As tourism collapses in Bali, artists battle to promote their work

Galleries displaying the work of conventional artists are being pressured to shut their doorways.

Video Transcript

JESSICA WASHINGTON: On the island of Bali, within the village of Batuan, Wayan Madru has been making and promoting masks for greater than 50 years. They’re used for conventional dances and are sometimes offered as souvenirs too. However with Bali closed to overseas vacationers due to the pandemic, he struggled to search out clients.

WAYAN MADRU: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

There are 304 households on this village. 95% of us are masks craftsmen. Due to COVID, all gross sales had been canceled.

JESSICA WASHINGTON: Some artists within the village have turned to different jobs, however that is not an possibility for everybody.

WAYAN MADRU: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

I am aged. I can not do anything. I can not work on building web site. I haven’t got the power.

JESSICA WASHINGTON: Since Indonesia shut its borders, he earns $30 every month from gross sales. Close by, one other skilled artist works in his studio. I Ketut Soki is certainly one of a gaggle of artists who created this type of portray.

I KETUT SOKI: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

I paint to take care of Balinese tradition. I wish to present folks abroad about Bali, the island, the harvesting, paddy fields, cultivating the land, cows, geese, flowing water. That is Bali.

JESSICA WASHINGTON: His granddaughter arrange an Instagram web page to assist promote his work on-line. Though he is pressured to promote at a less expensive value, he says he is lucky.

I KETUT SOKI: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

As of late, many individuals have stopped portray solely, as a result of it is so laborious to promote their work.

JESSICA WASHINGTON: Gallery homeowners are additionally feeling the impression. With nearly no walk-in clients at this woodcarving showroom, nothing has been offered in months.

GEDE SUSILO DHARMA: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

That is the darkest second for the tourism business. There have been incidents, just like the Bali bombings and the volcanic eruption, that impacted tourism. However it’s worse now.

JESSICA WASHINGTON: He is decided to cease his enterprise from closing down, like many galleries have.

GEDE SUSILO DHARMA: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

We are going to by no means shut down, even when there aren’t any clients. I would like the world to know that we’re preventing.

JESSICA WASHINGTON: Though he is not making any gross sales, he nonetheless orders new sculptures from native artists to maintain the business alive, whereas all of them look forward to higher days. Jessica Washington, Al Jazeera, Jakarta.

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