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TEDxUbud 2018: Seen/Unseen

For TEDxUbud 2018, we witnessed the tangible and intangible, speakers uncovered the secrets of the Komodo dragon’s blood in the fight against antibiotic resistance, the role of cross cultural immersions in changing minds and developing tolerance, the power of art, and more. We explored intangible cultural heritage, things that have only recently become ‘seen’ and how us—humans—deal with what we can't explain.

In Bali, we live within a culture that makes no distinction between the tangible and the intangible. The intangible, or unseen, may not be perceived using the five senses, but is still very real.

The tangible has a stronger presence and commands greater respect in Western culture, but when we consider that it was only a few decades ago that much of the invisible world became visible, who are we to make those distinctions? Today DNA, molecular physics and the study of bacteria and viruses, are all commonplace knowledge—two or three generations ago, these concepts would have been relegated to the unseen and the unable to be perceived. There is still so much that remains unknown even today. We are inspired by these unexplored frontiers, the power of gaining knowledge and the sheer magic all around us on a daily basis! 

Part of our interest in this theme came from the desire to understand the balance that our multicultural society here in Ubud has forged. The meeting of different belief systems and philosophies creates a dynamic society, tolerant of new ideas as well as firmly based in traditional beliefs, seamlessly melding technology, art, science and design. 

TEDxUbud has a strong and fast-growing following in Indonesia. A group of 500 change-makers, innovators, thinkers, creatives, cultural leaders & social pioneers witnessed a back-to-back full evening schedule of talks, performances, and several interactive surprises. And, although taking place in Bali, our talks will be translated into multiple languages by the TED Translators Program online.

The venue:
Njana Tilem Museum

This was our second night time event, this time in the grounds of the incredible Njana Tilem Museum in Ubud. Bali is known for the excellence of its wood carving, to which this museum is dedicated. Another perfect venue to bring TEDxUbud to life.

Tucked away at the back of Mas village, Njana Tilem Museum presents selected pieces of its two great historical master carvers: Ida Bagus Njana and Ida Bagus Tilem.

Njana and Tilem, father and son, each revolutionized Balinese carving. Njana embraced the change to modernity with simple carving lines that depicted the Balinese people’s daily life. Tilem carried on the transformation by using the naturally distorted form of wood to express human emotions. Every piece displayed is a masterpiece of craftsmanship to rival any international museum collection—all set in a monumental setting reminiscent of past Majapahit architecture.

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