Miyuki is a painter from Tokyo who has been in Bali for the past year and a half studying art, dance, music and languages. The 26-year-old shared her day with The Bali Times

I need to have an outlet to complain about the difficult things about living in Bali, because it’s not all perfect.

Every morning I get up at 7 and do normal morning things until it’s time for my Balinese dance class at 9am. I’m really a painter not a dancer, but I started drawing and painting Balinese dancers and though, “Wow – wouldn’t it be great if I could do that?”

I started dancing about three months ago and because I have no dance training in Balinese or any other type of dance, I had to start from scratch and learn Candong, which is all the basics of Balinese dance. I’m really interested in dancing strong parts, like girls dancing male roles, and I’m dancing Legong now. I also thought dancing would be good for my health because since coming to Bali I don’t walk anywhere; just like all the locals, I jump on my motorbike and ride wherever I need to go.

After dance class three times a week I study English with an American teacher. Before I came to Bali a year and a half ago, I spoke no English at all, but now I get by just fine. I also study Indonesian and every night before I go to bed I study some English and some Indonesian. I think because I really love to learn languages I’ve been able to learn pretty quickly. I’m thinking about starting to learn Korean next month as well.

Once a week I go to tingklik (gamelan instrument made of bamboo) lessons as well, so I’m always learning something, but I also teach sometimes as well. My Balinese friends like to learn Japanese and I’ve even taught a little English to the children at the school where I volunteer every Sunday. Most of the time I just spend time with them, though, dancing, painting, singing or just talking.

Initially I came to Bali to continue my art education and spent a year at ISI (Indonesian Institute of Art) on a scholarship to study various media, including painting, drawing and ceramics. I learned Kamasan and Ubud-style Balinese painting and now I think I almost have the techniques down and I can start to use the style to do my own original work. It can be pretty boring to copy Balinese paintings and I do some Balinese painting one day and then the next do something else.

I make sure to set aside time every day for painting from about 4 or 5pm onwards. Most days I spend four or five hours working on a drawing or painting, but every day is different and I do as much or as little as I feel like.

I love to work in Chinese ink, like the Balinese painters, and also with the tools they use for very detailed work, but I need to make paintings my own by mixing techniques I’ve learned here and in Japan. I use a lot of different media and mix a lot of different techniques in my work because I haven’t really found my perfect style yet.

When I’m not at some kind of lesson or doing my own work, I spend time reading or watching DVDs or necessary things like doing my washing; but my favourite thing to do in my free time is drink coffee and gossip with friends. I need to have an outlet to complain about the difficult things about living in Bali, because it’s not all perfect.

I’ve always loved Bali, since I was little and lived in Jakarta, where my father was working and my family would often come to Bali on holidays. Someday I want to be able to stay in Bali, but for now I think I can stay another six months and then I have to go back to Japan to earn some money. After that I can come back and stay as long as possible again.

Filed under: One Day

One Response to “”

  1. Joseph T Stevens Says:

    Dear Miyuki,

    I admire you for your creative courage. It is something the world needs more of today. I will be wandering through Bali painting during the last half of September. It will be a comfort to know there is another artist aware of my existence in Bali. I wish you all the best in your creative pursuits.

    cordial regards,