Saturday, November 29, 2008

Farewell to Jogjya!

It time to wrap up and say good bye to the land of Barong and Ramayana or Kratons and Merapi, time to leave behind all that cannot be taken with but fond memories bitter and sweet. This has been one of my most successful journeys yet and my appreciation goes to those who had made it possible namely Dato'Rahim, Leekhai, my cousin Zakaria in Shah Alam and my son Nazri Bahari and to those who gave me their warm friendshhip and confidence like Mr. Tony Penny in Solo and Pak Antok in Jogjya. Then there are those whose whom I met along the journey as fellow travellers like the two Austrians I met in Kuta, Bali and the great underwater world explorer and photographer Mr. Roland Loges from Switzerland who burnt a copy of all his diving pictures on two CDs and what great shots they are! They are an inspiration for me to paint from later. Michael and Anton mentioned in my lst entry will always be in my thoughts whenever i think of the Bromo mountains of Central Java.
My life has been blessed by the fact that i am able to travel and do what I love most and that is capturing life as an artist while on the road. Meeting new faces and touching lives of others whose culture and religious outlook will never the same as mine or my people. Eating and drinking from the same cups and plates dishes and drinks that are only native to this or that region and can never be found anywhere else on the planet and visiting ancient ruins of temples and civilization long gone scattered all over this fantastic landscape called Java.
My sketchbook /journal is half filled with all sorts of brawings and sketches done on site as well as when I have the time in between the sight seeing. I have added another form to it where I have asked fellow artists who I met here to contribute their sketch in the pages and add their cards for future refferences. It is interesthing to find that most has done it quite willingly and in so doing has made this journal alot more valuable. The camera Leekhai loaned me is suppose to be able to tke about 1000 pictures and if so then I have that much pictures to sort out and start loading the best for this blog while others will be used for my upcoming art works and the comicbook I am working on.
When I arrived in this country the Bali terrorists 3 executiton took place and now that I am leaving the Mumbai tragedy is taking place in India, we live in a sad world indeed and why do we have to add to this sadness by negative thoughts and feelings towards eachother? Killing in the name of any belief or religion is totally beyond human acceptance, defies human intelligence and places us at a level worse than animals, but... there is really no just cause where a single life is sacrificed. Islam is again about to take another blow as a religon that is violent in the eyes of the non Muslims of the world and those who think they are doing the religion a favor by killing the innocent aught to have their brains removed so they can enloy life like animals without any care or compassion for others. It is hard enough to be porr and wnting in this life but to have to put up with odelogical tyrants and religious fanatics is pathetic to say the least. Man pride himself of living in a Globalized world, or a borderless world, of being able to touch other lives from across the planet via the Internet and yet we have helped to create nothing but despair for those whose very lives depends on those capable of delivering this reality, the so called age of information and knowledge.
The Buddha a long time ago diagnosed human illness to be of three kinds and that being Greed, Hate and Dellusions or Ignorance. Today man is destroying his freedom and virtues by the very same only in the form of Wealth, Power and Knowledge or Information. Those who has these
three at their command dictates what happens in our modern world and woe unto us when the power that be abusses its authority or lacks the understnding and compassion to rule or make right decissions or worse yet becomes self serving. As the Persian saying goes, when the salt has turned bad what can we depend on to preserve.
I am about to depart from the land that once was influenced by the Hindu Gods, the Tri-Murti of Brahman Vishnu and Shiva, The Creator, Preserver and the Destroyer-Progenator. I am about to leave the land where the poulation today has the largest number of Muslims in the world and what does that tells me? That a handful of Muslims (if that is really who did it in Mumbai) can shatter the beliefs of Billions on this planet who loves peace and happiness above all else in this temporary state of existance we call life and all in the name of the hidu Gods or the Muslim or the Christian God is indeed very and dangerous for modern man. We are indeed head for our self destruction our egotistical nature has eaten up our devine spirit, our greed, hatred and ignorance has overun oue sense of Love and Compassion, Peace and Co-existance. We do indee desrve to be shot by our own hands holding our very own gun to our very own heads and shame on us when our children and grandchildren ever ask why or whatever happened???
Godd Bye Indonesia... the land of Pancasila and Bineka-Tungga-Ika! Selamat Tinggal dan ribuan terima kaseh, emogga Allah cuchuri rahmat ka atas bumi mu.

Friday, November 28, 2008

From Bromo to Jogjya

I am still recovering from my long trip from Probolingo Kabupaten a small town from which one take the trip up to the Bromo volcanic area. I arrived here by my final mode of transportation which was a motorcycle from the bus station to the hotel and it cost me 20000 R. I arrived at the bus station having taken a two hour ride on a slow bus from Sol to Yogjyakarta which had cost me 10000R, half the price of the ten minutes ride on the motor cycle and I suppose i could have argued the price had I wanted to but why deprive the man a few buck just so you can claim you got it cheap? The bus ride from Solo was in itself as I had expected filled will pleasant surprises and one of them was having two or three young entertainers boarding the bus at every stop and entertaining you for a handout. These guys were quite entertaining and some pretty talented considering they used mostly home made instruments. For a donation of five ruppiah for three guys it was nothing when you consider that they were making an effort at earning their daily bread rather than begging or stealing. I feel sad and at the same time envious of those who are struggling to make it in this life and i dread to think that any of this could be my case scenario but for the grace of my Maker. There was a sense of acceptance in their faces most of these street musicians and they seemed to find a sense of joy in what they do accepting the fact there were times that not one of the passengers paind a single Rupiah for their performances, perhaps not all could afford it either.
I stayed a a cheap hotel in Solo after being dropped off by Tony and his companion after they had taken me for dinner at one of the best Padang Food restaurant in the Solo area the evening before. However "Nasi Padang" restaurant dishes numerous as they may seem has began to taste the same for me all over the country wherever they are found, not bad but there is no more surprises. Tony enjoys eating one can tell and is picky where he eats and so being with him means getting a taste of the best in town. I dropped by Solo to bid him my final farewell as I will be leaving for Malaysia tomorrow. Solo happens to be located along the route to Yogja from Probolingo and it was well worth the xtra one hundred and fifty for the hotel and bus to also be able to take a slow 'becak' ride through town and making pit stops at the two large Solo markets.
The market like most Asian markets everywhere was bustling with the morning shoppers and filled will all kinds of kitchen needs with some you never find anywhere else. I enjoy visiting the produce markets wheerever i travel as it is the one place where you can find people going about their daily lives at its primal stage of buying food for the day. Markets also gives me and intimate feeling of being a aprt of the community where you rub shoulders with the local folks and be able to enjoy sights and scenes and smells one normally cannot find anywhere else. All kinds of products from the region will find their way to the common market and the price most relatively alot cheaper. I bought a pair of batik bermuda shorts for 20000 but could have got away with fifteen as told by the elderly lady selling close by. I just dont haggle well and twenty rupiah was cheap by my standard.
The ride from Probolingo was in a passenger van together with a young European couple and an Indonesian boy and a girl I sat in the front sit. I got to talking to the driver and learned how much he makes driving for ten hours or more a trip... very little. He talked about farming instead if and when he gets the chance and i told him a very good idea, independant and less headaches especially from the crazy traffic he has to deal with. The sun setting at one point was along the way was so mesmerizing that I had him stop by the roadside to take a few shots. The scene was made to order postcard scene where the evening skies lit up in full glory against the distant mountain in the horizan and the foreground or flate rice fields. If the shots are okay it would be a perfect picture of the day. As most of the long ride was pretty monotonous displaying litlle worthwhile roadside attractions I spent most of the ride reading Nietche's Thus Spoke Zarasthustra a book that was given to me by Mike from Sweden. The book for most of it was hard to digest but I had heard much about it before while in college and so now that i had it as my travelling companion i tried to make some sense out of the novel, either that or suffer the tedium of a long and dreary ride.
When Anton, Michael and I arrived at the Cemara Hotel at the top of the Bromo Mountain site it was already dark and we had to immediately rent ourselves a winter jacket each for it was freezing cold and almost reminded me of my chilly nights in Wisconsin, USA. We had dinner and were settled down for the night soon for we were told that wake up call was at three thrity in the morning if we were to catch the sunrise at the top of the mountain. Waking up int the dark later we were hauled into the back of a jeep and along with three other travellers two of whom were Spanish and one from California we set about driving up the steep slope to the top of the mountain and by the time we reacxhed the summit it was light but the sun had not appeared yet. Walking to the viewing area we joined many other sunrise worshippers all set and ready with all makes of cameras, flahses were already in the air as most got excited and impatient trying to capture the volcanic panorama set before them.
As the sun began to show her morning colors and revealed the lanscape then i was moved by what awesome beauty lay before me and all that arduous travelling abd cold melted from my memory and only the greatness of creation itself held my mind. Yes i too got real excited and started shooting off Leekhai's camera left and right but deep in my heart i know that what i fwelt there and then can never be shared in its totatlity, one just has to be be there and feel the personal touch. The couldron that lay immeidately before us like a huge bucket of steaming hot water kept throwing out steam like vapors, and in the background further an tall perfect cone stood spewing out mud colored column of cloud into the sky every ten minutes or so. As this column gats scattered by the wind a new coulumn is spewed into the sky to replace it like clockwork.
Later we were driven down to the base of the open cauldron where after a short walk and a steep clim of stairs we were able to see and smell and taste the sulphur that was continously filling up the air around the mouth of the once erupted volcano. It the walk was too much to handle there were ponies for hire to take you there and back from where the jeeps were parked. Again these transportation providers were just as persistant as most of the souviniers vendors one will find anywhere one visit and it can drive you up the walls if not the volcano itself. And again it is just life, someone trying his of her dmandest to make a living out of what was rightfully theirs.
My two newfound friends Michael and Anton left for Bali after we came back down from the Bromo mountian viewing site. I was sad to see them leave on the bus bound for Bali but very happy for them as I am sure they will have a great time in Bali. Michael gave me a book by Fredrick Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra and promised to start doing meditation as i had asked him to. Both these Swedes are still in college and are on vacation and were staying at the Ary's Hotel here in Yogjya. I hope someday our path will cross again in years to come and maybe see where the path has taken us since.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Just arrived after a long and painful ride to Borobodur and Gunung Merapi with Pa' Henri a young man who is a friend of one of the boys working at the hotel. It did not rain all day and that was a break and the skies was clear enough that you get to see almost all the distant mountains that surrounds the Borobodur. I took quite a few pictures of the place and did two sketches just for show. The small relief panels along the walls of the 'stupa structure was more intresting that the the stupa as a whole for it displayed great workmanship from the ages. Cracked and colored by years of sun and raind the reliefs depicting the life of the Buddha from birth til enlightenment or attaining the parinirvana has an aesthetic quality of its own.
The Borobodur one of 'The Almost Forgotten Wonders World', is one of man's testimony to what he can do collective if and when he wants to just like the pyramids of Egypt or the the Great Wall of China. It may not be as monumental in size compared to the other two but Borobodur still stands on its own in terms of its awesomeness. It is primarily a Buddhist Stupa with relics believed to be stored within and all around the temple walls is depicted with the life of the Buddha in history from beginning till the attainment of enlightement.
The surrounding landscape of the Borobodur is just as awe inspiring with flat lands mostly rice fields stretching from as far as the eye can see into the horizon at the foot of mountains and volcanoes. The skies with its heavy white clouds accentuates the beauty even more. Henri and I stayed up at the structure for an hhour or so and then heade down as it was getting hot and there is really so much that you can do unless you wish to sit and meditate but then there is too much distractions as there were quite a number of visitors present. To have stood and touched such a monumental structure in human history was my sense of accomplishment and the next on my list is the Angkor Watt in Cambodea!! Insha'Allah!.
On the way in and out of the Borobodur area we were pestered by vendors selling all kinds of sovineurs and some of these women were so persistant that you'd think that they would cry at your feet if you do not buy something and I felt deeply sorry for them. I bought a few items for those at home especially my daughter who I am almost positive is expecting some surprises. Well it is the money from their elder brother and so in a way it will be from him whatever i buy. Like i was reminded earlier, I am a man who is totally broke with nothng to my name and all that I am doing truthfully enough is spreading around everyone else's wealth for them. The late Zen master Alan Watts used to say that men like me are elegant beggars.
On the way back we rode towards Mount Merapi which last decided to cough out some larva in may of 2006. The bike ride itself was quite memorable as the road led through some scenic rural areas of the part of Java. I got to see how the local people live which is not really that different from the rural countryside of Malaysia especially in the interiors. As we apporoached the Merapi closer and closer I can sense the prescence of the volcanoe like a sleeping dragon waiting to wake up and belch itself some brimstone and fire into the surrounding landscape. I bought some 'buah salak' along the roadside, a kind of the local pruduct for this area and there were small plantations of these trees which are like a mangrove palm trees from which the fruit is produce.
My last desitnation is the Bromo mountain region where they say the Gods resides. I have got to visit the site as most of the travellers I have met here highly recommended it. I am sure there numerous unique places that I could have discovered given the time and money here in Central and eastern Java but given the fact that both are limited I have to settle for the best or most talked about for now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Rains has come...

Looks like Borobodur is remaining an elusive place for me as it has been raining all afternoon and its pouring by the buckets. Nothing else to do this evening except sit and write down as much as i could to while the time away productively.
My son in Dubhai insisted that translated the slander made against me into English so the he can reply to it as one of my children. He was very upset when I told him of the comment that had been made to undermind my character especially it coming out of the blue for no rhyme or reason. But i wrote to him to chill and let it play itself out as I have no idea who or where it came from and i have no desire for him to fall foul with my family. I have always told my children to respect their uncles and aunties regardless of how i personally feel about them and this I still insist upon. It is sad though that sometimes I have to persuade them to visit these relatives of theirs and i can tell that they have reluctance in doing so for some reason, and not that I blame them. I have two sisters and both love my children and vice versa. The kids are genuinely excited whenever they visit their aunties although they dont talk much but thats them, they dont talk much with people period, especially my son Karim. Now with this comment written in this blog it would be hell of alot harder for me to convince them that all is well with all their father's side of the family. My children read my blog as does most of my friends although they refrain from commenting.
As gas been emphsized alot earlier in the beginning this blog is a form of self exploration, self analysis, self experimentation, getting to know know and understand the self and not to promote the self for elf agrandizement. It is called the moaning and groaning of the Cheeseburger Buddha simply because that is what it is. A look at the dichotomy of life, the opposits or the dual thinking mind and not an invitation for a fencing of characters. No one has to read it much less comment on it. Sometimes i write dumb things just because i enjoy writing for the sake of writing and i am getting alot better at it, at least my typing speed is. It cost me quite abit here everytime I sit to use the internet as most travellers will tell you but hell it is raining outside what else can you do?

Bought a few pieces of Batik Sarongs for my sisters today and will tell them it came from my son as he is paying for them. Bought some 'Janting and wax for Batik making s they were cheap something that I need so i can start doing some painting using these when I get home. I like the looks of batik on canvas done at some galleries here and thought it is time for me to do some exploration into this medium. Visited the Kraton or Sultan's palace too and was given a guided tour of the place by a lady who I did some flirting while at it. She is 40 and went along with it and this made what would be a very boring excursion into the lives of past Sultans and their collections of medals and wives more exciting. I most probably left her thinking that i am a dirty old man, which I am! The secret is i undress every women I look at with my mind and by the time we hd part company I would hve made love to her insd out and upside down but offcourse she has to have the appeal. So beware you ladies dont catch me taking a second look at you! And if I do take it as a complement.
How pure is your mind? Or are you the type who sees a pair of legs walking, a pair of arms danggling and a head rolling on a pair of shoulders. God bless you for you have indeed the blessings of having a pure mind. How terribly boring! I was entranced watching the Ramayana show last night by the two lead female dancers in their Javanese batik costumes with their white breasts half stryggling to pop out all night long and I am sure ninety percent of the men did so too! The second great thing God created was women the first is Life as it is. I am staring across the room at a lady who is sitting facing away from her looks and manners is normal but the fact that half her bra is sticking out under her armpit has turned me on and every night before I go to sleep after meditatng I ask my Lord to protect me from my own desires. Yes, I am saying this just to sound cool, it is a fact and I have been doing this for as long as I can remember having had my first orgasm. My lust for women has got me into more trouble than my temper. I have committed some of the most unspeakable acts for the sake of getting laid and on looking back I would not trade my place for anything better. I have commited one of the mot gravest sins and that is I worship the female form. As I am writing this crap the azan is being called at the mosque the street, what more can I say.
I can go on writing about my life and times in relation to the opposite sex all night long but it will cost me a bundle using this internet. Rain or not I have to quit while ahead.
Oh please, my mother one day caught me spying on a few school grils taking their bath at the well one day and with the most disgusted look in her eyes that till this haunts me said, "Hang ni Boya!" or you are a crocodile. It may not sound bad in translation but in its original languge and manner of delivery it was being dumped with a bucket of shit, I was fifteen or fourteen at the time. Nope I am not blaming her, she was right.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Just returned from the Purawisata Open Theatre where the Rmayana performance was held. It was a performance worthwhile for those who appreciate the Arts in this life and have the means to be there to enjoy it. Ramayana is an Epic Hindu Story of love and devotion of courage and filialty, it is a story of the triumph of good over evil. It is a story I have been familliar with since childhood growing up in Malaysia whether seeing it in its movie version or as a shadow play or listening to it told by the adults who enjoyed entertaining children with such stories.
The main characters are Sri Rama and his consort Sita Devi and of Rama's brother Lakshmana who was also the body guard for the kingly couple. Ravana, the King of Lanka, present day Sri Lanka is the villain who kidnapped Sita through trickery and later was killed by rama with the help of the monkey God, Hanuman. The story in its original form is very long and involved but for the sake of such nperformances as tonight it has been shortened. The dancers and ther costumes was mesmerizing and has the capability to transport one into the realm of events taking place on stage.
Earlier in the evening having dinner at the 'Kebun Restaurant' down the road from the hotel I met the owner Pa'Agung and artist himself and this is his 'open studio' gallery. We got on well discussing art and the ups and downs of being an artist these day and age. He was once supposed to have a two man exhibition at the Petronas Gallery in Kuala Limpur but was turned down when saw his works. can understand why but it is also a reflection of the 'Malay' Malaysian metality that prohibits anything that is out of sync with the Islamic way. The question is hown and when will such mentality grow out of this hypocrasy. The artist creates what is from his heart not from his lust it only the viewer who must decide to view from his heart and not otherwise.Art has a healing process for the culture no matter where or what culture it maybe. Artists has the abilty and reposibility to draw out from the subconcious whatever it is that is ther e and try to rationalize the irrational. The psychiatrist heals the sick mind just as the artist try to do so on a more wider scale whenever he has his works displayed at galleries. It is for the general public to view and come to their own conclusions and in like manner help to their own inherent dellusions and inhibitions. It is not in the artist interest as far s I am corn to judge or encourage promisccuity but to expose hidden thoughts and ideas, preconceptions and ignorance existing within a society. In this globalized world no society is protected from the onslought of negativity especially in sex and sensuality. It is in this area the P'Agung deals mostly with his works and it is his way of exposing his demons. Incidently all the works that was supposed to exhibited at the petronas were sold at a solo exhibition he held in Amsterdam.?

Such Is Life...

I received two comments in my blog from an anonimous who knows my character alot better than myself and has finally got the guts to point my life's faillings and my corrupted and less than amiable nature. Alhamdullilah, I say to this person and may the AlMighty shower all all the blessing upon him or her truthfulness and sicereity. Anonimity is a sign of a coward however and will always remain so right or wrong their opinions may be there is no way one can ascertain the truth as the source of such a character can never be identified. The comment was made on my blogs that was when I was at the height of my happiness to be able to do what I love to do most in this life. It is as though I needed to be torn down and drag through the mud as I was having a great time of my life. It was written in Bahasa Malaysia and so very hard for those who cannot understand to answer or comment but it is a great beginning. Now the worms are creeping out of the can and the skelitons are crawling out of the closset. Don't try to dance with the devil after you think you know who he is, he has nothing to loose, nothing to hide for you have already condemned him! If you choose to be my judge, jury and executioner reflect carefully at what or who you are dealing with and I can sue for defamation of chractor in the court of law for that matter. I refuse to reply this comment in the language it was written as my Bahasa Malaysia can never express my feelings adequately enough!
I fully accept all the critcisms pointed at me by this caring person and plead guilty as charged on all counts! But I swear by the AlMighty that no man or woman is going to rain on my parade and I offer no apologies for my past. If this person is my relative seeing that my wife confided in him/her behind my back and knows how I raised my children so well then be a man or woman enough to confront me face to face whenever we meet! Condemimg a man at my age so aggresively on the internet and hiding behind anonimity is like throwing a stone at the man and hiding the fingers. Let me have my side of the story told as I have been doing now. Life's a bitch , I learned this and then some! At my age it does not make anymore difference what anyone do or think about me and I have have always maitained that if you cannot help me than don't stand in my way is all I ask. And take a careful look at the finger that is pointing is it all that clean and perfect in the eye of the Maker?? Now that you have jerked yourself off on my blog I hope you have found your satisfaction and find peace with it. Enough said!!
P/s Thanks for taking the time and trouble to read my blog.

Took a ride with Pa'Agus the hotel driver on his motorcycle into the heart of Jogya and visited the Idependance Museum where there was a gathering of bicycle riders from all over the Java Provinces with some having rode for days and weeks to arrive here. The unique thing about this gathering of cyclists was that they all rode on antique bikes. Some of these bicycles were priced at thousands of Dollars! The crowd was alive, singing and dancing entertained by live music to the rythm of Javanese music which I found was ass kickingly exillerating and uplifting.
The museum had a historical collection of the fight for independance displays relating the various stages that Indonesians struggled for their freedom from the Dutch and later from the Japanese. The first president of the country wrote an epitaph on the wall congratulating the people og Jogjya for their extraordinary contribution in the move towards achieving independance for Indonesia. I did not realized how badly the Dutch attempted to repossess Indonesia after the Japanese had left.
My friend Tony Penny in Solo called to find out if I needed any help and how I was doing , I love this burly Englishman! God bless his heart! If i can afford it I will make a trip there to say farewell to this newfound friend. 'Mind your manners Sam, it cost nothing but will take you along way". his famous last words to me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another block to stumble upon

Today headed for the Post office to try and claim my money from my son sent through Western Union but to my disappointment discovered that the number my son had given me the night before did not match and so no go!. I was down like a pile of shit after having such high hopes of being able to continue my trip into the Javanese landscape of The Borobudur areas.
And wouldn't you know it, even as just I was finishing the last sentence i received a call from my son and guesse what I got the first digit on the series of ten nubers wrong!! End of that delima and a whole lot more. So to,orrow being a Sunday it will be hard to get the money out too but...hey man proposes and the AlMighty disposse and all for a reason known known and unknown, and I am a believer.
Last night was a special night as I was invited to spend the evening together with the owners of the hotal anf their group of friends for dinner and jamming session. I was blown out impressed by the guitar playing and singing put on by just aabout everyone of the guest who were mostly artists of one form or another. Jose a long haired batik painter invited me to visit his studio and he was a mean singer and on the guitar. Kansas, played beautiful Javanese protest songs which got me and offcourse me, who copuld after all these years master only one song on the guitar had to give my famous version of the House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals. I was a hit no doubt as I gave it all I had and being the only song I mastered it was a masterpice of a performance..Hee..hee!
The Ary's Hotel gracious wife who is a Japanese is a very lively person full of energy and like most Japanese very creative. Her husbnd Atok is a quiet man but one can tell like quiet water, runs deep. As an artist he has a ready made studio gallery as the whole place is filled with his works which are mostly abstract but more pleasing than most i have seen. I met Jenny, an English lady friend of the Owner's wife and had a good rapport with her too. She teaches English in an Indian Madrasah (small mosque) as a volunteer and presently on vacation. We were later joined by three Dutch who were just and lively after having reruned from somewhere out for the evening. I discovered the 62 year gentleman is a marathon runner and had run th new York marathon and a fe wothers and he looked it. By the time we got to know one another they wanted to learn about meditation from me and I became the something often and long enough you will end up a master!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Cure for Sleeplessness

My good friend and supporter LeeKhai the extrodinary guy who has the tenacity of a lawyer and the gentleness and compassion of an artist. We struck off as friends out of the blue afterhe saw my exhibitions and eversince had been a great financial supporter as well as promoter and motivator for me and many other Penang artists.

Could not sleep last night for obvious reasons, a little worried perhaps ove ther fact that I might be stranded cashwise here so I did the next best thing I decided to do a comic story of my own and i did lasted till sunrise. I will devulge the story line here but surfice to say it take place in Ubud, Bali. A little sex, a little romance, a little horror, a little myth/magic and culture all wrapped in one and when turned into a movie will cover just about every possible ingredient in movie making as it will take place in one of the world most magicl place left yet. Funny how my mind got carried away after started with the first scene I could not stop and i sketched some fifteen pages in my little sketch book bought in Ubud. Comic or the art of Manga has always fascinated me and I know i can be good at it and it would be good too as paintiung is becoming a cliche, and after having bombarded all kinds of works of art in the streets of Ubud I am more convinced now that i will embark on comic making.
My son called just now and a whole piece of dark cloud tha had humg over my head was lifted and I thank the AlMighty for His grace. I was beginning to feel like he did not care or too busy to check his email. However it seems like I have not been receiving his mail for some odd ball reason. Lee Khai gave up most probably on trying to figure out what Western Union is and have not called but I tried...that's what friends are for to ask and to give whatever and however you can when in times of need. If you dont need what the hell do you need to ask for anyway? Dato' R does not even answer the phone calls I tried to him, if i am in a fix he will be the last to know!! There is no written rules in a gentleman's agreement or understanding and a man's handshake is worth more than his words in the old days, but these are not the old days!! Trust dont come easy and confidence in one another's capacity to prevail much less. The sense of judgement and accusation is readily available anywhere and with anyone but to have faith in your fellow human is a commodity now becoming a rare trade.
I am now an artist and I can now safely declare this. I have done what not many can do or will do as an artist save for the few who had left their homes and families is search of the unknown, taking the risk of life itself as a bargaining chip to earn the right of passage to become a so called bonafide artist. Before i was just straddling the fence but now if I shit on a cavas InShaa'Allah it will be framed and hung on the wall when I am dead and gone! I saythis not out of asense of arrogance but but a deep committed feeling that had long been abstaining from exposing myself as an artist or whatever that i am or striving to become before the final cut.
I am a proud father to four children and if no one else belief in me I have four of them to at least give a sense of justification for my ups and downs and just what the hell was my life all about to begin with. I have always maintained that life is to be lived to the max! Buddha said in this life dont waste time! I have tried to make my life as exciting as I could whether is good times or bad and i have always believe that in my life I am the Hero, the character the player the performer and not the audience! Most of the stories I have written down in my blog sofar are watered down version of what truelly happened only out of a sense of decency and respect for the Internet and Blogging community. This medium that i am now expressing myself while sitting in this little Hotel in Jogjakarta is testimony to the greatness of the AlMighty in getting man to come together in a Universal brotherhood of Man and of Understanding. This is the Univesal Mind at work for what it is worth. For those wise enough to have embarked upon the Internet and all its capabilities it is like being on the ark of human conciousness and it is all at the tip of your finger wherever you are. This Is A Miracle.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yogjyakarta the Artist Town

Yogjyakarta, arrived this morning and put up Ary's Hotel at 100.00 per night in a single room with Spartan furnishings. The owner is an artist and married to a Japanese and so the landscaping and decor has a japanese taste to it. Talked to the owner this morning and learned where to go to meet artists and galleries in the area. Took a walk later in the morning and had lunch at the Kebun Restaurant which also another art corner cum Restaurant where local artist congregate. There is a comic exhibition goingon and a few comic artists has their works in progress on the walls. It reminds me of art cooperative joints in San Francisco where health foods and arts and crafts are shown. Later took a walk to another art corner call Cemeti Art House where i met the staff and the owner who are all in the arts in one form or another. Very polite and helpful group of people and a good source of Art information of the area. I had a good rapport with a young art student from Bandung who had just graduated and presently employed at the Gallery.There is a show by the Artist Krisna Murti entitled 'The Forbidden Zone' which showed works of large paintings of abstract landscapes and also a few media Graphic works on screen.
From the Cemeti gallery i took a 'Becak' or trishaw to the Art Library and Archives with Albert where I read a book on the famous Indonesian Artist, Affandi. He was no doubt quite an artist and his works were very strong and expressive although the subjects were just normal as any other. Affandi i learned never used brushes when he painted and instead used his hands and paints squeezed directly from the tube. It was astyle of its own but at the cost of a tube of paint today the style can be a very expensive one materialwise. I also read from a magazine about 'The Gaurdian of Mount Merapi. Mbah Maridjan, it seemed is quite well known in Central Java as the keeper or Shaman of this active volcanoe whivh erupted in June of 06. According to this 80 year old man the volcanoe had to vent out some pent up energy that's all nothing serious and the manner in which it erupted was not meant to cause much destruction as it happened away from the general population.
It looks like i may have to cut short my visit here as I have arrived at a very critical financial crisis. Tomorrow i will check for any chance of changing my return flight date and if it does not cost too much book a flight back. It is very disappoiting but hell maybe next time i get to see the Borobodur. I had done pretty much what i needed to do in Ubut and Solo and took almost 700 shost of pictures. Got two CD's worth of underwater pictures a present fromn a underwater diver from Switzerland and met a great Englishman in Solo, what more can a guy want? All great things must end even if it means somethings left undone or incomplete but is meant to be. Perhaps my childre misses their Dad now that he is not home to bring their dinner home to them or get their cloaths washed or moaned and bithced at them for not doing their school works...well I do miss them too. Such is Life!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back To Kuta Town

Arrived here this morning sometime after taking a shuttle bus but this time a Mini bus really and one that has seen its days. Arrived Kuta and along the road decided to jump off and stay closer to the Airport and cheaper Hotels around here. Glad I did as heading for Kuta Beach would have been a mistake costwise as well as not wanting to be there. Took a trip to Tanah Lot Seaside temple, Bali's most famous landmark and by right should be considered one of the most visited spots in Indonesia. I was taken there at a breaknect speed on a motorcycle by one of the boys at the hotel because I wanted to catch the sunset, but the sky was overcast and thus not very picture friendly. But I think i some good shots and i wish I could stay for a few hours and do some sketching too but it was dark before I knew it.
Along the way to the temple thare was some beautiful scenes of ricefields and with the backgrunds of majestic mountains and while we sped by the base of these mountains was cloud covered which made it even more appealing.
Ubud is history now but the momory will linger on for a very long time for this time worbn traveller. I have been to places around the world and touched many lives but in Ubud i culd make it my home, but then so does just about every foot loose and fancy free traveller who happened to visit this last stand of the forgotten "Hinduism' and culture. Islam is encroaching even here as it has already Kita, it is good and it is bad but only God knows. Bali is still a dream land for many but when you get to know the common man women and chuild on the street you can say that so is Penang for that matter.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time to Say Farewell to Ubud

While walking back from the Sika Gallery towards town, a long walk actually I came to the feeling that my stay in Ubud is over. All that I need to do, to see and taste has been fullfilled and I have covered pretty much ground and cultural events to qualify me for my stay here. I was at the Sika gallery for a short while as it does not impress me much nor does the artist himself who having lived abroad for a number of years, in Switzerlad primarily was a little aloof. Most of the works there are modern art which does not really cater to my 'old school taste at present as I could see these anywhere in the world.
This morning I visited the Museum Puri Lukisan located on the same road closer to the town and this was alot more interesting as it had all the old masters's works. The works of the late Ida Bagus Made (1915-1999) was impressive as the artist himself was a controversial character and afew of hius works on display suggested so. The picture of him on the wall as an elderly gentleman in his sarong and white hair reminded me very much of my Grandfather. He was considered the most talented eccentric and controversial bali Painter of the 20th Century. His teacher was the late Rudolf Bonnet. Strong character and unwavering convictions made him a controversial artist who refused to sell his works at the art galleries in Ubud for he considered it to be commerciallism. His works were sold to selected collectors. His works were sold to the UN Head quarters in New York, the New York Museum of Modern Art, The Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam and was also owned by the former President Soekarno of Indonesia. At his death he left one hundred paintings to be left for the gallery and future generations.
A Life of Art, an Art of Devotion.
Rudolf Bonnet was born in Amsterdam, Holland., arrived in Bali and introduced the ideologie, techniques and materials of western art to Bali. He formed the Pita Maha Artist guild in 1936 including many renowned artist of the time.
Later sat and chat with a Dutch couple who were learning Mask Painting from an artist who has a shop at the gallery. Ciana, is also a apinter and we exchanged many ideas and thoughts while it was raining heavily all around the small hut we sat in. It was a pleasant feeling to be able to relax and enjoy the rain while surrounded by a beautiful garden.
I will write more on tis later as it cost oo much to spend on details in this matters. I am writing just to remind myself of how I am feeling at present, tired , aching bodilly all over from too much walk and disappointment at my son the high flyer who does not call of answer my emails. Such is life...