In the Studio with I Made Budhiana

We introduce to you……….one of the foremost contemporary artists in Bali.

I Made BudhianaIt is our third attempt to meet up with Made (pronounced mah-day) Budhiana, and I’m getting a little nervous.  His studio is in the capital city of Denpasar, about a half an hour drive from Ubud.  Our driver, also named Made (that’s another story), is demonstrably irritated. I don’t think he likes Denpasar. I don’t think he likes driving. He huffs and puffs through the streets, commenting on the craziness of drivers but there is no such thing as road rage in Bali so he doesn’t vent his anger.  Twice now we have fallen victim to the Balinese phenomena known as “rubber time”. Imagine the Mexican “mañana” and multiply it by 100.  Made is having trouble finding Budhiana’s studio but after a phone call, we meet up with him at a crossroad (I’m so relieved to see him) and follow him  through the pot-holed  backstreets to Snerayuza, his studio and second home.

Budhiana in the studio17

Snerayuza is an artist’s dream studio.  One, huge light-filled room with a mezzanine – a loft-style bedroom – the high walls are filled with his work, his friends’ work, Mick Jagger and Guns and Roses rock posters, and a whole variety of tchotchke that would make any artist envious. His backyard has an antique Javanese granary re-purposed as a treehouse/guesthouse for friends, an outdoor satay grill, huge volcanic rock sculptures and a giant flat rock used as a stage for impromptu performances – a common occurrence at Snerayuza. Made immediately offers coffee and we talk about music, we both share our love for Radiohead and he quickly pulls out a concert dvd and plays it.  We talk for hours about art, his wonderful studio and grounds that he has opened up to anyone wanting to be creative. While we were there a group of teenagers convene in his backyard after school, and a friend and fellow artist and writer, Aant S. Kawisar from Yogyakarta, stops by.  Budhiana is continuously documenting his life, in real time, so he pulls out his camera and films us filming him in a surreal exchange.

I Made Budhiana is one of the leading contemporary artists in Bali whose style is constantly evolving and challenging the norm. We caught up with Budhiana at one of a series of art events he put on called “Art, Shit, & Parasite”.   This event included a dialogue on process-art, a performance of Kidung-Jiwa (song of the soul) where original poetry is sung to a contemporary musical arrangement, paintings were exhibited “carpet-style” and video-art digitally painted and projected in real time by the artist Haidai.


We are pulling together a short documentary on this amazing artist – so stay tuned.

Enjoy, and a big thank you to I Made Budhiana for sharing his work and home with us.

Originally posted on 22nd January, 2012 on my travel blog Janvango.

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