Welcome to ArtDecoBali.blog

I Made Gerembuang, 1925-1935, Pita Maha style. This expressive image of a squatting old man represents the moment between life and death. (Collection Tropenmuseum Amsterdam)

This blog is created by Sipke van de Peppel, collector of Balinese woodcarving art. Through my posts and photos I’d like to share my passion for the craftsmanship of the woodcarvers in Bali, where wooden sculptures have been made for temples and palaces for centuries.

My own modest collection focuses on the period between 1930 and 1980 when a new and local Art Deco style emerged through the cross-pollination between local and Western artists. Western and Balinese artists united in the Pita Miha group, which organized exhibitions at home and abroad.

Woodcarvers were encouraged to develop their own individual style and portray scenes from everyday life in Bali. These everyday subjects, such as a seated young man or a Balinese lady grooming her hair, were popular with the tourists visiting the island.

The Balinese sculptors gradually evolved from community artists creating traditional sculptures for temples and palaces to free artists working for the emerging tourist market. Their statues are now sought after collectables for enthusiasts all over the world.

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