Category Archives: Murni’s Warung Shop

Murni’s Warung – Epicure – Bali Guide

Murni’s Warung – Epicure – Bali Guide

murni's warung, epicure, baliBali Special

Famed for its pristine beaches, striking sunsets and rich culture, the sought-after Indonesian destination also boasts a burgeoning number of highly lauded hotels, restaurants and bars. Meredith Woo goes on a gastronomic eight-day journey to the Island of the Gods.

An Ubud Invitation

An hour from the closest beach town, inland Ubud offers other attractions: art and culture, serenity and some of Mother Nature’s best views.

A day trip to the central foothills of Gianyar regency will not suffice. Ubud has so much more to offer – from meditative sunrise mountain peak views to villages known for intricate silver-smithing and the delicate craft of egg painting.

SHOP AND SAVOUR

If you seek museum quality relics, visit Murni’s Warung Shop. A plethora of rare pieces such as a Balinese comb bearing green and red carnellians (Rp 5,750,000) and intricate batik stamps (from Rp 385,000) feature in this 41-year-old establishment, which is part gallery.

The adjoining four-storey restaurant offers daily specials such as stir-fried duck (Rp 79,000) and beef rendang. Beyond Murni’s expertise in Asian antiques, textiles and food, she has expanded her portfolio to include a spa and guest houses in downtown Ubud.

Murni’s Warung – Epicure – Bali Guide

 

 

 

 

 

Murni’s Warung – Epicure – Bali Guide

Murni’s Warung Shop

bali-ultimate-guide

Murni’s Warung Shop

Bali, The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Spectacular Tropical Island, Linda Hoffman, Tuttle Publishing, 2012

Murni’s Warung Shop at Murni’s Warung, Jalan Raya, Ubud, beside the Campuan bridge, tel 972146. Traditional arts and crafts from all over the archipelago, as well as overseas, assiduously collected by Murni who has formidable fine arts credentials and seasoned sophisticated taste. If she’s around Murni will sign the best-selling Secrets of Bali, Fresh LIght on the Morning of the World by Jonathan Copeland and Ni Wayan Murni. You can download her ebook Murni’s Very Personal Guide to Ubud from her web site. [Note from Murni: you can also download Secrets of Bali from the web site.]

Bali, The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Spectacular Tropical Island, Linda Hoffman, Tuttle Publishing, 2012

The New York Times, 9 April 1995

Murni’s Houses.
Carey Lovelace,
The New York Times
9 April 1995

“I was lucky enough to spend 14 of my 18 days in Ubud at Murni’s Houses … Aside from running one of the area’s best-known restaurants, the enterprising Murni (in Bali, last names are considered sacred and never used) is also the proprietor of a group of stylish boutiques in Campuhan called Kunang-Kunang that sell Indonesian goods in a sedate atmosphere tailored to Western tastes.”
Carey Lovelace

The New York Times, 9 April 1995

Favourite Places in the World

Favourite Places in the World

the-australian

Jane Rutter’s Favourite Places in the World

Murni’s Warung Shop

The Australian, 8 December 2007

“I feel as if I grew up in Bali, as I went there so often as a teenager and young woman. Murni’s is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of luscious Asian objets d’art, furniture and textiles. It’s a wonderful place to shop and there is a great restaurant attached.”

Jane Rutter is Australia’s best-known flautist and one of the most versatile; she performs in the classical, jazz and pop arenas.

Jane Rutter’s Favourite Places in the World
The Australian, 8 December 2007

 

bali-ultimate-guideFavourite Places in the World

Murni’s Warung Shop

Murni’s Warung Shop at Murni’s Warung, Jalan Raya, Ubud, beside the Campuan bridge, tel 972146. Traditional arts and crafts from all over the archipelago, as well as overseas, assiduously collected by Murni who has formidable fine arts credentials and seasoned sophisticated taste. If she’s around Murni will sign the best-selling Secrets of Bali, Fresh LIght on the Morning of the World by Jonathan Copeland and Ni Wayan Murni. You can download her ebook Murni’s Very Personal Guide to Ubud from her web site. [Note from Murni: you can also download Secrets of Bali from the web site.]

Bali, The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Spectacular Tropical Island, Linda Hoffman, Tuttle Publishing, 2012

Weaving a Spell

 

Weaving a Spell

Weaving a Spell

Carol Walker
Travel Today Egypt, September/October 2004

 

Years before I first saw geringsing, I had heard stories of this famous, supposedly magical textile of East Bali. Experts on Southeast Asian weaving assumed a reverent tone whenever speaking of this fabled cloth. Even the name — pronounced “GRINGsing,” with a rolled “r” — sounded like an incantation.

Bali’s magical textile geringsing is back at the market.

Made only in the village of Tenganan, a tiny insular community whose strict rituals and religious beliefs differ from those of even their closest neighbors, a single piece of geringsing can take five to fifteen years to produce. The cloth is used in various rites and is believed by villagers to offer magical protection from harm. It is also worn by both men and women, in the form of belts, wrapped skirts and hip cloths.

Because of its rare and painstaking method of production, along with its muted, natural colors, the cloth is both distinctive and beautiful. But over the years, fewer villagers were engaging in the grueling production process, and geringsing had become increasingly rare.

If you wanted to see geringsing, much less purchase it, you had to go to Tenganan itself, about 65 kilometers from Denpasar, Bali’s capital city. In the late 1980s, I finally did visit Tenganan and held an antique piece of geringsing in my very own hands.

Ironically, as vivid as the experience was, the look of the cloth barely made an impression. I viewed it inside a dark hut, but I recall the feel: It was surprisingly coarse and papery, and the threads — more loosely woven than I had expected — made a faint whispery noise as I unfolded it. A villager stood nearby ready to stop me if I handled it too roughly.

Did the geringsing have a magical effect? Probably, because I came close to purchasing it — and with a price tag of $2,000, it was far more than I could afford. Of course, that same piece today would probably be worth more than $10,000, so perhaps it would have been a wise investment. But I didn’t have a clue about geringsing. I vaguely knew that it was double ikat, but didn’t appreciate what that meant.

To understand double ikat, you have to know what ikat is — and before that, resist dyeing. Resist dyeing is a technique in which the textile’s design is marked on cloth or threads with wax, mud, or any substance that repels dye. The material is then colored and the resisting substance removed, leaving a motif in the original hue of the threads, surrounded by the color of the dye. This process can be repeated several times to create a design.

For ikat, the dye is kept from penetrating by tying fibers in knots around small bundles of the warp or weft (vertical and horizontal) threads. Sound painstaking? It is. Now imagine dyeing both the warp and weft threads in such a way as to produce distinct patterns when they are woven together on a hand-loom. That is double ikat, a technique so difficult that despite Indonesia’s sumptuous tradition of making fabulous textiles, the Bali Aga — the ethnic group inhabiting Tenganan — are the only people in the entire archipelago to practice it.

Once you’ve developed an eye for ikat, it is unmistakable. When both warp and weft are variegated, the overall effect is striking. The colors are always shades of cream, reddish-brown, brown, and blue-black, produced by dyeing and overdyeing with colors made from local roots and indigo. The weave is a loose tabby, a simple over-under-over-under weave.

The mechanics of geringsing are scarcely the whole story. The complexities of the Bali Aga’s belief system make anthropologists ecstatic. The holy book of the Tengananese states that the Bali Aga are of divine origin. Accordingly, their central purpose is to honor their gods, demons and ancestors through rituals, and even clothing.

Through the years, I continued to dream, hopelessly I thought, of owning a piece of this mythical cloth. So this spring I was stunned to see several examples of genuine geringsing available for about $100 and up, at Murni’s Warung Shop in Ubud, Bali.

To my astonishment and delight, the clerk told me that Ibu Murni, a well-known connoisseur of fine textiles, had convinced five Tegananese women to weave geringsing for her. Their knowledge and expertise creates beautiful results. However, the work is so demanding that perhaps only one in four cloths is of top quality.

My only decision was which one to buy. The clerk offered to measure me so that I could select a piece of the correct size to wear as a chest cloth, but I declined, preferring to make my choice based on a combination of motif, size, and price. Now, my very own geringsing hangs in my home where I can admire it every day. It’s been close to twenty years since I first heard about geringsing. It was worth the wait.

Weaving a Spell

Buying Textiles in Bali

Buying Textiles in Bali

Buying Textiles in Bali

Carol Walker
Travel Today Egypt, September/October 2004

Everything from traditional Balinese and other Indonesian designs to tourist-oriented novelty pieces is sold in Bali. Likewise, quality and price cover a wide spectrum. Types of authentic Balinese textiles include:

Ikat – Also called endek in Bali, where the pattern is resist-dyed into the weft rather than the warp.

Songket – This cloth has patterns added through supplementary weft threads, usually gold.

Perada – Plain, striped, or checked cloth with designs painted on with gold paint, leaf, or dust.

Poleng – A black and white check pattern that is used extensively for decorating temples and stone statues, not usually sold in tourist shops.

Bebali – Colorful striped, checked, or plaid cloths. (Do not confuse this with poleng.)

Similar textiles are indigenous to other Indonesian islands, and only a practiced eye can know the place of origin by looking. But why let this deter you? The best songkets are often Sumatran. Batik (not an indigenous Balinese technique) from Java is usually the finest.

New, modern designs can be just as beautiful as the old and the Balinese happily wear sarongs of old and new motifs, Balinese and non-Balinese design, to their ceremonies.

To know what you’re looking at, ask the shopkeeper. Just be careful to frame your questions neutrally. Vendors will try to please you with the “right” answer, so don’t ask eagerly “is this a Balinese ikat?” Instead, try an offhand “where is this cloth from originally?”

As to quality, if you’re not sure of your ability to judge and you care about getting the best, visit Murni’s Warung Shop on Ubud’s main street. You’ll get honest answers, fair fixed prices, and a selection of the best textiles from throughout Indonesia and elsewhere. This is the only store recommended for geringsing.

Buying Textiles in Bali

Art Treasures of Ubud

Art Treasures of Ubud

Bali & Beyond Magazine, October 2002

Dr. Vivienne Kruger

Murni used the profits of her Warung Shop, her famously successful Warung, and Murni’s Houses – to return to and indulge her first love: wonderful works of traditional art created by the diverse peoples of the Indonesian archipelago.

In 1988, she leased (and subsequently purchased) an empty plot of land near the Warung on Jalan Raya Campuan to build her antique shop, Kunang-Kunang I. Capitalizing on its popularity, she bought more land two years later and constructed a second shop, Kunang-Kunang II, next to Pura Dalem temple on Jalan Raya Ubud.

In keeping with Murni’s love of art and beauty, Kunang-Kunang II’s exterior is a handsome, peak-roofed, wooden edifice with two lava stone statues draped in black and white poleng cloth on the landing step – all framed in glorious Balinese greenery. Murni, a consummate, avid collector, personally does all the buying for these three stylish, upscale boutiques, which offer fine works of Indonesian, Southeast Asian, and Far East Asian craftsmanship in a sedate atmosphere tailored to western tastes and behavior.

Murni travels overseas each year, partly for business and partly for pleasure – she does not make a distinction between the two. In 2001 she established good relationships with traders of Central Asian goods, resulting in a fine new collection of beads, textiles, clothes and costumes from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Ubud armed Murni with formidable fine arts credentials and an exquisite, seasoned, sophisticated sense of taste. Murni’s knowledge of and ability to select and scout out collector-quality antiques have made her both personally famous and professionally trusted around the globe as a leading art buyer. Each piece of original artwork in her outlets has been personally smiled on and chosen by Murni to please and excite her customers.

Murni caters to everyone from budget tourists to museum curators from abroad to an impressive roster of international celebrities: Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones is still a repeat client of “Ibu Murni’s” shops today.

Enter any of her three portals and admire a wide-ranging treasure chest of highly sought-after masks, wood carvings, stone sculptures, tribal art, ceramics, pottery, puppets, woven basketry, paintings, ikat cloth, textiles, furniture, silver and gold jewelry, precious stones, and beads, that have transformed these impressive emporia into legitimate art galleries in their own right.

Indonesian art pieces find their way into Murni’s shops from Bali, Java, Flores, Kalimantan, Lombok, Sumba, Sulawesi, Sumatra, East and West Timor and the Moluccas. The intrinsic beauty of these regional specialties is rooted in each area’s historical and religious traditions, wealth of creative genius and in the archipelago’s stupendous natural endowment of malleable raw materials.

Wrought in richly dyed colors and unique organic textures, skilled (often remote) native workers have produced some of the world’s most coveted handicrafts: Murni has them all. A prime example is the visually intricate and spiritually stunning five-foot-high bronze statue of Ganesha the elephant god in the Lounge Bar of Murni’s Warung. Commissioned by Murni in 1997, it took experienced Balinese craftsmen five years to complete!

Step inside Kunang-Kunang I and Kunang-Kunang II (kunang-kunang means fireflies in Bahasa Indonesia) and feast on Balinese paintings, which depict scenes of traditional village life, rural markets, rice planting and harvesting, local fishermen, temple festivals and naked Balinese beauties bathing in the river. Gasp at a sunken Spanish galleon’s cargo of rich, artistically designed (often aristocratic) gold rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants from Central Flores, Central Sulawesi and East and West Sumba, and fine gold necklaces prized by Nias island village chiefs.

Jump over to East Java for multi-colored, striped, “Majapahit” glass rainbow beads dating back to the ninth century and copper batik stamps used for hand printing designs and patterns on batik textiles. The jumble of enticing objets d’art includes horse and Buddha candleholders, totemic figurine lamps, bronze pigs (an absolute favorite), boxes made in the Moluccas of cloves, rattan utility boxes from Lombok with carved lizard and frog lid decorations, and hand-woven, cotton beaded bags from West Timor, traditionally used to contain betel chew ingredients.

You no longer need to travel to Bali to make purchases or order from Kunang-Kunang I and Kunang-Kunang II. Murni offers a beautifully presented, photo-illustrated online shop www.murnis.com where you can enjoy an exciting, antique-browsing adventure and a precious, vicarious voyage back to Ubud – the cultural heartland of the island of the gods!

Art Treasures of Ubud

Shop Smart Bali & Lombok

Shop Smart Bali & Lombok

Shop Smart Bali & Lombok

Book Review

Ni Wayan Murni
Hello Bali, November 2006

ShopSmart: Bali & Lombok,
edited by Jane Marsden, 2006

 

I often get asked by people writing books if I would be happy for my restaurant and shops to be reviewed. Of course I say I’d be delighted. Shortly after that I’m told that the cost is so many millions of rupiah per square inch. These so-called reviews turn out to be advertisements masquerading as independent critiques. That is very common. So, the first and most important thing to say about this new book, ShopSmart, is that it does not have any paid advertisements in it. There are over 1,000 contributed by just seven long term residents of Bali.

What about the content? Although it holds itself out as a shopping guide, which it primarily is, the book is actually much more than that. It contains useful introductory sections to life in Bali and Lombok with sections on history, geography, art, religion, festivals and celebrations. So for a very short visit to Bali or Lombok this maybe all you need. Throughout the book various hotels are mentioned and described, so it could also suffice as a guide as to where to stay.

Not every shop in Bali – or Lombok – is covered but all the main players and some lesser known, are profiled. Each area has a good introduction. It is then divided into smaller areas or streets with details of shops, hotels and restaurants, and maps showing where they are. This part of the book would be very useful if you were in one of those areas and wanted to walk around and have a view of what was available. As well as detailed profiles of places, it also cross-refers to the other section. The other section (482 pages) is the heart of the book, where shopping is classified according to the type of goods and services.

There are twenty seven categories and some are quite esoteric.They range from antiques and artifacts to stonecarvings, supermarkets and tailors and textiles.

Each category has an introduction and good tips on how to shop for that particular item. When shopping for antiques and artifacts: take frequent breaks to eat, drink and think. When buying pearls: a fake pearl can be detected by biting on it; an imitation pearl will glide across your teeth, while the layers of nacre on a real pearl will feel chalky and gritty. If you are looking at pictures, check out the hidden details – whether a canvas has been properly mounted, whether a drawing or pastel has been done on acid free paper so it won’t discolour with age. Shopping is a pretty exhausting business in Bali, which can be very hot, so the final section will be very welcome to most people. It’s the Après-Retail Details – a small selection of bars, clubs and restaurants, which are subject to the same standard of meticulous and independent reviews.

I know I will use this book myself and therefore have no hesitation in recommending it to others. It is the only one of its kind in Bali and Lombok.

 

Shop Smart Bali & Lombok

Treasures of Bali

Treasures of Bali

 

Treasures of Bali, A Guide to Museums in Bali
written and edited by Richard Mann
Gateway Books International, 2006

 

Murni was the first person to have a proper gallery of antiques, textiles, costumes, old beads, tribal jewelry, stone carvings, masks and other ethnic pieces in Ubud. She started her shop at the same time as her famous restaurant, Murni’s Warung, overlooking the Campuan River in 1974. She is Balinese and understands Balinese culture thoroughly.

Her sources are the best and she is still the first person that dealers generally visit when they come to Bali from the other islands in Indonesia. Murni travels extensively collecting unique treasures from as far afield as Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, China and Laos. Those she doesn’t keep herself find their way into her shop. Many of her pieces are museum quality but she also has reproductions to suit every budget.

Part of the pleasure is to meet Murni herself and chat about her lifetime of collecting. Her Villas and restaurant are decorated with items from her personal collection.

 

Murni’s Warung and Shop
at the Campuan Bridge
Campuan-Ubud
Bali

Daily: 9am-10pm
Tel: (62) 361 972146
Fax: (62) 361 972146 or (62) 361 975282

 

Treasures of Bali