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Commemorating Miguel Covarrubias’ Discovery of Bali

Jakarta. The Mexican Embassy in Indonesia will hold a webinar to commemorate Mexican ethnologist-cum-artist Miguel Covarrubias’ first trip to Bali, which would later spark the Bali craze west.

Born in 1904, Covarrubias had always dedicated his life to the world of arts and culture. He was also known as El Chamaco, or “The Boy” in Spanish, due to his ironic and childish art vision.

Covarrubias was named as one of the most important 20th-century modern artists. His works mostly revolved around ballet, women, oriental art, and Prehispanic cultures. He even painted murals and sketches and illustrations for prominent American magazines, namely Life, Vanity Fair, and Vogue.

In 1930, the artist first set foot in Bali with his wife Rosa Covarrubias for his honeymoon. During his visit, Covarrubias was captivated by the beauty and culture of the island. Three years later, the newlyweds returned to Bali to study its culture and traditions in-depth under the Guggenheim Fellowship.

Covarrubias’ extensive research resulted in “The Island of Bali,” a book written in 1937. The book’s portrayal of rich Balinese culture and the islands’ panoramic scenery was among the reasons why Bali was dubbed as the Island of the Gods.

The Embassy of Mexico in Indonesia and the Indonesian Institute of the Arts Denpasar decided to commemorate Covarrubias’ first Bali trip in an online international seminar. Cultural experts from around the world will also join in to discuss its significance.

The seminar will take place on Thursday at 8.00 a.m. (Jakarta time) in Zoom and Facebook Live.

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