Immigrants from China, India, the Arab world and later Europe traveled to the archipelago in search of the unique spices grown in Indonesia. These traders settled and brought with them rich artistic traditions which influenced the development of local art.
The rich artistic traditions of Bali, where traditionally each person must develop skills in a particular art form - be it dance, music or visual arts has lead to the creation of a vibrant artistic community. Foreign artists have been drawn to Bali for centuries due to this unique cultural synergy.
One of the most popular organizations in Jakarta for those who are interested in learning more about Indonesian culture is the Indonesian Heritage society. Amateurs become experts through research using their extensive library and participation in study groups. Study groups are formed dependent on the interest of members and in recent years have included; textiles, ceramic, wayang, batik and others.