Cultural centre Bedulu

Another draft chapter from my guide to Lempad’s Art and Buildings in Bali

Getting there:

Lempad's wall at the abandoned cultural centre in Bedulu, Bali.

Lempad’s wall at the abandoned cultural centre in Bedulu, Bali.

If you are staying in Ubud, go south down Jl Hanoman or Jl Cok Gde Rai for about two kilometres until you reach Jl Made Lebah/Jl Raya Teges and turn left.Travel east along a road that then changes its name from Jalan Raya Goa Gajah to Jalan Raya Bedulu and then Jalan Pura Samuan Tiga. Pass through an ornately carved stone gateway and travel along a dual carriageway to a paved car park. Pura Samuan Tiga temple is on the left and Lempad’s art is part of the neglected cultural centre on the right, just before the road narrows. As all of Lempad’s art is on the outside of this building there is no need to go inside and consequently no entry fee.

Several excellent but neglected examples of Lempad’s art can be seen at this now abandoned cultural centre. Lempad was commissioned to carve a bas relief into clay bricks for this Suharto-era building used by visiting politicians to address meetings. It has been reproduced in full colour in Gaspar, Casannovas and Couteau’s book “Lempad”. Continue reading

Yeh Puluh carvings

This is a draft chapter from my guide Lempad’s Art and Buildings in Bali.

Yeh Puluh temple ticket office, Jl Yeh Puluh, Bedulu, Bali.

Yeh Puluh temple ticket office, Jl Yeh Puluh, Bedulu, Bali.

This chapter does not direct you to any of Lempad’s own work, but to some much older art which is said to have had a life-long influence on him.

Getting there:

The Yeh Puluh carvings are on the way to Beduluh’s Yeh Puluh temple and you need to be reasonably steady on your feet to see them. At the end of Jalan Yeh Puluh is a car park and a little kiosk where you need buy a Rp 15,000 ticket unless you are Balinese and dressed in temple clothes. Continue reading

Pura Desa Pengastulan temple, Bedulu

Directions: Jl Yeh Pulu, Pengastulan, Bedulu.

Boma above a gate at Pura Pengastulan in Bedulu.

Boma above a gate at Pura Pengastulan in Bedulu.

Lempad built this temple in 1962-63, soon after he had completed the Saraswati temple in Ubud. If the Saraswati temple was lavish this one is flamboyant.

While he must have been working with a much smaller budget Lempad was able to express himself with great abandon in his home town. Look at the fingernails on the Boma (guardian spirit) masks above the gates. They look more as though they were rapidly drawn with a pen than carved in stone. You might like to contrast these with his earlier drawings in the Neka and Puri Lukisan museums which are almost as though they were made with a chisel. Continue reading

Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati

This is a draft chapter from my Guide to Lempad’s art and buildings in Bali.


Stay on the north side of Jl Raya Ubud and continue to walk west until you get to a hotel called Saraswati Bungalows. Go to reception and ask for permission to visit the temple.

IMG_1235 copyBuilt in 1952, this was Lempad’s second major Ubud project. The beautifully-maintained complex shows how much his style had developed almost four decades after he built the Peliatan royal palace. It is also unusual for Lempad in that it appears to contain no unfinished sculptures.

The temple took the form of the cosmic mountain being churned in the middle of the celestial sea (the milky way). Much of the present paved areas were originally lily ponds Lempad filled in after Mount Agung erupted in 1963. The earthquake also damaged the original central tower which he had to replace. Continue reading

Bremer is a ‘Mecca’ for whale watchers 16/07/2015


The Bremer Canyon has become a “mecca” for international whale watchers because it contains an important feeding ground for killer whales, or orcas.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

“We’re getting international group bookings now where people are flying in from the States, from Europe, China, from wherever,” said film-maker and tour boat operator Dave Riggs.

[From The Great Southern Weekender, July 16, 2015, p7.]

The story goes on to talk about his new doco on Discovery Channel. 

In our interview he made an assertion about a scientific matter and, as neither he nor I are scientists, I ran it past a prominent cetacean researcher that I know. 

That is all a journlist needs to do when presented with a matter of “science” that is not in a reputable peer-reviewed journal – get an expert opinion.


Tenganan: Home of Bali’s rarest textiles 14/11/2014

Very few women still practise this art

A double ikat weaver at her loom


Tenganan in southeast Bali is one of the villages that preserves a pre-Hindu “Bali Aga” culture that may be thousands of years old.

Indonesia's rarest textiles

These are Indonesia’s rarest textiles, produced in just one Bali village.

A feature of this is the double-ikat weaving, requiring warp and weft threads to be meticulously tie died before the weaver puts them together.

Tenganan is the only place in Indonesia that still produces double ikat, and in this story I explain how you can get to Tenganan and visit a double ikat weaver.

inBali [read this story]