We had our second Bali team exhibition meeting last week and we discussed what ephemeral arts we might include. If money is no obstacle, which of course it always is, we would like to see if we could possibly commission a bade (cremation tower) to be erected in front of the museum or in Civic Center Plaza.
What issues might this raise for people? I imagine we might meet with concerns about religious art in public spaces. Might there also be discomfort from the Balinese community about having a sacred art form with a very specific funerary function commissioned for purely aesthetic and cultural education purposes? What will we do with the bade once it is dismantled? Clearly we need some input from the Balinese community on these questions.
My first step will be to reach out to local Balinese advisers and specialists, and at the same time to folks I met in Bali to see if a) this plan is even feasible and b) if it can be done without making a serious cultural gaffe. Tomorrow I will have a chance to bounce this idea off some folks with intimate knowledge of Bali, as I am attending the open house hosted by Gamelan Sekar Jaya in their new Oakland studio.