A great way to find out what’s new and exciting from local and other Indonesian artists and creatives, is to visit the creative hub Rumah Sanur and just see what’s on their bulletin board. Better still, belly up to the counter at the on-site Kedai Kopi Kultur, order an espresso from sustainably grown beans (from Bali, Borneo, or other islands) and ask a fellow denizen for the latest news in the arts scene.
Rumah Sanur – Creative Hub was founded in 2015 by Ayip Budiman, Roberto Aria Putra and William Sutiyoso as a space to serve the local creative community, small businesses, social entrepreneurs, traders, start-ups, artists and designers. The group’s vision is to bring talented people together, nurture creativity, encourage social innovation, and facilitate knowledge sharing.
In the 3 years since Rumah Sanur opened, 1,000+ events have been held, and the space has grown from a shared-space for creatives to a center for international and local communities to interact and expand their reach. Nightly music is a steady draw, and now annual events like the Minikino film fest make Rumah Sanur their public venue.
The place is a visual treat, thanks to the staff’s design experience. Salvaged shipping yard materials have been upcycled into furniture and décor. Art-filled, shaded spaces lull visitors into casual comfort. There’s an equipped stage, a boutique of the latest Indonesian-made crafts, a full bar, courtyards (one is under the shade of a magnificent kapok), wheelchair-accessible facilities, a screening room, and rooms for seminars and workshops. The whole place will hold at least 400 (as for a recent earthquake fundraiser), and it can be hired out for private functions.
International Curator Summa Durie answers my questions here.
Creative talents of Bali have answered the call to establish spaces like Rumah Sanur, Kulidan Kitchen and Taman Baca Kesiman in service to artists’ communities. How do these differ from most coworking spaces?
A creative hub like Rumah Sanur gives access to free events and open spaces, but also hosts workshops and works actively for community connections, which can happen just by visiting. With a coworking space, the facilities and activities are often exclusive to members.
We enjoy collaborations with organizations across the island. In our Rumah Sanur Turns Three celebrations, we hosted a talk with Kulidan Kitchen Space and Taman Baca Kesiman about this world of creative spaces in Bali. We’ve also partnered with CushCush Gallery for the DenPasar 2018 exhibition and movement by providing Open Studio space for several notable artists.
Rumah Sanur is really a space for Indonesian creatives to exhibit, perform, share ideas, have a design incubator. We focus on businesses with a social conscience such as To~ko Concept Store which stocks locally made and owned goods from Indonesian entrepreneurs and designers, or Kopi Kultur which connects a network of farmers.
Long term programs are important. One is the Wake Wadho, our partnership with Kopikkon and BEKRAF (Indonesian Creative Economy Agency) that nurtures collaboration between designers and artisans in Middle Flores.
Knowledge sharing sessions are often free, such as a plastic-to-fuel demonstration, or a crowdfunding how-to, given by Berliner Pablo Ientile, who showed his illustrations from his crowdfunded book.
What innovation has Rumah Sanur brought to Bali?
On the international stage, Rumah Sanur has been an exhibitor at Chiang Mai Design Week since 2016. Overall, we have featured more than 10 Indonesian brands and designers. Last year we took bamboo products from designers across Indonesia to display. This reflects our commitment to fostering Indonesian creative talent and providing a space to showcase arts and design on international stages.
We’re proud that in 2017, through a BEKRAF grant, we became the first diffability-accessible creative space in Bali. We undertook a significant project, adding purpose-built ramps, toilets and parking facilities to allow access for people with diffabilities. Since finishing this project, we’ve partnered with Puspadi Bali (puspadibali.org) to send us interns and further opened access to creative facilities to people with diffabilities.
Open Studios (part of Denpasar 2018) runs into November, with artist Tri (of Uncle Joy street art) working through 28 October. Gregory Jansen (aka Gracka), tattoo artist and printmaker, will be on site from 29 October to 4 November. Experimental artists Komunitas Tepi Barat opens an exhibition here on November 1, running through the 8th.
Alliance Française collaborates here with an exhibition on plastic in November and December. We’ve just closed our call for submissions to Masaboca, our exciting boot camp for young designers happening here in November. They will learn more about design process, production, business plans, and branding. Their products will be seen here in December.
Rumah Sanur always offers closed meeting rooms for a low hourly rate, virtual offices and office spaces at an annual rate. Our on-site partners Teras Gandum and Kopi Kultur can cater refreshments. The nightly music in the front courtyard is free but it can often get busy, so we suggest reserving a table via email firstname.lastname@example.org It’s always free to browse the exhibitions and installations.
Heads up: On now in Ubud, October 24 – 28 : Ubud Writers and Readers Festival: workshops of all kinds, book launches, wild poetry slams, book sales, nightly free entertainment. Ubudwritersfestival.com
Museum Seni Batuan, Sukawati, opening 29 October. 5pm: massive group exhibition of 40+ artists working in Bali. Sanur-based Dutch painter and teacher Noëlla Roos is participating.
Prize-winning innovator Ni Made Ayu Dwi Sattvitri’s gender wayang group Palwa Swari is playing at the Tabanan Fiesta on the 10th of November. As part of a music competition, her ensemble is playing traditional pieces and her exciting new compositions for gender wayang.
Next month I’ll be highlighting the great new music label Insitu’s cutting-edge recordings of compositions for Balinese and other gamelans. Sattvitri (above) plays on an art high school’s Bibit Volume 2, Insitu Sessions, and she composed a piece for Insitu Sessions 5. These and more Insitu CD’s are found at better music stores or ordered from insiturec.com. Insitu’s Youtube channel is sensational.
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