We don’t like the colour of the walls surrounding Balam Bali Villa anymore. We find the washed yellow colour rather old and ugly. So we decide to give a new look to the outer walls. Repainting 200 metres of walls is not an easy task, with most of the time, our feet deep in the mud of the rice paddies. It will be in red ochre. The famous colour of the traditional houses we saw (David and I) in Cordoba last year. After three hours of heavy traffic to the South of Bali to find a paint store, Adi and I came back with heavy pots containing 100kg of freshly blended ochre red waterproof paint.
In the meantime David and I returned to Paris. The team starts the work without us. We are rather excited to see the first result from the pictures sent by Adi. His comment is rather alarming: « Oh dear! It’s as red as the babi blood (pig blood) ». It is a garish red indeed. This intense red is opposed to the soft green of the rice field and the mild blue of the sky. This is not what we expected. Where is our Cordoba red ochre? Our villa seems to be touched up by a Van Gogh of the Isles with strokes of pure red. Can I see any similarity between the roofs and the altar of the villa with the roofs and churches in Arles?
So, we ask the team to stop the work. After numerous simulations by Photoshop and ‘field’ testing, we achieve the right red, a dark red by blending the alleged ochre red with some black paint. The result is outstanding, magic! The outer walls in dark red look like a red belt floating between the rice paddies and the sky, it looks like a shield to protect us from some evil. Walls in Balinese houses are supposed to prevent bad spirits from entering the premises. Our neighbouring farmers, who were a little frightened by the first result, seem like it – their reactions mean a lot to us. They simply say in Balinese to Adi: « It’s different! ». Balam Bali la Rouge is born.