Living In An Art Gallery: The Street Art Of Canggu, Bali

A village in Bali Canggu? Okay, there’s lots of tourists here alright (yes, “digital nomad” is just a fancy word used nowadays instead). Our presence changed the face of many places forever and Canggu is one of such destinations. From a quiet, agricultural village to a hip surfer town. Well, maybe not a town just yet, but give it another two years and it’s going to be an extension of Kuta. (Let’s hope not.)Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Experiencing things with a clear mind Coming here without any expectations, I definitely didn’t think I’m gonna see so much street art at its finest. Canggu is small. People don’t come here by mistake, they come here for surfing and sometimes stay longer. Because of this, the atmosphere in the place is very unique.Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found The murals are one of the best surprises that awaited me on my arrival… A few days ago, I finally hopped on a bike and went on an “open gallery of street art” tour.Lost Is The New Found Amazing density of murals I love street art, it’s one of my favourite art forms. Its transitory nature plays the right chords in my heart, breaking it little by little, as I know that sooner than later someone’s going to paint over them.

Like this one. I was saw a man paint the this wall back grey... Great improvement [sigh].
Like this one. I just saw a man paint the this wall back grey… Great improvement [sigh].
I like to experience art a little deeper, so I took my bike and rode around Canggu taking pictures of all the murals that I found. So many distinct styles! I quickly started recognising various artists as most of the pieces are signed and if they’re not signed, their style is so distinctive that it’s natural to connect the dots.

Dogs of Canggu are having a party <3
Bali dogs are having a party.

Some of the street art you can appreciate in Canggu is by Lister, The Yok, The Snake Hole, Doby, Ricky Afdi, Bazuco, Idol Motions, Bede Carmine, who is on to make a change in the world working for a more sustainable future, and a crew that seems to be made up of many people: Choose Life.Lost Is The New Found Choose Life is addictive Every time I see these words, the beginning of Trainspotting starts playing in my head, especially since I visited Edinburgh not long ago and even got the “Choose life, choose a career” T-shirt. (How tacky is that? But I couldn’t resist! All right… I didn’t want to resist.)Lost Is The New Found Seems that Choose Life chose Canggu and Canggu chose Choose Life. The phrase keeps playing in my head. Choose Life. Choose Life. Another mural, another call. Choose Life. The crew made Canggu its own personal canvas. By the end of the graffiti-hunting trip, I recognise their murals even when they’re not “choosing life.” I completely love the depictions of Barong – a lion-like creature that is an important character in the mythology of Bali. He is the king of spirits, leader of the hosts of good, enemy of the demon queen, Rangda, who is the mother of all spirit guarders. Lost Is The New Found Choose Life’s artworks display an understanding of the context in which the crew works. This is unique and I start wondering who these people are. Because of Barong, they seem to be locals. But are they? How do my own preconceptions influence what I see and understand on the walls around Canggu?Lost Is The New Found All right. Now, I simply have to know: who are these people??? A questioned asked is a questioned answered. To be continued. But before I finish, let me take you for a street art trip around Canggu. It’s a real feast for the senses!

Read here an interview with Konfucius.

Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found   Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found   Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Lost Is The New Found Alright! No more. I could go on and on. But I won’t. Just come to Canggu.

4 thoughts on “Living In An Art Gallery: The Street Art Of Canggu, Bali

  1. Hey Marita. Really cool article! Thanks. The crew is made up of Idol, Dest, Mahou, Sleeck, Fuse, Mutons, Trev and 3pete. We are from all walks of life and several different countries and some local talent. But Canngu is where we all met last year and how it all started. anymore questions get in touch with me at twotwentytwosinmyshoes@gmail.com We will be back in Canngu this year and we are also getting around the world so keep an eye out!

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