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The Balinese village of Penestanan is located just to the west of central Ubud, in the Gianyar Regency of Bali, Indonesia. It is situated about 1.5 kilometers from Ubud Palace, which is considered the center of Ubud town.

Penestanan is known for its traditional arts and crafts, including painting, carving, and weaving. Many of its residents are artists, and the village has a thriving artistic community. In the past, Penestanan was an important centre for the production of traditional Balinese textiles, and it was also known for its rice paddies.

One interesting piece of history about Penestanan is that it was one of the first villages in Bali to convert to Hinduism. Prior to this conversion, the village was known as “Kampung Jawa” and its residents practiced a form of animism. The conversion is said to have taken place in the 8th century AD, and it was brought about by a Hindu priest named Rsi Markandeya.

Today, Penestanan is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience traditional Balinese culture and arts. The village has a number of art galleries, studios, and workshops, as well as several temples that are open to visitors. It is also known for its beautiful natural scenery, including rice paddies, lush vegetation, and scenic views of the surrounding mountains.

The Balinese village of Penestanan is known for its strong connection to magic and mysticism. The people of Penestanan believe in the existence of supernatural powers and spirits, and they incorporate this belief into their daily lives and practices.

One of the most common forms of magic practiced in Penestanan is black magic or “pengeretan.” This type of magic is used to cause harm to others, and it is believed to be a powerful tool for revenge or protection. However, the practice of black magic is highly stigmatized in Bali, and those who practice it are often shunned by society.

Another form of magic that is widely practiced in Penestanan is white magic or “pemecutan.” This type of magic is used for healing and purification purposes, and it is often performed by healers or shamans who have a deep understanding of the spiritual realm.

The people of Penestanan also believe in the existence of spirits or “dewa” that inhabit the natural world. These spirits are believed to have the power to influence human affairs, and offerings and prayers are often made to them to ask for blessings or protection.

In addition to these traditional forms of magic, Penestanan has also become a hub for alternative healing practices such as yoga, meditation, and energy healing. Many people come to Penestanan to learn about these practices and to experience the healing powers of the village’s natural environment.

Overall, magic and mysticism are deeply ingrained in the culture of Penestanan, and they continue to play a significant role in the lives of its people.

The Dutch artist Ari Smit is known to have contributed to a new style of art in Penestanan

Arie Smit (1916-2016) was a Dutch-born painter who is widely known for his significant contributions to Balinese art. He moved to Indonesia in the 1950s, where he was captivated by the island of Bali and its culture. He became an Indonesian citizen in 1957 and began teaching at the Pitamaha Artists’ Cooperative in Ubud, Bali.

Smit was instrumental in introducing a new style of painting in Bali, which became known as the “Young Artists Style” or “Ubud Style”. This style was characterized by bright, bold colors, simplified forms, and a focus on the natural beauty of Bali. Smit’s influence helped to revive the traditional Balinese art forms of painting and drawing, which had been in decline during the Dutch colonial era.

Smit encouraged his students to develop their own styles and techniques while preserving the essence of Balinese art. He taught many prominent Balinese artists, such as I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Made Wianta, and I Gusti Made Deblog. His students continued his legacy by creating new forms of Balinese art that combined traditional techniques with contemporary styles.

Smit’s contributions to Balinese art have been widely recognized both in Indonesia and internationally. In 1994, he was awarded the prestigious Dharma Kusuma Award by the Indonesian government for his services to Indonesian art. His works are held in the collections of major museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.


Penestanan is known as The Village of the Young Artists. The Penestanan style of young artists in Bali was different from the traditional Balinese art form in several ways.

Firstly, the Penestanan artists were influenced by Western art styles and techniques, which they had been exposed to through contact with foreign artists and art teachers in Bali. This led to the incorporation of new styles and techniques into their work, such as the use of oil paints and canvas, which were not traditionally used in Balinese art.

Secondly, the subject matter of Penestanan art was often more contemporary and focused on everyday life and current events, as opposed to the traditional Balinese art which focused on religious and mythological themes.

Thirdly, the Penestanan artists tended to have a more individualistic approach to their work, whereas traditional Balinese art was often produced by artisans within a communal system, where there was less emphasis on individual expression.

Overall, the Penestanan style of young artists in Bali represented a departure from the traditional Balinese art form, and marked a new era of artistic expression and experimentation on the island.

Penestanan is a charming village located in the Ubud area of Bali, Indonesia, known for its peaceful atmosphere, lush rice fields, and traditional Balinese art and culture. Here are some special things to do and see in Penestanan and its surrounding area:

  1. Take a walk through the rice fields: One of the best things to do in Penestanan is to take a walk through the beautiful rice fields that surround the village. You can enjoy the peaceful scenery and get some fresh air while taking in the natural beauty of Bali.

  2. Visit the Penestanan village: Take a stroll through the village and experience the traditional Balinese way of life. You can observe the locals as they go about their daily routine and even participate in some of the local customs and traditions.

  3. Attend a traditional dance performance: Bali is famous for its traditional dances, and you can experience the beauty and grace of these performances at one of the many venues in the Ubud area.

  4. Visit the Blanco Renaissance Museum: This museum showcases the works of Antonio Blanco, a famous Spanish artist who made Bali his home. You can view his stunning paintings and sculptures while learning about his life and artistic vision.

  5. Take a yoga class: Ubud is known as a hub for yoga and meditation, and Penestanan has many yoga studios where you can take a class and relax your mind and body.

  6. Visit the Campuhan Ridge Walk: This scenic walk takes you through lush greenery and offers breathtaking views of the valley below. It’s a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the natural beauty of Bali.

  7. Shop for local crafts: Penestanan is home to many artisans who create beautiful Balinese crafts such as woodcarvings, textiles, and silver jewelry. You can shop for these unique souvenirs and support the local economy.

  8. Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary: This sanctuary is home to over 600 long-tailed macaques and is a must-see for animal lovers. You can watch the monkeys play and interact with each other while learning about their natural habitat.