Featured as an architectural wonder in the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival which just wrapped on October 17, Wyah Art & Creative Space is one of those places in Bali which demands a visit. Its bamboo and timber-clad, organic-shaped rooms seem to float magically above the river and trees.
Wyah seeks to join the number of hip yet practical coworking spaces which have been the offices of digital nomads for the last several years. I guarantee you’ve seen nothing like this place. Right now their coffee shop and restaurant are open and although they offer take-out, I don’t know a good reason for not eating in that amazing open-air jungle space.
They’ve told me they’ll soon be offering art exhibitions, and their villa accommodation UmahLawas should reopen in December. Wyah is at the river ravine on Jl. RSI Markandya II, Keliki, mere minutes north of Ubud’s Jalan Raya Sanggingan. +6287895009922.
Creative hubs or coworking spaces may well be the best springboard for a more diverse local economy in Bali’s new normal. Already, forward-thinking young entrepreneurs here are investing in this way of life and business, enabling enterprising Balinese to find affluence through the wired economy. More and more, our wandering coders and internet influencers from Vladivostok and Cupertino, unfolding their Surfaces and iPads, will be noticing anincreased presence of Balinese vloggers, writers, and webmasters.
One great new space for this business is in Tuban’s Park 23 Mall, now repurposed as the Park 23 Creative Hub. Park 23 made a splash in 2015 when it opened as the shopping center nearest the airport, with its small water park and excellent cineplex. Plus-points here are the large parking complex of both indoor and outdoor spaces, a user-friendly elevator and escalator layout, and accessibility to the toll bridge, bypassing Kuta and SimpangSiur for those driving in from points east. Its Cinema XXI has long been my secret go-to movie theatre, easily augmented with a grocery roundup on the same street.
The pandemic has been rough enough on retail, but even before that, Bali had overbuilt shopping centers, and this mall clearly struggled to keep tenants. Now the management of Park 23, in the capable hands of Vicki Gozali, has reimagined all 3 floors as one huge creative hub, presenting visitors with a large colorful mural to remind us that there’s a whole archipelago out there. And this is the place to connect to it all.
Peluk Nusantara (Embracing Nusantara), is the theme of the hub’s ongoing soft-opening festival since November 14, with live music in the atrium (everyone from Javaroots to Hydrant), a pop-up art gallery featuring enlargements of David Metcalf’s outstanding photographs of indigenous people he meets on his goodwill travels, and a sale of artists’ painted motorcycle helmets.
Mentawai tattoo demonstrations topped the list of immersive cultural activities for the curious (and daring). Imaginative retail spaces are in the works, and Park 23 is now a magnet for youth connecting up to creative communities beyond Bali, generating new interest and participation. This celebration continues through December 14, although the best is surely yet to come. Contact Steve Nanuru at +62 81236198303 for info on Peluk Nusantara.
Lording over the mall from the top story is the impressive GoWork space, Bali’s largest coworking space and business platform. Eminently suitable for those in need of excellent connectivity, world-class facilities, and five star comfort, this anchor tenant sets a high standard for the hub’s new look.
Except perhaps for your parents, nobody wants you to succeed in business more than the founders and managers of GoWork. They’ll open to you their air-conditioned private conference room, hook you up to a desk for a day, let you work out in the on-site gym (with shower), and rent you a dedicated desk on a month-to-month basis. Online rave reviews come in from Indonesians and westerners, so this clearly answers the needs of a wide range of people needing workspace without chickens, kids, or other dubious charms of conducting a Zoom call from your pool deck.
Full service coffee bar and freeflow fruit-infused water are just a couple more perks of GoWork’s attention to detail and
Park 23 Creative Hub, Jalan Kediri, Tuban, South Kuta, 80361
There is still time to catch a few great art exhibitions before they close. At Deus Ex Machina in Canggu, we’ve got a chance to see Surya Subratha’s fabulous images of beasts and frantic people, odd little symbols crammed in everywhere, and more than a little magic and mystery in a vein of Art Brut. Exhibition engagingly titled Random Black. Closes 12 December. Deus Temple of Enthusiasm, Jl WatuMejan 9, Canggu.
Generations in juxtaposition? The always-surprising Wayan Yusa Dirgantara and sophisticated abstract painter I Nyoman Aptika bring their work together at Jimbaran Hub Art Space Jl. Karang Mas, Jimbaran, through 18 December. Billed as a collaborative art exhibition, in line with JHub’s spirit of collaborative learning. 8:00 – 7:00 daily. +62 8187500 7809
By Renee Melchert Thorpe
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