AA Inter 3

The Wholesale Village of Besakih by shaeronsantosaattan
February 18, 2017, 3:41 pm
Filed under: 2016-17

Since the building of an approachway in 1931, the journey to Pura Besakih has been completely transformed from what used to be a tiring pilgrimage into a 5-minute drive ascending the slopes of Mount Agung. It is with the ease of transportation and accessibility that Pura Besakih, Bali’s most important and sacred Hindu temple, has become a major tourist attraction. Besakih villagers have responded to the tourist boom with the transformation of their practices of agriculture and cultivation into tourist-oriented shops and services. The 600-metres approachway between the parking lot and the entrance of the temple complex is now completely lined with souvenir shops and restaurants selling wholesale homogeneous products — a manifestation of how cultural appropriation has become a tool for the earning of tourist dollars. Pura Besakih now exists in a state of limbo where the awkward coexistence between commerce and sacred site has to be further formalised — How can commerce be accepted as part of temple culture? And through the study of the inventory of products sold, can we utilise the wholesale strategy of commerce to empower local sellers for a more sustainable livelihood?

The project speculates for the building of a wholesale centre in the back alleys of the village that would manufacture products for shops along the approachway. The production is refreshed annually in synchrony with the annual 21-days festival of Bhatara Turun Kabeh that see thousands of Hindu worshippers and tourists gather in Pura Besakih. Unsold and defective products are recycled for the construction of an effigy to be offered to the Gods, to be returned to the immaterial world. At the same time, a secondary niche market is created where simulacrums of parts and pieces of the effigy is auctioned to tourists at a high price and profits from the sales are returned to villagers. Consequently, the journey of tourists along the approachway will also be altered. The ‘sidetrack’ journey through the village and into the wholesale centre adds to the duration of journey from the parking lot to the entrance of the temple complex, creating a secondary layer of experience for the visitor.

1 Comment so far
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Good work to lay out the project and design scope for this stage.
– Its is missing a short 2 sentences of the wholesale being already part of the context, but benefiting other people rather than the village.
– The text can clearly become diagrams to illustrated the ‘mathematic of the projects’ where numbers, quantity generate volumes (warehouse/effigy) and journey (secondary ritual).

– The balinese painting style may help you soon to find a way to draw and thing about the design elements of how they get organized and drawn in a particular way. Maybe later you could even come up with your own technique of mixing old and new technologies and methods.

– Also the questions you ask at the end of the second paragraph can be better introduced. PLus it is missing a more transformative question. It is missing a question that the project wants to address that it discuss the subject of tourism/temple/bali/village in a larger ambition scale (even though that may not be a ‘to solve it’ issue question).

Good luck!

Comment by tutor

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