Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara

Posted in Bali, Indonesia, Java, Photography with tags , on April 19, 2014 by briancarnold

While visiting Jakarta, I stopped by Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara, the photo journalism gallery in Pasar Baru.

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They had just launched a new show, in conjunction with a new book in a series documenting natural disasters in Indonesia.  This exhibition and book document two recent volcanic eruptions in Java and Sumutra – Kelud and Sinabung.

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The book and exhibition feature over 60 photographers, including one who died photographing Kelud, the volcano in eastern Java.  The pictures were all printed on a aluminum sheets, and proceeds from both the exhibition and book sale will go to providing funds for recovery from the two eruptions.

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The current series includes books documenting the eruption of Mount Merapi outside of Yogyakarta, and the tsunami that struck Aceh.

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I went back a couple of days later to meet with Oscar Mutuloh and Goen W, the two directors of the gallery.  We met to talk about photography, and any possible collaborations we can have in the future.

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More and more, photography is helping me to gain a greater connection with Indonesia.

Studio Visit

Posted in Bali, Indonesia, Java, Photography with tags , on April 19, 2014 by briancarnold

While still in Bandung, I had the chance to meet with photographer Henrycus Napitsungaro.

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I first saw his work at Gallery S.14, at the home of Aminudin Siregar.  I immediately took an interest in his work, and Aminudin set up a meeting for us.

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Henrycus showed me two bodies of work, After Image (shown here, a sort of autobiographical piece), and a series of photographs made in Chinatown in Bandung.

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I was most interested in After Image, perhaps because of its similarities with my own work.  The pictures explore his family life, with several self-portraits that include his mother.  The photographs are beautifully crafted silver prints, rich and sensitive.

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It was a pleasure to connect with Henrycus.  We shared a number of similar interests, and spent quite a while talking about photography.

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A real photographer’s photographer, I hope we made a connection that can continue.

 

Portrait of a Driver

Posted in Bali, Indonesia, Java, Photography with tags , on April 3, 2014 by briancarnold

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His name is Septian.  He has a remarkable sense of humor.  He loves the blues, Bob Marley and The Police.  He also really loves women.  All women.

Septian once worked for UNICEF, as a photographer, and is now a photography student at Pasudan University in Bandung.  He loves white water rafting, and is a certified disaster/emergency relief worker.  He is 29 years old, and still hasn’t finished school.  A very smart man, and also very single.

Studio Visit

Posted in Bali, Indonesia, Java, Photography with tags , , , on April 1, 2014 by briancarnold

So again, perhaps not a studio visit, but the other day I met with Deden Hendan Durahman, an interdisciplinary artist and professor at ITB.

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We met at S14 Gallery, in the home of Aminudin Siregar, curator at ITB.

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Not really a photographer, or at least a photographer’s photographer, Deden is an interdisciplinary artist, working in painting, printmaking, and digital imaging.

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A very articulate and interesting man, Deden has sophisticated ideas about the body and identity.  Our conversation focused on his photographic based work.

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Employing a variation of offset lithography, he makes complicated digital montages that explore and mutate the body.

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These montages explore the body inside and out.  Interesting too, were a series he completed while working in Germany, which explore his own identity, reconfigured to be many races, ages, and genders.  An interesting attempt to explore individual identity among many.

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He also showed me a series that appears as straight photography, though were heavily composed and manipulated street scenes of Germany during World War II.

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Glad to have my knowledge and experiences of photography in Java continue to grow.

 

Full Spectrum

Posted in Bali, Indonesia, Java, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by briancarnold

I got a fuller taste of photography in Java and Bandung the other day.

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Perhaps it started with this t-shirt, a gift from one of my hosts at the University of Pasundan, Harry Reynaldi.  In addition to his teaching position, Harry works for an organization promoting and advocating for photography in rural communities around Java, RAWS.

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So Saturday, together with Harry (Pak HarSOS) and one of his students, Septian, I went out for a long day looking at photographs and art around the city of Bandung.  The first stop was Gallery S14, a small gallery and library in the home of Aminudin Siregar, the current gallery curator at the Institute of Technology in Bandung, one of the most prestigious art programs in Southeast Asia.  Aminudin was a contributing curator to the most recent Singapore Biennale, and Pak HarSOS billed him as one of the most influential curators working in Indonesia today.

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Aminudin showed me around the gallery and art work spread around his house, as well as the impressive, public library dedicated to art that occupies much of the first floor of his home.  I told him of my interest/ambitions to organize an exhibition of contemporary photography from Indonesia back in my home in New York.  He showed me some photographic work in his gallery by Henrycus Napitsunargo, and alum of the program at ITB.  I loved his work, and asked Aminudin if he could provide an introduction before I left Bandung.  He said he’d be happy to do so, and we continued to look through his collection of art and the library, sitting down to lunch about 40 minutes later.

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As we sat down to lunch, several more people arrived.  Aminudin invited over several photographs living in Bandung for me to meet.  Together, we all spent the next three to four hours talking about photography, my ambitions for this exhibition, Indonesia, and America.  It was a great afternoon.

I then left with Pak HarSOS and Septian, heading out for the Bandung Heritage Society.  Park Har SOS arranged for me to meet with a curator here, to look at and talk about old photographs made in Bandung during the Dutch colonial government.  I spent the next hour and half with Pak Ade, looking at this old Dutch publication looking at the history and development of the architecture across the city of Bandung.

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We left the Bandung Heritage Society sometime around 5 or 5:30, and went to a small gallery in town hosting an amateur photography contest.  All the pictures were pulled from Instagram; they called the exhibition Sundagram (Sunda refers to the historical culture of West Java).  It was a densely packed day, but I got a broad look at the photographic culture of Bandung.

Studio Visit

Posted in Bali, Indonesia, Java, Photography with tags , on March 28, 2014 by briancarnold

Well, technically it wasn’t a studio visit, but a couple of weeks back, before I left Yogyakarta, I met Krisna Murti, a pioneering media artist in Java, for coffee and conversation.

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We talked for close to two hours.  Krisna is remarkably articulate, thoughtful, funny, and charismatic.  We spoke rather philosophically, talking about our individual art practices, as well as some of my ideas for a show of Indonesian photography in the States.

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Krisna spoke at length about his first ideas and interests in video art.  He likened video projection to wayang, the traditional Indonesian shadow theater.  The light projection of the video, he said, is like the shadow, just an emanation of light, nothing concrete.

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We spoke about the role of digital technologies in our daily lives – phones, computers, atm machines.  It was wonderful to meet him, and share a discussion on his ideas so deeply cultivated and pursued over the years.

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As I think more and more about trying to put this exhibition together, it seems important to me to include some video and media arts, rather than making it about photography more specifically.  The show, in my mind, is still about photography, but I understand now that photography as an art form in Indonesia, grew out of new media arts – sound, video, performance, installation – rather than having the deep history we know in the States.

Affandi (an Aside)

Posted in Bali, Indonesia, Java, Photography with tags , , on March 11, 2014 by briancarnold

His paintings were fist exhibited at Cornell University in 1962.

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He customized his own sports car to look like a fish, complete with a spoiler.

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He spent two years in India, around 1949-51, painting, and for what many thought to be his most creative years.

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In 1954, his work was exhibited in the Venice Biennale, where he won an award for his work and contribution to the exhibition.

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He traveled all over Europe, exhibiting his paintings in Paris, London, Brussels, and Rome.

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Largely just for a break from my typical routines, yesterday I went to the Affandi Museum in Yogyakarta.

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It was a welcome distraction.  Unlike most, perhaps, I seemed to respond most to his early works, before his pioneering style had really formed.  I also really loved his drawings.  Simple, spontaneous, and full of energy.

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Mostly, I think, I loved the since of freedom and play he sustained throughout his work and career.

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Born in 1907, and died in 1990, and Affandi left behind a remarkable and deep body of work.  Full of life and originality.

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