I dedicate this page to my husband,
the adventurer Hubert Matysek,
and his life's work in the exhibition
"The People of the Sea"
at the Museum of World Ocean Kaliningrad (Russia)
First I would like to introduce you to Hubert and afterwards I will tell you why his life's work is in Kaliningrad (Russia).
Since 29 years I travel around the world with my husband. He is a true adventurer, as you may have already seen in the photo. Here is his story:
adventurer - cameraman - art collector
Hubert grew up in the south of Germany. At the age of fifteen, he lost his parents and had to fight himself through life from then on. As if by chance he came to Helgoland, a small island in the North Sea between Germany and England. Actually he waited in the Hamburg harbor for a ship to Brazil, where he had relatives. But Hubert found his personal and professional happiness on Helgoland. He dreamed as a teenager of traveling to foreign countries. At this time a world map hung over his bed and when he looked up at night, he began to think about exploring Africa, Asia and America. With his first money he bought a camera and went in the winter on the trip. There he also made his first films and made slide images (the slides are unfortunately no longer available). Back in Germany, he showed people in small presentations, the world outside the European continent. This was completely new in the late 1950s / early 1960s. People were amazed! The enthusiasm was so great, and so it came, that Hubert from then on equipped with a professional movie camera went every winter for 6 months in adventure expeditions. A newspaper reporter once wrote: "For six months he works like a savage, and for six months he lives like a savage."
So he discovered the remotest corners of the earth, whether it was the African continent, the islands in the Indian Ocean, Middle East, Asia, Australia, the South Seas, North, Central and South America; Hubert visited the peoples as a friend, lived and celebrated with them. He met kings, presidents, tribal chieftains, high-ranking priests and monks. He lived in castles just as happy as on rickety boats of the locals or in a tree house in the jungle.
Hubert has produced over 80 documentary films.
He was more behind a 16mm camera than he had taken pictures. And unfortunately, the few slides from the 1960s are no longer available. Nevertheless, there are fabulous shots that he and want to share with you.
Please click on the picture to see the photos of his expeditions!
Let's go on a small world trip...
Hubert did not bring back "only" films and photos of his travels, but also great works of art. His friends and also the visitors of his film presentations (which now took place in large halls) were enthusiastic about the art of foreign countries. The idea was born! In 1974 Matysek opened with his first wife the "Bali Beach - works of art from around the world" in the center of Frankfurt am Main / Germany. This small shop had a very special atmosphere: foreign smells (incense sticks), strange sounds (for example gamelan music), candles, blossoms and flowers -when the visitors entered the shop, they were looked at by thousands of eyes: Everywhere hung grotesque masks from Indonesia, Africa and New Guinea. There were deity-figures from India, Nepal and Bali, Buddha images from Tibet, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka and China. Figures and items of "primitive" peoples from New Guinea, Africa and the South Seas. And of cause, so many photos! Hubert had great success! But it always drew him into the distance. After Christmas, he went on trips for four months, to experience new cultures and to bring great works of art with.
Until today, The Bali Beach Shop is not just a store: it is a life's work with a large and a great story. Perhaps you wonder why Hubert called his business "Bali Beach". Bali, the island of the gods and demons, simply drew him into its spell. He landed in 1966 for the first time on this island with an airplane with drogue parachute, because the runway had been very short. There was not a big terminal like today, but a small house and to welcome the guest little Balinese came with a floral gift and a fresh coconut. Hubert experienced the opening of the large "Bali Beach Hotel" in Sanur and stayed for 4 months. Every year he came back and when he opened his small hotel and the tax-free shop in Helgoland in 1969, he called it "Bali Beach".
In autumn 1989 Hubert and I met for the first time. Bali has a very special meaning in my life. When I discovered the culture in a lent book, I was absolutely fascinated. A world full of gods and demons, carved in stone, carved in wood and living in nature. But where could I get such a piece in Germany? My mother remembered that there was a shop in Frankfurt. My “soul” entered a Wonderland shop! My heart pounded with joy. There was everything my heart desired. Yes EVERYTHING, because there was a man between all the masks and figures who conquered my heart. It was love at first sight! Hubert impressed the "girl" who also bought a Garuda statue that had a crack. Other people are bothered by this, seeing the statue as broken. But I said: This rift is a sign of the great energy that this statue possesses! Since 1990 we are a couple (24 hours pay day!) we travel together every winter through the world and, of course, to Bali.
In 1994, Hubert finished his work as a documantary filmmaker with the Thaipusam Festival. I did the photos. It was an incredible experience for me. Two days and two nights we were very close to the faithful. We accompanied the Hindus to Batu Caves, KL, Malaysia.
In 1998 Hubert and me announced: Bali Beach leaves Frankfurt, leaves Germany! No one would have held it there for possible, that such a big, well-known shop packs the trucks and goes on their own "adventure". The "Bali Beach Museum Shop" has been in Marbella (Spanien) for over 21 years. We are very proud of it! It was not easy to gain a foothold, but the quality of the works of art, the temple-like atmosphere, the adventure stories of Hubert and not least my always cheerful manner and great knowledge about Asian culture have simply convinced our customers.
The art collection covers such a wide range, that the we can rightly say that "Bali Beach" is unique!
When 2015, in the middle of the summer, the soul of the "Bali Beach", the Barong Ketet, left the shop and disappeared in one of the many containers, Hubert and me embraced. We wept bitterly. Everything around us became still, everyone felt affected; the longtime neighbors, the packers and just passing pedestrians. Hubert and I said goodbye to nearly 1500 pieces (2019), which were part of our lives. Real museum pieces from Bali, New Guinea, Tibet, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China, Nepal, India, Ghana and Senegal. But there were also tears of joy and gratitude, because Mr. Vladimir Shcherbakov, together with the World Ocean Museum, created a monument to Hubert's life’s work with the exhibition "The people of the sea" in Kaliningrad/Russia.
"The People of the Sea"
the life's work of Hubert Matysek in Kaliningrad/ Svetlogorsk
"A unique ethnographic exhibition – People of the Sea – is waiting for you at the Maritime Exhibition Centre in Svetlogorsk.
A unique ethnographic collection moves visitors to the world of primitive tribes, mystery religions and excellent handicraft by native artists. About 1450 items – cult objects, masks, puppets, weapons – were collected by a German traveler in Indonesia (New Guinea, Java, Timor, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Bali) as well as in India, China and Nepal in the 1960s-90s. These people’s life is closely interrelated with the sea, so it is clearly seen in the materials, symbols and themes. According to the ethnographers, it is one of the five best collections in Europe. In 2015, a Russian entrepreneur and patron V.Shcherbakov acquired the collection and lent it to the Museum of the World Ocean for a display. Guests have already got to know a small part of the collection at the Maritime Exhibition Centre. Some exhibits are exclusive and displayed in Russia for the first time.
The exhibition is located on two levels: on the ground floor one can get to know unique primitive cultures of New Guinea: Asmat and Dani tribes. Exhibits devoted to the culture and art of Bali, Hindustan and Southeast Asia will be presented in the largest hall."
Here are a few impressions from the exhibition:
HARI OM and Namaste!
I am pleased that you have visited my website.
I am happy to answer any questions or give you information. I am open to spiritual exchange. Please use the following contact form or click the photo.
With love, Ma Prarthana Nisarga
(Hari OM means: May our hearts be interconnected and aware that we are part of a cosmic whole. May we contribute something together to the Cosmic Whole!)
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI OM
And the story of Hubert goes on. We will continue to travel and definitely visit Kaliningrad again and again. Hubert says: There I am at home!