Seminyak is a haven for affluent sybarites. Luxurious hotels, exquisite restaurants, vibrant nightclubs. People who come to Bali and stay in Seminyak to indulge in all this comfort accept it for what it is. They even make allowances for the fact that the beach falls short of the cleanliness and maintenance standards set by Nusa Dua's beaches.
For those whom indulgence isn't enough, many complain while living in Seminyak that the area lacks culture. Partly true, partly not. Just take a drive through the neighborhood in the evening and listen to the gamelan rehearsal in the banyan tree pavilion – and now you've stumbled upon the most authentic Balinese concert.
For fans of predictable cultural entertainment, here's a small selection of interesting art galleries in Seminyak. Here, you can immerse yourself in contemporary art 'without commitments.' No entrance fee, no obligation to buy any artwork. Just come and shake up your aesthetic inclinations, observing unusual images of familiar objects.
Biassa is a contemporary art gallery located just a few steps away from the flagship store of the brand with the same name. The gallery was created by the founder of the Biassa brand, Susanna Perini, as a result of her interactions with young and talented artists from Yogyakarta in the late 90s. It became an exhibition space for young art groups and an international platform to promote their talents.
The ground floor of the gallery is primarily occupied by designer clothing. However, right at the entrance, you are greeted by a casually reclining iron dog. A little further into the room, another one sits on a leash.
The second floor of the space is dedicated to an exhibition. The display changes from time to time, but it always features works by Indonesian artists.
The most vibrant exhibition (as of May 2018) showcases the works of Arya Pandjalu. The artist plays with the visual image of birds in his creations. His series 'The World is Yours' is presented in the gallery, with the epigraph chosen by the artist: 'I sing to the music that comes out of the madness of my heart'.
The gallery showcases two conceptual sculptures by the artist. One of them is titled "Fade Out," depicting a person from whom branches with sitting birds are growing.
And "Break Free" - a person wearing a hat shaped like a bird's head, who is carrying a cage with birds on their back.
Also exhibited in the gallery are photographs from the artist's project "Birdprayers." In different corners of the world, people are seen posing with birdhouses on their heads in the photos. These birdhouses are made from various materials - patterned paper, cards, food packaging - and their shapes resemble temples from different religions.
As the artist himself enigmatically explains the project's concept: "The notion of Birdprayers is based on the quintessential aspect of identity, the fact that a person often employs themselves to communicate with the rest of the world. With Birdprayers, we aim to discuss the relativity of thoughts and feelings, as well as the relativity of what we believe in."
The gallery is truly intriguing and conceptual, but the exhibition space is quite small.
Reservoart Gallery Seminyak
In the vicinity of Seminyak, there are 4 branches of the gallery. Two are on Seminyak Street and its extension - Basangkasa. The other two are slightly to the north, closer to Kerobokan - on Jl. Kayu Jati and Jl. Braban.
The studio features figurative painting, pop art, modernism, and abstraction.
The first Reservoart gallery opened in 2002 in Nouméa, New Caledonia, and immediately found success. Over the next three years, the gallery established branches in Australia, New Zealand, and Polynesia.
Alongside their physical branches, the gallery's creators decided to start selling artwork online. They aimed to provide art enthusiasts the opportunity to acquire works without worrying about their quality and authenticity.
In 2007, the online gallery was launched. In the same year, offline galleries were opened in Nice, France. From 2008 to 2010, branches were established in Bali.
As the creators define the philosophy of this space, "Our mission is to provide maximum enjoyment for those who choose our artworks."
Visiting a couple of galleries is enough to unmistakably recognize the style of the artists featured in them. The gallery predominantly showcases works by Thai artists, with some artists from Indonesia and Vietnam.
Kusumasso (Thailand). Impressionism. Glints on water, cold, vibrant colors, incredible combinations.
Khasanan (Thailand) Pop art, bright lines woven into the portrait, flowing in parts of the piece, enveloping them with a network of intricate lines.
Virut (Thailand). Linear portraits that seem to depict a person and their soul, a doppelganger.
Somyouth (Thailand). Linear urban landscapes, chaotic and playful.
N'gail (Thailand). Pop art portraits where body parts are composed of patterned colorful blocks. As if created in a collage technique using fancy fabrics or wrapping papers.
Darsana (Indonesia). Splashes of color arranged in the form of an incredible intricate and shimmering mosaic.
Khanie (Vietnam). Monumental rocks in the sea, surrealistic fantastic colors.
Chaiwan (Thailand). Black and white ancient, wrinkled elephants.
You're unlikely to find revolutionary or truly conceptual philosophical works here. But there's plenty of "cuteness" present.
This is a unique gallery-shop dedicated to various embodiments of the skull symbol. Here, skulls representing different cultures, fashion trends, and art directions are collected.
Skull figurines, skulls adorning both women's and men's clothing. There are onesies and bibs for young pirates.
And numerous installations with skeletons engaged in typical human activities.
For example, there's an installation titled "Khrushchyovka in Mytishchi."
Positive Negative Visual Gallery
Works by American artist Tracy Hemer are exhibited in the entrance's circular hall of the Cocoon Beach Club. Tracy received her artistic education in Italy, in Florence. After living in New York and traveling through Asia, she finally settled in Bali.
The artist is renowned for her figurative paintings that isolate specific body parts. In her paintings, she explores themes of isolation, anonymity, and depersonalization. In the collection exhibited at the gallery, she used popular images from glossy magazines and redefined them from the perspective of her own artistic vision.