You can voyage through the whole planet and tell stories about it. These stories would be more than enough for a lifetime. Even if you stand in one place and look around, you can stand through several tours. In our time, there is so much more stories and storytellers, as if it’s more important to tell a story, rather than live through it. I understand that — in movies and virtual games people live through brightest emotions, love, dangers, travels, create and destroy, lose or win. Events in life, as an over washed dress, are like pictures on the walls, which fade and merge. Just like a dish with no salt, or curry without pepper — it does not bring any enjoyment or satisfaction.

But for me, there are still stories and events in life far more interesting than any blockbusters or viral videos from YouTube. And those are the stories of people who followed their calling. Not “in step with the times”, opposite to the flows, and contrary to common sense of people around them. Yes, from all things on Earth, I’m interested in the eternal. Eternal for me, as I understand it, having lived through the golden middle of a century. Because every person chooses their own eternal.
I was sure that my trip to Indonesia, with a group of enthusiasts who look for answers to eternal questions, would not work out — I  wouldn’t have enough money, shootings would about to begin for me in Hollywood. Literally anything! Reality can give many surprises. And not because I didn’t want to go. I did. A  lot. I dream of the sea at nights, and when I swim in a pool, I see myself surrounded by dolphins and the sun. But this adventure did not solve my insubstantial needs. Easiest ones, in fact — the need in work and money. In our time, it sounds trite. Half of the country is submerged in these same problems (looks like a tongue twister just came out). And then a miracle came — my loved one received a huge chunk, deserved for hell of a work, and those money, dipped in sweat and brain juice, were given to bring to reality the most amazing adventure of my life, as a birthday present!

Глазами созвездий

If anybody, while reading those lines, thought that I complain and just go nuts out of by plushy-cushy life or something else — go eat some cat poo! To save yourself from the reaction of the universe, which keeps equilibrium and justice. Did you do it? Good, now have a drink and continue reading. Okay, don’t complain, I can change it to fifty sit-ups and mopping the stairs of a 9th floor panel building of Moscow’s dormitory area!

Well anyway. It was an adventure of gold diggers — we went through hardest crusades, hills, ravines, swelter, hot, cold, tropical rains, uncustomary hygienic surprises from the unknown to us country… and everything is so the most stunning pictures of the most amazing adventurers in the world, from the parts of our brain, where dreams live, would break through into our personal reality! Into personal feelings. And became the golden sand of our biography. Volcanoes breathing with sulfur; sacred blue sharks, on which you can ride; lazy dolphins, who didn’t feel like showing us their smiling little faces; rituals of farewell to the deceased and burning of ritual bull made from papier mache; tender turquoise eye of volcano river that is looking into the core of the earth…. When the Divine Zero rings the cosmic string of your whole being, which became reality for you yourself… when the Eternal-Love-Life — all of it is you.

With those words I caused the defloration of Truth and of your brain, and it is to connect with you, so the slap of Milky Way would touch your “G” area and would wake up the feeling of unity of all living and existing things with your separate skin-muscle bag which is called “a citizen of metropolis of 21st century.” The result is unknown to me. Those words were born just now and were typed a second ago on a virtual page. But I need them, they are already flying towards you… Although, if all of us are created from the stardust, that means we all are united and you already know it! I don’t even have to write it. But that’s the whole point; the point is that I WILL WRITE! I will create new reality, even if that reality will be able to please only me, like sand castles, which kids build on all coasts of the Earth. And here — the beautiful coda of our entire Indonesian symphony — four days at the sea coast, corals, fishes of an unbeknownst beauty, delicious curries, the voice of the sea at the base of our balcony, conversations about first love under grand living stars and the smell of white flowers Frangipani.

Calculator of dreams shows:
1. The best adventure
2. The perfect adventure
 3. Impression and memories for a hundred years….

And that very well known “so what?” really pressed down on the callus. So hard that it broke and I started to limp. Exactly… “What”. What has happened to me? The world, so beautiful before my sight and after, still stays the same. The most important thing for me — what exactly has happened to me? Yes, I was filled up with impressions of interesting-wonderful-unusual, but my heart didn’t say at least once: “There! That’s the new universe, unknown before this moment, point of start.”

And so I limped on a hot road with absent sidewalks, of Balinese town called Amed, a “simple Russian woman” in a strange straw hat and psychedelic yellow-green poncho, answering to all “Hello” from the locals with a tired smile, when I was called by the girls from my squad. Somewhere from above.

At the very top of a multistage space of Indonesian greens, a white seventy-two-teeth-smile and a body covered in tattoos instead of a shirt have been waving at me.

“BOO-BOOM!” — was in my head the moment our pupils met. “There!” has happened.

I’m coming up in a zigzag to the entrance of the dwelling, passing the sites created by man and nature, and I’m coming up with things to do here. In this area I can sit on a bamboo bench, smoking and drinking mango juice, and chat with all the people that come by on the road. In this area one could have some local beer, slapping the round table with a cold bottom of the bottle, laugh and talk about art, shouting over music. Here, hiding behind the altar, that is wrapped around with cloth in black and white squares, with the offering to the Gods in a straw basket, I would do my morning workout routine. And this area is under a canopy at the entrance to the dwelling, covered with mats — for heartfelt conversations and coffee. I would also draw here and write stories, smiling with a smile of Giaconda to the centuries that are swimming by.

I’m swimming into a spacious room. On the wall opposite to the entrance are pictures of women. Just women. Each one has a face of different color — yellow, purple, emerald, blue… Under them is a shelf with installations and books. To the right — a mattress and books. To the left — with no glass, a window with the view to the green slope of a mountain. On a wooden frame — a pack of cigarettes, a lighter and a glass with unfinished coffee. I go there right away and sit down in the wooden armchair. That’s it, I have decided — this is my favorite place. Perfect cleanliness. Every piece of the house — an exhibition of sculptures made of rock, wood, or paper. You can only dream of this kind of workshop. Every little thing is woven into nature. Everything lives, everything breathes.

I’m delaying the moment to describe an artist himself. I am fascinated by his smile. His glimmering pupils, his amazingly harmonic body shape, his voice, his movement. His incredibly expressive face. His, shining with colorful firework in every word and move, soul. His stoicism. Yes, with stoicism of a creator amidst the chaos of today’s civilization, every day with a star, every day with a brushstroke of Milky Way, creating harmony. I read it right away. I don’t need answers, stories, conversations with him. WE stand, like two brushes filled with paint, ready to, anytime and anywhere, create a new reality at the coordinates of our destinies.

It is funny — I see that he’s not reading me. Not even once. His attention is taken by beautiful vessels of girls from my squad. I feel how he’s already drawing their faces. I see new portraits of women on the wall. I see new people, who will come to him after us.

Kadek Arka Dwipayana. That is how his name is written of a Facebook page.
“I am not rushing the waves to touch the land
I just follow the wind as it guides the sun.
— Artcid Rock —“

— What animal do you associate yourself with? — I ask with my stumbling English. And he, without hearing my question completely, understood everything right away.

Of course, Dragon. Couldn’t be any other way when meeting a soul mate. We hug — two dragons — Russian and Indonesian.

— May I ask you a few questions?
Yes, of course!
— When did you understand that you’re an artist? How did it happen?
As soon as I was born. I knew it right away, that I will be someone like that.

He hesitates to call himself an artist; he did not say that word in his answer. I’ve been scared to say that I was an actress as well, until I understood that nobody cares. Perhaps in Indonesia some people still care when you are an artist.

— How did your parents react to your choice?
They did not agree with me when I told them how I saw my life. That my life is connected with art. They were worried about my future. It took me two years to convince them, that I really want and can live only by pursuing this life. My older sister helped me, she explained to my parents who I am and why the best thing for me is to live the way I live. Yes, they, finally, accepted it.

Глазами созвездий

Глазами созвездий

Глазами созвездий

— Is it hard to be an artist on Bali? How do people look at you?
I understood the question. I will try to answer: We can leave as long as we believe. It is hard at the beginning, but if it brings you an internal joy, happiness… Money is important, and I do not ignore this issue. But for me the most important thing is to feel this happiness, this joy within. And money will come… maybe.

He laughs, because it came as a joke. I laugh, because he thinks it is a joke. Because I am 52 years old, and I already figured out through my biography, that people, who make this life, and who for their whole life has never created anything, except for a signature in their first passport, do not pay for art. That is why the artist and I laugh for a long while, but I laugh longer.

— How do you work?
It is… a special process. It’s like a flow — an expression, an emotion. When I work, I am free. But I control myself, I have to be conscious of what I am doing and what I want to do. It is like a wave that splashes on and then rolls back. Expression and pressure give way to understanding. Yes, image of a wave — this is exactly how I work, and how I am creating my art.

I bet he has never read “Idiot” by Dostoevsky and does not know a phrase, which heroes of the story attribute to prince Myshkin “Beauty will save the world”. Neither did he read “Seagull” by Chekhov, where Nina Zarechnaya says “… In our business — it’ all the same, whether we perform on stage or write — the main thing is not the glory, not the glitter… but proficiency to patience. Do bear you cross and have faith.” But consistently and persistently, he creates his own world of beauty, a new reality — harmony of colour, form, and sound. And does not think it is possible to do anything else in this life.

In the castle of a dragon up on a mountain with a view to the sea an illumination of Bali-Moscow lighted up for me. For what celebration? On the celebration of the revival. When I came back to Moscow, I, for the first time in 28 years, picked up a paintbrush and started drawing on the coloured cardboard with acrylic paints that were surprisingly given to me as a gift from my loved one when I came back. I drew the portrait of an Artist.

— We will be sitting with my friends in Moscow on my kitchen and drink coffee. Snow outside the window; it’s as cold as in a freezer here on Bali. We’ll be drinking coffee and talk about you. I will show them an interview with you that I recorded on my phone. Photos of your pictures. Rocks of the mountain, exuding through the floors of your workshop. I wish that one morning you’d be sitting at my favourite place near your window, drink coffee and talk to your friends about us. I took a pack of coffee from Moscow. It is my present to you and me. I always dreamt of drinking coffee with an artist, and I don’t care if it is on the kitchen or on a different continent.

He laughs and says “Spasibo” (“Thanks”). We hug.
— Privet! (Hello) — artist says the new word that he has learned from us.
— We want to come back — say all of us.
— I will wait.

We sit in the car and my friend Nyoman, a smiling Balinese driver, takes us to the airport. Not to cry about separation with the sea and a dragon soul mate, I babble with the sprawling voice of a chewed magnetic tape of an old cassette: Artists — are best people on the planet. They want everyone to be happy. Just don’t know how to do it…
— Thank you, — says the artist suddenly.
We don’t know how to do it either. But we all try.

Pictures by: Monika Maizel, Natalia Ungard, Moscow, Russia

Text translation: Ekaterina Subbotina, Union, New Jersey, USA

Text translation and editing: Adrian Ungard, Moscow, Russia