History Balinese Art
Bali's earliest documented records date back to the 8th century, showing the early spread of Buddhism and Hinduism. The Dutch controlled Indonesia for about 350 years but Bali although the Dutch where present in the north it was left alone till 1906, Efforts were made at preserving Bali culture and at making it a "living museum" of classical culture and in 1914 Bali was opened to tourism and in that time there where only a handful of visitors visiting Bali by a steamship boat line from Surabaya to Singaraja. Bali's visitors were mostly artists, musicians, anthropologists and writers, many made the enchanting island their home. before 1930 carving was not commercial and carvings where only used in temples and palaces, trough influence from a few European artists who stayed on Bali in the 30s there came next to the traditional statues also a Art-deco period on Bali, actual they look like modern carvings and it seems they are very collectible but not my thing, read more over Balinese Art-Deco in about collecting. Because of the war starting in 1940 and the trouble till 1960 there was a kind of break in Art from Bali, actual commercial flights from Bali started only since 1960 that's the time the statue sales took of commercially...so if you see a statue offered keep this info in mind, because I see often art deco offered far before 1930 and lots of people talk about antique statues, while antique official means 100 years or older! Present day trough modern live there is less interest to become a professional woodcarver by new generations, the expensive dark wood species are protected and not there or not affordable anymore for a Balinese, therefore much more white and yellow wood statues can be seen in shops, what makes the older statues even more collectable. Further Bali remains independent with a strong Hindu / Buddhist culture in a country dominated by Islam, retaining a certain amount of autonomy from Jakarta.