Nyoman Nuarta is a sculptor from Bali who lives in Bundung. To say he "lives in Bandung" diminishes the fact that he owns a 4 acre compound in an exclusive part of the city... with homes and buildings and a workshop in a valley with a waterfall in the background.
He is a fabulous artist. I'll try to get some more pictures of the stuff I liked the most in a little while.
He is now working on the absolutely wildest thing... and it is not public. Figuring that none of the dozen or so people who visit me are actually connected to the press in Indonesia, I'll tell you about it.
He's constructing a statue of Noah (the Biblical one) that is about twice at tall as the Statue of Liberty (foot to crown, not torch), to be installed on the seaward side of an Indonesia port. Then, into the hill next to the figure (if one can call it that), he will be building a luxury hotel in the shape of... wait for it...
wait for it...
a grounded ark.
His workers were working on Noah's head while I was there, and it was, frankly, incredible to see what art looks like on this tremendous scale. I spent about 30 minutes talking with him. The plan is to install the head and shoulders sometime later this year, along with the public announcement about the overall plan for this monolith and its accompanying hotel.
He's still wotking through the details of this deal, actually. The hotel is just a proposal at the moment, but apparently the statue is a go. When I asked him how much a double-Liberty sized project costs to commission, which led to the discussion of the fact that it was Noah (I saw the plaster models) and that a ship-shaped hotel was involved, I found out that he was personally underwriting the sculpture.
Of course... he plans to get a destination-driven hotel out of the deal. Smart.
Did you notice the clever use of "ship-shaped" in that sentence?