A sperm whale graciously broke free from the concrete ground—cold, dark and metallic—reaching for the ocean of leaves above; its tail, a few meters away from its head, still above ground, frozen in time as it waited its turn to dive beneath the solid floor.
After a scenic four-hour train ride from Jakarta to Bandung, I was pleasantly surprised to find art and culture awaiting us at Bandung, our second destination in Indonesia.
NUART SCULPTURE PARKADDRESS: JALAN SETRA DUTA RAYA, BANDUNG | CONTACT NUMBER: +62-22-2017812 | ENTRANCE FEE: FREE | GPS MAP: -6.877417, 107.572325
|ENTRANCE TO BANDUNG’S NUART SCULPTURE PARK|
Cold metal sculptures set on a lush outdoor background defines Nyoman Nuarta’s NuArt Sculpture Park, a park cum museum located north of Bandung. A cyclist, lost seconds of his shadow trailing him, set our expectations as we entered. Me, I had absolutely no expectations other than a good and filling lunch, lol.
|A CUTE STALL SELLING SNACKS, A BIG HIT WITH OUR FASHION BLOGGER FRIENDS|
|N CAFE, ON A MEZZANINE INSIDE THE MUSEUM|
Yes, we went here for lunch, but got more than what our tummies desired. The art complex has not one, but three places one can pig out on, a small food cart outside right by the parking lot, the N Café, located on the mezzanine of the museum, and the restaurant at the far end of the garden; which serves a mean plate of bebek goreng (crispy fried duck).
With our hunger satiated, it was time for our eyes and soul to feast.
|THE NUART BUILDING, MORE SCULPTURES INSIDE|
|NO PIPED IN MUZAK HERE, THEY PLAY LIVE AMBIENT MUSIC FOR VISITORS|
NuArt Sculpture Park’s five-hectare ground is dedicated to nothing but Nyoman Nuarta’s sculptural masterpieces. Born in Bali and educated in Bandung, this brass and copper artist who has been hailed as one of the pioneers of the New Art Movement has been transforming the Indonesian landscapes with his megalithic sculptures. From the 30-meter tall Jalesveva Jayamahe statue and the 12-meter long bull-race sculptures in Surabaya, up to his latest work in progress, the USD 40 million Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Bali, which is designed to be the tallest monument in the whole of Indonesia.
|INSIDE THE NUART BUILDING|
|SMALLER ART PIECES, BUT NO LESS ENTRHALLING|
Of course, you won’t see his mega-sculptures here at NuArt. What is showcased here are his smaller, more intimate works. But that doesn’t mean they’re lesser works of art; just smaller in scale. The pieces are scattered throughout the sprawling grounds of the park, a concentration of which, housed inside the NuArt Building.
|NUARTA WORKS WITH BRASS AND COPPER|
The complex is quite huge; point in fact, it even has its own waterfalls set within its grounds. My companions were lucky enough to witness one of his gargantuan works being detailed near the area. It was just too bad that I myself wasn’t able to see it. Yes, this place is huge.
|MR. NYOMAN NUARTA HIMSELF|
During our visit, we were able to speak with the man himself, as he explains the thought process for his works. He related to us how everything comes from struggles and conflict within the Indonesian society; his whale sculpture a protest for whale fishing; the centerpiece of his museum, a sculpture of a woman lying on the ground, a voice for rape.
|SCULPTURE DETAIL, SIGNED BY NUARTA|
Indeed, crisis sparks creativity. And none more so at the NuArt Sculpture Park. The good thing about it is that all those negativities have been transformed into something positive. And you can feel that as you stroll about the park.
SAUNG ANGKLUNG UDJOADDRESS: JALAN PADASUKA, BANDUNG | CONTACT: +62-22-7271714 | ENTRANCE: FROM IDR60,000.00 | GPS MAP: -6.898065, 107.655026
|A FULL SET OF ANGKLUNG|
Bamboos rule less than an hour away from the modern metal installations of NuArt Park. The Saung Angklung Udjo or Udjo’s House of Angklung showcases West Java’s culture, with special focus on the angklung, a musical instrument made of two to four differing bamboo tubes that produces a pleasant note when shaken.
|BOYS PLAY TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN INSTRUMENTS ONSTAGE|
If you have no idea what an angklung is, you’d get to have one on your hands the moment you enter Udjo’s premises, albeit a miniature one. It would serve as your ticket, which also goes along with a bottle of water and a stick of ice cream. Quite strange, that last one, but totally appreciated, lol.
|A YOUNG PLAYER BUSY WITH HIS PERCUSSIONS|
Udjo’s House of Angklung is a project by the husband and wife tandem of Udjo Nalagena and Uum Sumiyati to preserve and showcase West Java’s Sudanese culture and traditions. They have been admitting guests at their gates since 1966, and now, it’s our turn to pass through and witness all that they have worked upon.
We caught the afternoon show which was set on a covered amphitheater with an elevated stage out front. It started with a traditional puppet show featuring foot-high wooden puppet dolls they refer to as wayang golek.
|WAYANG GOLEK, CAN’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING BUT IT’S ENTERTAINING ENOUGH|
The show is set on a small platform while music is played on the background. The dialogues were in Bahasa Indonesia and I have absolutely no clue what was going on as the play proceeded. It kinda made me wish that there was a subtitle of sorts for foreigners watching. In all fairness though, they do provide the synopsis on the flyers they give out to guests.
|CAN YOU IMAGINE ONE OF THESE STARING RIGHT AT YOU IN YOUR ROOM AT NIGHT?|
But I know one thing though, these puppets, which are intricately made and very detailed, are nightmarishly scary. They sell some at the souvenir store at really affordable prices, but I really wouldn’t want one displayed inside my room, haha.
|EVEN KIDS CAN PLAY THE ANGKLUNG!|
|A FULL ENSEMBLE PLAYNG MODERN SONGS USING TRADITIONAL INSTRUMENTS|
|WE WERE EACH GIVEN AN ANGKLUNG WITH A DESIGNATED NUMBER|
|AND NOW IT’S OUR TIME TO PLAY!|
The angklung show came right after as local performers, both kids and adults, flocked the stage to play the instrument. Since an angklung can only produce a single note, an orchestra of angklung players is needed to play an entire song. The best part about it was that even the audience was given the chance to play, and play we did! We even did a Beatles song! It was easy enough with a maestro out front, cueing everyone when to shake their bamboos. It was a surprisingly fun experience, something you’d not usually expect from cultural shows.
~ INDONESIA'S MINISTRY OF TOURISM INVITED ME AS A PART OF THE TRIP OF WONDERS TOUR. VIEWS, OPINIONS & BIASES, ALL MINE.