The Semarapura Thematic Market will open its doors to the public next week in Klungkung Regency.
The building will house over 110m of paintings and is set to become Bali’s leading high-end art market. The market is showcasing some of the finest artwork produced in Bali.
The Semarapura Thematic Market is a specialist art market that proudly provides a platform for traditional Kamasan paintings, ornaments, and artisanal crafts.
Kamasan artwork typically depicts stories of the Indian epics and Balinese and Javanese indigenous historical stories.
In its original form, the artwork was created to adhere to the walls of palaces and temples, telling the stories of the deities, the royal lineage ages, and the everyday lives of the common people.
The artwork draws on imagery from both Hindu and Buddhist texts and is highly sought after by art enthusiasts all over the world.
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The exquisite artwork unfolds in three levels; the realms of the Gods, of the kings and aristocracy, and the third level tells the stories of humans and the darker manifestations of the underworld. A whole new collection of which is on display, and available for purchase at the Semarapura Thematic Market.
Project Manager Made Suarsana told reporters “Overall, at the Semarapura Thematic Market there are around 110 meters of Kamasan paintings have been installed.” The new market building cost IDR 58 billion to produce and it is adorned with Kamasan-style paintings and decorations.
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The market is proud to house a new piece of Kamasan artwork, created by traditional artists who are keeping the craft alive and thriving today in Kamasan Village near the market. Suarsana explained “This Kamasan painting was made directly in Kamasan Village, involving around 10 local artists.
The completion time for the painting, which is around 110 meters long and 120 meters wide, was approximately 40 days.”
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The Semarapura Market is just steps away from the stunning Kertha Gosa Park. The 18th-century Balinese Hindu temple welcomes thousands of visitors every year.
The main attraction is the mesmerizing paintings on the ceiling of the temple, which depict scenes from the Bhima Swarga.
The Semarapura market has been designed to continue the storylines housed at Kertha Gosa Park into the modern day.
Suarsana said, “Conceptually, the Regent wanted the Kamasan painting installed at the Thematic Market to tell about trade. The cost of making this Kamasan painting is around IDR 150 million.”
The new market is 99% complete according to Project Implementer, Sang Putu Arsana. He told reporters, “So the Semarapura Thematic Market will be handed over to the government on November 9, 2023. The maintenance period will be six months.”
The market will be formally opened by the Regent of Klungkung, I Nyoman Suwirta, on Thursday 9th. The market will house artwork from independent artists and art sellers who will be renting gallery space within the building.
There are hopes that the Semarapura Market will help attract more tourists to the area. Aside from Kertha Gosa Park, most tourists have never heard of Semarapura, and yet there is so much to explore in the area, especially for those interested in Balinese culture.
Tourists can also visit the Klungkung Royal Palace and the Puputan Klungkung Monument and Gardens.
For arts and culture lovers looking to explore more of the historical artworks of Bali, be sure to visit the ARMA Museum in Ubud, and the Neka Art Gallery too.
Both collections showcase some of the most culturally significant artworks in Balinese culture, and a visit to both or either of the galleries is a fantastic way to dive beneath the surface of Balinese culture in a way that enriches the way tourists interact with the island throughout their vacation.
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