By Paul Marcus Fuog
In 2013 I travelled to Bali, Indonesia on a research and making project with Benjamin Harrison Bryant and Karim Charlebois-Zariffa. From June – September 2013, we set up a studio and home in Lodtunduh, a farming community situated on the outskirts of Ubud.
Here we collaborated together and conducted daily experiments in stone masonry, woodcarving, batik, painting, basket weaving and kite making with a community of local craftspeople.
The expedition resulted in the making of more than 100 conceptual objects that challenged the traditional notion of the souvenir. We explored the re-assemblage of cultural craft objects in a tourist-driven economy and examined the influence of transnational exchange in the making process, proposing how a souvenir can manifest and encourage cross-cultural learning and understanding.
Outcomes from Field Experiments Indonesia have since been presented in New York, Melbourne, Milan, Montreal, London and Tokyo. The goal is to bring new credence to the concept of ‘Made in Bali’ highlighting the skill and ingenuity of the Balinese people and to foster a renewed appreciation for Balinese craft and culture. Our hope is to inspire a more responsible traveller, one that has a deeper thirst to interact with the Balinese people and their culture, ultimately creating a new platform for the economy of Balinese craft makers that extends well beyond the life of this project.