Several years after the Dutch occupied the southern and central part of Bali in the early 20th century, traders and the first tourists began arriving there. They were recruited mainly from the Dutch colonialists, who worked on Java. Soon, however, the glory of Balinese culture expanded and began to attract people from other parts of the world. Among them were countless painters, sculptors and musicians. Some of them settled there permanently and began to influence the local art community. The most influential of them were Dutch Germans Rudolf Bonnet and Walter Spies.
Until their arrival in 1930, Balinese carvers produced only traditional objects, mostly mythological figures and reliefs for decorating temples. These carvings were not a suitable commodity for the growing number of incoming foreigners. Bonnet and Spies brought the tastes of Europeans to the attention of local carvers. They explained to them that tourists rarely will buy statues of Gods and mythical heroes, of whom they know nothing. They tried to get carver to begin producing items based on ideas from everyday life and nature. Ultimately, each creation is unique. The different types of wood have a variety of colors and textures that can complement the artwork so that it’s not always necessary to cover the natural wood surface with paint.
This was the basis for the development of Balinese wood carving in a new direction. The company produced a number of exquisite pieces that now adorn museums, galleries and private homes around the world. But it was also the basis for the mass production of small souvenirs that have little in common with the original artistic creation. Especially scheduled air services to Bali began in 1960, carving workshops and sales outlets rapidly developed. Large groups of tourists could not afford to visit each carver in very remote villages. It was necessary to build shops along the roads, or even better, entire marketplaces where those who are interested in this product can choose from an entire range of products in one place. A large number of carvers focused on the quick and easy mass production of marketable small, inexpensive carved items that are easy to transport. It seems that the the quality of local artisan products was degraded, but this is not so anymore. It is possible to track down artists whose works are on par with the masterpieces of their predecessors. The rule is that less is sometimes more.
If you don’t know all the local condition and rules or if you will be buying from several suppliers, is better to use a buying agent. The agent, who will collect your products from the various suppliers and complete all the required paperwork, is aware of local requirements and has experience in managing entire process.
A buying agent in handicrafts and other products works on your behalf in sourcing the products you need. A good local agent is a strong negotiator, knows the market and local suppliers, is responsible for verifying suppliers and is capable of getting the product for a lower price. The agent is confident and updated about administrative requirements and product specifics.
While staying in Bali or Java, you can directly visit local shops and look for furniture, lamps, and decorative items. When your list is ready, you can contact us to help you. Cekindo can help you select and collect products based on your requirements from more suppliers and arrange suitable pricing. Selected goods will be delivered to the country you request. We arrange all services for collection and transportation — cargo, packaging, loading, etc. The prices of this service varies with the products and quantity you require, so please contact CEKINDO for a custom quotation.