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Pink glasses, white hair, traditional Kaibobo clothing, his face so full of satisfaction, so calm and peaceful. The sound of him playing drums and the kids dancing smoothly to his voice. Who is this man, who already spreads so much inspiration and happiness towards us on our very first day during the welcoming ceremony here in Kaibobo? We were curious, since all of us had the same feeling right away: this place is real uniqueness and this guy is someone extraordinary.

Tuesday, the 23rd of May 2017 was the day we got answers and we got confirmed. Bastian Riry is Kaibobo`s specialty; he is the art itself. He has put creativity on him, has dived deep into it, has found inspiration, faith and takes now all his effort to decorate his own life with arty magic and showing his community that art can change lives. That you should follow your curiosity. That you should ask questions and remain being open. He wants to make the next generation believe in the miraculous truth that an idea crossing by your thought is a gift, a marvel, somewhat like an existing being looking for its collaborator.


Art crosses our path every single day, ideas are constantly trying to get our attention. All we have to do is keep our eyes open and catch it.  


Bastian Riry is 73 years old and is now living in Kaibobo by himself since his beloved wife died 16 years ago and his 30-year-old son is based in Ambon joining the army. But not only has he been living here since more than 7 centuries long; he has lived together with, and especially for a powerful and close community which has been working hard to archive its goals. A community which has grown to a big family, which is defined by its inspiring history, its culture and – luckily - its art. And even though Kaibobo settles full of peace and quiet between the beauty of mountains and is surrounded by a paradisiac ocean, Kaibobo has only become what it is today – a fascinating, artistic and cozy place -due to the wonderful people living here.

Bastian has dedicated himself to a life of creative living, but there was a time in his life where he also took focus on helping in church and even took the role as a secretary to the government. But Bastian is the prove that life has a lot of crossroads and you should try to take as many different ways as possible to gain the needed experience and adventure in your life. But if during this journey you always come back to one specific endeavor, then this is meant to be your individual passion - the passion you should turn all your devotion to because this is your reason of living which fulfills your existence with true happiness. And this is what he did. Until today he remains making art out of bamboo or fishing nets such as Kaibobo`s new trash bins. He still pursuits an artistic lifestyle and puts all his focus on art; sustainable art in the village of Kaibobo.


The kids singing, moving so smoothly, playing and dancing. All of this was not just a day activity during our welcoming ceremony, it simply is the kaibobo villagers’ passion. A passion which Bastian has always been sharing, always put weight on and it is worth it. Until now Kaibobo remains as the village of art.

All his effort to especially keep practicing 4 traditional dances to the next generations makes the uniqueness and happiness stay in Kaibobo. Markeputi, Jakalele, Sawat and Sonde, the names of the dances are performed when villagers are invited or when people visit Kaibobo. Especially Sonde Hu, meaning “One Brother/Sister” describes Kaibobo as its very best - “We are one big family”.


Bastian Riry is one of the important toppings of Kaibobo`s Cake. He is one reason why people here, even still isolated, are enjoying the small things in life. He is the main source why Kaibobos have a constant smile on their faces or why you hear them quietly singing while working or resting.  You can see that art can create an aura of contentment.


 “Because happiness is created from your very inside not from the outside.” - Bastian Riry


And this is the good thing about art. It comes from your inside, you don`t need outside parties to be involved. It is your own joy; you can practice it whenever and however you want. But even though, one wish is to provide his community with a studio in order to maintain a creative way of living in Kaibobo. A place where people can share their creativity and also where they can show tourists how important it is to share its passion and Kaibobo`s spirit.

The Interview with Bastian was for me, personally, an inspiring talk which made me motivated to keep on living my creativity. That creativity is not only a gift to an audience it is mainly a gift to yourself.
Everyone should have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you! The Universe buries weird jewels deep within us all and then it stands back giving us a challenge: to hunt it. And the hunt to uncover those jewels – this, my friends, is creative living. A life and a journey which takes work, faith and a lot of devotion. But it is worth it.


- Bastian and the journey to your hidden treasure

Conducted on: 23-05-2017
Published on: 01-07-2017 
Written by: Teresa Cancola
Photographer: Teresa Cancola

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