Desa Batubulan is only 2 km from the border if east Denpasar city, or 20 km from Kuta, 35 km from Nusa Dua, and 15 km from Sanur. Desa Batubulan is bordering with famous artist's colonies of Desa Celuk and Desa Singapadu. Batubulan is belong to the administrative area of Kecamatan Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar. In 1980s Batubulan was only a small villages with some artists carving the stone to creat sculpture of various shape of god and goddesses, and today the village has become a small town with bustling business center of stone carving of various designs and volume, from small stone souvenir to hall mark or house mark made of cement or concrete. Location of the desa is very setrategic on the tour program as it is located on the way of main road that connect central Bali to East Bali, through which the traffic flows not only for local, but also for the main sightseeing route to east and north east Bali. The main terminal of east Bali and central Bali is located on the southern border of Desa Batubulan which is one of the biggest intra-cities terminal in Bali.
Interesting Places at Batubulan
Today Batubulan is a small town with interest of Stone carving and Dances such as Barong and Kecak Dance. These two tourism interest are the main mark of the town which are also the highlight of Bali as tourism destination.
Barong and Kris Dance
The interest of Desa Batubulan is not only on it's stone carving, but also the entertainment of Barong and Kris Dance, and Kecak dance. Until 2000 there were 4 regular Barong dance stages in the desa area, which were full every morning with travelers to watch the dance. Barong dance started on 9.00 Am until 10.30 Am. These dances are presented in a regular schedule every day. Each stage can accommodate more then 600 people in the form of Balinese traditional big pavilion called Bale Banjar. the stage is constructed with seat in steps both at only one side, two sides of even 4 sides so it forms a low spot in the middle as the stage of the dancers. The artists and musicians are of an association of artist contracting the place from the administrator of the desa in the form of small donation, as for both the Desa organization and and the artist's association they can develope and bring traditional art to live and keep it popular among local and also tourists. The core association of the artist also form bigger assocation which include the whole area of Bali. This association is called ASPRANANTA meaning the association of performance and dances. They agree to set practice for certain aspects of the art which regulate their relation with other association or companies relating to the tarrif, schedule, certification and others. Dance or performance under the association of ASPRANANTA have agreed to issue common tarrif decided to be followed by all their member, that the ticket per person is Rp 50.000 with certain discount to their company clients.
Stone carving is actually the main mark of Desa Batubulan since very long time ago which is around 1970s. The first sculpture, just like wooden carving use the main obyek were various myth such as the epic of Ramayana, Mahabharata, and others. Until now actually most of their sculptures are still using this traditioanal ethnic figures, very few new designs or creation. Only the enrichement of materials are found to be bearing more type of figures. At the beginning all stone used were buish in color and later more light and brighter stone color came to the stage beside the use of cement and concrete. With the development of hotel construction in Bali the growth of this stone carving also quiet fast, beside local people also buy the stone carving for the decoration of temples or public building. Actually the interest of foreign importer to ship the stone carving has been so big. The main problem is packaging, since the stone carving is so fragile. This condition causing the cost of packaging is very expensive, and until now there is no cheap technology for this. So foreign people only buy this carving in very small number or special order. It has been very hard to ship in big volume without a big risk also. With this nature stone carving is not develop as fast as wood carving. Although the growing use of concrete to create a scupture which resulting more stronger or resistancy against turbulence, due to it's excessive weight also can not develope into mass production due to the expensive cost of shipping. With only small volume of sales, yet big number of buyers it has been the main trigger of economy for local people as well as the people of Magelang in central Java. The stone carving imitating the sculpture of Borobudur or Prambanan was well developed in Magelang, and as big supplier for Batubulan. From Magelang especially the head of Budha, or busts or even complete sitting position of Budha are of most popular stone carving ordered by stone art galleris in Batubulan to be exhibited together with their Bali production. The material used by the artists in Magelang is far more stronger then the stone material in Bali with the color is darker, yet heavier a lot. The sales of both Babubulan sculpture and Magelang made Budha are all well until the year of 2002, since then, after Bali bom dramatically decreasing especially the production from Magelang.
Type of Stone Carving
As mentioned above most of the figures carved in stone are the figures found in myth, epic of Ramayana, Mahabharata and others. The influence of Budhist Tantrayana is also very strong, so one can see various sculpture with frightening faces. From Magelang, Central Java mostly the head of Budha, from small around 15 cm size to half meter size. It seems that for the artists stone material is less flexible compared to the material such as wood, so in term of design it is not develope as fast as sculpture made of wood. Yet the variation of stone carving is considered has been experincing a great developement in the choice of materials, not only natural stone, but also created from cement and concrete.
Arma Fine Art
Art Center Denpasar
Gold and Silver Art
Wooden Sculpture Mas
Ubud Art and Artists' Organization
Ubud and Batuan Unique Painting Style
Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.
- Kintamani tour bring combination of watching barong dance, beautiful temple architecture, beautiful natural views, dance, carving, accessories and painting see description
- Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot temples are two historical heritages from 17th, Taman Ayun palace temple which is always found near palaces of Balinese king starting 18th century see description
- Uluwatu temple located on steep drop cliff on the southernmost tip of Bali island. see description