Saren Kelod Semar Kuning Palace Ubud, A Unique Tourist Attraction Merging Art and Culture

Saren Kelod Semar Kuning Palace Ubud, A Unique Tourist Attraction Merging Art and Culture

Saren Kelod Semar Kuning Palace, Ubud, is not too different from other palaces in the tourism village area. It is located at Kertawangsa hamlet, Lodtunduh, Ubud, Gianyar, or about 22 km from Denpasar. Its cultural and art activities always go hand in hand. So, do not be surprised if every day hundreds of tourists from

Saren Kelod Semar Kuning Palace, Ubud, is not too different from other palaces in the tourism village area. It is located at Kertawangsa hamlet, Lodtunduh, Ubud, Gianyar, or about 22 km from Denpasar. Its cultural and art activities always go hand in hand. So, do not be surprised if every day hundreds of tourists from various countries make a visit to the palace.

The most prominent activities are majejahitan (preparing oblation), rituals and customary activities of ancient royal descendants. Housewives are sitting to make some offerings while joking with their sisters. Rituals are performed daily and on certain days as well as other activities. “The activity of preparing oblation and ritual has become our tradition in the palace,” said a senior figure of Saren Kelod Palace, Cokorda Anom Puri Dalem.

Saren Kelod is a main family of Lodtunduh Grand Palace, Ubud. This palace still preserves its noble traditions. One of them is keeping the legacy of kiwa tengan and usadha (healing) palm-leaf manuscript and kris dagger named Ki Bintang Kukus and Ki Karang Suwung. “This palace is a part of Lodtunduh Grand Palace built around 1818,” said Cok Anom.

In the past, this palace is very ancient because the wall is made of patching soil. However, the building was then refurbished by still putting forward traditional ornaments that refer to the Balinese geomancy or Kosala-Kosali concept. “I used to be an artist who made sculptures and paintings. All the works we preserve by making a studio or gallery to display all the paintings belonging to various styles,” he added.

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The gallery is named Semar Kuning I Artist Cooperative Painting. If only seen from the highway, it will look like a palace because people will only see a magnificent palace filled with traditional ornaments. This gallery displays Cok Anom’s paintings and the works of other artists in Bali. Although the gallery is prepared for foreign tourists, local people are also allowed to see it. “We prepare a tourist attraction, so that all permits should have been met properly,” he said.

Collection of the paintings presents a variety of themes with various sizes that can certainly provide inspiration for those who see it. When entering the lobby, visitors will see people painting. Approximately seven artists are making a demonstration of painting. They also teach children to make sketches or paint as well as give color according to the theme. “Surely, the action of the artists becomes an attraction as well,” he said.

Each room has a different style of painting. For example, in the room of modern-style painting there are paintings of various styles such as realists and naturalists. The size also varies from the smallest measuring 40 cm x 60 cm and the largest can reach to 2 meters x 3 meters. Similarly, in the room of abstract-style painting room, visitors will require an imagination to enjoy it.

There is a room of flora and fauna painting with various objects, including raising birds, chickens and various trees, leaves, flowers and roots. Similarly, there is room of young artist and traditional painting. It showcases classic painting, one of which is the style of Kamasan. This room also displays the paintings of the gallery owner, Cokorda Anom Puri Dalem. Tourists can take a rest on the terrace of the traditional house before continuing the journey.

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Cok Anom who has a knight blood indeed falls in love with traditional art. His works and collections are often admired and purchased by foreign tourists such as those from America, England, Germany and Australia. “The name Semar Kuning is inspired by a puppet story about a man posing the lover of Sang Hyang Tunggal. By dissolving eternal love and compassion, Semar Kuning I Artist Cooperative Painting is now becoming an art gallery in the hope of fulfilling everybody’s heart,” he concluded. (BTN/015)



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