Asian Antiques Destination of the Week: Bali

Posted by Bobby Leesman on

It’s easy to talk about Asian furniture, Asian art or Asian antiquities. But in fact, the continent of Asia is vast: encompassing many countries, and hundreds of different ethnicities, languages and artistic styles. So in a new series of blog posts, we’re going to look in the history and style of individual Asian cultures. Today, we’re starting with Bali.

Where is Bali?

Bali is actually a province of Indonesia, in the long chain of islands which bridge the gap between Vietnam and Australia. But it has such a unique history and culture that we have to talk about it separately from the rest of Indonesia.

What makes Balinese art special?

To answer this question, we have to understand what makes Bali different from the rest of Indonesia. (Of course, Indonesia has its own rich art scene, which we’ll discuss in another post!)

Bali is the only Hindu-majority province in Indonesia. So it draws on the rich pantheon of Hindu gods, from the generous elephant-headed god Ganesh to Shiva, the fierce destroyer. But part of what Bali is so special is how it mixes Hinduism with influences from other cultures, including Islamic art, Chinese design, and animist religious traditions.

Balinese furniture and art often uses local materials, including rich, dark wood that is polished to a high shine, and colorful, glowing paints.

What to look for

In terms of antiquities, Bali is probably best known for its statuary.

But don’t miss out on Balinese furniture. The intricate, life-life carvings add a beautiful talking point to any home or office – often with subtle touches of gold paint or color.

And as in many other Asian cultures, Balinese furniture is usually quite low to the ground. So it’s perfect for creating a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.


If you’re interested in Balinese art or furniture, don’t forget to check out our Balinese statuary and garden features.

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