Accepted Paper:

Change and Innovation in the Balinese Fine Arts in Ubud in the Context of Cultural Tourism  


Yusri Abdillah (Brawijaya University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the process of innovation in the Balinese fine art products that flourish in Ubud, one of the tourist spots in Bali, in the context of cultural tourism. Particularly, the paper takes a closer look to the orientation of art development and its education in Ubud.

Paper long abstract:

Tourism has partly transformed the orientation of Balinese culture from religion to economics. This is particularly so in Balinese arts as the most prominent forms of Balinese cultural products. While in the days before the coming of tourism to the island, art tended to change within the context of religion, contemporary change occurs in the garb of tourism and develops in a more dynamic and secular environment. This paper is going to look at the process of change and innovation in the Balinese arts in the context of cultural tourism.

As tourists have become wealthier and travel costs have been reduced, tourists have become more interested in remote societies and places to visit, increasing the demand for cultural tourism. It is important to recognize that continuous development of arts is necessary for the Bali tourism sector in order to cope with the growth of the contemporary tourism market, and promoting a more sustainable tourism in the region. Accordingly, this has stimulated the Balinese artisans to adjust their natural creativity to the market to provide the tourists with tourism goods they need for souvenirs. Particularly in Ubud, known as the heart of Balinese culture, this type of continuous development is expected to strengthen the place's position as an art center and a showcase for Balinese culture. However, crucial questions addressing their authenticity emerge. Although it is acknowledged that culture is dynamic and therefore no pristine culture exists, these questions are important in maintaining a balance in Balinese tourism and cultural developments.

Panel PE17
Anthropology of arts business (IUAES Commission on Enterprise Anthropology)