If there’s one thing I’ve enjoyed about exploring Ubud, it’s been all the art. And there’s a lot of it.
In just a few blocks in central Ubud, you will see at least a dozen stores, shacks, and stalls that say “art shop” or “art gallery” or some variation of the two.
With so many little stores selling art, it’s hard to know which ones show really good art (and are not there to just sell replicated art works) and which ones represent upcoming Balinese artists who are pioneers of the island’s rich art scene.
For that reason, I have created this guide for the art enthusiasts (like me) who want to experience really good art and learn about established artists shaking up the art scene in Ubud.
1. Komaneka Gallery
Komaneka Gallery has one of the best collections of contemporary paintings and sculptures by Balinese and South East Asian artists. It’s a two-story space with plenty of room to walk around and get lost in the artwork.
I must say, I found a few new artists I’ve never heard of that I’ve added to my collection of artists to keep an eye on. To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than finding a new artist who has the potential to be really big. It’s always a fun journey to see artists grow and exhibit internationally, looking back and knowing that you first saw them in a gallery in Ubud where they were first exhibited.
If you’re looking for artists trying new things and adding new interpretations of traditional Balinese art, then Komaneka is your place.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out all the books they have in their small art library on the main floor. It’s a great place to read up on the art you just saw or discover new artists.
Address: Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Gianyar 80571, Bali
Arma (short for Agung Rai Museum of Art) is an establishment in Ubud. It’s probably the most visited art space in Ubud and everyone takes a spin around the lovely grounds to learn about classical Balinese art.
It has an open garden space with trees and has several traditional Balinese buildings which house the artwork. During the evenings, on certain nights, they have traditional Balinese dances with the museum as the backdrop.
Majority of the artwork was donated to the museum by collectors. The artworks are by renowned artists from Bali and Indonesia, many of whom worked or are working in the traditional art style. There is also artwork by foreign artists who were inspired by Balinese landscape and culture.
If you’re interested to see a wide variety of Balinese and Indonesian artwork spanning many years then you’ll definitely enjoy roaming around the Arma. It has one of the most comprehensive art collections out of all the art galleries in Ubud.
Arma also has a collection of contemporary artists that are shown in a separate building on their own. Majority of these artists are from Bali and are already pretty well-known. Their artwork is among the best.
If you want to be submerged in art and want to see what local collectors add to their permanent collections, then you’ll love the Arma Museum.
Note: there is a fee to enter the museum
Address: JL. Pengosekan, Ubud, Gianyar, 80571, Indonesia
3. Sika Gallery
Sika Gallery gives young and creative artists a platform to practice creative expression and participate in exhibitions. I love their mission.
In the words of the owner Wayan Sika (who is also an artist by the way):
“While it can be said that all creative people are artists in their own particular way, those who are artists must be creative. The quality of an artwork can be measured by the level of creativity. By “creativity” I mean the creation of something new which has the potential to transform and break down traditional, standard ways of doing things, loosening the chains which limit freedom of expression and representation.”
With the commitment to support creativity and allowing artists to try new things, the artists represented at this gallery are all creative geniuses in their own right. Many of them are blossoming young artists.
Each year, Sika holds six exhibitions by Balinese artists, three exhibitions by Indonesian artists, and three exhibitions by artists from different places across the globe. It’s an eclectic mix of art and artists, but most importantly, it’s a platform for artists to springboard off of and that’s what makes it so exciting.
Address: Jl. Raya Campuhan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
4. Bamboo Gallery
This gallery is tucked away on the main street in Ubud, where only someone with an eye for clean white walls and brightly-colored canvases would notice. It’s a small space, only a few walls. But it represents some of the leading Balinese and South East Asian artists.
I would recommend to stop by this gallery. It will only take a few minutes to walk through the space, but you might just find yourself spending 30 minutes looking at one piece of artwork.
Address: JL. Raya Ubud, Ubud, Gianyar, 80571, Indonesia
Have you been to Ubud and visited an art gallery you enjoyed? Please leave a comment below and share your art gallery experience with the community.