In one of Ubud’s main road’s side streets I notice a small shop called Asu Art Attack. With it’s brightly painted exterior and greetings in different languages on the building it stands out from the other plain buildings. It reminds me of some of the graffiti work I saw in Barcelona and back home. On the side is some stencil graffiti, the first I’ve encountered in Indonesia. I head in and talk to one of the guys that runs the shop, Hero. I’ve seen some Mona Lisa stencil posters on the main road, reading “Same shit, different day”, though someone had crossed out the words. He tells me they put them up.
Hero’s a photographer that has been experimenting with stencil graffiti for a while, trying out new things and some small works are for sale on canvas. He tells me that the graffiti stuff he does is considered ‘dirty art’ by many in and around Ubud and it is not very popular. He shows me some video footage of big murals they did which look quite impressive. It got painted over a couple of days later he tells me, but they got the footage so it doesn’t seem to matter much. Ubud’s becoming more of a yoga city than an art city, he feels. His sentiment seems to be expressed on a canvas bag in the store window holding the recycle logo and the word’s “Bali go blue” written around it in green. I ask why blue, he says the place is too green already.
Fajar, the other guy running the shop, makes paintings. He is hard to miss in Ubud with his incredibly long dreadlocks. Both of them are really nice guys and their small shop seems to be a sort of social gathering place where a lot of people come to simply hang out and talk. When I pass a couple of days later there are some other people hanging around, they’re heading out to Sanur for an art exhibition and ask if I want to come. I quickly go grab my bike and join them. I ask Fajar what he thinks he’ll be doing in ten years from now. He tells me he has no idea and asks me the same question. I tell him I have no idea either.