BALI STUDIO January 8 - 19 2018




This unit will be recorded on your academic transcript as a Category A Broadening Unit.

You should have completed at least one semester at UWA before enrolling in this unit.

A background in Art is not necessary but an interest in art and culture is going to enhance the study experience significantly.

Excitement is not a prerequisite but highly desired.

The studio is a two week intensive experiential learning program involving some levels of cultural immersion. You will learn from a team of Indonesian artists, lecturers and traditional artists including some of the best and most highly respected people in their craft.

The program will involve theoretical and practical lessons in drawing, painting, digital photography and Kamasan Painting from the Desa Kamasan in the Klungkung Regency 30 minutes drive East of Sanur.

You will not be confined by the studio setting as field trips to temples, places of cultural interest and to Klungkung, where traditional art and cultural practice around 400 years old is still maintained.

You will be guided both practically and spiritually though some of the most interesting aspects of this amazing culture.



Practical requirements will include the usual for overseas travel, current passport and health status such as inoculations recommended by your GP.

Each student will be required to have their own laptop and digital camera, basic drawing materials. All other materials will be supplied. Prior visual arts interest is recommended but not necessary.

Each student should have an unlocked mobile phone for local sim or roaming from Australia. Internet is cheap to buy for local sims and there are many wifi options in restaurants and hotels in the study area..

You will be required to have a Social Cultural Visitors Visa prior to entry into Indonesia available from the Consulate Indonesia in Perth. This is different from a VISA ON ENTRY so please make sure you get the correct Visa

Health & safety

You are covered by UWA insurance but please check the fine print. If you are intending to stay longer than the study period or arrive earlier then you may need additional covereage.

UWA insurance does not cover personal items as well as other companies, if you need additional coverage, you may want to take this out separately.

Safety and security
Regardless of gender, avoid travelling alone at night time. If you are planning to socialize in the evening make sure you have fellow students to accompany you. Also do not leave friends behind alone. Remember at all times YOU ARE a visitor.

Arguments with strangers
While generally Indonesians are welcoming and kind, situations can quickly spiral out of control if you are arguing with the 'wrong' crowd. Avoid arguments with strangers/local people.

Demonstrations are a quite frequent occurrence in contemporary Indonesia. Many of them are related to employment conditions or economic conditions in general; others are related to issues of religion, autonomy, decentralisation, human rights, and other political issues, including demonstrations against foreign (i.e Western) intervention or influence. Do not participate in demonstrations.

Illicit drugs

The death penalty is enforced in Indonesia for those who use, posses or sell illicit drugs. Australians are among many foreigners on death row because of their dealings with the drugs. UWA and ALVA has a zero tolerance policy towards the use and possession of illicit drugs, including traditional drugs such as mushrooms or home distilled drinks.

Please do not involve yourself in any dealing with any drugs or medications of any kind unless on direct advisement from a doctor, and purchased from pharmacy..
All personal medication should be accompanied by the Australian prescription or letter from your doctor.

Theft and pickpocketing
Please take care of your valuables and money. Make sure to lock your door and windows before going out. Be wary of displaying your money or valuables (iphone) in public places. By law you should have identiy papers with you at all times in Indonesia (eg.passport). Avoid leaving valuables on table tops in restaurants, it is not a good practice and creates temptation.

Medical (travel)
All students enrolled will be covered by the University Insurance Policy.

Conflict/restricted areast
The DFAT travel advisory usually has the list of regions to be avoided due to safety reasons (i.e. not safe because of ongoing or potential conflicts). Likewise, Indonesian government ocasionally prohibits foreigners to visit some regions. The consular or visa section of the website of the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate usually has such information (as of August 2013, the restricted regions are Papua and Poso). Please do not visit those areas: it may invalidate your visa condition and your insurance cover and most importantly it will endager your life.

Drinks spiking
The deadly consequence of spiked drinks is obvious. There have been several reports of tourists becoming seriously ill and suffering permanent damage to the kidney and liver, permanent loss of sight, and permanent disability after the consumption of certain drinks which had been mixed with unknown Ingredients (including deadh/ methanol). Recently two young lives (Liam Davies  and Cheznye Emmons) were lost as a result of tainted drinks. Only consume from legal, conventional/ regular drinks, from unopened bottles of well known brands such as bir bintangor anker bir. Do not accept drinks from strangers. 

Traffic accidents - be alert and vigilant
Traffic regulations may not be followed strictly by many local motorists and this has led to confusion and accidents. ISACFA ask you NOT TO drive or ride motorbikes in Indonesia, due to the unfamiliar conditions and different practices, you have to know all the relevant regulations, be alert and take extra precautions. There are many cases of serious injury from motorcycle crashes EVERY DAY in Bali.

Note: The right of way of pedestrians on the pedestrian crossings is not always observed by motorists. Be vigilant and alert when crossing any road, and only cross when you are sure that it is safe to do so. Carry a torch at night. The footpaths are irreguar and quite often have open drains which you can slip on and fall into.

Common illness
Tap water in Indonesia is generally not potable: drink only bottled water. There are also a few health problems such as stomach bugs (usually diarrhoea) associated with foods and/or flu associated with a lowering of the immune system.

Factors contributing to this include living in a different environment (weather/different bacteria), poor eating habits or hygiene (food vendors), excessive living (e.g. drinking), stress and anxiety over study or culture shock or missing home. Dengue fever, hepatitis, typhoid, malaria, rabies and a few other diseases not common in Australia are endemic in Indonesia. Any dog or animal bite must be treated as serious and you MUST be treated with with Rabies drugs.
Please visit the Travel Doctor  for information on the required vaccinations. 


from the unit guide

Deep Play - Notes on Cockfighting

This is an interesting account by outsiders who are gradually accepted into a small village in Bali.

We will not be visiting any cockfights though it is most likely you will see the birds being preened in the street. Cockfighting is illegal for gambling in Bali though it is still an important custom in ceremony.

You will be making many new friends and meeting new people, sometimes in culturally specific situations. 

Use this essay to open your mind to new experiences.

Cultural Protocols File

There are certain cultural guidelines you should adhere to while in Bali. This paper contains some valuable protocols you will need to be aware of. Mostly this relates to temple visits. We will guide you through the processes you need in order to visit or partake in ceremonies in Bali. We are most interested in participating not for religious conversion or confrontation but for experience. The temple in padang galak is for all religions to pray, and if you are not religious, "you may pray like a goldfish".

Basic Photo Composition

This is the simplest tutorial for basic composition that you will find.



Students enrolled in this unit will be participating in ascribed activities but there should be no mistake that you will also be involved in real field work and research.

The unit aims at actuating your sensibilities and stimulating your responses and ability to record unique cultural experiences for use in the study program and later as a citizen of the world.

Site visits include day to day interactions with local community within the village of Padang Galak as well as the village temple, the Pan Am flight 108 crash memorial site, the Taman Festival Bali ruins, the pantai (beach) and the markets at Sanur.

You MAY be taken to the site of the 2002 Bali Bombing memorial in Kuta. You will be asked, 'How is this different from the site of the Pan Am CRASH memorial?"

You will visit museums to gather an understanding of the history of Bali from stone age until present, the sturggle for independance after WW II, the impact of tourism, the impact of the Bali Bombings.

Visits to other sacred sites and musemus will give you an insight into the spirtual side of Bali, Klungkung and Kamasan visits will open your eyes to the rich artistic heritage of Bali and the unique complexity some of its visual languages.


photography tips

be inspired Leica

This unit will not teach you to become a master photographer but it aims to inspire you to think beyond using the camera for taking snap shots.  It aims to teach you to see the image - then attempt to capture it.  Following the principles of Tri Hita Karana and the cycle of threes, learn and keep in mind three principles.

Form or subject

The study program does not bog you down with technicalities but it will fascilitat you to become inspired - a camera is an amazing tool.

You will also learn the difference between taking a photo, and hunting a photo.  And no it does not involve killing animals!  The process of appraisal that is so critically important in developing your skills to see and record your environment, events and the atmosphere.  If your photo can be improved by revisiting the site or by 'chimping' as you go, if you understand more about the result you want, then and only then will you become a hunter!

Most of the work will be done on your smart phone and processed with APPS you can download.

student report

Students in this unit are required to make several written reports and to document the experience with drawings and photographs. Even though you may not have any skills in drawing and photography, you will be given a fast track and very unique opportunity to learn as you investigate and immerse into Balinese Culture.


Assignment 1: Day 1                                                              Alexandra Crisp: 21301026


My experience today at the Pura Campuhan Windhu Sagara Temple in Padang Galak was unique, personal and confronting. I was overwhelmed by the gathering of hindu locals, the vibrant colours of the offerings, the smells of burning inscents and the humble yet quick-spoken chants of the ritual leaders, or Permangku. (Those who poured cleansing water over people).

On arrival, it was obvious how special the ‘full moon ceremony’ was in traditional Balinese Hindu culture. As I am not a religious person, this ceremony was beyond anything I have ever experienced before. Although a very up-front practice, the feeling of peacefulness and acceptance was warm and comforting which is a very reassuring feeling to have when staying in a foreign place.

Today opened my eyes to the meaning of traditions and respect. The routines of sipping water, facial cleansing, praying and water drenching were all conducted in lots of ‘threes’. I believe this ties back to the Balinese way of the ‘Tri-Hita-Karana”.  The string bracelet was also made of three different coloured strings, each representing a different god (Sang Hyan Widhi, Vishnu and Brahma), this further symbolises the ‘Tri-Hita-Karana’ way of life and its significance to the people of Bali.
The number three is of great significance to me as I have always believed it has brought to me good fortune. For some reason, the fact that the number three is so important in the Hindu culture of Bali, makes me feel a little more spiritually connected.

Midst our lunch break it was even more apparent how socially and communally important the ceremony is, as numbers of locals appeared (all dressed up) to take part. The happiness and serenity of the Balinese people was enlightening and very joyful to watch. A highlight from today was when Matt took a group photograph with some of the local women, who were all flamboyantly dressed. After looking at the photo one of the women realised she had her mouth filled with mandarin. Immediately, Matt and the Balinese women cracked into hysterics. This was truly a moment representing the connection between ‘human to human’ (part of the ‘Tri-Hita-Karana).


Today was a big turn-around in the way I view religion. I used to believe that some facets of religion are evil and caused war. However, after todays experience I can confirm that Balinese Hinduism is very peaceful and accepting. They are very satisfied, grateful and happy and seem only to wish the best for everybody and everything, not just to those of their own faith.

This is something the entire world could learn from.




Hanoman bares his teeth at the Pura Widnu Campuhan Padang Galak, January 2015