About Dibal Ranuh

Creative director and activist Dibal Ranuh is a multi-disciplinary visual artist whose work consistently and powerfully champions the voice of Nusantara. In its purest form his art reflects a creative idealism that heralds the transformative power of the arts.

Getting to Know Dibal Ranuh

Art is learning from nature..

Philosophy is within every artist. It is important to ‘see’ with feeling. When I create there is always the importance of feeling..

Dibal Ranuh


Gusti Dibal Ranuh from Singaraja Bali, graduated from Trisakti Jakarta graphic design. Founder of the Matahati Kitapoleng Foundation in the field of creative space for contemporary art creation who is concerned with developing talents with disabilities in the arts, especially those who are deaf and disabled. As Artistic Director and Film Director, Dibal creates performance artworks and films that refer to the cultural roots of the archipelago’s traditions. In 2018, Dibal launched the book The Journey of Dang Hyang Nirartha at the Borobudur Writers & Cultural Festival.


In 2020, Dibal Ranuh was awarded Best Cinematography in Indonesia’s D(E) Motion Festival film competition. And through the film Lukat, Dibal won first place at the EURASIA Project International in Italy. In 2021, the film Wong Gamang; The Journey of Dewi Melanting, directed by Dibal, won many awards, including Best Fiction Film Director, Best Artistic Film, and Best Editing. In 2022, BWCF, the Ministry of Education and Culture and UNESCO entrusted the Mahendraparvata dance film’s directorship in collaboration with Cambodia and Indonesia’s cultures.



  • Academi Music Indonesia Award sebagai Sutradara Video Music Terbaik, Dinasti Matahari – NAVICULA.
  • Achievement Award Gubernur Bali sebagai Filmmaker, Content creator dan penggiat seni Audio Visual dalam Bali Digifest


  • Juara 1 film pendek “Jiwa yang Merdeka” sebagai sutradara dalam Rayakan Merdekamu Kemendikbud.
  • Juara 1 Talenta Tuli Indonesia bersama Kitapoleng
  • Pemenang Film Fiksi Terbaik, Artistik Terbaik, Editing Terbaik dalam film “Wong Gamang” sebagai Sutradara.


  • Reward bersama Kitapoleng dalam acara “Bersatu dalam Keberagaman” oleh Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Terorisme TV
  • Juara 1 Dunia kategori Best Short Film “ LUKAT” International EURASIA project Festival di Italy dari saingan 18 negara yaitu dari Eropa, Asia, Timur tengah, Africa dan America.
  • Reward sebagai Alumnus Berprestasi Fakultas Seni Rupa & Desain dalam Orasi Ilmiah Dies Natalis ke 55 Universitas Trisakti Jakarta
  • Terpilih oleh Garin Nugroho sebagai Sutradara Film “Wong Gamang” karya Kitapoleng sebagai sutradara dalam Mega Film Festival, Kemendikbud.
  • Juara 1 Cinematography terbaik, Best Short Film “ LUKAT” dalam dEmotion Festival Indonesia


  • Best Performance & costume di Jakarta International Folklore Festival bersama Kitapoleng


  • Kurasi terpilih & sebagai karya peserta terbaik “Kukusan Paon” Kitapoleng oleh Djarum Foundation & Ruang Kreatif di Galeri Indonesia Kaya Jakarta


  • Meraih Rekor Muri “Bendera Merah Putih terbesar di Dunia” 150 x 50m di bentangkan di Gedung Pasar Tanah Abang Jakarta oleh Gubernur DKI Sutioyoso.

A Conversation with Dibal Ranuh

Dibal Ranuh’s poetic creative direction in films and stage performances began from a love of travel and photography. Studying visual design, it is the love of travel and exploration together with his camera that paved the path of visual framing and a natural inclination towards visual storytelling. The artist’s love of our rich tribal heritage fuels the artistic textures that enrich his visual style.

Passion for the Heritage of Nusantara

“I like to travel to the forests. I liked to go to tribes like the Badui, Dayak, and Toraja and lived for months within these communities. You can say it is there I discovered a new life. I found something very unique among the tribes. From there, I returned to university. As a designer, I got a lot of ideas from my time in tribal communities. My interest in our tribal diversity began from then. Indonesia is so dynamic, many tribes can inspire us in our process of creativity.”

There are 17,000 islands in Indonesia that have 300 ethnic tribes amongst them. Imagine how many ethnic traditions we can learn from … Whether through visual design or ritual and philosophies. Their dances and history…It’s amazing how interesting and rich this is .. Nusantara.. therein lies my love of our tribal traditions.

Does your film reach your visionary ideas?

When it is received by the public and can be appreciated this in itself is an achievement. But sometimes of course there are differences in reception. What is important to communicate is a message and a value in each of these works. It carries a purpose to celebrate and educate the cultural heritage of our different tribes.

Kitapoleng Bali Dibal Ranuh Sawidji Gallery
Bhatari Sri, 2020 Kitapoleng

There are many instances where the unique local history of our islands can be overlooked. Yet, in every direction we turn, there is something rich and fascinating in the history of Nusantara.

As an illustration of Ranuh’s passion for history, he explores themes that delve deeply into cultural, and historical aspects of Pasar or Peken, our Traditional Market and its journey through time. Themes that are uniquely interpreted within his stage productions through dance.

Kitapoleng Bali Dibal Ranuh Sawidji Gallery
Wong Peken, 2017 Kitapoleng

For the Love of History

Many who have seen the works of Dibal Ranuh will not be surprised by its visual complexity. However, a closer study will reveal how richly layered it is with historical references. It is a passionate interest in history and a fine care of details that make his works succeed not only visually but also as critical and reflective social testimonials as well.

During our discussions, Dibal will often go into detail about fascinating aspects of Nusantaras’ dynamic history. Sharing its stories and exploring its relevance and impacts on our social context today.

For example, Banda Neira has been known as the Spice Island. During the colonial era, this island in Indonesia was a trading centre for spices, such as nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg was very valuable during the colonial period. The Portuguese, British and Dutch, competed to control the spice trade on this island.

The Price of an Island

The island was controlled by the British at the time. The Portuguese left after failing to take control, whereas the Dutch tried to negotiate for control of the island. At the time, they offered New Amsterdam, which is now known as Manhattan, New York, in exchange for Run Island in Banda Neira. This shows how valuable nutmeg and mace were at that time. It was so valuable they were willing to exchange what is now the island of Manhattan which is currently known as one of the most modern islands in the world.

Gunung Lebah

Another example of our rich history can be found in Pura Gunung Lebah, Ubud. The history of this sacred site goes back to the 8th century. However, Ubud became popular from the 1930’s when Cokordo Sukawati invited Walter Spiers to the area. This interaction began a sleuth of promotional campaigns that gave birth to modern tourism. As the rich culture of Ubud was regularly packaged for outside audiences. Our culture was born into performances from this time.

Performance and Photography

“I was very interested in performance art from the time I was in university. From early on I was very active in these areas and was involved in performance art in different ways.

I like to travel. I started with the love of street photography.. when I travel on my own and experience the journey. This is where I felt my spirit.. my own identity and strength..

Dibal Ranuh

Ranuh’s films abide in a room unique that combines a set of contrasting elements not easily found. With the versatility to move from commercial, institutional projects to stage performances that display the beautifully bold fusions of our traditional dances with contemporary choreography, his stage, as well as film direction, leaves a unique imprint that is a rich visual marriage of history and the future.

With a natural curiosity from when I was in University, I liked going to exhibitions.. to see paintings and sculptural works. I was friends with many seniors and I learned a lot from their experiences. It taught me to always learn to see my environment and reflect on my experiences.

Dibal Ranuh

Back to Our Roots

Perhaps because I am Balinese I come from the Balinese perspective,.. our culture, our heritage.. because tehre are many of the young generation with the dominance of technology,, we wish to  cultivate and protect our heritage.”

Dibal Ranuh Sawidji Gallery by Dewi Dian Reich

There is a strong elemental energy about Dibal Ranuh. Perhaps this is what compels him to express his empathy to our cultural roots in his creativity.

Why are our roots important? Because our roots are strong. Our history is ancient, wise and very strong. 

Dibal Ranuh

Image: Dibal Ranuh by Dewi Dian Reich

Social and Environmental Commentary

Another important point to note in Dibal Ranuh’s projects is the commonality of raising current issues, especially about environmental and cultural impacts. From land wastes, air pollution, and technological and chemical impacts to the more complex aspects of cultural dilution.

Art Bridging Generations

An expression that aptly combines the common interest of environment and culture in Ranuh’s themes is also ‘cultural pollution’. Looking at the changes in social behaviours today amongst the next generation that are predisposed to skim through things and not take the time to reflect. As a result of technological influences, we are in a time where human natural behaviours are changing and technology is a major influencer. It resonates well that Ranuh now employs contemporary digital tools as the primary medium of his art to relay back the message ‘return to our roots’ in arts’ typical paradoxical wisdom.

In my work.. my aim is to reach the young generation.. so they can relate to it..

Dibal Ranuh
Kitapoleng Bali Dibal Ranuh Sawidji Gallery
Kembali Ke Akar, Navicula, 2022

The Survival of the Idealist through the Artistry of Film

Notably, the imagination, bold experimentation, and individuality of Ranuh’s directional style are dynamic, mature, yet still evolving. Perhaps this is why Sawidji looks forward to exploring his cinematic creations in greater depth. In Ranuh’s art films, the fusion of contemporary choreography with ancient cultural nuances is visually captivating.

Within his collaborations with contemporary brands and popular personalities, it is notably still Ranuhs’ handprint that allows the idealism of activism to speak its voice within such a wide-ranging portfolio. This is perhaps Dibals’ most exceptional quality. Traversing the world of commercialism and maintaining arts’ pure idealism is often a very tricky path. To see Ranuhs’ success in achieving this is perhaps the measure of the man.

Dibal Ranuh Bhatari Sri Sawidji Gallery
Bhatari Sri, 2020

Dibal Ranuh and Kitapoleng Bali

Founded by Dibal Ranuh and Jasmine Okubo in 2015, Kita Poleng is a Balinese performance art and activist duo known for artful choreography that reworks and renews ancient Balinese rituals. Working across dance, film and multimedia installation, Jasmine and Dibal have reframed the foundations of traditional dance, using its language in contemporary art and activism.

Kitapoleng Bali, its Mission

“At Kitapoleng, we believe in the power of creativity to drive innovation in the arts. Our philosophy is inspired by Bali’s poleng, which represents the concept of Rwa Bhineda or duality. Despite our differences, we strive to find balance and harmony in our creative endeavours. With Kita, meaning “us” in Indonesian, we provide a platform for artists from different backgrounds to come together and collaborate. Our goal is to create cohesive and impactful works of art that reflect our shared vision of the world. Through our commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the arts.”

Kitapoleng and Inclusivity

Working with young adults who are hearing impaired has been an important element in Kitapolengs’ activities. We understand that disabilities can often be viewed as limitations, but through the power of art, we believe that these limitations can be broken down.

Kitapoleng Bali Dibal Ranuh Sawidji Gallery

Kitapoleng Bali Dibal Ranuh Sawidji Artist Biography

You may also like to learn more about Kitapoleng. Visit the social media links for information about upcoming events and initiatives, or you can contact them directly. In addition to that, Kitapoleng offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals and organisations to support the development of the arts in Bali and beyond. 

Dibal Ranuh and Kitapoleng Film Archives

Most importantly, we invite you to take a closer look in appreciation of the cinematographic direction and vision of Dibal Ranuh and Kitapoleng.

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