Indra Persad Milowe’s ‘Beautiful Ubud, Bali’ On Exhibition in the US

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‘Beautiful Ubud, Bali’ is the exhibition by T& T-born, Salem resident Indra Persad Milowe, currently on at the Topsield Library, Massachusetts, USA. It runs until February 16.

On her website, she explained “I recently returned from my second trip to Ubud, Bali, Indonesia as an ‘Artist in Residence’ at:

‘For my first trip, I was invited to a traditional Balinese wedding,a three month baby ceremony and their five-day Odalan Festival. For the second trip I was invited to their 10 day Gulungan & Kuningan Festivals.’

The story behind a few of her pieces: a sneak peak from her website

‘Penjors Adorn the Sky’: A ubiquitous cultural attribute you would mostly see during Galungan, which is a festival held every 210 days in Bali. Prayers (puja) honour ancestors (pitrus) and other people who have passed away, thanking them for their contributions. This pitru puja cultivates gratitude in living people. Tall, curved poles of bamboo adorned with decorations are displayed in front of virtually every building in Bali. These are called penjors, and they honour the deceased and are a thankful expression for daily blessings.

‘Subak Rice Fields’: Spiritual rice farming is a unique water management system for rice fields, which is at the basis of Bali’s landscape. On the Island of Gods, rice farming is a community affair. All rice farmers are obligated to join a subak association to jointly decide on matters such as planting, crops, pest control, and irrigation. What makes this system even more unique is its strong spiritual element: life in the subak revolves around the pura, a temple specially built by farmers to worship the Goddess of Rice and Fertility, Dewi Sri. Every rice field has a shrine, every subak a temple and up to 15 blessing ceremonies are held per season to ensure a good harvest. Balinese people view rice as a gift from God and a symbol of life. Every 210 days when Galungan is celebrated, penjors, decorated bamboo poles, can be seen everywhere including in the rice fields.

“Dewi Sri”: Dewi Sri is the Balinese, Javanese and Lombok Rice and Fertility Goddess. She is widely venerated as the great benefactress of the people who protects them against hunger, even in the semi-Islamized regions. Sri brings the rain when the monsoon arrives and appears in dreams to give good advice.

 “The Barong Dance”: Barong is the mythical fierce but good lion who fights and repels the evil demon queen, Ranga. The dance demonstrates the mythological depiction of animals that have supernatural powers and could protect humans.

“Wayang Kulit”: An Indonesian form of shadow puppetry holds the audience’s attention with riveting storylines executed masterfully by the dhalang, or puppeteer. The puppets are made of buffalo hide and intricately designed, down to the most minute detail of costume and color, to help the audience distinguish between the different characters. The dhalang tells the stories of kings, princesses, ogres, and knights, using deft hand movement and narration. While traditional performances used cotton sheets and oil lamps to create the play of light, electric bulbs or other sources of light are used today. Many of the plots draw from episodes seen in the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

About Indra Persad Milowe:

Indra is a prolific visual and public artist with 38 art exhibitions and 42 press releases internationally. She has two other other collections, Festivals and Folklore of Trinidad, West Indies and My Journey to Morocco. She is a regular contributing artist for the Rotunda Gallery in the Parliament Building at the Port of Spain in Trinidad, West Indies, and is a regular contributing artist and member of Art Impact International in Washington, DC. She recently attended SIFA, the Singapore International Arts Festival in May of 2023. She was an Artist-in-Residence at the Mauser Eco House in Parrita, Costa Rica, where she painted a 6 x 6 ft mural on their entrance wall and donated a painting for their local restaurant. Indra has created two public art projects in Salem, MA: Kailash: The Art Box in Derby Square and Mirabai: The 22 Bollards on Artists Row. In her studio, she has painted two 6 x 6 foot murals, Tulsi and Rishi.

Source: The Topsfield Town Library Art Committee

Images from her website. Visit to see more of her work.

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