Many of Strasser's most admired paintings were made in Bali, a place that he found enchanting. At the end of his travels he and his wife Enrica were sequestered in their Bali home from early 1942 through late 1945, hiding from the occupying Japanese: they went nearly four years without seeing any other Caucasians. In October of 1945, two months after Japan's surrender, AP war correspondent Hal Boyle found Strasser and Enrica holed up at their mountain home in Kintamani and offered the artist his first American cigarette in a decade. "Bali has changed terrifically since I first came here in 1919," Strasser opined between puffs: "These people are losing their gods."
In the years that followed, Strasser's London agent, William P. Paterson, continued to successfully manage the artist's business affairs in his absence. In December of 1924 Strasser embarked on series of journeys that would last several years, beginning in India and ending in Japan. He stayed ten months in Tibet, aided by a guide who had been a member of the first Mount Everest expedition and spent a year in Urga, the capital of Outer Mongolia: while in Urga, Soviet officials arrested and detained Strasser as a spy, confiscating his diary and maps, but allowing him to keep his paintings and drawings. In 1926, after making his way through the Gobi desert with boxes of art, he crossed into China and experienced a disastrous loss: In Peking, 180 of his artworks were destroyed by looting Chinese soldiers. Still, there were enough works remaining for shows in London, Paris, Vienna and Berlin.
Returning to Vienna after his father's death in October of 1927, Strasser married Enrica Luise, a charming equestrienne who he lured away from another suitor. She too was a painter, until a Viennese critic recommended that she stop. During this period Strasser worked on a book, The Mongolian Horde, illustrated with numerous pen and ink drawings. Since Strasser's diary had been confiscated during his recent trip, the text came from his memories.
Published in New York, London and Berlin, The Mongolian Horde bolstered and broadening Strasser's reputation. "It will have historic value," noted one reviewer, because it records with the insight of a trained eye, the incoming tide of superficial Westernism..." In 1929 Strasser and Enrica spent a year in Kyoto, Japan where he painted and drew kabuki performers, sumo wrestlers and geishas. Strasser proudly recounted that the Japanese had a high regard for artists, and that he would sometimes find audiences of sixty to seventy people watching him when he worked on location.
What I found in Bali was of quite a different character: the soothing inducement of a delightful language and charming people. Here, the nights were ablaze with distant stars and always full of the syncopated music of the Gamelans... It was truly fascinating to work and live among the graceful wealth of everyday life.