Neka Art Museum

Neka combines a museum and an art gallery, which were created by art lover Wayan Suteja Neka.
Portrait of Wayan Suteja Neka, a work by the artist Ari Smit (1991).
The museum was built in 1976 and opened by the Ministry of Culture and Education in 1982. It consists of six buildings in Balinese traditional style, housing collections of paintings and sculptures.
Here, there is an impressive collection of Balinese daggers, known as kris, passed down from generation to generation. The museum holds 272 intricately decorated daggers, collected by the museum's founder throughout his lifetime. Wayan Suteja Neka had a deep interest in kris, being born into a family belonging to the clan of professional blacksmiths.
In the first building of the museum, there are masterpieces of Balinese painting. The initial exhibition presents Balinese paintings from the classical period of Kamasan, depicting scenes from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as Balinese and Javanese myths.
traditional balinese painting
The exhibitions introduce guests to paintings by Western artists who influenced Balinese painting. This renaissance began in the 1920s in the Ubud area, initiated by German painter Walter Spies and Dutch artist Rudolf Bonnet. They presented their techniques of working with light and shadow, perspective, and anatomy to the Balinese artistic world.
"Dance of the Bumblebee" (1970) Anak Agung Gede Sobrat - Ubud style
The exhibition presents works by masters from Batuan.
example of the Batuan style
The second building of the museum is the pavilion dedicated to the artist Arie Smit. He was born in the Netherlands but spent a long time on Bali. Wayan Neka was inspired by his influence on the island's artistic life. The pavilion consists of two floors. The first floor showcases the works of the "Young Artists Movement" that emerged under Arie Smit's influence in the 1960s. Among them are Nyoman Cekra, Ketut Soki, and other masters who paint in contemporary, expressionist, and abstract styles.
The second floor features works by Arie Smit himself in various styles. On the canvases, you can see the Balinese nature and everyday life of the island.
Ari Smith
In the third building, there is a photo exhibition featuring a collection of archival black-and-white photographs. Many of these were taken by American Robert Koke, one of the earliest expatriates in Bali, dating back to the 1930s.
The fourth building is the Lempad Pavilion, constructed in honor of Gusti Nyoman Lempad, a Balinese artist, sculptor, and architect. The themes of his works range from illustrating epics to depicting everyday life in Bali.
"Dagger Attack on Rangdu" I Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1939)
In the fifth building, you'll find works by contemporary Indonesian painters.
The sixth building showcases a combination of Western and Eastern artworks, dedicated to the creativity of both local and international artists. Among the most well-known and talented ones are Affandi, Soedjono, Srihadi Soedarsono, Widayat, Nasyah Djamin, Bagong Kussudiardjo, Ahmad Sadali, and Abas Alibasyah. The second floor is dedicated to the works of Antonio Blanco, Rudolf Bonnet, Miguel Covarrubias, and others.
"Mutual Attraction" Abdul Aziz (1974, 1975)
"Three Masked Dancers" Anton Kustia Widjaja (1981)
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" Roger San Miguel (1996)
Often, in the pavilion dedicated to kris, you can encounter the founder himself, who willingly shares insights about the most notable exhibits and the process of their creation.
Within the museum's grounds, there are spacious meeting rooms, a tropical garden, and a small café. Along Ubud's main street, there is a gallery affiliated with the museum, offering visitors the opportunity to purchase the artworks they admire.
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