Accessing a Little Art in the Time of Corona

While we remain in the CoVid19 state of emergency, staying connected to art and culture is wonderfully feasible. Here are some ways to do this.

This issue date (1 July) might afford prompt readers one last chance to log into Jakarta’s Museum MACAN’s artwork raffle called ArisanKarya, and buy a Rp1 million ticket that will support the museum and also introduce you to emerging and established Indonesian artists. Go to info.

Ever heard of Arisan? In a hand-to-mouth economy, this is the name of a social practice where many Indonesian housewives or householders can reap a little windfall of cash. Participants add together small amounts of money which can really add up to a sizeable pool. Then it’s raffled off, as a single prize, and so winner takes all. But each member is a winner at some point, in all fairness.

MACAN has adopted this traditionas a way to raise a few funds but also inspire artists and get the public collecting art. All donated artworks are very small in sizebut it is a unique way for the art-loving public to get back into the game, while emerging artists can find recognition and interest from the museum and its supporters.

MACAN, other museums, artists and art collectives are finding their way around this unprecedented crisis to the art community. Expect to encounter some interesting trials and errors as the paradigm for the global art market is shifting significantly. MACAN expects to soon offer online artists’ workshops and other virtual events, while remaining physically closed to the public. Keep watching.

Do you enjoy just browsing artwork? From your device, you will save leg fatigue and avoid hefty admission fees! is a good place to go to see all the “wow” factor blue chip work that normally would be seen in its chic mega shows in Basel, Miami, and Hong Kong.

Keep an eye out for Galeri Nasional Indonesia’s Manifesto Pandemi exhibition coming up August 8. The curators cast for artwork by anyone staying here during CoVid19, and the resulting show will be a powerful and personal record of the pandemic. The entire exhibition will be online, so I think we can even attend the gala opening!

At press time, annual art festival Artjog was still not announcing their MMXX online presentations, but check in often at if you want to see what the creative community has invented for you to escape into. It’s all part of artjog’s special edition during the pandemic. There will not be another year like this one, so do check out how artists are distilling this crisis.

Speaking of crisis, anyone who wants to get motivated into greater environmental advocacy in this era of climate change (let’s face it, we won’t HAVE a culture if we wreck our home), may wish to check out this site. Be amazed at the work of Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Josh Haner, in this breathtaking look at various environments impacted by climate change. K11 Foundation in Hong Kong has made it easy to see the entire show with superb navigation tools. Paste this into your browser: or try

Warning: the exhibition’s stunning images and interpretive labels may engenderan urgent need to act now for the planet.Exhibition materials point viewers to new ideas for how we can turn around from this suicidal conveyance called fossil fuel dependence.

Right now young people seem to be taking the reins of the world and creating some positive effects. LagiLagi is a dynamic initiative in Denpasar that has been introducing school kids to new ways of building, creating, and expressing themselves, while teaching them about reducing, recycling, and reusing. Groups get messy and delve right into art and architecture, poetry and dance, even learning how to make charcoal crayons from the wood scraps of a furniture factory.Just before the island’s lockdown,LagiLagiintroduced youngsters to established artists for collaborations on large canvases. These large works are now available for viewing on Instagram @Lagilagi_Bali, and 25% of the proceeds from sale will benefit families unemployed because of CoVid19.

Hey, here’s a really coolapp for your plastic management, brought to you by the folks at Plastic Soup Foundation. Track your plastic use, learn to apply really great tips for trash management, and have fun being green. The app gets very good reviews.

Close to home, a 13 year old Balinese artist has amassed a following of admirers of his figurative work, curated by the YayasanTiTian near Ubud. From where you sit right now, take the wonderful virtual tour of the exhibitionFaces by I Wayan Dendy Permana. Just go to Senidibali public facebook page.

If you didn’t catch sight of the special humanoid rice figures being offered by Balinese Hindus at the beginning of April, you can go online and see some captivating images of theseand other unique offerings to the deities of disease and destruction. The Nasi Wong-wonganfacebook group is a public site for recording these, digitally preserved forever in all their poignancy and charm.

Read up on the meaning of these The spare and unfussy bamboo and pandanamulets calledtapakdara gesingas photograped by Garrett Kam, are breathtakingly beautiful in their elegant construction.

If you are still looking for a way to lend a hand to Bali’s mostCoVid-disadvantaged, consider A Bag of Hope. This issue date is the deadline for donors to subscribe to the first offering of goodies, but Bag of Hope wants to regularly continue this scheme to benefit rural families in need.

Artisans and farmers from several different areas of the island contributed their goods. Inside an upcycled rice bag tote made by the family of a diffabled artisan, donors find an organic vegetable seedling growing in a woven bamboo planter, a container of Bali’s prized cloves, vacuum sealed organic Arabica coffee beans from famed mountain village Munduk, and a supply of medicinal bee nectar. Pay either when you pickup in Sayan, or take delivery:

For more info:


Or contact Colleen on WA +62 81353390677


By Renee Melchert Thorpe

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