Though it is known as a museum of art, the entrepreneurial venture owned and managed by the country’s front runner in business, Agung Rai, is a complex comprising a cultural centre, an arts-and-crafts hub, and a theatre for the performing arts. With his passion for the promotion and preservation of the arts, Rai’s instrumental function in such a project came as no surprise. Ever since the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) was inaugurated in 1996 under the patronage of the Cultural Minister, the ARMA Foundation has been the custodian of the prestigious arts centre.
The architectural style deployed for the buildings is known as ‘Monumnetal Balinese’ style, which is a more modernized and chic form of traditional Balinese architecture. The interior, of course, is adorned with Balinese arts, paintings, murals and artifacts. The rice fields that spread out bear testimony to the agricultural base of the country’s economy, while the ponds and fountains closer to the main buildings help to contain the heat.
ARMA is also an interactive exhibition and learning centre where locals and foreigners are taught traditional Balinese cookery, woodcarving, indigenous fabrics, history and music by well-trained persons who are conversant in their area of work. Youth with the potential to become great painters and sculptors are groomed under the caring wing of these teachers who impart truly local and authentic knowledge to their students and leave them the freedom to give each craft a contemporary twist.
If you visit the museum in the afternoon, you can grab a quick Balinese snack from the café and settle down for a few short dance recitals put forth by the students and some even by the maestros. Batiks are another famous aspect of Bali and Indonesia, thus modernized batik attire can be found at these workstations in the museum.
An Ubud hotel speaks of tradition and native customs, hence would be a fitting hospitality accompaniment to a visit to the ARMA. You will witness the local rituals and lifestyles at the museum and truly stand an opportunity to experience it at a luxury retreat Bali without compromising on the comforts or lifestyles that you are accustomed to. The Uma Bali is one such retreat that promises an unforgettable stay in an area not far from the ARMA.