only brahmanas, but also commoners of the Pasek Bendesa Mas clan, especially on its five-day odalan, falling on Kuningan Day