A History of Photography in Indonesia: From the Colonial Era to the Digital Age 9789048558025

As a former colonized nation, Indonesia has a unique place in the history of photography. A History of Photography in In

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A History of Photography in Indonesia: From the Colonial Era to the Digital Age
 9789048558025

Table of contents :
CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Introduction
CHAPTER 1 The Invention of Photography, the Netherlands, and the Dutch East Indies
CHAPTER 2 Journeys Completed and Journeys to Come in Indonesian Photography
CHAPTER 3 Portraits of Power: From Aristocracy to Democracy
CHAPTER 4 The Dance Photographs of Walter Spies and Claire Holt: A Biographical Study
CHAPTER 5 Mid-century European Modernism and the March Towards Independence: Gotthard Schuh, Cas Oorthuys, Niels Douwes Dekker, and Henri Cartier-Bresson
CHAPTER 6 A Short History of IPPHOS (Indonesian Press Photographic Services)
CHAPTER 7 Art Photography in Indonesia: J.M. Arastath Ro’is, Trisno Sumardjo, and Zenith Magazine
CHAPTER 8 Journalistic Circus: A Look at Photojournalism in Indonesia and the History of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism
CHAPTER 9 Reflections on Reformasi Photography (from the Vantage Point of the 2014 Elections)
CHAPTER 10 New Media Culture
CHAPTER 11 Development of Photographic Education in Indonesia
CHAPTER 12 MES 56: Souvenirs from the Past
CHAPTER 13 Hybrid Forms in the Practice of the Ruang MES 56 Photography Collective
CHAPTER 14 Outsiders
CHAPTER 15 On Silence, Seeking, and Speaking: Meditations on Identity, Photography, and Diaspora Through Family Albums
CHAPTER 16 A City on the Move: Bandung Today
CHAPTER 17 Urban Parallax: Jakarta Through A Street Photographer’s Lens
AFTERWARD The Earth Beneath My Feet: Identity, Family, and Family Life
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
CONTRIBUTORS
INDEX
A NOTE ON THE PUBLICATION
COLOPHON

Citation preview

A History of Photo– graphy in Indo– nesia

“The writer… must be wary of every Dream and every nation, even his own nation. Perhaps his own nation more than any other, precisely because it was his own.” Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

“We aim for art that is more alive, in the sense that its existence is readily accepted and that it exists naturally, usefully, and widely among the people.” Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru Indonesia (Indonesian New Arts Movement)

“Our Indonesian-ness is not only because our skins are brown, our hair black, our cheek-bones high, but much more because of what is expressed as the true emanation of our hearts and minds. We are not going to give a definition of what constitutes Indonesian culture. When we speak of Indonesian culture, we are not thinking of polishing up the products of the old culture to make them glitter and in order that they may be praised, but we are thinking of a new cultural life which is sound. Indonesian culture is determined by all the voices sounding from all parts of the world, and spoken out with our own voice, in our own language, in our own forms.” Gelanggang Testimony of Beliefs, from Indonesian Notebook: A Sourcebook on Richard Wright and the Bandung Conference by Brian Russell Roberts and Keith Foulcher

A History of Photo– graphy in Indo– nesia

Edited by Brian C. Arnold

From the Colonial Era to the Digital Age

Untitled [Dancer], K. Satake, photograph, 22.7 cm × 17 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

xii

Introduction Brian C. Arnold

1

CHAPTER 1

The Invention of Photography, the Netherlands, and the Dutch East Indies Brian C. Arnold

25

CHAPTER 2

Journeys Completed and Journeys to Come in Indonesian Photography Gael Newton

49

CHAPTER 3

Portraits of Power: From Aristocracy to Democracy Matthew Cox

81

CHAPTER 4

The Dance Photographs of Walter Spies and Claire Holt: A Biographical Study Brian C. Arnold

107

CHAPTER 5

Mid-century European Modernism and the March Towards Independence: Gotthard Schuh, Cas Oorthuys, Niels Douwes Dekker, and Henri Cartier-Bresson Brian C. Arnold

135

CHAPTER 6

A Short History of IPPHOS (Indonesian Press Photographic Services) Brian C. Arnold

161

CHAPTER 7

Art Photography in Indonesia: J.M. Arastath Ro’is, Trisno Sumardjo, and Zenith Magazine Aminudin T.H. Siregar

181

CHAPTER 8

Journalistic Circus: A Look at Photojournalism in Indonesia and the History of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism Oscar Motuloh

195

CHAPTER 9

Reflections on Reformasi Photography (from the Vantage Point of the 2014 Elections) Karen Strassler

231

CHAPTER 10

New Media Culture Krisna Murti

249

CHAPTER 11

Development of Photographic Education in Indonesia Soeprapto Soedjono

267

CHAPTER 12

MES 56: Souvenirs from the Past Wimo Ambala Bayang

291

CHAPTER 13

Hybrid Forms in the Practice of the Ruang MES 56 Photography Collective Adelina Luft

307

CHAPTER 14

Outsiders Jeremy Allan

345

CHAPTER 15

On Silence, Seeking, and Speaking: Meditations on Identity, Photography, and Diaspora Through Family Albums Alexandra Kumala

365

CHAPTER 16

A City on the Move: Bandung Today Brian C. Arnold

397 CHAPTER 17

Urban Parallax: Jakarta Through A Street Photographer’s Lens Brent Luvaas

427 A F T E RWA R D

The Earth Beneath My Feet: Identity, Family, and Family Life Tino Djumini

443 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

468 CONTRIBUTORS

472 INDEX

474 A NOTE ON THE PUBLICATION

481 COLOPHON

481

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

There are so many people who provided valuable assistance in making this book. I would like to thank each of the writers and artists who contributed to the book, for without their belief in the project it simply would never have come to life. I would like to offer a bit of extra thanks to Gael Newton, our conversations about the history of photography in Indonesia date back several years, and her book Garden of the East has been a major influence on my own work. I would also like to offer a huge thanks to Thea van Veen and the National Gallery of Australia; Thea was extremely generous in helping me access the remarkable collection of photographs held at the museum. There are a number of people in Java who provided a great deal of their time and resources in helping me put this project together. I would like to offer a huge shout out of thanks to Jez O’Hare, Ucok (Aminudin T.H. Siregar) and his wife Herra Pahlasari, Jeremy Allan, Mella Jaarsma, Alia Swastika, Ni Wayan Ariati, Pak Harsos, Deden Durahman, Henrycus Napit Sunargo, Diandra Galih, Rikrik Kusmara, Rifky Effendi, John McGlynn, Angki Purbandono, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Melisa Angela, Soeprapto Soedjono, and Suastiwi Triatmodjo. I would also like to thank Irhamni Ali at Perpustakaan Nasional for all his help in retrieving the IPPHOS image files, above and beyond the call of duty. Each of the people have been more than generous in offering professional help and/or friendship. In working as both a photographer/artist and Indonesianist, back in the States I straddle two different worlds. In some ways this project is derived from discussions I’ve shared with many colleagues interested in tackling questions about Indonesia. Karen Strassler’s first book, Refracted Visions, was an incredible inspiration from the very beginning. I also need to thank Kaja McGowan, Abby Cohn, Thomas Pepinsky, and Marina Welker, all faculty in the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell, and each has always had open ears, encouraging words, or the correct insight as I’ve put this project together. I also need to acknowledge Ellen Avril and Stephanie Willets at the Johnson Museum of Art. Richard Fox has constantly proven to be one of the most generous and supportive colleagues I’ve known, and Alissa Stern seemed to emerge out of the mist to help me find a new direction. I Madé Lasmawan and Tunas Mekar helped turn me onto Indonesia in the beginning. And I would also like to share the deepest thanks with my colleagues in the Ithaca office of the American Institute for Indonesian Studies, Netta Anggia and Martin Hatch. The logistical support they’ve provided for this project was essential, and without Marty Hatch this project simple would have never come to fruition. I would also like to thank Natasha Reichle at the Asian Art Museum in San

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xii

Francisco, Adrian Vickers at the University of Sydney in Australia, and Charles Fox at Catfish Books, all of whom read early drafts of this book and offered nothing but encouragement and support. I like to think my own work as a photographer is at the heart of this project, so I would also like to thank the photographers, curators, and teachers who I’ve studied with and befriended. Andrea Modica, Terri Weifenbach, Barbara Tannenbaum, Kim Beil, Tanya Marcuse, Dubravka Lazic, Eugenie Shinkle, David Skolkin, Emmet Gowin, and Robert Adams have all in their unique ways helped steer me in the right path, and negotiate this complicated life as a photographer and artist. Leslie Bellavance provided essential support in getting this project started. I have also been remarkably luck to study with many photographers I deeply admire—JoAnn Verburg, Frank Gohlke, Eric Paddock, Abelardo Morell, Laura McPhee, Barbara Bosworth, Accra Shepp and Doug Dubois—all of whom represent the highest standards in creative life and have pushed me to go further. I also need to offer a huge shout out to Roger Freeman, who has really been the best possible colleague and has gone well beyond the call of duty. I also owe deep gratitude to the MacDowell Colony, specifically to Cheryl Young, Karen Keenan, David Macy, Philip Himberg, Wendy Richmond, and Rosemarie Fiore. MacDowell provided me with the time and resources to complete this project, and at a time these things were sorely needed; MacDowell really provided the lifeline I needed to finish the book. And lastly I need to thank my family and the wonderful people I share my life with. Sadie and James have patiently waited and endured my long absences from home while I’ve traveled putting this project together. Farr Carey has generously accepted extra loads as a parent. I can’t imagine having a more generous or supportive mother, Barbara Arnold. And I also need to add the deepest thanks to Tiffany Fleming, who has shown me what love can really be. I am fully aware that there are many more things for me to discover about photography in Indonesia, and very much hope this book is just a place marker within a larger study. I also hope this book will help develop more discussions and writings on the subject so we can all get a better handle on what this all means, to facilitate greater, global conversations about photography.

— Brian C. Arnold

xiii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

INTRODUCTION

Brian C. Arnold

I

was 22 the first time I went to Indonesia. I went simply on a college semester abroad. At the time, I was really interested in music, and went to study gamelan. The whole experience was eye-opening, and the amount of personal and cultural discovery has lasted me a lifetime, or at least was enough to initiate a much longer study and interest in Indonesia. I was just there about six months, but the impact on my creative and intellectual identity was enormous. ▶0.1

Just a few months before I left for Bali this first time, I discovered photography. I know it sounds like a cliché (though maybe less so in our current digital age), but the first time I saw a print come up in the developer, I was hooked. I immediately threw myself into photography with incredible enthusiasm and abandon. In just a few months, I did everything I could do to learn about photography, even landing my first professional experience working at an important photographic archive in Colorado. Like my time in Indonesia, these first experiences with photography provided enough inspiration to sustain a lifetime. ▶ 0.2 When I discovered these things, it was an important time in my life, really a time with a strong development of identity. I think of it as no coincidence that I discovered photography for the first time just before departing for Bali. I still remember the feeling of engagement, creativity, and self-empowerment I discovered when I made my first photographs, really because I still feel the same when photographing today. I can say the same about my engagement with Indonesia; my time in Bali and Java always feels important, like an empowering time of creative and intellectual discovery.

For most of my adult life, I’ve pursued two distinct but parallel studies in the arts—as a photographer and artist of my own culture, and as a student and performer of Indonesian art and classical music. When I left college, I set off to begin my life as an artist. I moved to Denver, Colorado, to work with a group of musicians devoted to studying and advocating for Balinese and Indonesian arts. I worked with a non-profit organization called Tunas Mekar, both a gamelan orchestra and an educational foundation dedicated to the advancement of Indonesian arts. I made this group my primary focus, and worked with the foundation for my first years out of college. While I was working with Tunas Mekar, I initiated my own study of photography. Having only been taught the basics, I set out, deter-

A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE DIGITAL AGE

2

0.1

0.2

Untitled [Balinese temple

Balinese Temple Guardian,

festival], Brian C. Arnold,

Brian C. Arnold, kallitype

C-print, 1992

print, 12 cm × 17 cm, 1992–93

3

INTRODUCTION

0.3

0.4

0.5

Balinese Temple Guardian,

Damaged photograph of dancers

Untitled [Tea Plantation],

Brian C. Arnold, gum bichromate

at the kraton in Yogyakarta,

Woodbury & Page, albumen

print, 24.5 cm × 17 cm, 1992

photographer unknown.

print, 19.2 cm × 24.6 cm.

(print 1994).

Collection of the author.

Collection of the author.

A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE DIGITAL AGE

4

mined to really teach myself the medium, and set up my first, small studio. I used all my free time pursuing photography. I did this for years, and eventually reached a point when I recognized it was time to make my primary commitment to photography and an engagement with arts of my own culture. I enrolled in an MFA program in photography at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and put aside my work in Indonesia for the next decade. ▶ 0.3 After completing my graduate degree, I began a teaching career, working in a well-known school for art education. Here, I taught photography and new media arts to graduate and undergraduate students from all over the world. This proved a wonderful opportunity to develop my own philosophies of art and creativity, and specifically their relationship to a greater cultural experience. As my own identity as an artist and photographer became more concrete, I became increasingly interested in reconnecting with gamelan and Indonesia. I traveled back to Bali and Java a number of times, and again began studying and performing with the Cornell University Gamelan Ensemble. ▶ 0.4 Over several years, my connection with Cornell grew into a research position, and I eventually had the idea to try and merge my interests in photography and Indonesian art. I used the incredible resources available in the Cornell University Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) to initiate a study into the history of photography in Indonesia. This began as a textual study, but over several years, I found funding to return to Indonesia, really with the intention of trying to learn about contemporary art photography on the islands. ▶ 0.5 My first discussions proved to be remarkably successful, as I connected with some important curators and artists advocating for photography on my first attempts. In Jogja, I spent an afternoon at MES 56, an artists’ collaborative at that time situated just outside the kraton. Long known as a center for both dance and painting, Yogyakarta is also home to the Cemeti Art House, an influential gallery for defining contemporary art in Java. MES 56 was developed by a group of artists interested in photography and new media. At the time the collective came together, it was difficult for artists interested in these types of media to find exhibition opportunities, so they created their own. Amongst the original members of the collective are Wimo Ambala Bayang, Jim Allen Abel, and Angki Purbandono, all graduates of the state art academy in Jogja (ISI Yogyakarta), and all part of the first generation of Indonesian artists interested in exploring photography and related media. Today, MES 56 remains an important part of the Yogyakarta art scene, hosting exhibitions, film screenings, workshops, seminars, and residencies.

5

INTRODUCTION

It was also in 2011 that I made my first successful contact with the ISI Yogyakarta (Institut Seni Indonesia—the Indonesian Institute of Art), developing an ongoing relationship with Dr. Suawastiwi Triatmodjo, Dean of the Fine Arts Program. In connecting with the art academy and Ibu Suawastiwi, I got my first introduction to art education in Java. She provided me with the wonderful opportunity to meet with students and faculty from the program, and to learn how photography is included in their education. It was at this time I also first met with Soeprapto Soedjono, one of the first contributors to discussions about photographic curriculum and pedagogy in Java, and one of the founding faculty members of the photo department at ISI Jogja. ▶ 0.6 In subsequent visits, I was able to build on these first relationships, meeting more artists and curators from across Java. With help from the American Institute for Indonesian Studies, I was able to connect with a variety of academic programs around Central and West Java, and lectured and taught workshops in schools of architecture, communication, Muslim broadcasting, sociology, and art. I was also able to meet different curators and educators, and see photographic exhibitions both professional and amateur. Each of these experiences helped give me a broader understanding of photography in Java today. ▶ 0.7

Accepted as a fine art, photography is still a relatively new thing in Indonesia, as it is in most of Southeast Asia.[1] There are a couple of threads within larger, global history of photography that are essential in understanding the development of photographic art in the region. In the beginning, photography represented tremendous privilege. It took education, leisure time, and most importantly, money to pursue. And thus in the early years of its invention, photography was really only practiced by the Western powers in Europe and North America (with some important exceptions in Japan and China— both relevant in looking at the medium in Indonesia). Immediately, these cultures recognized the power this new invention had for their economic and political adventures abroad, and thus photography became a primary tool for their colonial endeavors, really from the get-go. ▶ 0.8 Often with more romantic or altruistic intentions—to educate their populations at home about these foreign cultures, a propaganda mechanism— [1] Published by the National University Press of Singapore, Zhuang Wubin’s book Photography in Southeast Asia provides an excellent introduction to the development of the contemporary photography across Southeast Asia.

A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE DIGITAL AGE

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0.6 Oil Palm Plantation, Loading fruit

Based in Bandung, West Java, Jez O’Hare

to truck, Lampung, Sumatra, Jez

has been photographing Indonesian

O’Hare, inkjet print with ultrachrome

landscapes from the air for decades,

inks, 54 cm × 54 cm, 1987–2016.

offering a remarkably unique perspective

Courtesy of Jez O’Hare.

and understanding of the archipelago.

7

INTRODUCTION

0.7 From the series Afterimage, Henrycus Napit Sunargo, silver gelatin print, dimensions variable, 2002–2010. Courtesy of Henrycus Napit Sunargo. Originally trained as an architect, and working as a self-taught photographer, Henrycus Napit Sunargo teaches photography at universities around Bandung.

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0.8 The Kawah Manoek, Java, George P. Lewis, photogravure print (published by Kurkdjian, Surabaya, East Java), 16 cm × 19 cm. Collection of the author.

9

INTRODUCTION

the colonial powers sent photographers abroad to start recording the government work in these developing nations. Immediately, the social power of photography was in place, as photography quickly became an essential tool in defining the “other,” and helping to facilitate economic and political supremacy. Photography provided an opportunity to further objectify the native population, and gave visual evidence to compare the differences of culture and “civilization.” As an economic privilege, it gave an authority that wasn’t easily shared or translated, and that economic privilege quickly became an intellectual and cultural privilege. ▶ 0.9 ▶ 0.10 The second thread within this greater global history of photography worth emphasizing is photography’s relentless march towards democratization. Perhaps first manifest with the inventions of George Eastman and Eastman Kodak, much of the goal for the first 150 years of the medium was to make everyone a photographer. The current digital age is undoubtedly the completion of this goal. There aren’t many adults today without a camera; or better put, anyone with a phone today not only holds a camera, but also has immediate access to distribute pictures globally. They say there are more social media users per capita in Indonesia than any other country in the world. In her wonderful book, Indonesia Etc., Elizabeth Pisani observes the presence of digital and social media in the outer island of the archipelago, recalling her time with a family on the remote island of Flores: The boy, bright, smiley and fond of geography, would climb a tree, pick a mango, throw it half-eaten to the ground because he needed his hands for catapulting. When he got peckish again, he would just climb another tree. The girl, with whom I had been sharing a bed, was in her monosyllabic post-pubescent phase; her purpose was to get high enough up the mountain to get a signal on her cell phone so that she could check Facebook.[2] While originally discarded as a tool of the colonizer, Indonesians largely ignored photography for much of the second half of the 20th century. It was certainly part of family and village rituals, as well as an essential part of the press, but lacked the ubiquitous dissemination across the culture. That said, however, photography continued to spread rampantly in the buildup to digital imaging—one hour photo processors emerging globally—and photography proved an essential tool in reformasi, the revolt that led to the fall of Indonesian dictator Suharto; when control of photography was lost, Suharto lost control of information, and thus his ability to govern. With the emergence of digital imaging, however, all that has changed. In Indonesia, [2] Elizabeth Pisani, a writer and public health official from London, in her book Indonesia, Etc. offers a new and unique perspective on Indonesia. Written as a travel diary, the book explores under-acknowledged corners of Indonesia.

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0.9 Postcard of Bali, photographer unknown (published by Periplus Editions); Miss Daju Madé Dewi (kneeling) and Miss Ni Wajan Asa dancing the Oleg and the Butterfly dance (Tamuliling) (Published by Indonesian Color Views, 1964). Collection of the author. For generations Bali has conjured images of paradise, a marketing strategy first developed during the colonial era to boast tourism on the island. Today, tourism is the foundation of Bali’s economy, as the island hosts millions of travelers each year. 0.10 Postcard of Bali, photographer and date unknown. Collection of the author.

11

INTRODUCTION

0.11 Colonial era postcard, photographer unknown, 1870. Collection of the author.

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as throughout much of Southeast Asia, photography is now fully emerging as a fine art, and it is largely a result of digital photography, the complete democratization of the medium. ▶ 0.11

Before fully addressing this new history, there is a bit more to say about the presence of photography in the colonized nation. There are two passages in particular that I’d like to quote that speak beautiful its presence and its power. The first is from the great African American folklorist and novelist, Zora Neale Hurston, from Their Eyes Were Watching God: Ah was wid dem white chillun so much till Ah didn’t know Ah wuzn’t white till Ah was round six years old. Wouldn’t have found out then, but a man come long takin’ pictures and without askin’ anybody, Shelby, dat was the oldest boy, he told him to take us. Round a week later de man brought de picture for Mis’ Washburn to see and pay him which she did, then give us all a good lickin’. So when we looked at de picture and everybody got pointed out there wasn’t nobody left except a real dark little girl with long hair standing by Eleanor. Dat’s where Ah wuz s’posed to be, but Ah couldn’t recognize dat dark chile as me. So Ah ast, ‘where is me? Ah don’t see me.’ Everybody laughed, even Mr. Washburn. Miss Nellie, de Mama of de chillun who come back home after her husband dead, she pointed to de dark one and said, ‘Dat’s you Alphabet, don’t you know yo’ ownself?’ Dey used to call me Alphabet ‘cause so many people had done named me different names. Ah looked at the picture a long time and seen it was mah dress and mah hair so Ah said: ‘Aw, aw! Ah’m colored!’ Den dey all laughed real hard. But before Ah seen de picture Ah thought Ah wuz just like de rest.[3] There is a lot to unpack here, but before taking a closer look, I’d like to look at another quote from famed Javanese novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer, from his great work This Earth of Mankind: “You are fortunate indeed, my students,” he said, “to be able to witness the beginning of the modern era here in the Indies. Modern! How quickly that word had surged forward and multiplied itself like bacteria throughout the world. (At least, that is what people were saying.) So allow me to use the word, though I still don’t fully understand its meaning.

[3] First published in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston presents a remarkable tale about self-actualization.

13

INTRODUCTION

In short, in this modern era tens of thousands of copies of a photo could be reproduced each day.[4] ▶ 0.12 ▶ 0.13 The main character in both these novels—Janie and Minke—is struggling to assert his or her identity, working against the confines of a dominating white or European culture. The passage from Their Eyes Were Watching God is both dense and beautiful, and has long attracted the attention of literary and cultural critics alike. Essentially, Hurston suggests that the photograph creates difference—the girl cannot see difference without the photograph— and the power of racial hegemony is solidified with the camera. This Earth of Mankind tells the story of a young Javanese man caught between tradition, colonialism, and the expanding modern world. Minke tries to reconcile these disparate motivations to discover a true Indonesian identity, one that is both self-reliant and modern. Photography, in this quoted passage, functions as a metaphor for the magnitude, pace, and power of the developing modern world, a modern world at once at odds with Indonesian culture and traditions, but also one necessary for Indonesia to understand as it moves towards independence.

In Western intellectual and creative history, photography holds a history and presence independent of—indeed proceeding—film, video, installation, and performing arts. In contemporary Indonesia, however, photography developed as an art form because of an interest in film, video, installation, and performing arts. In many ways, photography moved onto the scene as a tool to document other happenings, and simply as a way to provide visual information for artists interested in working across media and in installation. There are a number of artists that led the way to some of these changes—multimedia artists like Nindityo Adipurnomo, Mella Jaarsma, FX Harsono, Heri Dono, and pioneering video artist Krisna Murti. Many of the first photographic artists coming out of Java—particularly in Yogyakarta—used visual and conceptual strategies discovered in other mediums to lay the groundwork for their photographic projects. Many of these artists—Wimo Bayang, Jim Allen Abel, and Angki Purbandono—explored photography with incredible freedom, and borrowed from visual languages already in place in the creative discourse of their time and place. In West Java, the Institute of Technology in Bandung (ITB) provided a starting point for emerging discussions on photography. One of the oldest higher education institutions in Indonesia, ITB has long [4] This Earth of Mankind, part 1 of the Buru Quartet, by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, translated from Indonesian by Max Lane.

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0.12

0.13

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Jez

Photograph of Javanese football

O’Hare, silver gelatin print,

team, photographer unknown.

20.3 cm × 13.6 cm, 1999.

Collection of the author.

Courtesy of Jez O’Hare.

Influencing the world over,

Perhaps Indonesia’s most famous

George Eastman sought to make

novelist, Pramoedya Ananta

everyone a photographer.

Toer published a number of books examining the impact of colonialism in Indonesia.

15

INTRODUCTION

0.14 Untitled, Yogyakarta 2016, photography by the author, pigmented inkjet print, 12.25 cm × 16 cm.

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had a remarkable reputation in the arts. The institute was originally founded by the Dutch, and from the beginning allowed for more Western models of education.[5] Here I met photographers exploring the technical and visual vocabularies inherent to the medium, both in traditional and digital formats, including photographers and artists like Henrycus Napit Sunargo and Deden Durahman. Jakarta has long been home to many of the intellectual and cultural resources of the archipelago, including the Galeri Jurnalistik Antara, a small collective dedicated to teaching, exhibiting, and publishing photojournalism. Many of these photographers—such as Rama Surya, Oscar Motuloh, and Jez O’Hare—blur the lines between journalism and art, and pursue their photography with a great understanding of time and culture. A younger generation of artists are emerging, educated in some of the art programs in the city, with an eye for documentary photography, using the simple and poetic possibilities of the medium to record important social layers and counter cultures, photographers like Tino Djumini, Amran Malik Hakim, and Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayuputri. ▶ 0.14

Much of my approach to formulating a perspective on the history of art in Indonesia is indebted to the work of Claire Holt and Astri Wright. These two women approach Indonesian art with a different perspective on art history, offering a different reach in terms of the scope recorded in their texts. Both, however, developed a great insight into their subjects by starting with a foundation of clear cultural patterns, symbols, and metaphors. Claire Holt is entirely unique, not only for the depth of her achievements, but also for the impact and acknowledgement her work has found in both the States and Indonesia. She has always been characterized as a remarkably sensitive, thoughtful, and intelligent woman, and clearly warranted great respect from her colleagues in both countries. Reading through her manuscripts and research archives, her patience and love of Indonesia have been contagious, and have been a tremendous inspiration. ▶ 0.15 Holt’s text studies a broad chronology of Indonesian art, and an equally diverse range of creative practices. Her work begins with the medieval Hindu/Buddhist architecture of Java and Sumatra, but also includes thorough investigations of Javanese court dance and wayang (shadow puppet) tradi[5] Claire Holt’s wonderful book, Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change, provides some great insight into the establishment and pedagogy of the different art academies in Indonesia, and how the debates of independence and nationalism influenced discussions of art and art education.

17

INTRODUCTION

tions, modernist painting and sculpture from Bali, and concludes with the emerging sense of nationalism, and its impact on the arts and art education. ▶ 0.16 In introducing her work, Holt writes: Art in Indonesia correspondingly reflects an enormous diversity. Both geographical and historical factors have always precluded the development of a homogeneous art with a single line of evolution. Today a multitude of cultural phenomena coexist in the archipelago at quite different stages of their life cycles. Some are ancient but still very vital; others are old but are apparently dying or undergoing radical transformations; still others were born recently and are growing vigorously. In the continuum of cultural growth, old and new elements overlap, fuse, or exist side by side. Dates are only approximate dividers marking the introduction of new ideas or techniques without necessarily implying the disappearance of preceding beliefs and practices. Though published in 1967, Holt’s words are still true today. While it is possible to find someone in Java who has never seen a wayang play, many artists still say the essential foundation for Javanese and Indonesian art lies in understanding wayang. Fundamental to Holt’s work is the idea of continuity and change. This is a wonderful and complicated idea, acknowledging what is essential and unchanging about a culture and its creative expressions (however elusive), but also true of the relentless march towards evolution and change, perhaps best epitomized by technology. Astri Wright’s primary text on Indonesian art—Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters—begins with a similar foundation as Holt’s text, specifically the ideas of continuity and change. Influenced heavily by Holt, Wright begins her study by asserting the foundation, the continuities, of her study, represented in soul, sprit, and mountain, recurring metaphors and symbols in Indonesian mythology and social constructions. ▶ 0.17 Also striking in Wright’s work is her perspective on an emerging Modernism, and the continued development of Indonesian culture and identity after the revolution and independence: To ‘Indonesians’ of the early years of this century, modern experience was shaped by an accelerating influx of new ideas about education, language, history, and identity. With the introduction of new technologies, in part triggered by foreign occupation and war, an unprecedented self-consciousness about one’s place in relation to the past and a dramatically changing present began to develop. This new awareness of other places, cultures, and histories, both past and in the making, created the need to question those structures and assump-

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0.15 Reprinted from Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change, by Claire Holt. Copyright ©1967 by Cornell University Press. Used by permission of the publisher, Cornell University Press. Claire Holt was an early member of the Cornell University Southeast Asia Program and the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project. As a trained dancer and sculptor, Holt brought an incredible understanding of and sensitivity to the creative process in her work as an art historian. Today, her book Art in Indonesia remains one of the defining texts in the field. 0.16 Reprinted from Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change, by Claire Holt. Copyright ©1967 by Cornell University Press. Used by permission of the publisher, Cornell University Press. 0.17 Reprinted from Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters, by Astri Wright. Copyright ©1994 by Oxford University Press. Used by permission of the publisher, Oxford University Press. Like Claire Holt, Astri Wright creates a history of continuity and change, emphasizing the traditional roots of contemporary art practice.

19

INTRODUCTION

tions of one’s own world. Self-conscious reconstructions of the past have accompanied the search for a definition of the present. Fueled by an unprecedented urge to evaluate and compare weaknesses and strengths, Indonesians have attempted to create a better platform from which to meet the challenges of an increasingly complicated and anxiety-provoking future.[6] From my experience in Indonesia, thinking of the development of photography and new media, as well as the historic election of Joko Widodo (or more commonly, Jokowi), Wright’s observations still ring true; ‘Indonesian’ identity is a work in progress, negotiating not only the past, present, and future, but also confronting global economic, political, and religious forces. Wright did the work for her classic book Soul, Spirit, Mountain before reformasi and the fall of Suharto, but in many ways the questions and struggles she suggests are even more a part from Indonesia today, as the nation struggles to become a democracy, one delicately balanced in a complicated past with fragmented identities, and one pulled between a progressive, global economy and a strong conservative movement, and all marred by the scars of colonialism and an oppressive dictatorship. In drawing upon the works of these two women, my hope is to both continue the unique and thoughtful relationship they developed with their colleagues in Indonesia, but also to offer a similar perspective on photography. Whether practiced by the earlier colonial presence or contemporary Indonesian artists, photography provides a visual vocabulary and record for understanding the historical and cultural trajectory of Indonesia. And while the intentions of the colonial photographers and those working today might be quite different, in the end a critical comparison demonstrates an evolving tradition and record of Indonesian culture and identity.

Trying to work as a photographer in Indonesia has proven a much greater challenge than I ever anticipated. In pivotal and yet also elusive ways, I know I’ve discovered important parts of my own identity with my engagements in Indonesia, but this hasn’t always readily translated into a clear visualization. I initially instigated this study of the history of photography in Indonesia as a way to find a photographic voice for myself. This has proven to be remarkably successful. Meeting photographers and artists working across Bali and Java has brought a great deal of clarity to me, to see other people wrestling [6] Wright, Astri, Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters.

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with their own questions by using photography has opened my own eyes. And a chance to see the evolution of the medium in Indonesia over time has broadened my understanding of the culture, in ways that have made it easier to think both objectively and subjectively with a camera. ▶ 0.18 In assembling this book and soliciting contributors, my goal was to obtain a broad range of interests, experiences, and expertise, in hopes that these different voices and perspectives will help create a layered, rich, and complex understanding of photography. The contributors to this include artists, anthropologists, curators, art historians, sociologists, and novelists, and come from places as different as Indonesia, Australia, the United States, the Netherlands, and Romania. My hope is that these diverse perspectives will help create conversations as complex as both photography and Indonesia inherently are at their roots. My intentions for this book are to help develop a conversation on a subject that is still being discovered and explored, and in no way is this considered a definitive history. That said, I do hope the documentation and observations recorded here will be of value for others interested in exploring Indonesia, photography, and a complex evolution of cultural exchange and self-visualization.

21

INTRODUCTION

0.18 Untitled [Stray Dog], Yogyakarta 2016, photograph by the author, pigmented inkjet print, 12.2 cm × 16.3 cm.

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0.19 Untitled [Balinese temple festival], Brian C. Arnold, C-print, 1992.

23

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1

THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES Brian C. Arnold

The

first photographic patent was issued in August 1839 to a Frenchman named Jean Louis Daguerre. Daguerre developed a way of making unique photographic images on a highly polished metal plate, made light sensitive with a mix of silver salts. Daguerre named his process daguerreotype, and his method for creating and preserving images found a fascinated and eager audience around France and the rest of Europe. ▶1.1 ▶1.2 Daguerre had one primary rival, an Englishman named William Henry Fox Talbot. There is some debate as to which of these inventors first stabilized his photographic process first, though since Talbot never took out a patent, Daguerre is typically called the primary inventor of photography. ▶ 1.3 ▶ 1.4 Daguerreotypes are one of a kind, direct positive photographs. Talbot’s method—originally called the talbottype or calotype, though today typically referred to as salted paper—was a two-step process in which the maker first creates a photographic negative, and once fully washed and stabilized, this negative was then placed against a second piece of paper sensitized with silver salts, and then exposed to light to create the finished print. ▶ 1.5 At one time, the Netherlands led the world in creating printing technologies. In the 17th century, different etching and printmaking techniques were developed by the Dutch, which revolutionized printed materials and publications for centuries. As result, the publishing industry in the Netherlands in the 18th and 19th century became an important part of the social and economic structures of the country. With this background, photography immediately took hold among the Dutch, though they didn’t provide much innovation for further developing the medium. ▶ 1.6 Daguerre’s manual was translated into Dutch in 1839, presumably by Christiaan Julius Lodewijk Portman, a painter based in The Hague. Portman exhibited his own plates in October 1839.[1] While the first appearances of this new imaging technique emerged shortly after its invention, it took a few years for the medium to become fully rooted in the Netherlands. The Dutch East India Company began conquest of the Spice Islands in eastern Indonesia in 1603, and then transferred their holdings from around the archipelago to the Dutch government in 1800. Like the other colonial powers of Western Europe, the Dutch government quickly saw the potential uses for photography in their controlled [1] Bool, Flip; Asser, Saskia; and Bouvier, Pierre; et al. Dutch Eyes: A Critical History of Photography in the Netherlands. Zwolle: Waanders, 2007.

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1.1 Javanese woman seated with legs crossed, basket at her side, Woodbury & Page (British, active 1857–1908, albumen silver print, about 1870. Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. 1.2 Portrait of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, Charles Richard Meade (American, 1826–1858), hand-colored Daguerreotype, 15.7 cm × 11.5 cm, 1848. Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Daguerre, originally trained as a panorama painter, patented the first photographic process, and thus helped launch the global fascination with photography.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

1.3 [Male Portrait], Attributed to William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877), photogenic drawing in camera negative, 16 cm × 21.1 cm, 1841. Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Talbot invented the two-step negative to positive photographic process that came to define the medium for its first century.

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1.4 Historique et Description des Procedes du Daguerreotype et du Diorama, Louis-JacquesMandé Daguerre (French, 1787–1851), lithograph, 1839. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Having secured the first photographic patent, Daguerre was quick to market his invention, finding an eager audience across Europe and the United States, including in the Netherlands. 1.5 The Pencil of Nature, William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877), salted paper print from a paper negative, Closed: 30.5 cm × 24.2 cm, 1844. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Talbot was quick to understand the tremendous potential of photography, specifically in mass production. The Pencil of Nature is one of the first photobooks every printed. 1.6 Nieuw-Hollanders (New Hollanders), Louis Portman, stipple engraving, 21.7 cm × 12.5 cm, 1802. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2014. The Netherlands was long a cultural center for developing engraving and other printmaking techniques. Within these established visual idioms lay the roots of the colonial vision.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

territories. Photography was readily perceived as a way to develop a greater understanding of and support for the colonial endeavors around the world, to communicate the superiority of a European presence in these developing and exploited nations. The Dutch Ministry of Colonies in Amsterdam is considered the first government to commission photographic documentation of their colonies. After witnessing the successful use of Daguerre’s invention by Portman, the ministry sent Jurriaan Munnich, a doctor at the National Hospital in Utrecht, to attempt to make plates in the tropics, specifically to document Borobudur, the Buddhist monument in Central Java. Munnich teamed with some archeologists in Batavia (now Jakarta). He arrived in Java in 1840—just about a year after Daguerre’s process was made public—and apparently did not possess the skills required to make daguerreotype plates in the tropics. Documentation reveals he made 64 plates, though all were determined too poor in quality for ministry use.[2] The intensity of the tropical light proved too great a challenge for his early attempts to make plates in the Dutch East Indies. None of these photographs are known to exist today. ▶ 1.7 As news of Munnich’s failures spread back to the Netherlands, a German-born photographer named Adolph Schaefer offered his services to the government. Schaefer had already set up shop as a studio portraitist in The Hague by 1843. Struggling with financial difficulties, he approached the Dutch Ministry of Colonies. Because the Dutch government was eager for documentation of their work in the Indies, his offer was accepted. Before leaving for the Indies he went to Paris to get new equipment and get some technical advice directly from Daguerre himself. Apparently Daguerre was keen on Schaefer’s ambitions to photograph in the tropics, and offered as much help as he could.[3] Schaefer arrived in Java in June 1844, and through a little trial and error was able to solve the exposure problems that plagued his predecessor. By early 1845, colonial newspapers were reporting Schaefer’s success as a portraitist in Batavia. With this early success, he was next commissioned to photograph the antiquities held by the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences. Schaefer developed a technique for placing the stone carvings from the collection against a cloth and photographing them in full sun, achieving spectacular results. He was then sent to Central Java to photograph Borobudur. ▶ 1.8 Photographing Borobudur at this time was no easy feat. In addition to the harsh tropical conditions, the temple was outside the major cities of Central [2] Newton, Gael. Garden of the East. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2014. [3] Reed, Jane Levy, editor. Towards Independence: A Century of Indonesia Photographed. San Francisco: The Friends of Photography, 1991.

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1.7 Een Javaschen prins (Un prince Javanais), Auguste van Pers, paper chromo-lithograph after a daguerreotype, 31.7 cm × 24.5 cm, 1853–1856. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2014. In the Netherlands and across Europe, photography was immediately captivating, the potential of the new tool was adamantly embraced. As daguerreotypes resulted in a one-of-a-kind photograph, the images were often translated into more easily reproduced forms.

1.8

1.9

Untitled [Barong Mask, Bali],

Untitled [Ganesha], Adolph

Adolph Schaefer, daguerreotype,

Schaefer, daguerreotype, 1844–1845.

1844–1845. Courtesy of

Courtesy of Leiden University.

Leiden University. Adolph Schaefer was not the first daguerreotypist in the Dutch East Indies, but he is the earliest photographer with plates still intact today. Schaefer was known for his still lifes of antiquities as well as his documents of Borobudur.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

1.10

1.11

Untitled [Borobudur], Adolph

Club House Djockja Karta

Schaefer, daguerreotype, 1845.

(Yogyakarta), Java, Walter B.

Courtesy of Leiden University.

Woodbury, collodion on glass, 6.7 cm × 6.7 cm, 1857–1863. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. The invention of wet plate collodion on glass revolutionized photography, allowing for multiple reproductions with a high level of detail.

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Java and required a certain degree of stamina for a European traveler in the 19th century. The corridors of the temple were narrow and provided great difficulty for a photographer using the awkward and heavy equipment characteristic of the time. Despite these challenges, Schaefer completed fifty-eight plates of the famed Buddhist monument. He was ambitious, and wanted to spend more time photographing and documenting Borobudur. Schaefer estimated it would take four to five years and thousands of plates to make a complete document of the site.[4] This all proved to be too expensive, and thus Schaefer went back to working as a portraitist. None of his portraits remain today, but his images of Borobudur testify to this remarkable accomplishment in developing the medium of photography in the Dutch East Indies.[5] Schaefer ultimately died in poverty and obscurity. Deemed property of the Dutch government, his plates were sent back to the Royal Academy at Delft, and are currently held at the University of Leiden. ▶ 1.9 There is some indication of other daguerreotypists working in the Dutch East Indies and around Southeast Asia, but little exists of their work and they are remembered simply by newspaper advertisements. Many of these photographers worked nomadically, setting up ad hoc studios in hotels or similar establishments. Notable among this group were Cesar von Düben, Antoine F. Lecouteux, and L. Sauman. Advertisements for these daguerreotypists date back to 1855. Dubën worked in Jakarta in 1854 for a brief stint, and returned again in 1856. There are no known plates by any of these photographers existing today.[6] For whatever reason, Talbot’s process never really took root in the Netherlands or in Southeast Asia. Daguerre’s process was much more in favor with the Dutch, and perhaps the humidity and harsh conditions of the tropics were too challenging for the delicate papers required to make usable negatives. Regardless of which, the technical possibilities of photography developed rapidly in the early years. The big revolution after the inventions of Talbot and Daguerre was the wet plate collodion process invented by Frederick Scott Archer in 1851. Both Daguerre’s and Talbot’s process were fraught with limitations. The calotype process was slow, and producing negatives on paper created images lacking the kind of detail found in daguerreotypes. Talbot’s process, however, allowed for multiple reproductions of one image; daguerreotypes have great detail and tonality, but were oneof-a-kind photographs.

[4] Ibid. [5] Newton, Gael. Garden of the East. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2014. [6] Bool, Flip; Asser, Saskia; and Bouvier, Pierre; et al. Dutch Eyes: A Critical History of Photography in the Netherlands. Zwolle: Waanders, 2007.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

The invention of wet plate collodion allowed for the best of both worlds. Wet plate negatives are made on glass, a cheap, hard support that allows for great detail in the finished photographic print, and because the process renders a negative (most of the time, there are ways to make direct positive photographs using wet plate collodion, either as tintypes or ambrotypes) it allows for multiple reproductions. ▶ 1.10 Wet plate photographs are made by coating a clear, flexible membrane on a sheet of clean glass, which is then soaked in a mixture of silver nitrate. When in contact with salts mixed into the collodion membrane, the silver nitrate becomes light sensitive. The process is called wet plate because once the plate is coated with the collodion and sensitized with the silver salts it must be exposed and developed before the coating dries. The great limitation in working with wet plate is that the photographer either needs to work close to a studio, or bring a portable one into the field. The development of wet plate revolutionized the medium and paved the way for the further advances of dry plate, gelatin emulsions, and flexible roll film. As wet plate negatives emerged, so did similar advances in photographic printing and papers. Early photographic processes like calotype were hand coated on cotton papers, and were thus limited in tonality and detail by the paper surface. In the 1850s a new photographic paper began to dominate the market, called albumen paper. First introduced by a Frenchman named Louis-Désiré Blandquart-Evard, albumen papers were the first to be commercially manufactured. Coated with a semi-gloss surface made from egg whites, these papers supported greater detail and tonality than many of the early photographic processes. Coupled with wet plate negatives, albumen prints were the first photographs on paper that really rivaled daguerreotypes in detail and tonality when finished. It is worth pointing out that after the first photographic processes were made public, the pace of change and invention was tremendous. New processes and techniques appeared one right after another—cyanotype, gum bichromate, platinum, bromoil, etc.—each aimed at helping to expand the possibilities of photography. While some of these other processes undoubtedly made their way to the Dutch Indies, there really is no record of them, or at least any substantial bodies of work remaining made with these different processes. ▶ 1.11 In the second half of the 19th century, the Dutch colonial enterprise in the Indies peaked. The system of forced farming—controlling both the labor and the crops—allowed for increased economic activity. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) had near-monopolies throughout the region in the

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1.12 Untitled [Javanese woman wearing an ornate headdress, seated], Woodbury & Page, albumen silver print, 1870s. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

production and transit of coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, pepper, and cinnamon, distributing these products throughout Europe. Coupled with the increasing accessibility of photographic processes and the wealth of the colonial presence in the Indies, by the 1860s photography assumed a greater role. More established studios began to emerge around Java and the rest of the archipelago, providing portraits and documentation of the colonial mission. ▶ 1.12 Prominent among these was the Woodbury & Page studio. Originally from England, Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page came to Java from Australia. After some frustrating business ventures in Melbourne, the two left for Java and set up a studio in Batavia in 1857. Their studio was extremely prolific. In the beginning, they specialized in portraiture, making a broad range of sizes and in a variety of techniques—ranging from ambrotypes to carte-de-visite, and included hand-painted and full plate images. In addition to making portraits of both the Javanese and colonial elite, they ventured around Java and the rest of the archipelago to document the landscape, railroads, monuments, and agricultural systems developed under the colonial mission. After first establishing the studio, Woodbury traveled back to Europe to set up a supply network. As a result of these connections, their studio supplied photographic equipment and materials for other photographers around the Indies and throughout Southeast Asia. This also allowed Woodbury the opportunity to learn about the newest trends and techniques in photography going on around Europe. ▶ 1.13 ▶ 1.14 As it continued to develop, the Woodbury & Page studio became well known for their views of the Javanese landscapes and monuments. They established satellite studios in Surabaya and other ports around Java and the outer islands. Their photographs were produced with rigid and astute technical standards, and their prints were characterized by rich tones. By the 1870s, the studio was producing leather bound albums with different views from around the archipelago tipped in. Stamped on the leather covers was the title, Vues de Java: Photographies par Woodbury and Page, in French to emphasize the high culture they represented.[7] ▶ 1.15 James Page left the studio in 1861, and Woodbury returned to England in 1862. Woodbury’s life continued in photography; back in England, he ultimately patented his most notably achievement in the field, a photomechanical process called the Woodburytype. By 1870, the studio was run by Walter’s younger brother, Albert Woodbury. The studio in the Indies eventually closed down in 1908. ▶ 1.16

[7]

Newton, Gael. Garden of the East. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2014.

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There were a number of other important photographers and studios around the time of Woodbury & Page. The Hindu/Buddhist monuments of Central Java were a favorite subject for tourists and archeologists alike, and thus provided an important financial opportunity for photographers in Java. Woodbury & Page did make trips to the region, though the strength and importance of their work lies elsewhere. After the introduction of wet plate, the first photographer to make an impact photographing these monuments was Isidore van Kinsbergen. ▶ 1.17 Van Kinsbergen was an actor and set painter from Belgium, and went to the East Indies to pursue a career in the theater. He first learned photography at Antoine Lecouteux’s studio.[8] Photography proved to be a better income for van Kinsbergen than his work in the theater. After a brief commission in Thailand in 1862, he joined a series of governmental tours in Java, Maura, and Bali. Included in these tours were visits to the four independent royal territories in Java and Bali, and so he was able to make portraits of the families of Pakubuwono IX in Solo, Hamengkubuwono VI in Yogyakarta, and I Gusti Ngurah Ketut Djelantik in Buleleng. In making these photographs, van Kinsbergen demonstrated a great aptitude for close, personal portraits unique for his day. ▶ 1.18 By the end of 1862, van Kinsbergen’s role as a photographer was firmly established, and he was commissioned by the government at the Batavian Society, a Dutch archeological society working in Java since the 18th century, to photograph Javanese antiquities and important religious monuments. He would often spend several weeks or even months in the field, sending his photographs back to Batavia. Van Kinsbergen was forced to work under difficult circumstances, often going to locations in which the monuments were in great disrepair. He finished this first commission in 1867, a year later than originally contracted. Nonetheless, he was commissioned again in 1873 to photograph Borobudur.[9] Van Kinsbergen lived in Batavia until his death in 1905. By all accounts, he was an incredibly well-liked man, and remained involved in the theater and Batavian social circles throughout his life. ▶ 1.19 Today, van Kinsbergen and Woodbury & Page are regarded as the most important studios of their day, known for their technical skills, prolific output, business acumen, and abilities to connect with European and colonial institutions. It is worth mentioning that there were a number of other photogra[8] Ibid. [9] Reed, Jane Levy, editor. Towards Independence: A Century of Indonesia Photographed. San Francisco: The Friends of Photography, 1991.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

1.13

1.14

1.15

Kloof de Anei Rivier met Ajer

Mount Bromo, Tengger, Java,

Krakatau (Straat Soenda),

Mantjoer, Padang-Padang,

Woodbury & Page, albumen

Woodbury & Page, albumen silver

Woodbury & Page, albumen silver

silver print, 24.8 cm × 30 cm,

print, 19.3 cm × 23.9 cm,

print, 20.2 cm × 25.5 cm,

date unknown. Courtesy of the

1886. Courtesy of the National

before 1880. Courtesy of the

National Gallery of Australia,

Gallery of Australia,

National Gallery of Australia,

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

A page from a Woodbury & Page

Well known for their technical

album documenting the Dutch

virtuosity, Woodbury & Page

East Indies. The picture shows

became the most influential

Krakatau, the powerful volcanic

photographic studio during

island between Java and Sumatra.

the colonial era, documenting landscapes, archeology, people, and colonial construction projects.

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1.16

1.17

Atjeh album, Woodbury & Page,

Untitled [Gusti Ngurah Ketut

letter press, red cloth bound,

Jelantik, Prince of Buleng with

32.5 cm × 37.8 cm × 2.7 cm,

his entourage in Jakarta in 1864

1877. Courtesy of the National

on the visit of the Governor

Gallery of Australia,

General L.A.J.W. Sloet van de

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Beele], Woodbury & Page, albumen

The Woodbury & Page studios

silver print, 1864. Courtesy of

produced lavish albums to share

the National Gallery of Australia,

the landscapes and colonial

Canberra. Purchased 2013.

projects of the Dutch East Indies

Woodbury & Page created a diverse

to audiences back in Europe.

and multifaceted portfolio of pictures documenting the Dutch East Indies, including remarkable portraits of Indonesian royalty.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

1.18 Femmes Javanaises, Isidore van Kinsbergen, albumen silver print, 18.6 cm × 13.1 cm, 1862–1865. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. Originally an engraver from Belgium, Isidore van Kinsbergen became a prolific and highly regarded photographer in the Dutch East Indies.

1.19 Untitled [Statue of a Buddha], Isidore van Kinsbergen, albumen silver print, 37.2 cm × 30 cm, 1873. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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1.20 Danseuses Javanaises, Isidore van Kinsbergen, albumen silver print, 35.2 cm × 41.4 cm, 1863–1865. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

1.21 Untitled [Studio portrait of girl seated with grass and leaves as props], Kassian Céphas, albumen silver print, 22.1 cm × 16.3 cm, 1880. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. Kassian Céphas holds a truly unique place in the history of Indonesian photography as he is widely credited as the first photographer of Indonesian descent.

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1.22 Untitled [Court dancers

phy studios scattered around Java, particularly in the port cities of Batavia, Surabaya, and Semarang.[10]

wearing masks], Kassian Céphas, albumen silver print, 9.6 cm × 13.6 cm, c. 1885–1895. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

In looking at the early history of photography, it’s essential to address the pictures of Kassian Céphas. Céphas was the first photographer in the Indies of Javanese descent, so really the first Indonesian photographer. Given the role photography played in developing the colonial vision, this is no small accomplishment. Indeed, Céphas was eventually appointed as the official photographer for the royal court in Yogyakarta. ▶ 1.20 Céphas was born in Yogyakarta in 1845. There is some uncertainty about his origins. Early scholarship about Céphas indicated that he was an Indo, meaning his father was Dutch and his mother native. Today, however, most agree that he was fully native. Céphas did embrace aspects of colonial culture, and in 1860 was the first native citizen of Central Java to be baptized as a Christian. After his baptism, he changed his name to Kassian, the Aramaic equivalent of Peter. ▶ 1.21 There are differing opinions as to how Céphas learned photography. Some suggest that he learned his craft from Isidore van Kinsbergen while he was making photographs of the court of Sultan Hamengkubuwono in Yogyakarta.[11] Also possible is that Céphas learned photography while working in a low-level administrative position in the sultanate. Hamengkubuwono, the sultan of Yogyakarta, was extremely interested in photography and tried to learn the craft himself. His interest in photography began when he was photographed by Woodbury & Page and van Kinsbergen. In 1866, Hamengkubuwono solicited Simon Camerik to make some photographs around Yogyakarta. It is possible that Céphas accompanied Camerik while he photographed, and learned the wet plate process from him.[12] ▶ 1.22 Throughout the 1870s, Kassian Céphas developed his photographic studio in Yogyakarta. At a certain point, he developed a professional collaboration with Isaac Groneman, a Dutch physician who worked for the sultanate, also an amateur archeologist and founder of the Archeology Union. Groneman and Céphas worked together on different projects, including In den kedaton (In the Kraton), a portfolio of photographs of Javanese dance performances staged for Hamengkubuwono VII, published in Leiden in 1888. Groneman distributed

[10] Newton, Gael. Garden of the East. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2014. [11] Reed, Jane Levy, editor. Towards Independence: A Century of Indonesia Photographed. San Francisco: The Friends of Photography, 1991. [12] Newton, Gael. Garden of the East. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2014.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

1.23

1.24

Untitled [Group of men playing

Untitled [Borobudur temple],

cards], Kassian Céphas, albumen

Kassian Céphas, albumen silver

silver print, 12.4 cm × 14.4 cm,

print, 16.1 cm × 21 cm,

c. 1880. Courtesy of the

c. 1885–1890. Courtesy of the

National Gallery of Australia,

National Gallery of Australia,

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Canberra. Purchased 2007. Céphas pursued his photography in a variety ways, working with the royal family in Yogyakarta, making portraits, and collaborating with archeological projects around Central Java.

1.25 Untitled [Cliff face with birds’ nest gatherers], Sem Céphas, albumen silver print, 17 cm × 22 cm, 1895. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2013. Trained by his father, Sem Céphas became a notable photographer in his own right.

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the portfolio back in the Netherlands in order to generate more interest among the Dutch in traditional Javanese culture. In 1889 the Archeology Union developed initiatives to document some of the Hindu/Buddhist architecture found in Central Java. Céphas was commissioned as the photographer. First, he photographed Prambanan, the Hindu temple outside of Yogyakarta. These photographs were eventually published in Leiden in Tjandi Parambanan op Midden-Java, na de ontgraving (Candi/Temple Prambanan in Central Java: After the Excavation). In 1890, Céphas continued his work for the Archeology Union by photographing the reliefs of Borobudur found along the base. These reliefs were cleared in 1889/1890, and then recovered in order to maintain the stability of the monument. Céphas’ photographs were eventually published 30 years later by KITLV (Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, or the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies). ▶ 1.23 By all accounts, Kassian Céphas moved fluidly between Javanese and European cultures, and was fluent in both languages. Eventually, Céphas was actually given European status, a rarity for natives of the Indies.[13] In writing about Céphas, Indonesian art historian Jan Fontein says: The value of Céphas’ work resides first and foremost in the faithful record it provides of monuments and antiquities, of court nobility and ceremonial life in the keraton. Céphas was a man of two worlds. As an official of the Sultan, he became familiar with the language, protocol and traditions of Javanese court life. As one who achieved equal status with the European residents, he moved in their circles as well, equally at home speaking either Javanese or Dutch. Conscientious and fully aware of the importance of permanent records to posterity, he recorded what he saw as meticulously and completely as would an archeologist. In this respect, he was far ahead of his time.[14] Eventually, Céphas handed over his business to his eldest son, Sem. ▶ 1.24  ▶ 1.25

Looking at a broader history of global photography reveals that wars have continually been pivotal in expanding the technical and conceptual understandings of photography. The first war fully documented with photogra[13] For more information on the complex social hierarchies between the Dutch, Indos (half Dutch, half Indonesian), and natives, see This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, a brilliant novel about the complex social fabric of the colonial era. [14] Reed, Jane Levy, editor. Towards Independence: A Century of Indonesia Photographed. San Francisco: The Friends of Photography, 1991.

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phy was the American Civil War. The pictures made by people like Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and Timothy O’Sullivan have come to define our understanding of the war, and are now a part of the photographic canon. As the medium developed with conflicts like the World Wars, Vietnam, and the recent American war in Iraq, photography became an essential tool—even a weapon—for creating and defining public opinion and controlling any social or media understanding of these theaters. ▶ 1.26 The Dutch fought several different battles across the Indies in order to subdue the native population. Looking at the photographic records of these conflicts is essential for understanding the early photographic history of Indonesia, as well as for understanding the reality of colonial power and governance. The Dutch military was involved across the archipelago, notably against the resistance found in Bali, Lombok, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Sumatra. Most notorious of the resistance was found in Aceh, in north Sumatra. The Acehnese were devout Muslims and fierce fighters. The province of Aceh—and its prized port of Banda Aceh—was the last region of the Indies to come under Dutch control. ▶ 1.27 A number of photographic studios made pictures in Sumatra and Aceh, including Woodbury & Page. These photographers did make documents of the military expeditions in Aceh, though typically from a safe distance and early on in the conflict. The most thorough portfolio of the war in Aceh was made by Hendricus Marinus Neeb, a Dutchman born in the Indies and trained as both a medical doctor and photographer. Neeb was appointed to the military campaign led by Van Daalen, and worked with this unit from 1904–1907. There is some debate as to whether he was appointed as a doctor or as a photographer. The photographs remained in his position after the conflict, so were never assumed to be property of the Dutch military.[15] His photographs reveal the incredible power of the Dutch military, and often their atrocities in Aceh. The Dutch were armed with the most current weapons of the time, while the Acehnese fought with much more primitive means, and demonstrated discipline, tenacity, and strategy that kept the war going for years. Interestingly, another doctor named Christiaan Johan Neeb, the half-brother of Hendricus, photographed the conflicts in Lombok. ▶ 1.28

[15]

Ibid.

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1.26 Battery of 12 cm breechloading canon in bivouac, The Topografische Dienst van Nederlands-Indië, albumen silver print, c. 1878. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. 1.27 Groep van officieren der 3e brigade (Group of officers in the 3rd brigade), Woodbury & Page, albumen silver print, 24 cm × 30.4 cm, c. 1878. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. 1.28 1e luitenant H.J. Tromp de Haas (2e van links), paardenarts der 2e klasse, doorwaadt met drie cavalerie-officieren de Kali Djangkok tijdens de Eerste Lombokexpeditie, Charls, Van Es & Co., albumen silver print, 12.4 cm × 17.4 cm, c. 1893. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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1 ▶ THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND THE DUTCH EAST INDIES

CHAPTER 2

JOURNEYS COMPLETED AND JOURNEYS TO COME IN INDONESIAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Gael Newton

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2.1 Untitled [Thilly Weissenborn working in Onnes Kurkdjian’s studio], photographer unknown, silver gelatin print, c. 1915. Courtesy of Gael Newton and University of Leiden/KITLV. M.M. (Thilly) Weissenborn at work retouching in the Kurkdjian studio. Surabaya. 2.2 Ambonezen die hun huizen uitvluchten tijdens de aardbeving te Ambon (Ambonese who fled their homes during the Ambon earthquake), P. Najoan, 1898. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program. 2.3 Jonge maagden op een offerfeest (Young maidens at a sacrificial feast), Thilly Weissenborn (attributed to N.V. Photografisch Atelier Kurkdjian, Soerabaja, Java), silver gelatin print, 17.4 cm × 12.6 cm, c. 1915. Courtesy of Gael Newton and the National Gallery of Singapore.

The

National Gallery of Australia in Canberra has the largest holding outside the Netherlands of photographs from the Dutch East Indies. Gael Newton, former Curator of Asia-Pacific Photography at the Museum, is largely responsible for the development of this collection. This essays looks at how the collection was developed, from both philosophical and logistical perspectives. ▶ 2.1 ▶ 2.2

The idea for a survey of the first century of medium’s history outside the axis of London, Paris, and New York had begun in 1998 when Raimy Ché Ross, an intern from the Australian National University art history program, pointed out how few Asian photographers were represented in the NGA’s photo collection—indeed how relatively few images of Asia were held. Wonderful nineteenth-century holdings of work by Felice Beato in India and China were a treasure of the collection as were a number of prints by Japanese contemporary photographers. Small groups of work by Asian photographers past and present, and images of Asia by iconic foreign travelers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ernst Haas (color images of Balinese dancers) were acquired over the next decade. ▶ 2.3 Finding work by Asian photographers, either past or contemporary, other than from Japan, was hampered by the fact that only a few of the EuroAmerica dealers I had dealt with held any range of works. Paths for dealing directly with dealers in Asia, if they existed for photography, were few and remained so throughout the project. Relationships with several new galleries or dealers in Euro-America were established, as well as in India and Japan. Throughout the project, the global visibility of contemporary Asian photomedia artists rapidly escalated but that area was outside the scope of the project. On Boxing Day 2006 I pinned a map of the Asia-Pacific to my wall and sat down at my home computer in Canberra to start searching out actual photographs, contacts and websites. That is how the rich and comprehensive colonial Indonesian books and photographs collection of Dutch rare book and print dealer and scholar, Leo Haks, were first located and eventually acquired in 2007. The Haks collection was compiled mostly from within Europe. A catalog and archive of some 4,000 prints and over 100 books and magazines in this collection is now available on the NGA website collection. Still, however, the Haks collection of Dutch family albums from Indonesia has yet to be catalogued.

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Material for the Asia-Pacific collection at NGA ultimately came from dealers across the world, often found on eBay. I made several overseas trips but largely googled my way around and built up relationships with scholars, collectors and curators with expertise with similar interests. Ultimately, it is my hope that researchers looking at Asia will their way through the NGA’s Indonesian photographs collection, and make use of the incredible history and resources held in the collection. By late 2014 when I retired from the NGA, some 10,000 Asia-Pacific photographs had been acquired and two very large exhibitions mounted; Picture Paradise: Asia-Pacific Photography 1840s–1940s in 2008 and Garden of the East: Photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s in 2014. A seminar, Facing Asia Histories and Legacies of Asian Studio Portraiture, was held in association with the Australian National University in August 2010. The next symposium, Borobudur to Bali: Past and Present Photographic Art in Indonesia, was held in June 2014, in conjunction with the exhibition I organized, Garden of the East. This symposium brought together writers, artists, and curators from Indonesia, Europe, and the United States, including some of the writers here, as well the American photographer/musician/curator/ author, Brian C. Arnold. ▶ 2.4 Small collection shows at the NGA in the years between showed aspects of the collection, including video and print work by contemporary Indonesian artist FX Harsono. Interns played a significant role in the development of the collection and exhibitions at the NGA. ▶ 2.5 Looking back at The Garden of the East exhibition and the Indonesian collection for this essay, I decided to be partisan and comment on a favorite dozen or so images and issues over the time that for me sum up the experience, and reflect on my research paths since retirement.   The first photographers in the 1840s–50s were foreign adventurers and opportunists seeking to make their fortune in Asia by introducing portrait services to far distant lands. I was enchanted by the adventures of one of the earliest daguerreotypists in Asia, Cesar von Düben. He was an aristocrat from Stockholm who in the 1840s–50s had a decade-long escape from his responsibilities at home. He worked his way through various jobs in North and South America, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Java, India, and Burma and lastly as a daguerreotype photographer in Asia, having learned the process in America. ▶ 2.6 ▶ 2.7 In 1886, two years before he died in Stockholm, Düben published a small memoir of his travels with photolithographic plates drawn after his daguerreotypes. Among the latter is his charming portrait of two Javanese princesses and a smiling young man peeping round a stone sculpture smiling as the photographer as he concentrated on recording a Javanese antiquity. The young girls in relatively relaxed

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2.4 Installation view of Garden of the East: Photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s at the National Gallery of Australia in 2014. The center wall was dedicated to Kassian and Semuel Céphas. Courtesy of Gael Newton and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

2.5 Writing in the Rain (video still), FX Harsono, single channel video, 6'02", 2011. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia and FX Harsono.

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poses look straight to camera. Despite translation in lithographic form the moment of exposure is vivid over a century and a half later. These are some of the earliest photographic portraits of Indonesian people. Other early portraits of Javanese were taken from 1857 by the English team of wet-plate photographers Walter Woodbury & Charles Page. They first operated in Australia in the mid to late 1850s before landing in Jakarta in 1857 and deciding the opportunities were so good that they stayed on. Woodbury was a technocrat child of the photographic age and a master of processes. In the late 1850s, Woodbury made stereographs and superb hand-colored lantern slides of Javanese court performers that were some of the first images of Southeast Asia seen in Europe. ▶ 2.8 A notable feature of photography in South and Southeast Asia was the interest royal courts took in portrait photography from the 1850s. Remarkably a pair of large glass ambrotypes portraits of Hamengkubuwono VI and his wife, c 1858, survive in their original Woodbury & Page frames. Unique to the wet-plate process, the positive image on glass process has a three-dimensional presence that paper portraiture simply cannot match. ▶ 2.9 ▶ 2.10 Woodbury & Page became the most prolific of the pioneer studios in Indonesia from the late 1850s to the mid-1880s, producing the first large and most diverse body of images to circulate internationally. Woodbury appreciated the beauty of the landscape and developed a house-style of finely detailed, richly toned, small-scale prints that successive managers of the studio maintained over two decades. A quite remarkable effort. ▶ 2.11 Woodbury & Page, and later the operatives for GR Lambert & Co in Singapore, covered remote areas of Indonesia from the 1880s–1890s. Few viewers in Euramerica would have had any idea of the hard work and arduous travels of early photographers to secure views of the tiny islands from which their spices came. Sold in huge numbers, Woodbury & Page studio prints remain in significant numbers, but their negatives, as with really all the early photographic firms, are now gone. ▶ 2.12 There were a number of photographers at work in Indonesia whose finesse and elegance equaled that of their better-known Euro-American contemporaries. Long-term residents such as the flamboyant Dutch-Flemish theater director, the archaeological photographer Isidore van Kinsbergen in Jakarta and the Dutch C.B. [Christiaan Benjamin] Nieuwenhuis in Sumatra seem to me to bring a warmer and more appreciative eye to their work. The Dane Kristin Feilberg made astonishing, fine, large views of the Batak of Sumatra, the equal of those of the iconic photographers of the American West. The German Herman Salzwedel (a personal favorite) made the most lyrical landscapes. Carl Kleingrothe documented the Indonesian archipelago and

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Malaysia in mass-produced print portfolios of considerable charm and now of historical significance. ▶ 2.13 ▶ 2.14 The wars against the native people in Atjeh (or more common now, Aceh) resulted in ambitious portfolios in the 1870s produced by the Dutch Topografische Dienst van Nederlands-Indië (Topographic Service). Even if celebrating battles that were rarely conclusive victories, the portfolios are early documents of guerrilla warfare, reminiscent of the remarkable work by Timothy O’Sullivan and Alexander Gardner during the American Civil War. In making my way through the thousands of images of the Haks collection, Muslim life in the Dutch East Indies appeared to have been of minor interest to colonial era photographers. Dr. C. (Christiaan) Snouck Hurgronje’s publication, however, of photographic portraits of men from Indonesia making the Haj c. 1889 is the more precious given the lack of other documentation. ▶ 2.15

Family album photography also forms a large part of the archive of the Indonesian collection and the genre was well represented in Garden of the East exhibition and catalog. I was indebted to Australian scholar Susie Protschky and Indonesian-Australian artist Lushun Tan for their revelation of how interesting that material was and I regret my time at the NGA was too short after the exhibition to do more research on the albums. The NGA archive of over one hundred and fifty albums mostly from the estates of families who returned to the Netherlands in the postwar years, but it is hoped will form a resource in our region somewhat closer than the Netherlands for future study. Few albums appear to have been be compiled by Indonesian families but many show the multiracial composition of middle-class Dutch families. ▶ 2.16 ▶ 2.17 But what of the elusive history of locally born photographers? In the directory of over 400 photo studios in the Dutch East Indies from 1850–1940 compiled by Dutch photo historian Steven Wachlin over years of research up to November 1988, there are some 315 European, 186 Chinese, 45 Japanese, and four ethnic Indonesian photographers. The latter were Kassian Céphas in Yogyakarta, A. Mohamad in Jakarta, Sarto in Semarang and P. Najoan active on Ambon 1895–1915. ▶ 2.18 ▶ 2.19 Kassian Céphas in Yogyakarta is the first known Indonesian professional photographer. His career began in 1872 under tutelage from Banda-born Dutch professional S.W. Camerik, a court photographer to the Sultan of Yogyakarta in the late 1860s–early 70s. This is a role that Céphas assumed circa 1875 until his own retirement in 1910. Céphas worked closely with Dutch physician Dr. Isaac Groneman on the photography of Javanese antiquities from the mid-1880s–1890s. In recognition of his work, he was awarded equal status by the

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2.6

2.7

Cover of Minnen från Java

Princessor (Java), Cesar von Düben, lithographs drawn from

[Memories from Java]. In the

daguerreotypes, c. 1857, in Düben’s memoir, Reseminnen från Södra

second fascicle of the author’s

och Norra Amerika, Asien och Afrika, Stockholm, 1886. Courtesy of

Minnen från Ostindien [Memories

Gael Newton and the National Gallery of Australia Research Library.

of the East Indies] C E Fritzes,

Düben who was from an upper-class Swedish family, wandered the world

Stockholm, 1886. 24.1 cm × 15.5 cm

for a decade as a daguerreotypist. He returned home to a respectable

sheet. Courtesy of Gael Newton

and uneventful life. His daguerreotypes are lost but lithographs

and the National Gallery of

from made for his 1886 memoir convey the quality of his work.

Australia Research Library.

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2.8 Untitled [Native Gamelan Java], Woodbury & Page, glass lantern slide, published by Newton & Co. London, c. 1870. Private collection.

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2.9 Hamengkubuwono VI Sultan of Yogyakarta, Woodbury & Page (photograph by Walter Woodbury) half plate ambrotypes, gilt highlights, applied color in original frames, c. 1858. Lee Kip Lin collection, Singapore. Courtesy of Gael Newton.

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2.10 Consort of Hamengkubuwono VI, Woodbury & Page (photograph by Walter Woodbury) half plate ambrotypes, gilt highlights, applied color in original frames, c. 1858. Lee Kip Lin collection, Singapore. Courtesy of Gael Newton.

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2.11

2.12

Batavia Roode, Woodbury &

Aloëstruik, Herman Salzwedel,

Page, albumen photograph,

albumen print mounted on buff card

19.4 cm × 24.5 cm, c. 1865.

with printed decorative border

Courtesy of the National Gallery of

in white ink, 38 cm × 44 cm,

Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2013.

c. 1880. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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2.13

2.14

Untitled [studio portrait

Een Minangkabau rijstschuur

of two Indonesian girls],

en kinderen in een visvijver,

C. Nieuwenhuis, albumen print,

Batipoeh (A Minangkabau rice

28.2 cm × 21 cm, 1922. Courtesy of

barn and children in a fish

the National Gallery of Australia,

pond, Batipoeh), C. Nieuwenhuis,

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

albumen print, 27.6 cm × 21.7 cm, c. 1900. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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2.15 Untitled [four portraits of pilgrims from Java, Sumatra and Celebes], Prof. Dr. C. (Christiaan) Snouck Hurgronje, plate XIX from the limited edition portfolio, collotype, 36.8 cm × 27.4 cm (page), 13.8 cm × 9.8 cm (each image), c. 1889. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. Dutch Arabist scholar Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje was one of the first to circulate photographs of the Haj and Mecca in the West but also made use of local photographers, like Doctor Abd al-Ghaffar and Muhammed Sadiq Bey. The images of Indonesian pilgrims are assumed to have been made in Aden.

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2.16

2.17

Javanese photo album cover. Dates

Samsoedin album Borobudur trip

and dimensions unknown. Courtesy of

and birthday for Anwar, unknown

the National Gallery of Australia,

photographer, album page with

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

silver gelatin photographs, 24 cm × 31.8 cm, 1930. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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2.18

2.19

Man climbing the front entrance

Untitled [Young Javanese woman],

to Borobudur, Kassian Céphas,

Kassian Céphas, albumen print,

albumen print, 22.2 cm × 16.1 cm,

13.7 cm × 9.8 cm, c. 1885.

1872. Courtesy of the National

Courtesy of Gael Newton and the

Gallery of Australia,

National Gallery of Australia,

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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Dutch Government. Céphas is remarkable for his seemingly fluid movement between Dutch and Javanese society. While successful as a court and commercial photographer throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, Céphas did not have the scale of operation or fame of his contemporary Raja Deen Dayal in India or the various wellknown 19th–early 20th-century Japanese photographers in the Treaty ports. I have written a number of articles and papers in support for the case that his life and work is that of a major international figure. Céphas’ persistent self-portraiture within a large group of his commercial images was not in my view incidental, nor just an attempt to illustrate the scale of the subjects represented in his pictures. This action, I believe, was political in asserting his relationship to antiquity while being a modern image-maker. ▶ 2.20 ▶ 2.21 ▶ 2.22

Céphas and son Semuel’s series of lovely ladies for postcards at the turn of the century have none of the sleaze of other examples of this type of souvenir production. It is telling that the Malay-language Bintang Hinda  [Indies Star] journal, published in the early 20th century in Amsterdam but promoting new attitudes to the education and role of Indonesians, chose to use one of his dignified and graceful portraits of Javanese dancers on their promotional material. Kassian Céphas has been the subject of a monograph and a number of commentaries and articles but is deserving of further research, including in his relationship with the Javanese Christian church movement. Similarly work is needed on the ethnic mix of local photographers and their customers in Indonesia. American scholar Karen Strassler’s 2010 study Refracted Vision: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java provides a picture of the role of both pioneer professional and amateur Chinese photographers, such as the brothers Tan Gwat Bing and Tan Bie Le, who published postcards in the early 20th century. Chinese and Peranakan studios have a distinct role by number and influence in Indonesia past and present, and have been the subject of different collections and studies in recent years. ▶ 2.23 ▶ 2.24 ▶ 2.25 ▶ 2.26

Nothing has come to light about the ethnic photographers cited  by Steven Wachlin, A. Mohamad and Sarto. More has been revealed recently   about. P. Najoan. A Minahasan from North Sulawesi, Johannes Paulus Simon Najoan was not a full-time photographer. He was a drawing master at the Osvia Ambon Kweekschool voor Inlandsche Onderwijzers [teachers training college for Indonesian students] from October 1885, and taught as well in the Opleidingsschool Voor Inlandsche Ambtenaren (OSVIA) training school for native officials  in Makassar. From an old Christian family on Ambon, Najoan showed promise as an artist when he was young, and was sponsored to train for two years in Ja-

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2.20

2.21

Javaansche schooner Native beauty,

Javanese dancer, Kassian Céphas,

Sem Céphas, lithograph, color

lithograph postcard promoting the

dyes, letterpress postcard,

Bintang Hindia Dutch-Malay magazine

c. 1909. Private collection.

1904–07. Private collection.

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2.22 Inlandsche schoolkinderen Bandoeng (Indonesian schoolchildren Bandung), attributed Céphas studio, color lithograph, postcard of children reading Bintang Hindia journal, c. 1905. Private collection.

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karta with Java-born Dutch painter W.C.C. Bleckmann in 1883–84 at The Gymnasium Wilhelm III. In 1884 Najon won a silver medal at the Batavia Exhibition that drew a comment from the newspaper De locomotief on 22 October: “Mr. P. Najoan in Gang Kwitang at Batavia makes very beautiful portraits drawn in chalk, after ordinary photographs.” ▶ 2.27 Some of Najoan’s photographs were collected by retired Dutch pharmacist Dr. H.F. Tillema in the 1920s for a study of the Indies. A photograph exists showing Najoan at work recording the 1898 earthquake on Ambon. A number of his images are in the KITLV collection now held at Leiden University and prints and postcards are in the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam and several are in the NGA’s Haks collection. Like Céphas, Najoan was Christian and granted equal status with Dutch residents in 1895. He died in 1926. ▶ 2.28, 2.29, 2.30, 2.31

The role of Japanese studios in Indonesia has yet to receive much attention. My scrutiny of the Wachlin directory suggests there were more than 70 names could that could be Japanese. None of the listed names appear in the 19th century and only few in the first decade of the 20th century, mostly found around 1910. K. Okujo was in Sumatra from 1905–10 and later Surakarta from 1925–30. Fukui Japanische Fotograf was in Medan from 1910–1915. M Kuriharaha of ‘Mikado’ photo studio was in Kisaran, Sumatra from 1915–35. The majority of studios operated in the 1920s and 1930s—a number had studio names referencing their ethnicity perhaps as a sign of the Japanese technical modernity just as some studios in the late 19th century co-opted the term ‘American’ to show they were up to the latest developments.   Suspicions were held abroad, however, at the Japanese presence. Lord Northcliffe in London in 1922 was quoted in De Sumatra Post of 25 July as saying that “the Japanese are the Germans of the East—always working, propagating, penetrating, spying throughout the world,” noting as well that the Japanese photographer was “everywhere in Asia.” Photography was well advanced in Japan, and amateurs as well as professionals in Indonesia would have been kept up to date in their equipment and style through the Japanese camera magazines. The influence of the Japanese photographers as a source for cameras and aesthetic ideas across Asia in the postwar years was significant. The stories behind this list of Japanese photographers have yet to be fully explored. ▶ 2.32 Almost nothing is currently known of the personal lives and careers of Chinese or Japanese photographers in Indonesia. However  two Japanese, S. Satake and K.T. Satake, have attracted significant attention. They were apparently both owner/photographers of Tosari Studio in in the volcanic Tengger mountains of East Java—a popular tourist resort in the 1920s. The De Indische Courant of 24 Novem-

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2.23 KPM Boat ‘Reael’ from Aceh docked at Tanjung Priok, Java, Tjie Lan, silver photograph, c. 1895. Courtesy of Gael Newton and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. Located in North Jakarta, Tanjung Priok is one of the busiest ports in Indonesia. A close look at the photograph reveals many Chinese active along the port.

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2.24 Tan Gwat Bing and a companion pose against a ‘Dutch’ backdrop, Tan Gwat Bing, silver gelatin print, c. 1900. Image courtesy of Didi Kwartanada and family.

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2.25

2.26

Portrait of a Peranakan woman,

Untitled, Tjie Lan, back of studio

Semarang, Tjie Lan of Semarang,

portrait. Private Collection.

silver photograph mounted on card, 14.5 cm × 10.5 cm, c. 1925. Private collection.

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2.27

2.28

2.29

Ingestorte huizen van het

Tijdens de aardbeving ingestorte

De eerst aanwezige officier van

siekenhuispersoneel na de

huizen aan de Paradijsstraat te

gezondheid met zijn familie te

aardbeving te Amboina (Collapsed

Ambon (Collapsed house on the

Ambon na de aardbeving (The

houses of hospital staff after the

Paradijsstraat in Ambon during

first health officer with his

Ambon earthquake), P. Najoan, 1898.

the earthquake), P. Najoan.

family in Ambon after the

Courtesy of KITLV and

Courtesy of KITLV and

earthquake), P. Najoan.

Leiden University, Creative

Leiden University, Creative

Courtesy of KITLV and

Content program.

Content program.

Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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2.30

2.31

Prauwenhaven, vermodelijk te

Vermoedelijk fotograaf P. Najoan

Amboina (Prauwenhaven, presumably

tussen de ingestorte huizen aan

in Ambon), P. Najoan.

de hoofdstraat van de Chinese

Courtesy of KITLV and

Kamp na de aardbeving te Amboina

Leiden University, Creative

(Presumably photographer P. Najoan

Content program.

among the collapsed houses on the main street of the Chinese Camp after the earthquake in Amboina), photographer unknown, 1898. Courtesy of Gael Newton and KITLV/University of Leiden.

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ber 1931 described K.T. Satake as the well-known photographer and tourist shop owner—photographer in Tosari who was: …an artist in this field. Just as he seeks out the beauty of the Javanese landscape and thereby lets himself be put off by no effort, so do very few. He makes distant trips through the country around Tosari and captures the most beautiful places and the most beautiful moments, and so one can find pictures with him, that one sees nowhere, because hardly anyone enters the places, where he comes. Satake is now going to undertake a big trip through Sumatra, to capture a lot of beauty on the sensitive plate. He has made a large caravan, which is now ready and has already proven to meet the requirements. ▶ 2.33 On 12 February 1936, the Soerabaijasch Handelsblad reported on Satake as a Tosari resident of 15 years who had published a book of his work on Java, Bali and Sumatra printed under his own supervision in London. This was a lavish tome in Dutch and English titled Camera-beelden van Sumatra, Java & Bali [Camera pictures of Sumatra, Java, and Bali]—published in Surabaya in 1935. The book had black and white but also rare color plates made using the French autochrome process. This beautiful book is unprecedented in size, scope and quality, and is a remarkable example of a modern photobook from Southeast Asia. Quite what relationship K.T. Satake had to the many prints from the 1920s stamped as by ‘S. Satake’ or “Tosari studio” is not clear but the latter’s moody scenes are finely detailed and subtle in tone and with a Japanese aesthetic. ▶ 2.34 Alongside Satake in Tosari is an equally fine and even more prolific woman photographer, Thilly Weissenborn. Her luminous prints share an artistic style with Satake, perhaps reminiscent of the pictorialist style found around Europe and the United States in the early 20th century. Indonesian born of naturalized Dutch-German parents, Weissenborn is the only known woman professional in colonial Indonesia. She employed Indonesian girls as assistants but none are known to have operated their own studios. ▶ 2.35, 2.36 Weissenborn first worked for the Surabaya studio founded by Armenian Ohannes Kurkdjian. Born in Russia, Kurkdjian created a professional practice in Java making portraits of Europeans living in and around Surabaya, as well as portraits of Javanese elites, landscapes, and street scenes. He trained photographer George P. Lewis, who was managing the studio when Weissenborn joined, until he eventually returned to Britain during WWI. Lewis produced numerous large prints of beautiful landscapes in a naturalistic art salon style presenting a bucolic imagery or a rural paradise livened up by belching volcanoes. The lavishness of their operation can be seen in pictures of the palatial Kurkdjian studio but also in the scene of Weissenborn and Lewis at work retouching in a studio covered with the types of large

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2.32 Untitled [Indonesian landscape view to volcano], K. Satake, gelatin silver photograph, 16.2 cm × 21.9 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

2.33

2.34

Eruption, K. Satake, silver gelatin

Plate from Camera-beelden van

print, 16.2 cm × 21.8 cm, c. 1930.

Sumatra, Java & Bali [Camera

Courtesy of Gael Newton and the

Pictures of Sumatra, Java,

National Gallery of Australia,

and Bali], K.T. Satake, 1935.

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Courtesy of the Cornell Rare and Manuscript Collection. A remarkable example of early photobook design, Camerabeelden van Sumatra, Java & Bali is a large format book that incorporates creative use of duotone and color printing.

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2.35 Untitled, Thilly Weissenborn (attributed to N.V. Photografisch Atelier Kurkdjian, Soerabaja, Java), silver gelatin print mounted on dark gray card, 17.6 cm × 22.8 cm (image), c. 1913. Courtesy of Gael Newton.

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2.36 Goesti Bagoes met vrouw en Dochter (Gusti Bagus with wife and daughter), Thilly Weissenborn, silver gelatin print mounted on dark gray card, 22.8 cm × 17.6 cm (image), c. 1913. Courtesy of Gael Newton and the National Gallery of Singapore.

portraits in high style available to affluent Surabayans—almost no examples of which survive at these sizes of portrait prints. In 1917 Weissenborn went to Garut in West Java to manage the photo service of the pharmacy of Dr. Denis G. Mulder, also active as an x-ray pioneer. After Mulder left in 1920, Weissenborn reformed the business as Foto Lux, and  worked here until her internment during World War II. Her negatives were destroyed in the aftermath of the war. The monograph published in Amsterdam in 1983 on Weissenborn was written by her nephew Ernst Drissen. This was titled Vastgelegd voor Later. Indische Foto’s (1917–1942) van Thilly Weissenborn [Retrospective. East Indian Pictures (1917–1942) of Thilly Weissenborn]. Weissenborn has not had the international attention her very fine work deserves.

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Little is told in the few histories of photography in colonial Indonesia of the photographic societies of amateur photographers. American scholar Karen Strassler’s Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java includes a valuable account of early photographic societies. Dutch curator Flip Bool’s 1979 Fotografie in Nederland 1920–1940 provides precious biographic entries on some of the Dutch photographers working in Indonesia in the 1930s–40s. They include Dr. Mulder and Professor E.J.G. Schermerhorn, a chemical engineer who taught photography at Technische Hogeschool, now the Institut Teknologi Bandung. Professor Schermerhorn was an expert in bromoil printing, perhaps the most demanding process favored by the pictorialist photographers in the West, that gave a flat graphic tone and contrast to photographic prints, perhaps suggestive of printmaking more than photography. In February 1924, with other Dutch residents, Schermerhorn founded the first photography club in Indonesia—the Perhimpunan Amatir Foto—PAF (then Preanger Amateur Fotograafen Vereeniging). He published a text on photography in the tropics in 1931 and, in later life in the Netherlands, he turned to dramatic abstract photography. ▶ 2.37 While my NGA project was pre-1940s in focus, in recent years I have continued to take an interest in the role of art photography and photographic society salons and documentary photographers of 20th-century Southeast Asia. My most enthusiastic interest in recent years has been in Southeast Asian studio portraiture from the 1920s–70s. There is flamboyance to the genre possibly inspired by cinema that seems unique to the region. We barely know who most of the early to mid-20th-century photographers were, nor the range of their clientele. Tentative projects have begun at the National Gallery Singapore to retrieve the lost careers of postwar documentary and salon photographers in Southeast Asia.  Deeper studies of communities of photographers and their clients can only be done with multiracial and multilingual scholarship in Indonesia, Japan, China and the Netherlands. It will be fun regardless of ethnicity of the photographer. Photographic heritage is a shared legacy.

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2.37 Javanese Actor, Professor E.J.G. (Edgar Johan Gerhard) Schermerhorn, half-tone plate LVIII in Photograms of the Year 1931. Private Collection. An expert on bromoil printing, Professor Schermerhorn was an avid amateur photographer and founder of the first photography club in Indonesia—the Perhimpunan Amatir FotoPAF (then Preanger Amateur Fotograafen Vereeniging).

CHAPTER 3

PORTRAITS OF POWER: FROM ARISTOCRACY TO DEMOCRACY

Matthew Cox

3.1

3.2

De schilder Raden Saleh Sarif

De Sultan van Djokjakarta op zijn

Bustaman op Java (The painter

troon. Java (Sultan Hamengkubuwono

Raden Saleh Sarif Bustaman in

VII, on his throne, Java), Kassian

Java), photographer unknown,

Céphas, book plate derived from

carte de visite photograph, date

original photograph by Céphas,

unknown (before 1880). Courtesy

Dutch East and West Indies, by

of KITLV and Leiden University,

J.F. Niermeyer, A.W. Nieuwenhuis,

Creative Content program.

J. Dekker, L.A. Bakhuis.-

Raden Saleh was a renowned

Haarlem: Kleynenberg, Boissevain

Indonesian painter of Arab-Javanese

& Co., 1912–1913. Courtesy of

origins. He is often considered

KITLV and Leiden University,

the first modernist Indonesian

Creative Content program.

painter, and as an aristocrat

Hamengkubuwono VII posed to reveal

moved freely between Indonesian

all of his power and stature.

and European culture. Raden Saleh spent considerable time in Europe— unique for an Indonesian during his time—and adopted many European values of propriety and decorum.

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3 ▶ PICTURES OF POWER, FROM ARISTOCRACY TO DEMOCRACY

In

colonial Java, photographic portraits of Javanese rulers employed a combination of European and Javanese visual vocabularies to negotiate the colonial power structure while affirming Javanese ideals of power and cosmological order. For the Javanese aristocracy whose royal power was legitimized with reference to cosmological order and alliance with the supernatural world, photographic portraits were used to connect them with concepts pertaining to the ideal and charismatic king as the vestige of cosmological and political stability.[1] ▶ 3.1 ▶ 3.2 ▶ 3.3

After the proclamation of independence on 17 August 1945,[2] Sukarno who imagined himself as the spearhead of an Indonesian cultural renaissance, developed a visual discourse concerned with maintaining meaningful continuity to pre-colonial Javanese culture and Javanese ideas of kingship as a way to demonstrate his legitimacy as the rightful successor.[3] As per his Javanese predecessors, Sukarno combined European and Javanese symbols of status within European pictorial conventions to project himself as the centralising symbol of power and the ultimate social unifier who could guide the country back into a period of cosmological and political order.[4] In Java, as elsewhere, the advent of photography and the photographic portrait altered the way that portraits and the people they represented were circulated and received. The photographic portrait, in comparison to its painted predecessor, was an easily portable, relatively inexpensive, displayable and exchangeable representation of an individual. By the close of the 19th century, photography more than any other medium became the preferred mode for visualising and documenting the lives of [1] See Anderson on the Javanese definition of power, and the use of the term Kasekten which equates to concepts of power, legitimacy and charisma. Anderson (1990), Language and Power: exploring political cultures in Indonesia, Ithaca and London, Cornell University Press, footnote 8, pp 19–20. [2] For photographic documentation of Sukarno’s Proclamation see Chapter 6, A Short History of IPPHOS. [3] While Indonesian independence was declared in 1945 it was not internationally recognized until 1949. In this four-year period Indonesian revolutionaries fought Dutch and other foreign intervention. There was also a great deal of internal political jostling in this time and indeed during the entirety of Sukarno’s presidency up until the coup of the 1965. Needless to say, Sukarno’s ascendency and status as the rightful heir was not uncontested. Furthermore, Sukarno was largely a figure head who had an opportunity to led and sway public sentiment but was restrained by cabinet in terms of making policy decisions. See Ed. Jennifer Lindsay and Maya H.T. Liem, Heirs to world culture. Being Indonesian 1950–1965, KITLV Press, Leiden, 2012 and J.D. Legge, Sukarno. A political biography, Archipelago press, Singapore, 2003. [4] On the ruler’s legitimacy as a center of power and the personification of social unity see Anderson (1990), Language and Power, p 36.

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3.3 From the series Recording the Future Fridus Steijlen, color photograph, 2008. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program. Images of Sukarno, the first President of Indonesia, are ubiquitous across the archipelago— his likeness is very much a part of national identity.

3.4 De kroonprins van Jogjakarta Pangeran Adipait Anom Amengkoenegoro (The Crown Prince of Yogyakarta Pangeran Adipait Anom Amengkoenegoro), Kassian Céphas, albumen print, c. 1895. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program. Early photographic portraits of royalty and aristocrats sought to emulate the prestige of a classically painted portrait, full of power and grace, and yet also allowed for much easier dissemination. Made from light emanating from the subject, people believed the photograph held some of the royal aura or authority of the subject.

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Javanese people. Yet, when photographers in Java were commissioned to make portraits it was not uncommon for them to borrow classical poses and pictorial devices from the traditions of portrait painting. Lighting, emulsions, papers, exposure times, lenses and even retouching were employed to manipulate the photographic process to imitate paintings.[5] Pictorial props such as the column, the position and posture of the sitter and even the drapery common to both painted and photographic portraiture demonstrate the close relationship between painted and photographic compositional logic in late-19th century Java.[6] ▶ 3.4 Although the photographic portrait resembled its painted predecessor, it opened up new avenues for mass production and dissemination and offered something very unique to clients wanting to have their image reproduced. Unlike a painting, a photographic portrait is both an index and an icon because it is a direct trace of the physical presence of the person (via light) and because it represents or can act as surrogate for that person.[7] Writing about the photographs of Thai royalty, Rosalind C. Morris argues that the photograph more so and unlike the painted portrait offers both an image of the king and the king himself, or a representation of power and power itself.[8] In this way we can understand the 19th century photographs of Javanese royalty, not only as symbolic in their adoption of imported modern technologies but also as a means for preserving and enhancing the charismatic and spiritual aura of the sultan who wasn’t physically present but who was recognized as present through his image.[9] Consistent with Javanese notions of the charismatic and light emitting ruler the photographic process was deemed to involve the very tangible transferal of the ruler’s radiance (teja) “that was thought to emanate softly from the face or person of the man of power”[10] to the materiality of the printed photographic image.

[5] It is likely that prior to the 20th century Indonesian photographers bought their materials from agents in Singapore or from itinerant photographers who traveled between Singapore and Indonesia. G.R. Lambert, for example, worked in both Singapore and Indonesia. His studio advertisements in Singapore attest to the use and sale of photographic equipment including bromide, plantinotype, allumina-silver and chlorosilver-collidion. See The Singapore Free Press & Mercantile Advertiser. Singapore, 1895, p 1. [6] Clark contends that in 19th century Asia, paintings and photography operated within the same visual economies. J. Clark (2013: 67) Strassler argues that for some Indonesian people in some cases there is a crucial difference between a photograph and a painting— but I think this would also be the case outside of Indonesia when people are attempting to verify something through the photographic document—see Strassler, p 284. [7] Strassler (p 284) argues that for some Indonesian people in some cases there is a crucial difference between a photograph and a painting—but I think this would also be the case outside of Indonesia where the intentional relation of the painting to the subject does not guarantee the existence of the subject, whilst the causal relation of the photograph to the subject provides proof of the subject (Neil and Ridley 2002: 196). [8] Rosalind C. Morris, Photography and the power of images in the history of power: Notes from Thailand In,. Morris, Photographies East. The Camera and its histories in East and Southeast Asia, 136. [9] Strassler, 292 [10] Anderson (1990), Language and Power, p 31.

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Because the Javanese did not necessarily differentiate between a ‘political landscape’ on the one hand, and religion-based ‘charismatic authority’ or a ‘terrestrial world from the spiritual world’,[11] the ruler could demand commission a portrait as an acute likeness of himself and thereby establish himself more clearly as an historical identity as well as a divine ruler. As a consequence, the pictorial conventions aligned with European modes for depicting royalty and members of state, were adopted by the Javanese for different purposes within the colonial framework. Hung in the visitors’ hall of the kraton beside the portraits of foreign dignitaries, such portraits were contextualised within the international relations of the day and served to demonstrate the political legitimacy of the ruler. Furthermore, as state portraits they operated as symbolic traces that connected the current rulers to a long bloodline of aristocratic power and cosmological order.[12] In this regard, they would conform very closely to Brilliant’s definition of state portraits, which he asserts are not portraits of individuals but rather the embodiment of authoritarian power. In such images, the regalia of the courts and the paraphernalia of statehood remains consistent in providing the required indicators of status, in fact it is the attributional qualities of the vestiges of the king that denotes power rather than the man himself.[13] What remains most important in maintaining the concept of entitlement and statehood is that one is adorned with the appropriate items of statehood.[14] Following this logic, a ruler can be legitimized by the simple act of placing himself in the correct attire and the correct location. Significantly, the Javanese aristocracy were aware, or became aware through their relationship with the photographer, that the photograph could be used to contrive an image. They understood that when people are photographed the dialectic between their resemblance and their social presence is complicated by a set of transactions between the symbolic and the imagined that arises from their public circulation and reception. In other words, the indexical and iconic qualities of a photograph are prone to a number of transformative and interpretive interventions made by the camera operator and the sitter. In this way, we can understand that the adoption of Western codes of dress, including medals presented by Western dignitaries, was not motivated by aesthetic considerations but instead to illustrate a general process of assim-

[11] Craig J. Reynolds, Power, In., Ed. Donald S. Lopez Jr., Critical terms for the study of Buddhism, Buddhism and Modernity, 2005, 219. [12] Jenkins (1947: 1) [13] Brilliant (1991: 103) [14] Heine-Geldern (1942) and Yoshida & Durrans (2008: 268–269)

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3 ▶ PICTURES OF POWER, FROM ARISTOCRACY TO DEMOCRACY

ilating different guises of power to invoke the appropriate level of regard from Europeans and Indonesians alike.[15] So, while changes in fashion did occur among the Javanese aristocracy it is worth remembering that the purpose of much photography was commemorative, and like its painted counterpart was a staged performance of certain events. As such, dress would conform to the particular occasion, be it a wedding, a religious festival or ritual, the signing of an agreement or a public parade. ▶ 3.5 Interestingly the adoption of military attire by the Javanese was not something that occurred in response to the Dutch but rather to the French. Due to the collapse of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in 1800 and the fall of the Netherlands to Napoleon, the French took over the colonial administration of Java for a short period between 1806–1811. When Marshal Willem Daendels (Napoleon’s only non-French marshal) arrived in Java on Napoleon’s orders in 1808 he introduced military ranks as titles for every official both European and Javanese. Thus, began the tradition of Javanese aristocracy wearing military uniforms as a demonstration of status.[16] ▶ 3.6 ▶ 3.7 ▶ 3.8 For the princes of Yogyakarta and Surakarta (Solo) who held the rank of lieutenant-general in the KNIL (Royal Dutch Indies Army), the public display of the general’s uniform was a demonstration of rank and status. Military attire was worn on public occasions and in the photographer’s studio where photographs for public circulation would be produced. Céphas’ standing portrait of Hamengkubuwono VII in military attire borrows its compositional arrangements directly from earlier photographs and paintings, such as those made by the painter Raden Saleh. Céphas uses an almost identical composition, props and positioning of the sultan in order to imitate the conventions that had long been used to express European conceptions of power and ideas of cultural sophistication. The versatility and purposeful use of clothing as attribution is clearly illustrated by Céphas’ commissioned photographs of Hamengkubuwono VIII. Made on the same day they show the sultan alternating between elaborate Javanese clothing and military uniform.[17] In the photograph Hamengkubuwono VII is seen in his military uniform that signaled his title within the Dutch colonial government as an honorary Major-General. He only wore it on the occasion of European festivities. The patch-work jacket was believed to have talismanic [15] For Pemberton, the differentiation between the Javanese mode of being (cara jawa) and the Dutch mode of being (cara walandi) could be expressed and embodied by the seemingly superficial aspects of costume. See Pemberton (1994: 58–67) [16] See Carey (2013), whose work on the significance of costume for Saleh also demonstrates Saleh’s awareness of the performative aspects of self-representation. [17] The situation was similar in Japan where Emperor Meiji had himself and his wife photographed in court attire and then himself photographed alone in military attire. Similarly, the Thai King, Rama IV (Mongkut) had himself photographed in the uniform of a French field marshal.

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3.5 Sultan Haemngkoe Boewono VII loopt gearmd met de resident van Jogjakarta, C.M. Ketting Oliver, voor zijn gevolg uit van de staatsiependopo naar de sitinggil om de parade van zijn staatsietropen bij te wonen ter gelegenheid van Garebeg (Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII walks in arm with the resident of Yogyakarta, C.M. Ketting Oliver, to attend the parade of his state tropes on the occasion of Garebeg), Kassian Céphas, c. 1894. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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3 ▶ PICTURES OF POWER, FROM ARISTOCRACY TO DEMOCRACY

3.6

3.7

3.8

Raden Saleh (1814–1880), schilder

Hamengkoe Boewono VII, sultan van

Resident W. de Vogel en

te Batavia (Raden Saleh, Painter

Jogjakarta, in generaalsuniform

Soesoehoenan Pakoe Boewono X van

in Batavia), photographer unknown,

van het Nederlands Indische

Soerakarta (Resident W. de Vogel

carte de visite, c. 1870. Courtesy

Leger (Hamengkubuwono VII, Sultan

and Soesoehoenan Pakoe Boewono X

of KITLV and Leiden University,

of Yogyakarta, in general’s

of Surakarta), Charls, Van Es &

Creative Content program.

uniform for the Dutch East Indies

Co. (Semarang), book plate from

Posing in military uniform or

Army), Kassian Céphas, albumen

Dutch East and West Indies, by

with medals became a simple of

print, c. 1910. Courtesy of

J.F. Niermeyer, A.W. Nieuwenhuis,

status for Javanese aristocrats.

KITLV and Leiden University,

J. Dekker, L.A. Bakhuis.-

Creative Content program.

Haarlem: Kleynenberg, Boissevain & Co., 1912–1913. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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3 ▶ PICTURES OF POWER, FROM ARISTOCRACY TO DEMOCRACY

3.9 Hamengkoe Boewono VII, sultan van Jogjakarta (Hamengkubuwono VII, Sultan of Yogyakarta), Kassian Céphas, albumen print, c. 1900. The patchwork jacket worn here by Hamengkubuwono VII was considered to have talismanic powers, and thus reserved solely for the Sultan.

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3.10 Hamengkoe Boewono VII, sultan van Jogjakarta, in uniform (Hamengkubuwono VII, Sultan of Yogyakarta), Kassian Céphas, albumen print, c. 1885. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program. Hamengkubuwono VII was given the honorary title of Major-General in the Dutch military, and wore his uniform for important occasions with his European counterparts.

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3 ▶ PICTURES OF POWER, FROM ARISTOCRACY TO DEMOCRACY

3.11 Acht adellijke jonge maagden dragen de kroonsieraden van de sultan van Jogjakarta onder begeleiding van vier vrouwelkijke wachters (Eight noble young virgins display the crown treasures of the Sultan of Yogyakarta, accompanied by four female guards), Kassian Céphas, albumen print, 1884. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program. The standard regalia of the Yogyakarta court, consists of eight items made from precious metals that symbolize different attributes of the sultan; [1] a golden peacock; [2] a deer symbolizing swiftness of mind and action; [3] a giant snake (naga) symbolizing might and responsibility; [4] a handkerchief box symbolizing cleansing of stains from the soul; [5] a lantern symbolizing the giving of light to those in darkness; [6] a conical powder container symbolizing benevolence; [7] a goose symbolizing purity; [8] a rooster symbolizing bravery. Below a group of royal courtesans are seen holding a number of these objects as part of an annual parade of the royal regalia.

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properties and was strictly to be worn only by the sultan.[18] Each item of clothing gave him access and status to different systems of power. This was further augmented by the inclusion of certain objects which were believed to hold concentrated power.[19] ▶ 3.9 ▶ 3.10 ▶ 3.11 In this photograph, Hamengkubuwono VII is seated upright and faces his audience in a perspective of precision and symmetry as a means for expressing order and the subject’s centrality in cosmological terms.[20] As with other photographs of Javanese royalty made by Céphas, we find the monarch seated on a small golden throne called a dampar, his legs splayed and his feet rest on a small stool with a betel-nut box, a golden spittoon and other objects placed around him.[21] Rather than finding its origin in colonial period portraits or European predecessors this convention can be traced to much earlier sculptural representations introduced to Java with the arrival of esoteric Buddhism. In the early 8th century, Vajrabodhi, the son of an Indian king, propagated esoteric Buddhist concepts that gave kings access to new protective supernatural powers and which can be found in the ritual bronzes and temple complexes of Borobudur and Candi Mendut.[22] Céphas was very familiar with both sites and had been commissioned to photograph them by different archaeological surveys. In one photograph we see Céphas laying a tender arm on the Buddha at Candi Mendut. How appropriate then to borrow the iconography and posture of the Buddha imbued as it once was with esoteric meaning that gave kings protective supernatural powers and to use it to reimagine the current rulers of the day. Although the hands of sultan no longer form a mudra, or Buddhist hand gesture, they remain interlocked; he faces directly forward with legs splayed and he is surrounded by attributes and objects that relate

[18] Knaap (1999: 30–31). [19] The idea that power was concentrated in objects and/or people was pertinent to Buddhist and Javanese concepts of power. See Craig J. Reynolds, Power, In., Ed. Donald S. Lopez Jr., Critical terms for the study of Buddhism, Buddhism and Modernity, 2005, 211; and Anderson, Language and Power, p 25. [20] The Sultan and Susuhan held many titles that express their centrality to the universe. For instance, the complete name of the Sultan of Yogyakarta is Sultan Hamengkubowono Senopati Ingalogo Abdurrachman Sayidin Panoto-Gomo, Kalifatullah, meaning approximately, ‘the Sultan who controls the universe, Commander in Chief, Servant of the Lord, Lord of all believers.’ See van Beek (1990: 47). [21] van Beek (1990: 47–50). [22] Peter D. Sharrock & Emma C. Bunker, Seeds of Vajrabodhi: Buddhist rituals Bronzes from Java and Khorat, In, Ed. Andrea Acri, Esoteric Buddhism in Mediaeval Maritime Asia: Networks of Masters, texts, icons, ISEAS, Singapore, 2016, p 238–239.

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very similar iconography of power as seen in early depictions of the Buddha.[23] ▶ 3.12 The broad positioning of the legs of the Javanese rulers also suggests the aggressive stance of certain wayang figures. An examination of the wayang kulit figures (Indonesian shadow puppets) reveals an iconography densely encoded with complex political and philosophical attributions that appear formal and rigid and yet also permit ambiguity and inversion. To this end, Brandon’s description of the values of halus (refinement) and kasar (vulgarity) as manifest in the wayang is a good starting point. Brandon identifies

3.12 De fotograaf Kassian Céphas dij Boeddhabeeld in tjandi Mendoet (The photographer Kassian Céphas touching the thigh of the Buddha in Candi Mendut), Kassian Céphas, albumen print, c. 1890. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program. Photographs of Javanese rulers often referenced iconic and mystical images of Indonesian heritage.

[23] The Bhadrasan (pendant leg) type Buddha is also found in aristocratic collections in central Java such as the bronze figure in the Radya Pustaka Museum in Solo. See Stephen Markel, A royal collection: Central Javanese Copper-Alloy Sculptures it eh Museum Radya Pustaka, Surakarta, In ed. Stephen Markel, The art and architecture of Indonesia, Orientations, 22:12, 1991, pp 38–49.

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six character types that express the range from halus to kasar. The highest class, exemplified by the characters Yudistira, Arjuna, Irawan, Sumbadra, and Surtikanti, is represented in terms similar to the Javanese aristocracy. The second type, known as lanyapan, whilst almost identical, has the added and perhaps conflicting characteristic of activeness and aggression.[24] This type is exemplified by Srikandi, Kresna and Karna who are depicted with their sarongs tucked up to reveal a pair of silken trousers, as is the case with many of the royal portraits of central Java.[25] Could it be then that the portraits of royal sultans with widely-placed feet and direct outward gazes are an invocation of this character type that expresses the utmost in refined behavior but also aggression?[26] Could these photographs offer an image as a site of memory, moreover, or as residual royal power to be dispersed and viewed in a period when their real political power was restrained by the Dutch colonial presence?[27] Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, might best embody this tension between halus and kasar, or between metaphysical and political power. Named after Karna, one of the noble but physically strong wayang characters, Sukarno was born in 1901 at the dawn of the new century.[28] In a period when modern secular nationalism was establishing its roots, there remained great faith in the kind of messianic leadership that could deliver the Javanese people from a dark period of occupation and disorder to a new brighter time of cosmological and political order.[29] His father, Raden Sukemi Sosrodihardjo, was from a noble family, who according to Sukarno were great patriots; having descended from the Sultan of Kediri his great-grandmother fought alongside Diponegoro, the great national hero of the Java War (1825–1830).[30] For Javanese who strongly believed in the evolution of power along cyclical phases of disorder (depletion of power) and order (concentration of power), many considered Sukarno’s aristocratic birth at the turn of the century as a prophetic sign of a new, just king—or [24] Brandon (1970: 49). [25] Ibid. [26] Nandy (1983: 20) makes the point that Indian nationalists adopted the aggressive and hyper-masculine attributes of the anti-hero found in classical texts. [27] Although Barthes and Kracauer have argued that the precision of the photograph inhibits memory, others have argued that it acts like a mirror to the memory. For a discussion on photography and memory see Batchen (2004). Florida (1987) has remarked upon the increased assertion of masculinity in late 19th-century court literature in a period when the aristocracy were experiencing a sense of emasculation under the Dutch colonial administration. [28] The Indonesian Karna is changed to Karno in Javanese. [29] Pierre Labrousse, The second life of Bung Karno. Analysis of the myth (1978–1981), Indonesia, No.57, Archipel, April 1993, pp 175–196. [30] C. Adams (1970: 19–20). Anderson notes that rulers frequently tried to associate himself through court chronicles with the residues of previous centers of power and greatness, sometimes through complicated (and often falsified) lines of descent. See Anderson (1990), Language and Power, p 39.

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in Buddhist terms a cakravartin (universal emperor)—who born of royal/aristocratic lineage is later considered divine, and could usher in new period of Javanese power.[31] Many saw his birth of Balinese mother and Javanese father, and the associated myths around his ancestral lineage, as heraldic of a new hero who could unify the many different islands of the Indonesian archipelago. Likewise, many believed that his ancestral pedigree combined with his graduation as an engineer from the Bandung Institute of Technology placed him in a strong position to overcome the Dutch with both traditional and modern forms of knowledge and power.[32] On 17 August 1945, Sukarno was indeed the hero of the day when he declared Indonesian independence, but the moment was short-lived and independence was not recognized internationally until December 1949. In the interim, Indonesian revolutionaries continued their guerrilla war against the Dutch and other foreign interventions. There was also a great deal of internal political jostling in this time and Sukarno’s ascendency and status as the rightful heir was not uncontested. Sukarno was, however, very successful in using his oratory skills to project himself as the spearhead of an Indonesian cultural renaissance, and developed a personal mythology connecting himself to Javanese mythology and the wayang. He charismatically rallied millions in support, promising them the fulfillment of the prophecy predicting the return of a just ruler. “I reminded them how generations have long hoped for the manifestation of Ratu Adil, our Goddess of Justice who stands for social equality.”[33] ▶ 3.13 ▶ 3.14 While named after the wayang character Karna, Sukarno sometimes likened himself to Kroksono who is known for abandoning his asceticism “in order to descend the mountain and bring a magical weapon destined to reunite clashing factions.”[34] In fact many speculated on the connection between Sukarno and protective objects or weapons which could guarantee his power. According to Labrousse, “These rumours were all the more fertile in the collective imagination since the possession of such objects is, by tradition, discreet, and often secret.”[35] But Sukarno did not abide by the Javanese norms of polite and discreet behavior. Instead, he projected an image of vigor and [31] Reynolds has argued that the Buddha’s origins in a royal family and his role as a new spiritual ruler set up a relationship between ruler and Buddha that led many secular leaders to avail themselves of Buddhism’s idioms and leadership. The “wheel here connotes both the wheel weapon of the warrior king and the wheel of dharma, which the Buddha set in motion.” See Craig J. Reynolds, Power, In., Ed. Donald S. Lopez Jr., Critical terms for the study of Buddhism, Buddhism and Modernity, 2005, p 220. [32] Pierre Labrousse, The second life of Bung Karno. Analysis of the myth (1978–1981), Indonesia, No. 57, Archipel, April 1993, pp 175–196. [33] Adams, p 198. [34] Pierre Labrousse, The second life of Bung Karno. Analysis of the myth (1978–1981), Indonesia, No. 57, Archipel, April 1993, pp 175–196. [35] Ibid.

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3.13 Presiden Soekarno dan keluarga (President Sukarno and Family), IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, 1949. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia). Sukarno had an usually sophisticated understanding of the media, and successfully projected an image of himself as a ruler of destiny, as part of a continuum of divine rulers in Java and across the Indonesian archipelago.

3.14 Presiden Soekarno berkunjung di Tarutung Sematera disambut dengan rapat umum dan defile militer (President Sukarno visited Tarutung, Sumatra, and was greeted by the community and military), IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, 1948. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

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strength.[36] Sukarno adopted his own military staff which he brandished about ostentatiously at public rallies. It was said to be made from pucang wood which was believed to have mystical properties. Furthermore, the staff was said to contain a small keris (a traditional Javanese ceremonial dagger, often embodying mystical powers) inside its hollowed form.[37] This keris took on even greater meaning when accompanied by Sukarno’s story of how it was passed down from his Balinese great-grandmother, empowered with the blood of a Dutchman.[38] “In the beginning, I even buckled a gold dagger at my side. The people adored it...”, he boasted.[39] ▶ 3.15 Furthermore, Sukarno’s adoption of the starch-pressed white military uniform, seen in this painting by Abdullah and many other photographs of Sukarno, reveals a logical evolution of the Javanese aristocracy’s projection of rank and masculine power, conceived during the colonial period but now performed with a greater sense of assertion, independence, and pride.[40] “I prefer uniforms for every public appearance because I know downtrodden people delight to see their President crisply tailored… For a once subjugated race, this is imperative. Our people are used to seeing the white foreigners in smart uniforms which are symbols of authority and they’re so used to seeing themselves in sarongs which are symbols of inferiority. When I became Commander in Chief, I knew they wanted a hero figure. I gave that to them.”[41] Sukarno’s proud affirmation of his assumed role as a leader in the colonial struggle and unifier of the country also reveals the subtle ambiguities of the performative aspects of his public life, informed as they were from the marriage of Javanese sensibilities and his exuberant personality, as noted by Legge: “the striking characteristic of Sukarno, at least in outward appearance, was the tremendous self-assurance. Always at the centre of events, uniformed and neat in appearance, brisk in his movements, sparkling in his assumption of his central role… he was vain… and he was able to exert a magnetic charm even over his opponents.”[42] Sukarno’s legitimacy as the spiritual leader of the nation was further confirmed when, not having anywhere to set up their headquarters, the sultan of Yogyakarta opened up his palace to the political com[36] J.D. Legge, Sukarno. A political biography, Archipelago press, Singapore, 2003, p 33. [37] Pierre Labrousse, The second life of Bung Karno. Analysis of the myth (1978–1981), Indonesia, No.57, Archipel, April 1993, pp 175–196. [38] Pierre Labrousse, The second life of Bung Karno. Analysis of the myth (1978–1981), Indonesia, No.57, Archipel, April 1993, pp 175–196. [39] C. Adams (1970: 81–82). [40] On the gendering of clothing in Indonesia see J.G. Taylor (1997) and Frederick (1997). [41] C. Adams (1970: 81–82). [42] J.D. Legge, Sukarno. A political biography, Archipelago press, Singapore, 2003, p 23.

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3.15 Potret van President Soekarno (Portrait of President Sukarno), photographer unknown, c. 1949. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

munity making it the governmental seat of the newly established Republic of Indonesia. The kraton, as the architectural domain and embodiment of the rulers’ mystical power, accentuated Sukarno’s position as the legitimate descendent and inheritor of the center of Javanese power and provided him with a convenient and popularly recognized model of vernacular leadership: …seriously stuck… [we] went to the kraton (the Sultan’s palace) and with few revisions we nationalists, who’d fought all our lives against feudalism, borrowed high Javanese protocol as our guide.[43] In borrowing from Javanese protocol and Dutch political and cultural language, Sukarno acted in the manner of a Javanese king, establishing himself as the epicenter of all power by surrounding himself with the symbols and [43] C. Adams (1970: 241)

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vestiges of power already familiar to the Javanese.[44] Positioning himself as the immediate inheritor of all that was favorable in Dutch (European) art, literature and culture, whilst simultaneously the custodian of Indonesia’s rich heritage, Sukarno set about amassing a collection of more than 200 objets d’art acquired as gifts from foreign dignitaries, purchases and commissions.[45] Although it was now the political elite rather than the aristocracy who championed the arts, Sukarno’s aesthetic preferences for expressions of power, beauty and Javanese identity had not fallen too far from the tree, as noted by Clark: One of the most interesting features of the art history of new nations is how their leadership can be inclined to adopt the conservative taste of their predecessors. This should not be a surprise because such nations are ideologically based on the imaginary extension of their pre-modern and pre-colonial pasts, as much as the real-world foundations of an actual historical struggle.[46] Raden Basuki Abdullah was Sukarno’s preferred portrait painter and integral to his political agenda.[47] He was the son of the illustrator and painter Raden Abdullah Surio Subroto and learned the basic skills of an artist from his father.[48] In many ways Basuki had the appropriate lineage and was perfectly placed to consolidate Sukarno’s image as the legitimate political leader of the new Republic and spiritual figurehead of the nation. According to Wright, Basuki can be seen as a “direct descendent of traditional art-makers, working in the royal courts… whose role was to legitimize and celebrate the power-holders…”[49] Sukarno and Basuki worked together to present an image of Sukarno that established him as the new ruler but also cleverly maintained continuity with the vestiges of Javanese aristocratic and colonial power. Sukarno was well aware of the ways in which his image could be enhanced, and his charisma projected for the appreciation of the public. Like other post-World War II power brokers and politicians in Southeast

[44] The accumulation and preservation of power is central to Javanese political thought. Anderson (1990), Language and Power, pp 28, 39, 52. [45] Siegel (1997: 6). A total of 206 works was published in two volumes as a gift to Sukarno from the Chinese Government. They feature a preface by Sukarno and are in four languages. See Dullah (1956) and Susanto (2014). [46] John Clark, Modern Asian Art, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1998, p 250. [47] J. Clark (1998: 250). [48] From 1933–1936, Basuki studied at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague and a brief time in Paris before returning to Java. See Cox, Matt. “Abdullah, Basuki (1915–1993)” The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis, 2016. Accessed on 16 Nov, 2018. https://bit.ly/3pCpztg. [49] Wright (1993: 192). In fact, Basuki’s relationship to the earlier generation of painters, including his father Abdullah Surio Subroto, the photographer Kassian Céphas and the cultural nationalist Dr. Wahidin does link him to the courts of Central Java—see Cox (2012).

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Asia he combined Buddhist/Javanese notions of the wheel turner and the messianic just king with civil and military signifiers.[50] ▶ 3.16 In these portraits by Abdullah one can see a clear link to both the portraits of the Dutch Governor Generals and the early photographs of Javanese royalty. The standing figure is presented formally within an internal setting framed by a table to the right and drapery or a flag as a backdrop. The inclusion of certain objects—like books, manuscripts, swords, and military headgear—while not always consistent, continues to signify respective attributes of the subject in the tradition of State portraiture. The rolled-up constitution in Sukarno’s left hand, for instance, behaves as a sign of entitlement much like the military staff that invariably appeared in the early portraits of the Governor Generals. Although Sukarno had opportunity to perform for the public and was indeed very good at it, he did not always have control over the way that photographers chose to capture him on camera. However, in more private moments this was not necessarily the case and there are a number of examples where he appears to be have had a much more complex collaborative role with the photographer. Among them is an image of Sukarno standing in front of the now famous painting by S. Sudjojono, Kawan-Kawan Revolusi (Revolution Comrades), photographed by the famed French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. ▶ 3.17 Sukarno is positioned alongside artists and military figures characterizing a certain sense of brotherhood and comradery between the many known figures in the painting and Sukarno himself. Like other photographs of Sukarno pictured beside or admiring paintings in his collection, the nationalist’s narrative of the painting is co-opted by Sukarno in order to project a story about his own ambitions and his central role in the revolution. In fact, his inclusion as the owner and commissioner defers attention away from the painting onto Sukarno himself, and then in turn performed for the public in the photograph. This privileging of Sukarno over the painting suggests that these photographs are not about Sukarno admiring art but rather documents that establish Sukarno as a person of significance and a collector of art. It might be argued that they actually serve as a backdrop to the portrait of Sukarno in much the same way that the earlier photographic and painted portraits used painted scenes, drapery and flags as backdrops and provide attributional signifiers. The symbolic significance of this collection lies not only in the fact

[50] Reynolds offers Chamlong Srimung as a Thai example of politician who combined military, civil and religious sources to the benefit of his career. See Craig J. Reynolds, Power, In., Ed. Donald S. Lopez Jr., Critical terms for the study of Buddhism, Buddhism and Modernity, 2005, 223.

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3.16 Dr. Ir. Sukarno Presiden Republik Indonesia (Dr. Ir. Sukarno, President of the Repulic of Indonesia), Basoeki Abdullah, oil painting, 94 cm × 194 cm, 1964. Courtesy of Amir Sidharta and the Indonesian Visual Arts Archive.

3.17 Indonesian president Sukarno at home, Henri Cartier-Bresson, silver gelatin photography, 1949. Courtesy of Magnum Photo. The painting behind Sukarno by the artist Sudjojono, Kawan-Kawan Revolusi (Revolution Comrades) depicts young Indonesian insurgents who died fighting the police.

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that it presented Sukarno as a connoisseur and great patron of the arts, but that it also presented him as a person of great charisma in as much as he was surrounded by a vast number of objects of high national and cultural value. In this way, his art collection was a sign of his magnetic power and is analogous to the earlier Javanese rulers’ collection of the ampilan or pusaka (heirloom object) which were frequently included in royal portraits. To possess such objects or ampilan was proof of one’s power. In turn, an image of a person of power could itself become an object of power.[51] In addition to the photographic representation of Sukarno among such rich cultural artefacts, the photographic images of Sukarno took on new function as they were reproduced to be owned and cherished by his many admirers. Although photographic technologies had changed since the late 19th century, the role of portrait photography in social networking continued from the earlier carte de visite, as exemplified by the portrait of Raden Saleh, into wallet size photographs of Sukarno, which were carried around by devotees establishing a more direct and intimate connection to their prophetic leader.[52] For Sukarno and his many admirers the iconic and indexical qualities of the photograph remained extremely significant, as both a proxy for Sukarno and as his direct material trace. In this way photography continued to be the most successful medium for the transfer of Sukarno’s aura and charismatic presence into tangible material form, transforming the image of the ruler into a sacred relic to be coveted and cherished even after his fall from grace.[53] While many remained captivated by Sukarno’s extremely seductive charm, his capacity to implement policy was curtailed by the cabinet and he experienced challenges to his political power throughout his presidency, culminating in the coup of 1965.[54] In this regard, his position was not dissimilar to the Javanese royalty of the late 19th and early 20th century who stood as figureheads of Javanese tradition and cosmological order, and yet found their political power brought to an abrupt end by military force.

[51] According to Reynolds, “Certain Buddha images acquired reputations for having intrinsic powers—the supernatural potency called saksit in Thai”. See Craig J. Reynolds, Power, In., Ed. Donald S. Lopez Jr., Critical terms for the study of Buddhism, Buddhism and Modernity, 2005, p 222. [52] Strassler, pp 290–291. [53] Strassler, p 276. [54] See Ed. Jennifer Lindsay and Maya H.T. Liem, Heirs to world culture. Being Indonesian 1950–1965, KITLV Press, Leiden, 2012 and J.D. Legge, Sukarno. A political biography, Archipelago Press, Singapore, 2003.

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CHAPTER 4

THE DANCE PHOTOGRAPHS OF WALTER SPIES AND CLAIRE HOLT: A BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY

Brian C. Arnold

4.1 Spies and Holt at Borobudur.

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In

general, the film will depict a battle between white and black magic. Very uncanny things: trances and dreams, exorcism and divine position. But it all seems to resemble a vast and beautiful folk song, very simple and grand.[1] ▶4.1 WALTER SPIES, FRAGMENT OF A LETTER DESCRIBING HIS FILM PROJECT BLACK MAGIC (INSEL DER DÄMONEN)

Jane Belo’s book Traditional Balinese Culture is a collection of essays by wellknown scholars and artists engaged with Bali and Indonesia during the first half of the 20th century. Jane Belo, herself an anthropologist, was connected to many of the first wave of scholars and expatriates that fled to Bali and Indonesia (at the time still called the Dutch East Indies) between the World Wars, including Walter Spies, Beryl de Zoete, Gregory Bateson, Margaret Mead, Claire Holt, and of course her husband Colin McPhee. These people represent an important cross-section of the early American and European modernists that sought alternative forms of culture and identity as refuge after the entropy and disillusionment resulting from industrialization and the World War I. Traditional Balinese Culture includes contributions by all these people and others. Amongst these is an essay by art historian Claire Holt, “‘Bandit Island:’ A short Exploration Trip to Nusa Penida,” which recounts an expedition she conducted with Walter Spies and Jane Belo as they traveled together across Nusa Penida, a small cluster of three islands southeast of Bali (including Nusa Lembongan, a popular tourist destination today). Nusa Penida falls under the jurisdiction of Bali, but has developed its own unique culture. The trip was intended as a comparative exploration, to discover the cultural similarities and differences between these small islands and their parent island of Bali: Do they worship their gods in temples similar to those of the Balinese? Do they enjoy the same riot of colors in their clothing and do they apply their artistic gifts in sculpture, painting, music, and dance in the same was their neighbors in Bali do? All these and similar questions, which could find no ready answer anywhere, prompted our small expedition. There were three of us and our interests divided: our “arts and crafts department” was mainly interested in the architecture and sculpture of the temple and also wanted to make special inquiries about the local weavings. Family customs were the chief interest of the other member of our party. And I myself was most anxious to see some dances of Nusa Penida as compared with those of Bali and Java.[2]

[1] Stowell, John. Walter Spies: A Life in Art, Jakarta: Afterhours Books, 2011. [2] Holt, Claire. “‘Bandit Island’: A Short Exploration Trip to Nusa Penida,” from Traditional Balinese Culture, pp 67–68.

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There isn’t an abundance of documentation about the connection or relationship between Claire Holt and Walter Spies, but given the relatively small circle of researchers, expatriates, and adventurers traveling from the West to the Dutch East Indies at the time, their connection was inevitable. The first introduction came from Angelica Archipenko, the daughter of an artist Claire Holt studied with in New York City. Angelica accompanied Claire on her first trip to the islands; apparently Angelica knew Spies from art circles back in Germany.[3] Once established in Java, Holt became close with Willem Stutterheim, an archeologist based in Central Java who worked collaboratively with Spies researching the Hindu-Buddhist culture and monuments of Central Java and Bali, and presumably would have helped Spies and Holt connect over their common interests.[4] The passage from Traditional Balinese Culture above does, however, offer us a clear indication of their relationship, as colleagues with shared interests, motivations, and ambitions. In Holt’s narrative, Spies is the “arts and crafts department,” as he had a remarkable reputation for his understanding of Balinese art. ▶ 4.2 Despite their incredibly different backgrounds, Walter Spies and Claire Holt share similar lives and experiences; Spies was a painter and musician, a German immigrate to Bali via Russia, and Holt had a background in sculpture and dance, was born in Latvia before moving to Russia and eventually the United States. The pain and disillusionment wrought by World War I caused both of them to seek alternatives in response to the discord they felt in Europe. And both Spies and Holt felt like outsiders in their own cultures— Spies as homosexual, and Holt lost her husband to an early death, and even before this she seemed reluctant to join in the heteronormative behavior of wife and family expected of women at the time. They each came from education and opportunity, and with this brought an incredible sensitivity and openness to the experiences and cultures they found in Indonesia. Photography is always about subject matter, and a picture is only as interesting as the subject photographed. This is precisely why photography is able to cross so many boundaries and has always been a tool for documenting critical engagements and inquiries of all sorts, be it in the sciences or humanities. The methodologies and drives for Holt and Spies might have been very different, but with the common tool of photography and their unique interests in Indonesia, they have both left behind visual archives that provide remarkably [3] In her book Sitting at the Feet of Gurus: The Life and Dance Ethnography of Claire Holt, dancer and writer Deena Burton provides the most thorough account of Claire Holt’s life currently available. [4] John Stowell’s book, Walter Spies: A Life in Art, provides information on Spies’ correspondence with Stutterheim and suggests that Stutterheim facilitated a relationship between Walter Spies and Claire Holt.

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4.2 Spies and Archipenko.

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opportunities to think about photography and how it is crafted, described, and documented Indonesian culture, specifically in regard to the dance and theater traditions they each found so captivating in Bali and Java.

4.3 Dance and Drama in BALI by Beryl de Zoete and Walter Spies, with a preface by Arthur Waley. Faber and Faber Limited, London, November 1938. Collection of Lans Brahmantyo.

One may say there is no stage in Bali, or that everywhere there is a stage. For wherever there is a space to dance, to mount a play, there is the Balinese stage. It may be the village street, the graveyard, the temple-court, the ground outside the temple, the courtyard of a Balinese house, the outer court of a palace. The floor is the bare earth, covered in certain dances with palm matting; its roof the sky or an overhanging tree, as shelter from sun and rain, a ceiling of woven palm leaf supported on thin pillars of bamboo. ▶ 4.3 BERYL DE ZOETE, FROM DANCE AND DRAMA IN BALI

Walter Spies first arrived in Java in 1923, where he quickly embraced and settled into a new life in Indonesia.[5] His voyage to Indonesia was somewhat unexpected and a little bit delinquent. He was already developing a prominent career as a painter in Russia and Europe, and ultimately lied about his identity to board the S.S. Hamburg, posing as a Russian sailor on a German vessel heading to Java. Once the ship ported in Batavia, he quickly deserted—in dubious circumstances that almost resulted in his arrest— and traveled to Bandung, where family friends provided Spies with letters of introduction to help him get settled. In a letter to Heinrich Hauser, a friend back home, Spies describes his first experiences in Java in specifically visual terms, his initial impressions during his train ride from Batavia to Bandung: Mountains to the right of me, mountains to the left; all in fantastic shapes like Chinese paintings you know, with banana groves and forests of coconut palms, and everything growing more and more incredible. I was already hunting down atlas-moths and silkworms in the gorges as the train hurtled over them. Incredible tunnels and long, narrow bridges on spindly legs. The very name of Padalarang station rang like a fairytale, and then at last at half past twelve came Bandung (2,800 ft.) on the highland plateau, ringed by

[5] There are two different books that provide detailed examination of Walter Spies, his life and his creative output, Walter Spies and Balinese Art by Hans Rhodius and John Darling, and Walter Spies: A Life in Art by John Stowell. Stowell’s book is very thorough and beautifully produced. Most of the biographical information provided here comes from this book.

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high mountains and volcanos, some jungle-clad and some not, just as fancy pleases.[6] Spies came from a very wealthy and well-educated family that valued the arts and creativity.[7] In addition to being an accomplished painter with a growing career, he was also a skilled piano player. Spies wasn’t long for Bandung, and after just a couple of weeks headed to Yogyakarta, where quickly his skills as a pianist helped him get established. He took a temporary post performing at a Dutch club in the city. When this posting ended, Spies was introduced to the Sultan of Yogyakarta, Hamengkubuwono VIII, and was ultimately appointed as director of the western orchestra housed at the kraton for entertaining European visitors. ▶ 4.4 Spies was taken with court life in Jogja and assumed an immediate interest in and sensitivity to the performing arts so widely associated with life in the kraton. At this point, Spies made some of his first photographs of life in the Dutch East Indies. As far as his photographic output, nothing notable came from these pictures, but they do offer an indication of a desire to connect visually with his new environment and home. It was also at the kraton that Spies had his first exposure to gamelan and the Indonesian dance performances grounded in the great Hindu epics. He began a serious study of gamelan, and thus made his first plunge into directly engaging Indonesian art forms, and really began an approach that would help him create such a unique body of work during his time in the East Indies, acting as both an observer and a participant. When he first set sail for the East Indies, Spies always had his sights set on Bali. After four years in Java, in September 1927 he finally made it to Ubud. In Bali, Walter Spies really found himself and the alternative life he was looking for when he first left his homeland for the Dutch East Indies. And it was in Bali that he made his most lasting contributions as an artist, ethnographer, teacher, and a facilitator between Balinese and Western cultures. The early 20th century was an incredibly fertile time in Bali, full of creative innovation and production in the visual and performing arts. Along with Spies, several other artists found themselves on the shores of the island, like composer Colin McPhee, painter Miguel Covarrubias, musicologist Jaap Kunst, and painter Rudolf Bonnet.[8] Many of these artists were greeted with open arms by their Balinese counterparts, ultimately forming new exchanges and collaborations. ▶ 4.5 [6] Letter cited in Walter Spies: A Life in Art by John Stowell, p.75. [7] Walter had two brothers and two sisters, all of whom dabbled in the arts, with varying degrees of success. [8] Rudolf Bonnet became a close colleague with Spies, as together they worked to teach Balinese artists with materials and ideas they brought from the West, and also championed Balinese artists among European audiences.

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4.4 Spies photo from kraton.

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4.5 Lempad painting.

The time between the World Wars is best described as a renaissance in Balinese art. Led by innovative and visionary painters like I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, new ideas, vocabularies and techniques flourished within the traditional, devotional, and fine arts of the island. Suddenly doors were opening to the West, too, which provided new markets and economic opportunities for artists. More than just money, however, many of these new visitors coming from the West also brought new materials, techniques, and ideas to local painters living and working around Ubud, a city in southern Bali that had been a focal point for the arts for decades. ▶ 4.6 Walter Spies was at the center of all this growth in the arts. He would gather artists from around Ubud to meet and study together and helped introduce new drawing and painting materials and techniques. Together with Rudolf

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Bonnet—an artist from Amsterdam who similarly found a new home for himself in Bali—Spies provided new kinds of patronage for the artists in and around Ubud. This patronage helped lead to the opening the Bali Museum in Denpasar, an attempt to start documenting and collecting the arts of the island. And all of this ultimately coalesced in Pita Maha, an artist guild with about 130 members established in 1936.[9] This collective, composed mostly of painters and woodcarvers, provided incredible support and dialog that helped the arts flourish until the Japanese occupation of Indonesia and the start of World War II. Not long after he first arrived in Bali in 1927, Spies’ reputation grew quickly. His knowledge of Balinese art and culture became so immersive and extensive that he became the portal for Westerners visiting the island, a way to introduce them to all the Balinese had to teach and offer.[10] In Letters from the Field, anthropologist Margaret Mead perfectly describes the role Spies played in connecting newcomers to Balinese culture: Walter is a perfectly delightful person, an artist and a musician, who has lived in Bali for some eight years and has welcomed and entertained all the interesting people who have come here. He has done a great deal to stimulate late modern Balinese painting and has painted Bali himself and in general has worked out a most perfect relationship between himself, the island, its people and its traditions.[11] Among these visitors was Beryl de Zoete, who traveled to Bali in 1936. Beryl de Zoete was an English dance critic and globe trotter who studied dance across the United States, Europe, Burma, Malabar, and India. With early training as a ballet dancer, de Zoete also delved into poetry and literary translations. With her eclectic interests and background in writing and dance, she was poised to offer new insights in Balinese performance. Collaborating with Walter Spies she performed a concentrated study of Balinese dance, which eventually led to the now classic book Dance and Drama in Bali, perhaps the most well-known and accessible work Walter Spies finished in Bali. ▶ 4.7 Armed with a Leica recently gifted to him, Spies led de Zoete around Bali for 15 months, teaching her how to view and understand the complex symbols, images, and mythologies characteristic of Balinese dance. The completed book is almost encyclopedic, breaking down the performances into 12 distinct genres and chapters—“Ceremoni[9] Ibid. [10] The list of people Walter Spies introduced to Bali is long and diverse, and includes celebrated academics and even film actor Charlie Chaplin, who by all accounts was a huge fan of Balinese dance and garnered a great deal of attention when performed his impromptu parody of legong, the famous court dance. [11] Letters from the Field is a collection of anthropologist Margaret Mead’s correspondence developed while conducting her fieldwork in island Southeast Asia, quoted in Stowell’s biography of Walter Spies, p.191.

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4.6 Spies painting: Riverscape with Herdsman and Cows, 1938.

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al Dances;” “Sanghyang and Ketjak;” “The Drama of Magic” (broken down into two sections, Barong and Tjalonarang); “Gamboeh, Tjoepak, and Tantra;” “Wayang Wong;” “Dramatic Baris and Basoer;” “Djanger; Legong and Kebyar;” “Djoged and Genggong;” and “Combats.”[12] Early editions of the book come with a complete list of illustrations. Looking this over provides great insight into the unique accomplishment of the book. The photographs are broken down by region and village, dancers, and sometimes even choreographers. Anyone with familiarity of Balinese culture understands that even traditional dances have important regional variations, and villages that specialize in particular performances. The index of Spies’ photographs reveal a keen understanding of how the dance and drama traditions vary across the island, as well as who were the important performers and teachers of the time. ▶ 4.8 The visual content of the book is essential to understanding its importance. Spies documents the dance and drama traditions with many layers, showing young students working with their teachers, young men and village elders in full states of trances, the ritual attributes essential to understanding the performances, the incredible costumes and masks, the subtle hand gestures, and even the landscapes and environments characteristic of Bali. Unique variations of famed performances can often be traced to specific teachers, dancers, or choreographers, all noted in Spies’ contribution to the book. ▶ 4.9 Without formal training in photography, Spies clearly understands the essential attributes of the medium and brings all of his visual literacy and sophistication. His pictures are clear and provide the necessary detail to really glean the specific characteristics of each dance, costume, or drama. The pictures also have a clear sense of how much photography can embody the feeling of time and space. His famous photograph of the Rangda performers in the Barong play photographed at Pagutan in 1936 reveals an abstraction of time and space; the hazy fog behind the performers suggests another reality, one from which the mythological figures in the foreground might actually emanate. His photograph of the Redjang performed in Tengangan shows the incredible discipline of the subtle hand and finger gestures unique to Balinese and Javanese dance, the ornate costumes, and the group coordination necessary for an affecting rendition of the dance. In his photographs of masked dancers, it is often hard to determine if the dancer and the mask are separate at all. ▶ 4.10 ▶ 4.11

[12] The conventions for translating Balinese language into roman script have changed since Dance and Drama in Bali was first released. What was once transcribed as tj is now c (but pronounced ch), what was dj is now typically j (but pronounced with a sharper cadence), and was oe is now typically u.

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4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 4.11 and 4.12 With formal education in painting and music, Spies brought a similar sensitivity to the camera lens. Coupled with incredible knowledge Balinese dance, his photographs bring tremendous insight to Dance and Drama in Bali and provided a look at Balinese culture few outside the region had seen before.

Tragically, Spies’ life ended in desperation and shame. During World War II, as the Germans and Japanese gained early success, Germans across the Dutch East Indies were rounded up and imprisoned. Spies faced further problems and scrutiny in regard to his sexuality; not only was homosexuality illegal but there were allegations of pederasty surrounding Spies and his home in Bali.[13] After being shuffled between different internment camps, Walter Spies died on board a Dutch ship bombed during Japanese aggression. The accomplishments of Walter Spies are much greater than offered here—he worked as a painter, musician, archeologist, teacher, advocate, arts entrepreneur, filmmaker, photographer, and travel guide. Within this incredible life and achievement, Dance and Drama in Bali is perhaps his most substantial contribution, if only for its longevity and mass distribution. The book has been printed dozens of times and is considered an essential part of the canon for Indonesian studies. [13] The truth of these allegations will never be known. Many people came to his defense, but there is also no denying that he surrounded himself with young Balinese men.

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The shadow play and wayang wong are the most important Indonesian theatrical forms, which reflect in their iconographic and meticulous systematization of expression significant aspects of traditional Javanese culture. It is against this background—of glamorous mythological setting, systematized symbolism, overt magic and hidden mysticism—that Western ideas and art forms have made their entry into Java.[14] CLAIRE HOLT, ART IN INDONESIA: CONTINUITIES AND CHANGE

Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change by Claire Holt has made a similar impact. First published in 1967, her book is still considered a definitive text on Indonesian art history, and her scholarship is revered even among Indonesian historians and artists. Between 1928–1972, Holt published dozens of essays, reviews, and books on Indonesia, primarily focusing on dance and theater, the fine arts, and even offering English translations of classic Javanese literature.[15] ▶ 4.13 Like Walter Spies, Holt arrived in Indonesia with a diverse educational background, and with lots of experience engaging with new cultures having lived in Europe, Russia, and the United States. She was from a family with economic means, and one that prioritized education and cultural engagement. Born as Claire Bagg in Latvia in 1901, there were a number of early experiences which probably helped to develop the intellectual framework and cultural sensitivity that was ultimately manifest in her work about Indonesia. The first of these happened when she was just 13 years old, when her family moved to Moscow for the next six years. This was without a doubt a remarkable time in Russian history, and it must have been an incredible time to be in Moscow. Amidst the incredible transition of the World War and the internal movement towards socialism and communism, art in Russia blossomed with experimentation and innovation. This proliferation of art developed across genres, with incredible innovation happening in theater, dance, literature, and the plastic arts. It is easy to presume that all of these radical cultural and artistic changes made a big impact on a precocious teenager. [14] First published in 1967 by Cornell University, Claire Holt’s book Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change is an indispensable book for anyone interested in Indonesian art. [15] Most of the biographical information about Claire Holt offered here is from Deena Burton’s book Sitting at the Feet of Gurus: The Life and Ethnography of Claire Holt. Additionally biographical information comes from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts website, https://on.nypl.org/3Cor7yx, and the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collection, https://bit.ly/3T822xT.

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4.13 Pandji Andaga vs. Buginese Warrior, Battle Dances, Mangkunagaran and Kraton Surakarta, Claire Holt, gelatin silver print mounted on album page, 16 cm × 23.5 cm, 1931. Courtesy of Jerome Dance Division, The New York Public Library.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Russia was synonymous with ballet. Dance was eventually a driving interest for Holt, causing Claire Holt’s biographer Deena Burton to write her: Claire’s lifelong interest in dance likely germinated during her years in Moscow. As a schoolgirl, she exhibited a passion for gymnastics, won a gymnastics award at school, and also studied ballet. Given these interests and her family’s cultural orientation, it is probable that she had the opportunity to attend the famous Bolshoi, with its opulent costumes, wonderful dancing, and overall spectacular aura.[16] While there is a bit of speculation to Burton’s assessment, it is easy to see how these kinds of experiences later fed her profound interest in Javanese and Indonesian dance. In Moscow, Claire and her two sisters started taking English lessons with a private tutor named Bernard Hopfen. Apparently, these lessons made a great impression on the young women; in 1920 Claire

[16] Quoted from Sitting at the Feet of Gurus, p.16.

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married Bernard, and in 1921 the couple moved to New York City to start a new life while Europe continued to rebuild from the war. Perhaps significant here, Claire’s sister Luta married around the same time, and to man later renowned for his photographs of Eastern European Jewish communities, Roman Vishniac.[17] When Claire and Bernard landed in New York, with the help of Vishniac the two started a photographic business to support themselves.[18] Her years in New York now seem pivotal in defining the work she’d later pursue in Indonesia. Like her time in Russia, this was an innovative time in American dance. Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey were leading the way into the forms of movement that later defined Modernist dance. Holt found her way into the New York dance scene as both a student and later as a critic. Claire Holt studied with two different artists that made a substantial impact on her creative development, Alexander Archipenko and Bird Larson. Archipenko was an experimental sculptor from Kiev and became equally well-known as both an artist and a teacher. Reputedly, he pushed his students to use their creative work for self-discovery, and himself experimented with using kinetic and movement-based processes to negotiate new ideas with his sculptures. And it was his daughter, Angelica, with whom Claire first ventured to the Dutch East Indies. Bird Larson was a Columbia trained educator and movement specialist, who became known around New York for her unique skills as both a choreographer and a teacher. Even with her early background in ballet and gymnastics, it seems Larson introduced Holt to a much broader vocabulary of movements, and with a strong emphasis on refined technique. The former of these would clearly influence Holt’s understanding and appreciation of Javanese dance, known for very precise movement. Like Archipenko, Larson also emphasized individual expression, which would have expanded Holt’s understanding of dance beyond the rigid formalism she studied in her youth, and again later providing a more expansive interpretative approach for engaging the dances she’d later study in the Dutch East Indies. Her work at this time as a dance critic was also essential in helping her develop the skills that would later be fully manifest in writing about Indonesian dance. While doing this writing, too, she ultimately assumed a new identity. Claire spent six months writing dance reviews for the New York World in 1928. Here she was able to voice [17] There is little information as to if or how much of a relationship Claire had with her brother-in-law, Roman Vishniac, but certainly interesting to think about any exchange they might have shared in pursuing their intellectual and creative lives. A bit about Roman Vishniac’s life is available on the International Center for Photography website, https://bit. ly/3AO1cPT. [18] There is not much information as to what these services were or how long the two of them kept this work going.

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her observations about experimental dance going on around the city. She wrote her reviews with pen names, both as Barbara Holveg and Claire Holt. In 1927, she and her husband Bernard split up shortly before he died in a tragic accident in 1928. Claire started writing dance reviews shortly after his death, and permanently changed her name to her alias, a potent gesture to break from her past and assume an identity of her own. No longer Claire Hopfen, she became Claire Holt, and in doing so also embraced her own identity as a writer, observer, critic, and historian. Claire Holt first went to Bali in 1930, which launched an engagement with Indonesia that finally came to completion in 1967 with the release of her classic book Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change.[19] At the heart of all her research into the arts found in the archipelago are her initial interest in and understanding of Javanese dance, which she found immediately captivating and expressive. In discussing the longevity and importance of Art in Indonesia, Burton writes: Holt’s practical knowledge of Javanese dance, and how this knowledge guided her understanding of Indonesian art and performance, presages a later generation of Indonesian dance and music scholars, who also relied on practical experiences in studying dance and music when analyzing these forms and thinking about Indonesian culture.[20] It is common today for people studying Indonesian culture and art to have hands-on connections with the art forms. Holt’s previous experiences in Russia and New York poised her for a unique connection to the performing arts she found so captivating in Java, which in turn directed her entire engagement with Indonesian art and culture. Much of how we can interact with this today is with her photographs, gathered and commissioned to make detailed notes and observations about the unique characteristics of dance found in Java and across the archipelago. ▶ 4.13 In compiling her photographic information, Holt made many of her own pictures, purchased images, or hired professional photographers from Surabaya or other cities that would have access to the training and equipment necessary to provide the quality of documentation she required for her research. There are photographs in which she is seen armed with a Rolleiflex, and it is clear given all her education and past experiences that she brought a great deal of visual literacy and critical ability to her own pictures. It is likely that her most well-known photographs of the court dancers from Central Java were made by a hired hand, but regardless Holt was in charge of the content. The clarity with which the photographs document her primary interests— [19] There is an apocryphal story that Claire Holt met Walter Spies by pure chance shortly after disembarking in Bali for the first time. True or not, it offers a great way to think about their shared destiny and diverse interests in and expertise with Indonesian art and culture. [20] Deena Burton concludes Sitting at the Feet of Gurus with a discussion about the lasting impact of Claire Holt’s work and writing about Indonesia, p.170.

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4.14 Daughter of Dr. Porbatjaraka as Bedoyo, Claire Holt photo, four gelatin silver prints mounted on album page, 14 cm × 9 cm and 5.5 cm × 5.7 cm, 1938. Courtesy of Jerome Dance Division, The New York Public Library.

the relationship of dance to wayang, precision hand gestures, the narrative attributes of Javanese dance, and the cultural history encoded within the dance and theater traditions of Central Java. Holt’s photographs of Javanese dance offer detailed notes about all of these facets and many more. Her pictures break down elements of costuming and gestures with great precision and discipline. She would even take scissors to the photographs and break down particular elements, even montaging similar studies or fragments together on a single page of an album (albeit coming from a different intent, some of these pages read like Fluxus art, full of a strange obsessiveness to point out unexpected idiosyncrasies). ▶ 4.14 Holt’s interest in Indonesian dance began in Java but ultimately emanated around the islands, with specific interest with Minangkabau and Batak dances in Sumatra, many of the traditional dances Spies documented in Bali, and even Dyak and Bugi styles of dance found in Borneo (Kalimantan today) and Sulawesi. The discipline and extensiveness with which Holt studied these traditions noted both the unique attributes of each of the regional styles and traditions, as well similarities that made them all Indonesian.[21] Her documentation even leads to a history beyond the living traditions she documents for her book and includes references to court dances found in the ancient stone carvings at Borobudur and Prambanan. ▶ 4.15 Art in Indonesia is divided into three major sections—The Heritage, Living Traditions, and Modern Art. Within this arc is a clear understanding of Holt’s primary theory and objectives of an evolving Indonesian art grounded in something inherent to the archipelago. The heart of this structure is the Living Traditions, which focus primarily on dance and wayang, and thus function as a bridge between the historical and the contemporary. Within this larger architecture of the book, her work on dance falls into two chapters, “The Dance” and “Dance Drama.” The first of these chapters looks at traditions around the islands, and the second specifically at Javanese dance theater. The photographs she made and collected to document her study of these traditions reflect the greater architecture of the book, with dance and drama providing a bridge to modernity. The dance and drama, specifically those cultivated in the courts of Central Java, reflect this transition, grounded in the Hindu/Buddhist beliefs that at one time dominated Java, and also full of an incredible innovation characteristic of their time.[22] ▶ 4.16

[21] Here lies the general premise of continuity and change and emphasizing the evolving traditions that comprise Indonesian culture. [22] Like early twentieth-century Bali, the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Central Java witnessed remarkable growth in dance, drama, and music. With a divide-and-conquer strategy, the Dutch took advantage of the royal courts split between Yogyakarta and Solo. The two courts competed with each other with their patronage to the arts, each trying to outdo the other with their contributions to the arts and culture.

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4.15 Buginese. Portraits of a young Buinese noblemwan with child; Man holding alosu (rattle of bissu) at Sergeri, Claire Holt, three gelatin silver prints mounted on album page, 22 cm × 19.5 cm or smaller (each print), 1938. Courtesy of Jerome Dance Division, The New York Public Library.

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4.16 Modern Dance, Bagong Kussudiardjo (cont.), Claire Holt, two gelatin silver photographs mounted on album page, 16 cm × 11.5 cm (each print), 1950. Courtesy of Jerome Dance Division, The New York Public Library.

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4.17 Dance technique: hand gestures, Claire Holt, three gelatin silver prints mounted on album page, 8.5 cm × 5 cm or smaller (each print), c. 1930s. Courtesy of Jerome Dance Division, The New York Public Library.

While less broadly circulated than her photographs of dance, Holt also used pictures to document her study of painting, sculpture and other visual art forms. Her photographs of dance were made largely during the 1930s. She decided to return to Indonesia after independence to finish her study and long anticipated book, largely because she felt it was necessary to address how the end of colonialism would influence art and art education across the islands.[23] Included in her later photographs documenting mid-century art are some remarkably portraits, which again provide clear indication of Holt’s sensitivity and visual acumen. Specific pictures, like her portraits of woodcarver Ompu Pandemauli Siagian and painter Batara Lubis demonstrate real affection, and a clear desire to better understand the lives and experiences that influenced their art. A photograph made at the famed Affandi’s family compound depicts great joy and friendship, something I feel propelled Holt’s work throughout her career in Indonesia. ▶ 4.17 The impact Holt’s work has made on subsequent generations of artists and scholars working in Indonesia is incredible, offering a methodology in which traditions and innovations can exist side by side. There are approximately 9,000 photographic prints and 3,500 negatives Claire Holt made and collected for her field research currently held at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, each a testament to her interest in and affection for Indonesian arts and culture. The Cornell archives house another 1,780 slides, as well as most of her written materials.[24] Together, these archives provide an incredible glimpse into the life and experiences at the heart of Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change, with the photographs showing us everything that sustained Holt’s curiosity for the decades it took to complete her work.

When I first went to Bali in 1992, a friend and confidant who helped pave the way for my interest in Indonesia advised me to skip any travel guides and just get a copy of Dance and Drama in Bali by Spies and de Zoete. Despite first being published in 1938, my friend convinced me that everything I [23] Art in Indonesia includes very interesting information about the development of art education programs in the archipelago after independence, and debates as to what it would mean to teach Indonesian art. [24] The catalog at the NYPL also includes 16mm films and written notes. Most of this collection is available online, https://on.nypl.org/3CnCCX3. Most of her written materials and correspondences, as well as a smaller collection of photographs are held in the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript collection, https://bit.ly/3CoqxRn. The photographs at Cornell largely document her study of painting and other visual arts, while the collection at the NYPL holds her photographs of dance and architecture.

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4.18

4.19

The Artist Affandi, Claire Holt

Bandung Art School, Claire Holt,

photo, color slide, 1956. Courtesy

color slide, 1956. Courtesy of

of Rare and Manuscript Collections,

Rare and Manuscript Collections,

Cornell University Library.

Cornell University Library.

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4.20 Spies painting: Working the Sawahs, 1929, Leiden University Library.

want to see and know about Bali was found in its pages. Walter Spies’ legacy is clearly much greater than this book. Many of the paintings commissioned and collected by Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet are included in important museum collections, perhaps most significantly the Museum Puri Lukisan in Bali, now a major archive for work developed by the Pita Maha collective. And Spies’ home in Ubud is now a homestay in which any traveler can rent a room and attempt to reconnect with the great spirit that drove Walter Spies and all of his work.[25] Dance and Drama in Bali is still in print today, and is considered a classic of modernist literature about Indonesia.[26] The lasting appeal of the book makes it in a way Walter Spies’ most enduring and accessible contribution for understanding Indonesian culture. ▶ 4.18 The same is true of Claire Holt, albeit in different ways. When I travel to Bandung, West Java today and visit ITB (Institute of Technology in Bandung)—one of the premier art academies of Indonesia and Southeast Asia—everyone is keen to talk about Holt’s work. The same is true at Cornell University in Ithaca, where Holt’s name comes up regularly. A colleague of George Kahin, John Echols, and Benedict Anderson—each pioneering figures in Indonesian and Southeast Asian studies—Holt’s contributions to their Southeast Asia Program and Modern Indonesia Project at Cornell University are still held in reverence. Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change is considered the definitive English-language text on Indonesian art—even 50 years after its publication—and is highly regarded around the globe. Additionally, Claire Holt was an early and influential advocate for creating the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, largely because she felt it was essential to have a substantial research archive for scholars interested in dance. Today, Holt’s archives are split between Cornell University and the NYPL for the Performing Arts, with the former housing dozens of albums and thousands of photographs produced, gathered, and collected while she documented her research across Indonesia. When all is said and done, the photographic output developed by Claire Holt and Walter Spies is a small part of each of their works and accomplishments, and yet is also an essential way we engage with their legacies today. Their sensitivity to Indonesian culture, love of the visual and performing arts, and desire to engage their interests with larger audiences led to such important visual documents, perhaps best understood in the photographs they left behind. ▶ 4.19 ▶ 4.20

[25] At the time of writing, room rates were listed at about US$75 per night for one person. [26] Dance and Drama in Bali has been in print almost constantly since its first printing in 1938, with over 20 different printings recorded.

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CHAPTER 5

MID-CENTURY EUROPEAN MODERNISM AND THE MARCH TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE: GOTTHARD SCHUH, CAS OORTHUYS, NIELS DOUWES DEKKER, AND HENRI CARTIERBRESSON Brian C. Arnold

5.1 Indonesia, 1947, Cas Oorthuys, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of the Nederlands Fotomuseum.

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5.2 Women on road in Bali, K.T. Satake, silver gelatin print, 16.2 cm × 22 cm, c. 1928. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. Japanese photographer K.T. Satake, working with newer technologies in photography, helped bring a modernist vision to his photographs of Indonesian landscapes and cultures.

Photo

graphy proved to be a powerful tool for the colonizing nations. It provided a way to further subjugate the indigenous people of the colonized countries, and also provided a new method of propaganda for the citizens at home, supporting the “just” ideas of their colonial missions.[1] As photography continued to develop, however, new technologies helped to democratize the medium, putting it in the hands of more and more people. This disrupted the colonial government’s ability to control the dissemination of pictures and thus the representation of their endeavors. ▶5.1 After the initial inventions of Jean Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot, the development of new photographic materials and processes continued at an extremely rapid pace. The discovery of the wet plate collodion and albumen processes quickly paved the way for the development of gelatin-based materials, which ultimately allowed for commercially manufactured materials. The use of gelatin supports for holding the light sensitive silver salts eventually led to greater sensitivity in films and papers, meaning that exposure times became much shorter, which eventually led to the use of handheld cameras. The mission of Kodak, a truly global enterprise, was to put a camera in every hand. The development of roll films and handheld cameras was an extremely important step in bringing this ambition to fruition. The time between the two World Wars saw an incredible rise in photography. This was the period of modernization, and more and more of the world began to switch from an agrarian lifestyle to an urban one based on manufacturing and commercialism. Photography was the perfect medium to promote and access the increased mechanization and commodification of life. After World War I, some of the first schools promoting photography emerged, most notably the German Bauhaus.[2] Part of the idea of some these early programs and proponents of photography was to create an entirely new vision of the world, one based largely on the formal and technical attributes inherent to photography. ▶ 5.2 [1] Photography’s Other Histories by Christopher Pinney is an interesting study of colonialism and photography, specifically aiming to provide news photographic voices for those that were oppressed. [2] The Bauhaus was a school of architecture, design, and applied arts in Germany from 1919–1933, and was innovative in applying new philosophies of art, design, and education. Some of the key artists and educators of the Bauhaus include Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Joseph Albers and László Moholy-Nagy, some of whom traveled to Chicago to help develop new programs and extensions of the original philosophy and pedagogy.

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The impact of these changes in the Indies was twofold. The new tools of photography coupled with the emerging aesthetics of modernism resulted in a more pervasive presence of photography in the colonies. The new photographers looked more closely at the private lives and cultures of the indigenous populations. Photographers like the Swiss Gotthard Schuh and the Japanese K.T. Satake utilized the emerging visual vocabulary of modernism to fully explore the Indies in original ways. While the romantic vision these photographers developed is perhaps just the new voice of colonialism—depicting the Indies as a lost, primitive paradise—by using new approaches, tools, and aesthetics, they undoubtedly changed both the European and Indonesian understanding of photography. ▶ 5.3 Additionally, the newly pervasive presence of photography changed the understanding of the Indies that the colonial government had spent decades cultivating. There was now emerging photographic evidence that the colonial mission wasn’t all that it was advertised to be back home. The Europeans were suddenly able to see the economic inequities around the Indies. As a result, support for the colonial missions began to diminish around Europe. Members of the intelligentsia began to speak out against these occupations, and wanted to initiate new political, economic, and social situations to support native independence. Cas Oorthuys, a leading Dutch photographer and leftist political advocate, visited Indonesia just after World War II, and in 1947 published his book Een staat in wording (A State in the Making). The book supported the nation’s independence from Dutch rule by documenting the culture and people as they worked to create the Republic of Indonesia. Similarly, the Indonesian born Dutchman Niels Douwes Dekker photographed exhaustively around the archipelago. These pictures were eventually published in Indonesia in his book Tanah Air Kita (Our Country). Dekker wanted to show Indonesia as a country rich with traditions and diversity, and yet also as a fully modernized nation of the 20th century. Like Oorthuys, Dekker provided a photographic voice championing a free and independent Indonesia. ▶ 5.4 Perhaps most prominent of the mid-century European voices was Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Cartier-Bresson was on the front lines of the independence movement in Java, and made some iconic photographs of Sukarno’s campaign and rise to power, as well as the final transition of the Dutch administration in Jakarta. ▶ 5.5

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5.3 Kuli Children, Sumatra, 1939, Gotthard Schuh, silver gelatin photography, 1939. Copyright KEYSTONE/Fotostiftung Schweiz/Gotthard Schuh. While still looking for the mythic “paradise” of the east, like K.T. Satake, Gotthard Schuh reveals shifts in the photographic styles and subject matter that would characterize photographs of the Dutch East Indies leading up to the revolution for an independent Indonesia. 5.4 Untitled [Javanese Mosque], Niels Douwes Dekker, silver gelatin photograph, date unknown. Courtesy of the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collection. In an effort to celebrate the diversity and complexity of Indonesia, Niels Douwes Dekker set out to record as many layers of Indonesian culture as possible, from the traditional to the contemporary, all in an effort to document the rich and unique character of the country. 5.5 Jakarta, Independence 1949, Transfer ceremonies, Henri CartierBresson, silver gelatin photograph, 1949. Courtesy of Magnum Photo.

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Gotthard Schuh was born in Berlin at the end of the 19th century. When he was five he moved to Switzerland where he spent most of his life. In his teens he took up painting. By his early 20s, after completing a degree in business, he began a professional life as a painter. Around 1920 he traveled around Europe, most notably in Italy and Germany. After the trip he settled in Munich to continue his career as a painter. In 1926, however, he returned to Switzerland to run a photo business in Zurich, though he did not really begin photographing himself until 1928, developing his skills by his own initiative. In 1931, he published his first photographs in Zurich, and in 1932 he had his first exhibition in Paris. For much of the 1930s, he worked as a freelance photojournalist. Schuh is often considered a pioneer of modernist photojournalism, having developed a new style by looking at the subtleties of daily life and social realities—like his friend and countryman Robert Frank, as well as Cartier-Bresson a few years later—and informed by his background as a painter.[3] ▶ 5.6 ▶ 5.7 ▶ 5.8 In 1931, Schuh first traveled to the Dutch East Indies. Between 1937 and 1940, he made pictures of Bali, Java, and Sumatra, eventually published for the first time in 1941 as Inseln der Götter in German and later as Iles des Dieux in French, translated into English as Island of the Gods. In photographing the East Indies, he became something more of a romantic and less of a journalist. On first glance Inseln der Götter is a typical look at the islands as an undisturbed paradise, populated by lush landscapes and beautiful, bare-breasted women. However, a closer look shows more of the styles defining modernist photography and his approach to photojournalism, with more extreme cropping of his subjects, and a greater attempt to integrate himself into the intimacy of daily life. The accompanying text is written by Schuh himself, and is suggestive of a personal journey rather than a journalistic one, with Schuh looking to the Indies for new ways to live with the increasing complexities of the modern world. ▶ 5.9 ▶ 5.10 Inseln der Götter/Iles des Dieux was very successful and had close to 15 different printings in French and German. The book itself is also a wonderful example of bookmaking, all printed in photogravure, an extremely difficult but rich photomechanical process favored by many photographers of the time.[4] ▶ 5.11 [3] Gotthard Schuh: A Kind of Infatuation by Peter Pfunder and Gilles Mora offers the most complete study of Schuh’s work to date. [4] Photogravure is an intaglio process in which a photograph is etched into a copperplate, which is in turn inked and printed. It was a favorite process of many modernist masters, including Alfred Steiglitz, Paul Strand, and Alvin Langdon Coburn.

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5.6 and 5.7

5.8

Iles des Dieux (front and

Balinese woman (Sarna with

back cover), Gotthard

wooden sculpture, Bali,

Schuh, Guilde du Livre

1938/39, Gotthard Schuh,

Lausanne, 1954. Collection

silver gelatin photography,

of the author.

1939. Copyright

Iles des Dieux is a

KEYSTONE/Fotostiftung

remarkable example of

Schweiz/Gotthard Schuh.

bookmaking for its time, printed with high quality photogravure. The book has been printed in multiple languages and distributed around Europe.

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5.9

5.10

Mother and Child, Bali,

Borobudur, Java (Woman kneeling

1939, Gotthard Schuh, silver

in front of a statue), 1938,

gelatin photography, 1939.

Gotthard Schuh, silver

Copyright KEYSTONE/Fotostiftung

gelatin photography, 1938.

Schweiz/Gotthard Schuh.

Copyright KEYSTONE/Fotostiftung

Equipped with the new tools

Schweiz/Gotthard Schuh.

developed in the early 20th century, Gotthard Schuh brought a new, modernist sensibility to his photographs, characterized looser approaches to framing and interaction with his subjects.

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5.11 Daughter of a Batak, Sumatra, 1938, Gotthard Schuh, silver gelatin photography, 1938. Copyright KEYSTONE/Fotostiftung Schweiz/Gotthard Schuh.

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5.12 Untitled [Indonesia, 1947], Cas Oorthuys, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of the Nederlands Fotomuseum. Arriving to the Dutch East Indies with a leftist’s perspective, Oorthuys empathized with the independence movement growing in Java.

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5.13 Untitled [Indonesia, 1947], Cas Oorthuys, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of the Nederlands Fotomuseum.

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5.14 Untitled [Indonesia, 1947], Cas Oorthuys, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of the Nederlands Fotomuseum. 5.15 Hoisting the Republican Flag, Red and White, Indonesia, 1947, Cas Oorthuys, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of the Nederlands Fotomuseum.

Cas Oorthuys was a remarkably prolific Dutch photographer and political activist.[5] He began his career in the mid-1930s working as a photographer for the social democratic weekly Wij (We), a leftist publication of the Netherlands. He continued to work for other similar publications throughout the decade, and remained involved in leftist politics in other ways as well. By 1936 Oorthuys was a staff photographer for De Arbeiderspers (The Workers Press), a then socialist publishing company. After the German invasion, however, Oorthuys took his activities underground and turned to making fake IDs to help political refugees flee to Western Europe. In 1944 this work led to his arrest. Strangely, he was only detained for a few months, and later that year he joined De Ondergedoken Camera (The Subversive Camera) and made pictures of the desperation in Amsterdam during the final months of the German occupation of the Netherlands. ▶ 5.12 After the war Oorthuys continued his work as a photographer, though eventually his political focus subsided. He made a number of books serving as photographic portraits of different cities and countries around Europe, including Amsterdam, Belgium, Florence, Majorca, Arnhem, Brittany, Greece, Yugoslavia, Rotterdam, Spain, the French Riviera, Paris, Rome, and many others. In making these books he developed an incredibly workman-like approach to his life as a photographer, as well as an aptitude for quickly assessing the character and feel of these different places.[6] ▶ 5.13 In his book on Indonesia, Een staat in wording (A State in the Making), Oorthuys put these pieces together, his leftist political tendencies with his ability to quickly and photographically assess the identity of a place. Originally published in 1947, Een staat in wording documents Oorthuys’ experience in Indonesia and his sympathy for the Indonesian struggle for independence. The book is a remarkable visual narrative. At first glance the pictures seem simple, but the real complexity is in the organization, and thus the real views of Oorthuys are found in the sequencing and layering of the book. With minimal text aiding the photographs, Oorthuys guides us through the ending of the Dutch occupation, questioning the methods, tools, and goals with which the colonial government administered the East Indies. While the book can appear a bit patronizing towards the native population, the intent to break away from the colonial paradigm outweighs this tendency. ▶ 5.14 ▶ 5.15 [5] A recent count attributes more than 30 books to Cas Oorthuys. [6] Both The Photobook: A History by Gerry Badger and Martin Parr and The Dutch Photobook: A Thematic Selection from 1945 Onwards by Frits Gierstberg and Rik Suermondt go into Oorthuys’ publishing career with some detail.

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Een staat in wording is divided into six chapters, translated roughly as Two Ways, Under Mixed Authority, The Netherlands: On Their Own Path, Boundaries, On the Other Side: The Republic Builds, and With Cooperation and Friendship. Moving through the photographs, Oorthuys documents the different political and military perspectives on the occupation of the East Indies; the incredible diversity, traditions, and pride found among the people of Indonesia; the difficulties, pain, and starvation felt by many under the Dutch occupation; political meetings and negotiations; and the determination of the Indonesian people to achieve their freedom and independence. The first photograph in the book clearly demonstrates Oorthuys’ beliefs, as it depicts a joyful young boy walking the streets holding a map of the Indonesian archipelago. The book then concludes with the signing of the Linggadjati Agreement, an agreement signed on 15 November 1946, which symbolically helped launch the Republic of Indonesia and gave the native population governmental control over Java, Sumatra, and Medan.[7] The Dutch government did not finally concede control over Indonesia until 1949. Oorthuys ends Een staat in wording with a picture of both the Dutch and Javanese mayors of Batavia together addressing a crowd of Indonesians and Europeans, and ultimately poses a question about the direction of Indonesia. Regardless, it seems clear that Oorthuys wanted to see Indonesia free from Dutch authority. ▶ 5.16

Niels Douwes Dekker was born in 1911 of Dutch heritage but lived in the East Indies all his life. He was the great-grandnephew of Eduard Douwes Dekker, better known by his penname, Multatuli, author of the novel Max Havelaar: Or, The Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company. His penname, Multatuli is a Latin reference, multa tuli, or I have suffered much. The novel is a scathing indictment of the Dutch colonial empire in the East Indies, which is significant as Multatuli held an administrative position in the Dutch government in Sumatra. Niels followed in Eduard’s footsteps as a supporter for Indonesian independence.[8] ▶ 5.17 ▶ 5.18

[7] The Linggadjati (or sometimes Linggajati) Agreement was a political accord between the Dutch and the newly declared Republic of Indonesia which recognized the republic as exercising de facto authority of Java, Madura, and Sumatra. The agreement was more symbolic than applied as the Dutch did not finally concede authority until 1949. [8] Most of the information about Niels Douwes Dekker was learned by researching his archives in the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collection, https://bit.ly/3c7y4tm.

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5.16 Signing of the Linggadjati Agreement, Jakarta, Indonesia, 25 March 1947, Cas Oorthuys, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of the Nederlands Fotomuseum. The Linggadjati Agreement, while of mostly of symbolic significance, was an important step in establishing a free and independent Indonesia, and the perfect way to close Oorthuys’ documentation of the emerging nation.

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5.17 Untitled [Balinese Woman], Niels Douwes Dekker, silver gelatin photograph with applied masking, date unknown. Courtesy of the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collection. The endpapers of Tanah Air Kita offer an incredible, visual summary of the book, showing the many layers of Indonesian culture. This print showing aspects of traditional Balinese culture was modified for preparation for its inclusion in the montage used for the endpapers.

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5.18 Endpapers from Tanah Air Kita. Collection of the author.

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5.19 Untitled [Rubber production in Sumatra], Niels Douwes Dekker, silver gelatin photograph with applied masking, date unknown. Courtesy of the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collection.

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5.20 Untitled [From documentation on traditional dance in Maluku], Niels Douwes Dekker, silver gelatin photograph with applied masking, date unknown. Courtesy of the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collection. 5.21 Untitled [Mining in Sumatra], Niels Douwes Dekker, silver gelatin photograph with applied masking, date unknown. Courtesy of the Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collection.

Best known for his book Tanah Air Kita (Our Country or Our Homeland), Niels Douwes Dekker worked as a photographer, filmmaker, writer, and public relations specialist. He also served as head of the Netherlands East Indies Visual Information Service. First published in 1951, Tanah Air Kita is described as “a pictorial introduction to Indonesia,” but is more a manifesto celebrating the newly independent nation, eventually published by the Department of Information for the Republic of Indonesia. Exhaustively photographed, the book documents the geographic and cultural diversity of the archipelago, and shows it as being both rich with deep cultural traditions, but also as a fully modernized and contemporary nation ready for the challenges of the 20th century. ▶ 5.19 ▶ 5.20 Photographed very much in the style of Life magazine, Tanah Air Kita almost anticipates Edward Steichen’s seminal book The Family of Man. Like Steichen’s book, Tanah Air Kita is intended to help unite and uplift, striving to show the best in the diversity and cultures that compose Indonesia. In the preface, Dekker writes: A great many books have been published on Indonesia or parts thereof, some referring to the archipelago as the “emerald girdle” and others speaking of a “tropical paradise.” This book of pictures has been compiled for a different purpose. First of all it is intended to introduce Indonesia to the outside world. At the same time this book wants to serve as an illustration to the hundreds, yes, thousands of writings, commentaries, opinions, reports, and descriptions that have already appeared or are yet to appear. Tanah Air Kita is not a book for the scholar, nor is it to be considered as a textbook. It does not wish to be propaganda literature; it merely intends to be an honest intermediary between the world and Indonesia.[9] Released under the name of Niels Douwes Dekker, Tanah Air Kita was really the work of a number of different Dutch photographers working throughout the archipelago. The structure of the book is quite simple. The introduction is all color photographs, and lays out all the visual themes in the book, with pictures from across the archipelago. With rich luscious landscapes, traditional Javanese dancers, scientists at work, salt mining, paintings from the royal palace in Klungkung, and traditional housing from Minangkabau, the colorful introduction offers a sort of enticement to seduce the viewer deeper in the book. Each of the subsequent seven chapters focuses on a different region of the archipelago—The Young Giant (Sumatra), Whispering Shores (Kalimantan), The Orchid on the Equator (Sulawesi), From Marine Gardens to Birds of Paradise (Maluku), Hoofbeats and Gambang Music (Nusa Tenggara), Seat of the Gods (Djawa, East [9] See Tanah Air Kita to get a fuller sense of this statement in context with the photographs.

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of Pemali River, and Madura), and The Girdle’s Clasp (West Djawa)— and follows the themes developed in the introduction, showing the totality of Indonesia in all its diversity, resources, and strengths. The book ultimately concludes with a picture of Sukarno, photographed among other leaders of Indonesia and the world. ▶ 5.21 In 1973 the Dekker archives were acquired by the Echols Collection at Cornell University, one of the world’s largest library holdings dedicated to Southeast Asian studies. The Dekker archive is close to 10,000 prints and negatives made in the final decade of colonial rule, during the march towards independence. Perhaps most interesting about this collection are the cataloging strategies and printing notes, which offer a glimpse into the thought process behind the book. For each of the regions, photographs are broken down into subcategories—agriculture, death rites, medicine, architecture, etc.—with different ideas for cropping and production sketched across the work prints. Looking at it this way, it is easy to see the strategy Dekker had for compiling the book, an exhaustive compendium of modern life in Indonesia, and with the clearest photographic means possible. Tanah Air Kita proved to be a successful publication and has had multiple printings.[10]

Legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson had a deep connection to and fondness for Indonesia, often overlooked in understanding his greater oeuvre. He was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie in northern France in 1908, and was drawn to the arts early in life. After some education and experiments in music and painting, eventually he found a voice in photography. He received his first camera in 1929, and throughout the 1930s, Cartier-Bresson became more immersed in the medium. His understanding of photography was heavily influenced by his early education in the arts, as well as by the incredible creative and intellectual discoveries developing in Paris in the early 20th century. Cartier-Bresson was particularly influenced by the Surrealists, a group of artists active in France between the World Wars, and their idea that meaning could be cultivated and discovered spontaneously, even by chance.[11] ▶ 5.22 In 1933 he began photographing with a Leica 35mm camera, which proved to be a groundbreaking decision. Armed with this new camera, Cartier-Bresson brought a new intuition to his work, and with [10] Tanah Air Kita has been reprinted over a dozen times and in several different languages. [11] As a Magnum photographer, an extensive amount of his life’s work is online, accompanied by a biographical profile, https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographer/ henri-cartier-bresson/.

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5.22 Henri Cartier-Bresson and his wife Ratna Mohini, Spain, 1936, Henri Cartier-Bresson, silver gelatin photograph, 1936. Courtesy of Magnum Photo. Ratna Mohini, an acclaimed Javanese dancer, was born in Batavia in 1904, and married to renowned French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson from 1937– 1967. She was undoubtedly a huge influence on Cartier-Bresson’s understanding of Indonesian and its fight for independence.

it helped to develop an entirely new approach to the medium. In 1947 together with Robert Capa, George Rodger, and David Seymour, Cartier-Bresson helped found Magnum Photo, the most influential photography agency in the world. And then in 1952 he published his most renowned work—really a defining moment in both his career and the history of the medium itself—Images a la Sauvette (The Decisive Moment). In this book Cartier-Bresson fully expressed his philosophy of photography, in which the camera serves as a tool for integrating the inner resources of the photographer with the theater of the world and culture at large.[12] In 1937 Cartier-Bresson married Ratna Mohini, a Javanese dancer born in Batavia (now Jakarta) in 1904. While Ratna lived with him in Paris, she undoubtedly helped him develop a greater understanding for and interest in Indonesian culture. Cartier-Bresson was drafted at the outbreak of World War II, and in 1940 was imprisoned by the Germans. His wife Ratna sent him a Malaysian dictionary (Bahasa Indonesia, the primary language [12] The Decisive Moment made a remarkably impact on photography still felt today, and provided a philosophy that guided artists engaging the medium for generations.

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of Indonesia, was derived from Malay), so the two were able to communicate without much intervention. This clearly aided his understanding of the culture. ▶ 5.23 ▶ 5.24 Eventually, Cartier-Bresson made his way to the Indies in 1949, and completed two series of photographs. Not only was he captivated by the rich landscapes and cultures of the islands, but also because of his experiences in Europe during the wars, he found resonance with the independence movement developing in the Indies after World War II. His first series in the islands was a study of traditional dance in Bali, photographed in the villages of Sanur and Batubulan. These pictures were originally published in 1954 in his book Les Danses a Bali (The Dances of Bali). This book has an interesting design and narrative. It includes the famous essay by Antonin Artaud, “Le Théâtre Balinais”, from his seminal work Le Théâtre et son Double, as well as commentary by Beryl de Zoete, Walter Spies’ collaborator on Dance and Drama in Bali.[13] Cartier-Bresson was particularly fascinated by the trance dances, and made pictures of a Barong dance depicting the incredible frenzy and physicality of the kris dancers in full trance. The sequencing of the pictures in the book gives a nuanced arc to his understanding of Balinese culture. It begins with photographs of young Balinese girls performing pendet, a traditional temple dance of welcome, and ends with the frenzied trance from calon arang, a dance that depicts a Balinese myth about the battle between good and evil. The final picture of the book shows a sense of order after the trance, depicting the villagers and dancers in a calmer state of prayer.[14] ▶ 5.25 ▶ 5.26 ▶ 5.27 Cartier-Bresson’s second series photographed in Indonesia depicts the rise of Sukarno and the march towards independence. Cartier-Bresson clearly empathized with the independence movement, and saw Sukarno as the charismatic leader needed to unite Indonesia.[15] Telling, too, are his photographs that show Indonesians declaring their independence by clearing out the Dutch governor’s residence in Batavia, the day before the Dutch acknowledged Indonesia as an independent nation. The pictures reveal a pride and determinism, a flushing of the oppressor as Indonesians take control of their own country and destiny. In looting the residence, 300 portraits

[13] For more information on Dance and Drama in Bali see Chapter 4, The Dance Photographs of Walter Spies and Claire Holt. [14] Les Danses a Bali has been printed in several different languages, including French, Germany, Italian, and Japanese. The original French version was reprinted in 2012. CartierBresson’s photographs from Indonesia have been reprinted in a number of different books. [15] See Chapter 3, Pictures of Power, from Aristocracy to Democracy, for a Cartier-Bresson portrait of Sukarno.

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5.23 Les Danses a Bali, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Delpire Publishing, 2012 (originally 1954). Collection of the author. Les Danses a Bali has been printed in several different languages, including French, Germany, Italian, and Japanese. The original French version was reprinted in 2012, but still remains a collector’s item. 5.24 Dancer preparing for performance of Legong Dance, Sanur, Bali, 1949, Henri Cartier-Bresson, silver gelatin photograph, 1949. Courtesy of Magnum Photo.

5.25 Dancers in Trance, Batubulan, Bali, 1949, Henri Cartier-Bresson, silver gelatin photograph, 1949. Courtesy of Magnum Photo.

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5.26

5.27

Preparations for the Baris Dance,

Indonesia, 1949, Henri Cartier-

Bali, 1949, Henri Cartier-Bresson,

Bresson, silver gelatin photograph,

silver gelatin photograph, 1949.

1949. Courtesy of Magnum Photo.

Courtesy of Magnum Photo.

“A squadron of PNI guerilla fighters coming in from the mountains for a day in town. Some had no shoes but rifles, some rifles, but no shoes. In talking to the leader he said he would execute whatever orders he received from his military superiors. He was aware of the talks going on at The Hague and again said he would abide by whatever decisions were made by his superior officers. He said that the people supported his and other guerilla bands. ‘We are the fishes,’ he said, ‘and the people are the water through which we move.’”

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5.28 The day before independence,

of the Dutch governors were removed, a substantial and symbolic gesture towards freedom.[16] ▶ 5.28

three hundred portraits of Dutch governors being moved out of the Governor’s residence (later known as Istana Merdeka, or Palace of Freedom), Jakarta, 1949, Henri CartierBresson, silver gelatin photograph, 1949. Courtesy of Magnum Photo.

The developments of modernism ushered in a new era in Indonesia, really in the whole colonized world. Changes in communication and education necessitated changes to the colonial system. Photography was an important tool for both communicating and reimagining the social landscape of the 20th century, changing perceptions in the Netherlands and Indonesia alike.

[16] Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo’s essay in IPPHOS Remastered offers a great description of photographers working on the frontlines of Indonesian independence, including CartierBresson. For more information see Chapter 6, A Short History of IPPHOS.

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5 ▶ MID-CENTURY EUROPEAN MODERNISM AND THE MARCH TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE: GOTTHARD SCHUH, CAS OORTHUYS, NIELS DOUWES DEKKER, AND HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON

C HAPT E R 6

A SHORT HISTORY OF IPPHOS (INDONESIAN PRESS PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES) Brian C. Arnold

With

Frans Mendur in Yogyakarta, every day they proved their loyalty to the Republic with their reports from the front lines for Indonesian independence. While in Jakarta they demonstrated… personal skills that allowed them to infiltrate the enemy. As an independent news agency, Alex was able to record and broadcast the results of important political negotiations, such as Linggadjati, Kaliurang, and Renville, access to which was denied to government mouthpieces such as Antara and BFI (Berita Film Indonesia—Film News of Indonesia). ▶6.1 What emerges is a loving gaze, as one human being should love another. Look at the photographs… and discover how the gaze repeats from one picture to another—the revolutionary idea of IPPHOS was not just their choice to fight for the Republic, but with the way they show life with their eyes and their hearts wide open. YUDHI SOERJOATMODJO,“IPPHOS REMASTERED: DENGAN DUA MATA TERBUKA”; IPPHOS REMASTERED: WITH TWO EYES OPEN” (TRANSLATION BY BRIAN C. ARNOLD)

In his excellent essay “IPPHOS Remastered: Dengan Dua Mata Terbuka (IPPHOS Remastered: With Two Eyes Open),” historian and curator Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo describes the first photographs made when Sukarno walked up the steps of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta and declared Indonesia free from the Dutch. The scene he describes is full of excitement and electricity as photographers from around Java and even around the world (Henri Cartier-Bresson was there that day[1]) jockeyed for position to make photographs of the new president of the newly independent nation. Among those jostling for position to make the right photograph of such a profound moment was Alex Mendur, one of the founding members of IPPHOS, the Indonesian Press Photographic Service.[2] ▶ 6.2 ▶ 6.3 Four years ahead of time, in 1945, Soerjoatmodjo reminds us that Alex and his brother Frans (also a founding member of IPPHOS) stood on stage with Sukarno on August 17th when he read the proclamation declaring Indonesian independence. At the time Alex [1] For more about Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photography in Java see Chapter 5, Midcentury European Modernism and the March Towards Indepedence. [2] Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo’s essay serves as the introduction for IPPHOS Remastered, a book published by the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism in 2013. IPPHOS Remastered is the most substantial catalog and history of the organization to date, published in Bahasa Indonesia. Most of the information in this essay was learned from this book.

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6.1 Founding Members of IPPHOS, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, 1945. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia). The founding members of IPPHOS (Indonesian Press Photographic Service), the Mendur brothers— Frans and Alex—and the Umbus brothers—Frans (or more typically “Nyong”) and Justus. IPPHOS played an important role in the Indonesian independence movement, and provided the most complete photographic record of the emerging nation of Indonesia. 6.2 Frans Mendur, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, 1945. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

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6.3

6.4 and 6.5

17 August 1945, Frans Mendur,

President Sukarno visits Payakumbuh

silver gelatin photograph, 1945.

Sumatra to hold rallies and

Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional

meet with community leaders,

(National Library of Indonesia).

silver gelatin photograph, 1948.

This photograph is an essential

Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional

part of Indonesian history, and

(National Library of Indonesia).

is the only known photographic document recording the moment that Sukarno first declared an independent Indonesia. Still under Japanese occupation, Frans had to hide the negative to keep it from being destroyed, allegedly burying the film in his garden to keep it safe.

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Mendur worked for Dōmei Tsushin, a Japanese run newspaper.[3] Alex heard that a ceremony was scheduled in which some of the political leaders of the Indonesian revolution were gathering to proclaim independence. Together with his brother Frans—who heard about the coming announcement independently of Alex—he hurried to the site to make photographs. With such access to Sukarno at such a pivotal moment, Soerjoatmodjo poetically describes the Mendur brothers, fingers on the shutter release buttons of their cameras, as the words of independence inflamed an audience eager to be free from foreign occupation, as the first Indonesian photographers. ▶ 6.4 ▶ 6.5 Both Alex and Frans Mendur photographed Sukarno during his proclamation, but sadly many of these photographs were lost. The Japanese confiscated Alex’s film before it was developed, and only the pictures Frans made survived.[4] Nonetheless, their presence and role as photographers were essential in defining this moment in Indonesian history. These were the only known photographs made of the proclamation address. Communication was difficult, particularly with much of the press still controlled by the occupying forces, but with help of these photographs word spread that Indonesia was emerging as a newly independent nation.[5] Thus, Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo begins his essay on IPPHOS, and in a simple story makes it clear why the photo organization played an essential role in the Indonesian march towards independence. Some of the primary records of the events of 1945 and 1949 that defined an emerging Indonesia were photographs, specifically those made by Alex and Frans Mendur, who together with the Umbas Brothers went on to help found IPPHOS.

Despite Sukarno’s proclamation—or perhaps because of it—1945 was a challenging year in Indonesia, and it was certainly a difficult time to be a journalist. Photographers struggled to find materials, and it was difficult for many of the news agencies to pay their staff. The Japanese had support[3] The Japanese occupied Indonesia between 1942–1945. While at Dōmei Tsushin, Alex eventually became the head of the photography department. [4] According to Soerjoatmodjo’s essay, Frans buried his film in his garden to keep it from being confiscated. [5] For centuries, most of Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch. During World War II, the Japanese moved in to overthrow the Dutch. Originally, the Japanese were cast as liberators, as many Indonesians saw the Japanese as fellow Asians. The Japanese occupation proved complicated, and in some ways more brutal and oppressive than the Dutch. After the allies defeated the Japanese, the Dutch returned to take what they felt belonged to them, with the blessing of their American and European allies. The return of the Dutch colonial forces marked the beginning of the Indonesian revolution for independence.

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ed most of the news agencies during their occupation. After the Japanese withdrew their forces in 1945, at the close of World War II, the Dutch immediately returned and tried to reclaim what they saw as rightful part of the Netherlands. A native insurgency against the Dutch occupation ensued. The fledgling Indonesian government devoted their limited resources to supporting the war effort, and could not provide as much support to the media as desired. The Dutch were often adversaries and would raid the offices or limit the resources available to journalists and photographers.[6]

6.6 and 6.7

▶ 6.6 ▶ 6.7

Jurnalistik Antara, 2009.

Not long after Sukarno gave his proclamation declaring an independent Indonesia in August 1945, Frans was part of a raid on De Unie, a Dutch owned printing press in Central Java responsible for printing Java-bode (a Dutch paper, where both Alex and Frans Mendur started their careers as journalists) and Djawa Shimbun Sha (a paper from the Japanese occupation), in an attempt to provide resources for native journalists continuing to work after the Japanese occupation and into the war for freedom from the Netherlands. Later in October, Alex and Frans Mendur started working for the newly established paper Merdeka.[7] Initially, Merdeka used the presses seized in the raid on De Unie, though after about six months the presses were taken back with help from the Dutch military. ▶ 6.8 Working for Merdeka must have felt both important and frustrating. Important because it provided the opportunity to create a pro-republic news medium to support the resistance against the Dutch[8]; frustrating because lack of money and other resources necessitated a small, minimal publication, with important news often being reported days after it occurred.[9] The Mendur brothers left Merdeka after about six months. Their departure would ultimately lead to the most important visual record of an emerging Indonesia.

Collection of the author.

Recognizing the historical imperative for journalists during the war for independence, IPPHOS, or the Indonesian Press Photographic Service, was founded in 1946 by Alex and Frans Mendur and the Umbas brothers, [6] Raids by the Dutch military during the war destroyed a lot of photographs and equipment at the BFI offices in Jakarta. [7] In 2009, Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara (GFJA, or the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism) released Merdeka, a book with copies of the original newspaper publication. [8] The name Merdeka translates roughly as freedom or independence. [9] In his introductory essay to IPPHOS Remastered, Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo points out that the photographs made during Sukarno’s proclamation of independence were not published for the first time until February 1946.

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A new battalion of volunteers inaugurated at Istora Senayan, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, date unknown. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia). 6.8 Merdeka, Galeri Foto

In an effort to preserve the fragile newspapers, GFJA printed Merdeka, and helped to document an essential voice from Indonesia’s march towards independence.

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6.9 Labor Day Celebration in Malang, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

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Frans—or typically “Nyong”—and Justus. Discouraged by limitations and disorganization found in journalist outlets at the time, but still true to their ideals, they set out to create a new venue to cover the tumultuous and changing times. Working independently, they were not beholden to any bureaucratic administration, and as small organization they largely flew underneath the Dutch radar, and thus were not just relatively free of harassment, but were often able to work with and appease their Dutch counterparts to advance their own agenda. In a quiet way, they were able to infiltrate the Dutch media and use the information they learned to advance the Indonesian cause. ▶ 6.9 Again, Soerjoatmodjo explains how the mechanics of IPPHOS worked, illustrating the roles that each of the members played to make their venture so important, successful, and influential: Frans Mendur, the political fugitive who built skills to fight the invaders precisely by working for the invaders. Alex, an established professional who dumped all of his comforts so that he could defend a great Republic. Justus, the serious accountant who secretly turned out to be an activist feared by the Dutch. And ‘Nyong’ who fought the Dutch by making the Netherlands his friend.[10] Described this way, each of the primary contributors to IPPHOS had specific tools or tasks that facilitated their work and success. Alex Mendur understood both English and Dutch, and was fluent enough to move freely between Western and Indonesian circles.[11] This undoubtedly facilitated a greater degree of trust among the Europeans, and thus generated opportunities for him as a journalist.[12] Free from institutional constraints, IPPHOS was able to use their photography as a voice and weapon advocating for independence and human decency. The Mendur and Umbas Brothers were joined by Oscar Ganda and Alex Mamusung. Alex Mendur started a career in photojournalism in the 1930s, and clearly had the political connections and savvy to help them gain access to important events and developments.[13] Justus took control of the business side of things, and together they set out to make a record of their time. ▶ 6.10 IPPHOS represents an incredible degree of courage, humanism, and a truly unique revolutionary spirit. There were several other Indonesian-run photo agencies active during the struggle for [10] IPPHOS Remastered, p. 21. [11] Several sources point to the influence of Anton Najoan on a young Alex Mendur. Najoan worked for a Dutch photographic supplier, and not only first introduced Alex to photography, but also encouraged him to understand European languages, philosophies, and culture. [12] Soerjoatmodjo even points to evidence that Alex Mendur was invited to Dutch organized press conferences in Tegal and Semarang. [13] There are numerous photographs that show the Mendur brothers dining and socializing with political elites and members of the Presidential Cabinet, and apparently could even gain access to Sukarno and Vice President Mohammad Hatta.

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6.10 Train station in Cirebon, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, date unknown. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia). 6.11 Republic of Indonesian soldiers parade for inspection by Siliwangi Division Commander Colonel A.H. Nasution, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia). 6.12 Delegation of office employees from Maguwo, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photography, 1947. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

independence, though the IPPHOS pictures are the only known to have survived. The archives of the other active photographic agencies at the time—including Antara and Berita Film Indonesia—were destroyed between 1945–1965, either by Dutch raids on their offices during the war, or as part of the coup in 1965 that led to the rise of Suharto.[14] ▶ 6.11 World War II provided a pivotal time in the development of photography, more than just in Indonesia. With iconic images redefining the medium made by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Tony Vaccaro, and the emergence of Magnum Photo, the war solidified the necessity of photography for understanding human struggle, culture, and conflict. The photographs produced by IPPHOS are unique for this time, not only for providing a visual record for a nation struggling against the colonial paradigm, but also because their pictures provide broad documentation of a culture learning to define itself. The photographs in the IPPHOS archives document the rise of Sukarno and the ragtag army that comprised the guerilla insurgency against the Dutch, and also people at play, sporting events, and night clubs. Their photographs don’t emphasize the suffering that must have undoubtedly been a characteristic of the insurgency, but instead show the dignity and humanity of all the people photographed. ▶ 6.12 Today the IPPHOS archives remain the most complete visual record of the Indonesian revolution. Given the difficulties they must have faced in making and preserving these pictures, this is indeed a remarkable achievement. The IPPHOS photographers had to work under remarkably difficult circumstances, and would often take their film home to avoid losing them in raids on their offices, or at times even had to hide or bury their negatives to keep them from being destroyed or confiscated. Equipment and materials were a challenge to get and maintain. During and after the Japanese occupation they had to hide their cameras and buy parts on the black market. Often they would visit radiology departments to get the chemicals necessary for processing their images. Money was always an issue, and it seems under these extremely difficult economic conditions the photographers often worked out of their own pockets. It was not uncommon for IPPHOS photographers to work at weddings, parties, and social events, really just to make the money to keep their real work moving forward. During difficult times, Justus would even sell vegetables out of the office just to make a little extra money. Despite all this, however, IPPHOS maintained two offices, in Jakarta and Yogyakarta, [14] During the 1965 coup, Soerjoatmodjo reminds us, the Antara archives were destroyed by fire when a member of the military seized their photographic materials and burned them outside the agency.

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and survived the war efforts when many of their colleagues were not able to do the same; even from a business perspective, clearly they did something right. ▶ 6.13 ▶ 6.14

Looking at a cross-section of the IPPHOS archives reveals a tremendous amount about their intentions and what makes their photographic contribution so valuable. Unlike most photographs made during times of war, there is little documentation of conflict, and even less of the inherent savagery of war. The military are depicted as honorable and heroic, and there are no photographs of corpses, not even of the Dutch.[15] When soldiers are photographed it is often in training, and they appear like neighbors rather than gladiators. It also shows the insurrection against the Dutch as a labor of love and an impassioned desire for self-realization, as clearly the Dutch had the advantage in resources and weaponry over the guerilla fighters.[16] Or as Soerjoatmodjo put it: ▶ 6.15 These photographs are about becoming Indonesia and the people of Indonesia. It was not only warriors with the red and white wrapped around their heads, fists clenched to the sky, and shouting, “This is my chest! where is your chest!,” battling against the enemy tank with only bamboo spears. They also show Indonesian people—as the founding photographers of IPPHOS might have imagined when they set out to photograph as a pro-Republic, independent news agency—as intelligent, tolerant, and modern people who fought not only for independence and justice, but also for humanity, truth, and tolerance. ▶ 6.16 As photographers for hire, the archives even show weddings and family events, sports, and parties. IPPHOS photographers would even work for Europeans living in the archipelago, the archives thus show this as an important cross-section of the culture at the time. When the Dutch or biracial families appear in their photographs, they seem no different than anyone else, which is ultimately what I think led Soerjoatmodjo to write the passage at the start of this article: The revolutionary idea of IPPHOS was not just their choice

[15] It is not an uncommon tactic in war propaganda to show your dead enemies, though Dutch support for the colonial occupation slipped back home when horrifying pictures of the conflict in Aceh made it back to Europe. [16] Published in the IIAS newsletter in the spring of 2010, Dutch scholar Louis Zweers’ article, “Merdeka: Images of Hostile Territory,” offers a much more abbreviated view of IPPHOS, focusing primarily on their photographs made around the Special Region of Yogyakarta, a guerilla stronghold in the revolution against Dutch occupation, https://www. iias.asia/sites/default/files/nwl_article/2019-05/IIAS_NL53_1011.pdf.

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6.13

6.14

Archery competition, Yogyakarta,

Traffic jam on Protocol Road,

IPPHOS, silver gelatin

IPPHOS, silver gelatin photography,

photograph, 1947. Courtesy of

date unknown. Courtesy of

Perpustakaan Nasional (National

Perpustakaan Nasional (National

Library of Indonesia).

Library of Indonesia).

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6.15 President Sukarno in Balige, Sumatra, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, date unknown. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

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6.16

6.17

Indonesian soldiers parade

Marriage, IPPHOS, silver gelatin

for inspection by Siliwangi

photograph, 1948. Courtesy of

Division Commander Colonel A.H.

Perpustakaan Nasional (National

Nasution, IPPHOS, silver gelatin

Library of Indonesia).

photograph, 1947. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

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to fight for the Republic, but with the way they show life with their eyes and their hearts wide open.”[17] ▶ 6.17 At the heart of all of their photographic work is Sukarno, the revolutionary leader with the charisma and initiative to unite the nation. Like Che Guevara (whom Sukarno would later meet), he demonstrated the necessary vision for the population to free itself from colonial occupation and oppression. Time and again, he features prominently in the IPPHOS archives—they depict him amidst a sea of adoring people, revealing all of his power and charisma, and sharing moments of compassion and humility with the people of the developing nation. ▶ 6.18

In 1995, the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism prepared an exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Indonesian independence.[18] At this time the curatorial team at the gallery combed through the IPPHOS archives and discovered 253,014 negatives, a little more than 23,000 of them made between 1945–49. Within this collection are the most substantive record of an emerging nation, and a testament to the pride, tenacity, love, and endurance necessary to free the nation from occupation. ▶ 6.19 There were six founding members of IPPHOS: Alex and Frans Mendur, Frans “Nyong” and Justus Umbus, Oscar Ganda, and Alex Mamusung. Today the Mendur brothers are synonymous with IPPHOS and considered the leaders of the organization. The legacy of IPPHOS is essential for understanding Indonesian independence, as their archives are the largest visual record of the revolution against foreign occupation and the emergence of the new nation. Today their photographs are used by educators and researchers throughout Indonesia and the world to illustrate an essential moment in Indonesian national identity. Photographer and founder of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism, Oscar Motuloh, has called the Mendur brothers and IPPHOS “national heroes.” ▶ 6.20 Many honors and awards have been bestowed on Alex Mendur and IPPHOS, and their influence and legacy lasted beyond the war for independence. In 2009, the Mendur brothers were posthumously awarded the Bintang Jasa

[17] Ibid. [18] For more information on the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism see Chapter 8, Journalistic Circus: A Look at Photojournalism in Indonesia and the History of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism.

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6.18 President Sukarno in Sumatra, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, date unknown. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

6.19 Flooded streets in Surakarta, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, date unknown. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

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6.20 Sporting event in Kridosono Stadium, Yogyakarta, silver gelatin photograph, 1947. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia). 6.21 Inauguration of volunteer battalion, IPPHOS, silver gelatin photograph, date unknown. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia).

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Utama,[19] and in 2010 the Bintang Mahaputera Nararya.[20] In 2013, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono christened a small monument and museum dedicated to the Mendur brothers in their hometown of Kawangkoan in Sulawesi That same year the Gallery of Photojournalism Antara Gallery of Photojournalism released IPPHOS Remastered, the most complete catalog of the organization’s pictures available. All of these things secure the legacy of the Mendur brothers and IPPHOS and insure ongoing discussions about photography and its role in the creation of Indonesia. ▶ 6.21

[19] Or Star of Service, awarded for civil bravery in a time of conflict or social adversity. It is awarded in three classes, Utama being the highest. [20] Or Star of Mahaputera Nararya, awarded to a person not affiliated with the military for extraordinary service to the homeland. It is one of the highest honors available to Indonesian citizens, and awarded in five classes, Nararya being the lowest.

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CHAPTER 7

ART PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: J.M. ARASTATH RO’IS, TRISNO SUMARDJO, AND ZENITH MAGAZINE

Aminudin T.H. Siregar

7.1 Bedoyo Movements, Claire Holt, six silver gelatin silver prints mounted on album page, 12.7 cm × 9 cm (each print), 1930s. Courtesy of Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library.

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Claire

Holt, a dancer and an expert on Indonesian art, was born in Latvia but lived most of her life [1] in New York. She started her research about Indonesian traditional dance at the end of the 1930s, and returned to Indonesia in the mid-1950s to observe the changes and development of art in Indonesia after World War II. Holt experienced two important periods of Indonesian cultural development, before and after the country gained independence from the Netherlands and Japan. It is very important to notice the significance of Holt’s photography during her research in Indonesia. Her research produced more than just a history, more than just documents mapping the art and culture of Indonesia from ancient times to modern. Amongst her colleagues she was considered a teacher and a mentor, and was often photographed herself with a camera in hand. Holt made and collected thousands of valuable photographs for her research. Enthralled with dance, her photographs document the rich diversity of dance forms across the archipelago, as well as many monuments, temples, and religious artifacts. In addition to these traditions, however, Claire Holt also recorded the early development of Indonesian modernist painting by capturing the portraits and paintings of artists such as S. Sudjojono, Affandi, Hendra Gunawan, Oesman Effendi, Zaini, Salim, Basuki Resobowo, Trisno Sumardjo, Wakidi, Djoni Trisno, But Muchtar, Mochtar Apin, and many others. Many of these photographs—of the ancient ruins and the emerging trends of modernist art—became part of her influential book, Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change (1967). ▶ 7.1

Claire Holt, obviously, was not the first researcher who recorded the nature and culture of Indonesia through the lens of a camera. Long before her first encounters with Indonesia, in 1844 daguerreotypist Adolph Schaefer photographed Hindu Javanese sculptures and the Borobudur temple. Two British collaborators, Walter Woodbury and [1] For more about Claire Holt see Chapter 4, The Dance Photographs of Walter Spies and Claire Holt: A Biographical Study.

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James Page, were also extremely well known for their photographs made across Indonesia. Woodbury and Page established a photo studio in Harmonie, Batavia (now Jakarta).[2] They arrived in Indonesia in 1857, commissioned to document traditional rituals as well as various communities, developments, and ancient structures across the archipelago. Similar to Claire Holt, for Woodbury and Page the camera was a tool to investigate, survey, conquer, and demystify Indonesia, largely for a Western audience. ▶ 7.2 In the hands of any of these people, a camera, perhaps, might just appear to be a recording device. In documenting their research and observations in Indonesia, they understandably needed the camera and the possibilities of photography to record their experiences. Though perhaps we can make a different interpretation today. Holt’s photographs serve not only as an accurate document, but they also show a particular sensitivity, and deliberate artistic considerations. Through her eye, a dancer appears gracefully; the photos show how Holt earnestly considered angles, composition, and subtle nuances that successfully translated the inherent beauty of her subjects. The camera in Holt’s hands, I suppose, was a tool to explore new possibilities in art and photography, and maybe even the relation between the two. After her initial studies in the 1930s, Holt arrived for a second time in Indonesia in the mid-1950s. At that time, art in Indonesia was dominated by painting. Very few acknowledged the sculpture and printmaking happening simultaneously. Interestingly, beyond these conversations in the 1950s, several people had begun to discuss the possibility of photography as an art, their ideas appearing in a number of different cultural magazines. The discussion, however, did not attract serious attention from artists (painters). The reason for this lack of attention is clear, the art infrastructure of the time was still too rudimentary. In addition, most of the artists throughout 1940s–1950s and 1950s–1960s were preoccupied with a search for the true identity of Indonesian culture, trying to determine “Indonesianness” in painting, again perhaps explaining the quiet response towards photography. This short essay is merely a collation of fragments quoted from the journey of art and culture in Indonesia. I aim to elaborate the discourse on art photography in Indonesia and, therefore, I intend to share an argument. The history of photography in Indonesia eventually leads to two major streams: a documentary approach to photography that accounts for journalism and cultural records—including photographers like Adolph Schaefer and the

[2] For more about Adolph Schaefer and Woodbury and Page see Chapter 1, The Invention of Photography, the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies, or also Chapter 2, Journeys Completed and Journeys to Come in Indonesian Photography.

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7.2 View from the Hôtel Belle Vue, Buitenzorg, Woodbury and Page, albumen silver print, 19.9 cm × 23.8 cm, c. 1870. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

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7.3 Natal di Gedung Olahraga Bung Karno (Christmas at Sukarno’s Sports Building), 25 December 1962, IPPHOS, gelatin silver photograph. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional Indonesia (National Library of Indonesia). Founded by the Mendur brothers, IPPHOS (Indonesian Press Photographic Service) were a pioneering force in Indonesian photojournalism.

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Mendur brothers—[3] and another stream looking at it as an independent art activity, akin to painting. I will give J.M. Arsath Ro’is an important portion in the essay since he represents this latter development. I argue that Ro’is was the first figure to propose the idea of photography as part of modern art in Indonesia after independence. We must, for certain, continue to critically and cautiously build the discourse on photography as an art in future discussions.

A LOOK BACK TO HISTORY The early presence of photography in Indonesia (then the Dutch East Indies) cannot be separated from the colonial agenda to observe and control the islands, and to document the developments and changes brought by the Dutch occupation. As a representation of the modern era, the Dutch colonial government exploited the use of photography. Photography was introduced in the Indies for the first time when Juriaan Munich captured the natural landscape of the Dutch East Indies with daguerreotype plates.[4] This first encounter occurred around the 1840s. Later in the 19th century, Javanese born Kassian Céphas emerged as a new voice in photography, a field that was dominated by European or Japanese photographers.[5] Besides Céphas, the Mendur brothers (Alexius and Frans) later emerged to occupy a significant position after the end of Japanese occupation, as their photographs captured the proclamation of Indonesian independence, and gave voice to the revolutionary movement. ▶ 7.3 As suggested previously, in its early period, photography was used mostly as a tool for journalism, to cover important events related to war propaganda and Indonesian independence. However, within the early development of modern art in Indonesia, photography was used to document the works of painters such as S. Sudjojono, Affandi, Oesman Effendi, Zaini, Salim, Basuki Resobowo, Trisno Sumardjo, and many others, which were later published in art and cultural magazines. The photographs by Sjamsuddin date from the early 1950s, for example, are particularly important to be noted since these photos serve as an authentic documentation that can be used as sources for research. ▶ 7.4 [3] For more on the Mendur brothers see Chapter 6, A Short History of IPPHOS. [4] Juriaan Munich arrived in Indonesia before Adolph Schaefer, but unlike Schaefer, none of these plates exist today. We only know of Munich’s work because of textual documents and old newspaper advertisements. [5] For more information on Kassian Céphas see Chapter 1, The Invention of Photography, the Netherlands, and the Dutch East Indies.

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7.4 Drawings by Ries Mulder and Rudolf Bonnet featured in Zenith, Th.1, No.2, February 1951. Courtesy of Aminudin T.H. Siregar and Deden Durahman. From the beginning art criticism in Indonesia focused on drawing, painting, and sculpture, though there were early proponents for thinking of photography as a fine art.

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Trisno Sumardjo, a well-known Indonesian art critic who actively advocated for cultural plurality, believed that the struggle of modern art should not be limited to only matters on canvas. Sumardjo called on artists to also look at the development of photography, film, ceramic, architecture, and printmaking as media that could all be explored further.[6] Trisno Sumardjo was involved as a board member with several art and cultural magazines in the 1950s, which gave him space and opportunity to widely promote these other mediums. Sumardjo even published his own photographic work, presented as a fine art in these magazines. If we look closely, magazines such as Zenith featured not only sketches, drawings, and paintings, but also photographs that were intended as art. ▶ 7.5 ▶ 7.6 Now, let us take a look at an article by J.M. Arsath Ro’is, both a photographer and a critic of the medium, who published his article in 1951 in several consecutive installments in Zenith magazine. Arsath titled his article, “Art” of Photography.[7] ▶ 7.7 Arsath begins his article with an interesting question:“Can photographic skill be considered as art, and can the products be regarded as an artist’s work?”[8] Arsath recognized that even in Europe photography was still being heavily debated. Arsath believed that in order to achieve the category of “art”, a photographer must possess the soul of an “artist.”[9] Arsath believed that the quality of photography as an “art” depends on the photographer’s knowledge of art, his aesthetics, and of course, a proficiency in technique. Arsath, in addition, posits an analogy as follows: If a child was given a camera and was told to capture a portrait of his brother in the backyard illuminated by sunlight, the result would be a portrait of a human, wouldn’t it? But does it achieve the quality of art? No, doesn’t it. Another example: if a child drew a picture in his notebook, can we compare him with Sudjojono or Affandi? Can we call the scribble also a drawing? No, we can’t.[10] Arsath used this analogy in order to counter the argument posited by the painters that photography is only, “… pushing a button and then finished” or “… camera is a soulless device.”[11] When photography was confronted with the challenges for popular and creative acceptance at the time, Arsath hoped the reason was not simply found in [6] See the foreword of Majalah Seni (Art Journal), No. 1, January, 1955, or Trisno Sumardjo, Kedudukan Seni Rupa Kita (Positioning Our Fine Arts), Art Almanac 1957, (Jakarta: National Cultural Council). Compared to his contemporaries, Sumardjo seems to be the one who often stated, “don’t be busy only with painting!” [7] The quotation on the word “art” seems to be deliberately typed by Arsath to point out the idea of photography as an art was still being debated. [8] J.M Arsath Ro’is, “Potret Seni (Art Portrait),” Zenith, Th.1, No.2, February, 1951, p. 89. [9] Ibid, p. 261. In this regard, there is a similarity between Arsath’s argument and that of S. Sudjojono. Similar to the concept of the ‘visible soul’ of Sudjojono, Arsath adds the need to dive into the soul of the human when capturing a portrait until we find his character and identity. [10] Ibid. [11] Ibid, p. 89.

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7.5 Zenith, Th.1, No.2, February 1951. Courtesy of Aminudin T.H. Siregar and Deden Durahman.

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7.6

7.7

Untitled, J.M Arsath Ro’is, date,

Untitled, Trisno Sumardjo, date,

dimensions, and media unknown.

dimensions, and media unknown.

Source Zenith, Th.1, No.2, February

Source Zenith, Th.1, No.2, February

1951. Courtesy of Aminudin T.H.

1951. Courtesy of Aminudin

Siregar and Deden Durahman.

T.H. Siregar and Deden Durahman.

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the technical and material nature of the process, and in the high cost of and difficult access to the materials. Arsath recognized this difficult reality. He attempted, however, to answer this predicament by emphasizing the importance of the man behind the camera. The tools and materials? Arsath claimed that they do not have to be expensive. He further explained: “Give someone like Sudjojono or Affandi a mere piece of charcoal or a dull pen, and he would be able to create a piece that could qualify as art.”[12] I suggest that Arsath’s article shows that the critical development of photography began with independence, much earlier than typically acknowledged in discussions on the history of the medium in Indonesia. And it seems natural, because after independence, art in Indonesia was in search for a new orientation that could articulate the identity of the new nation.

CONCLUSION Even before Arsath, the first discussions about the “art of photography” are found in an interview with Dr. Huyung by Sudarso Wirokusumo in the magazine Brochure Kesenian (Art Catalog), published in 1949. The interview focused on the possibility of photography as an art medium, and in a similar vein as Arsath, the discussion emphasized the potential of photography. ▶ 7.8

Photography as a fine art, in essence, has been discussed as part of the development of modern art in Indonesia since the mid-twentieth century, as shown in these early articles on photography in prominent magazines devoted to art and culture. In addition, the simple activity of pushing a button has made a big impact on the development of modern painting in Indonesia, particularly through documenting the works of early modern Indonesian artists. When and if the debates of photography as art keep emerging in Indonesia, I will quote Ro’is, who stated: Every painter possesses his/her own vision of what he is about to create on paper, and so it is with a photographer who wants to eternalize his vision on film, and then on paper. The resulting image is something that is moving or astonishing for him, and made him want to capture the image. And he also wants to convey this feeling to those who witness the resulting picture. A true artist-photographer who uses his camera according to his personal aesthetics is ca-

[12]

Ibid, p. 90.

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7.8 Untitled, J.M Arsath Ro’is, date, dimensions, and media unknown. Source Zenith, Th.1, No.2, February 1951. Courtesy of Aminudin T.H. Siregar and Deden Durahman.

pable of sharing the same feeling with other people. If this becomes tangible, then the artist will be satisfied, for only then will his creation possess a soul.[13] Now photography is everywhere, as everyone has constant access to it. This medium is no longer considered foreign. It has become something so fluid that anyone can do anything with it. At home, on the street, in the office, in tourist spots, at a religious holiday, everyone records their personal mood and gives value to different experiences. These events are not limited to “aesthetic events” as the camera lens also expands to capture death and other grim events. For that reason, unlike other artistic media, photography can no longer be considered an elite activity, even though some still strive for art with their photographs. Everything that is captured with a camera might have value as a photograph, but the product has not necessarily achieved the quality of art. For me, this differentiation is still relevant, and remains important for us to establish a clear understanding of the difference as we continue to develop new voices and ideas in Indonesian photography. [13]

193

Ibid, p. 199.

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C HAPT E R 8

JOURNALISTIC CIRCUS: A LOOK AT PHOTOJOURNALISM IN INDONESIA AND THE HISTORY OF THE ANTARA GALLERY OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Oscar Motuloh

JOURNALISTIC CIRCUS FROM INFILTRATORS TO JUST ONE WORD: FIGHT! I got into the field of journalism by chance. One evening when I was hanging out with friends, I saw an advertisement in Kompas newspaper announcing positions in a national press institute.[1] The advertisement listed only a PO Box number and a need for 27 new recruits, who would later be trained as editors (11 new positions) and reporters (16 new positions). ▶ 8.1 Embracing the mystery of the profession, I unconsciously began to tread into the wilderness of journalism. Step-by-step I passed the seven entrance exams before I finally escaped that small hole and was thrown directly into the educational experience as an intern in the center of the Antara News Agency at Wisma Antara, 17 South Merdeka.[2] I didn’t know much about what was going on at Antara at that time because journalism was not at all an idea that had scratched my little brain, not even in the days of my boyhood when a human child begins to babble about desires or dreams. Under these conditions, I began to explore the institution of the press, which was established just eight years before the nation emerged as an independent Republic. At that time, the Antara training organization was indeed improving their educational standards to train recruits into a newer journalistic standard. In a year and a half, I successfully passed the Susdape class (Basic Reporter Course).[3] I then started venturing from market to market, to courtrooms scattered around Jakarta, looking to find news as a “rookie” reporter for Antara which was still known as an old-fashioned press office. A cool press office, despite living under the oppressive control of the New Order,[4] must be able to find ways to escape even the most tight fisted regime. When Antara was led by Handjojo Nitimihardjo (now deceased), a former Airforce Officer, the agency had a vision for journalism based on the revolutionary era. His father, Maruto Nitimihardjo, was a figure of the national press, and also a member of a youth group that participated in the kidnapping of Bung Karno and Bung HatThis was extracted from a lecture first prepared for ISI Yogyakarta (Institut Seni Indonesia— Indonesian Institute of Art) presented on Wednesday September 18, 2019. Having worked as a journalist through the eras of Suharto, reformasi and democracy, Motuloh is a highly regarded photographer and journalist, and has a unique perception of the role of photojournalism in Indonesian culture, and views its role as essential for educating and transforming society. He is one of the founders of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism, and a prolific publisher and editor of photo books. By the time of publication Oscar retired and the future of GFJA is uncertain. [1] Kompas is a Jakarta based newspaper in Bahasa Indonesia, online since 1995, https:// bit.ly/3Ka88K4. [2] A location in Jakarta. [3] Susdape is the name given to the beginning journalism training at the Antara news agency. [4] The name given to Suharto’s dictatorial regime in place for over 30 years.

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8.1 From the series Riders of Destiny, Romi Perbawa, silver gelatin photograph. Courtesy of Romi Perbawa. Riders of Destiny, a series of photographs of child jockeys in Sumbawa made by Romi Perbawa, is a remarkable documentary project curated by Oscar Motuloh.

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ta,[5] known as the Rengasdengklok Incident.[6] One important event, one night, before Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed Indonesian independence on August 17, 1945, early one morning during the month of Ramadan, at the home of Bung Karno, 56 East Pengangsaan Street. ▶ 8.2

In control of the editorial board at the time, one of the original Antara reporters was Parni Hadi. Like the late Handjojo, he believed a reassessment and redevelopment of Indonesian news agencies was absolutely necessary. The primary target for this new vision for the media began with education and training. The entire Board of Directors concentrated on developing the Lembaga Pendidikan Jurnalistik Antara (LPJA, or the Antara Journalistic Educational Institute), better known as the Antara School of Journalism (ASJ), which provided a method for formulating the perspective of new candidates interested in becoming reporters. The curriculum was developed to reflect the era. Instructors were renowned academics and veterans of the press, all of them acknowledged for their experience. I was fortunate to be among the guinea pigs of this new curriculum developed by the ASJ. Classes were held in the former ANETA Building, a symbol of the Dutch colonial rule that once dominated the news media, located in the Pasar Baru district of Jakarta.[7] The building is the old Antara News Agency office, used when broadcasting the Proclamation smuggled out from a pile of the afternoon news from Dōmei News Agency[8] by Adam Malik[9] et al., shortly after first announced by Sukarno on the morning of August 17. After the Japanese occupation, the Dōmei News Agency was transformed into the Antara News Agency. Given that the news of the Indonesian proclamation of independence was first broadcast at the Dōmei Building, we can now see this as an important cultural heritage site. ▶ 8.3 In 1989, as a reporter I was writing articles with my own byline, and had really started to enjoy working as a journalist. Out of the blue, the Deputy Editor in Chief, Parni Hadi, surprisingly asked me to transfer to the photography department because all three of the existing photo reporters entered retirement simultaneously and there were no other substitutes. I went to Parni to protest and reject my new appointment. Rooted in a stigma dating back to the colonial era, such a transfer felt like I was being demoted or discarded; at most news agencies at the time, the [5] Bung is an Indonesian term of camaraderie, and Karno refers to Sukarno. Bung Karno was used as a way to signify that Sukarno was representative of all people. Bung Hatta refers to his Vice President, Mohammad Hatta. [6] Rengasdengklok Incident was a forced negotiation carried out on August 16, 1945, designed to help advance the Indonesian proclamation of independence. [7] A neighborhood in Central Jakarta. [8] Dōmei was the official news agency of the Empire of Japan. For a bit more information on Dōmei, see Chapter 6, A Short History of IPPHOS. [9] Adam Malik is a former journalist and long-time politician, eventually becoming the third Vice President of Indonesia.

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8.2

8.3

Handjojo Nitimihardjo and

Antara News Agency, IPPHOS.

Parni Hadi, Oscar Motuloh.

Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional

Courtesy of Oscar Motuloh.

(National Library of Indonesia),

Handjojo Nitimihardjo and Parni

reproduction by matawaktu.

Hadi, both influential journalists of the Antara Agency, helped pave the way for a new generation of photojournalism in Indonesia.

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photography department was considered a dumping ground. Most photojournalists at this time were self-taught, without training as journalists. It was natural to look on them with suspicion. Are photographers not second-class passengers on this journalistic voyage? This was my opinion at the time, as it was many of my colleagues’. Parni, who could be quite impulsive, surprisingly remained calm to my protest. I was just a young reporter overflowing with emotions. After I finished ranting, Parni said, “You are being moved and given a mission, a mission to make real photojournalists so that they can become more a part of our agency.” “What development?!” I thought to myself. “I am not even a photographer!” I realized quite suddenly that photojournalism can be a real and challenging profession. I realized this was a great opportunity for me to learn a medium other than writing. I was over 30 years old, and was worried that it was too late to start a new profession. However, I was not opposed to being challenged and wanted to overcome the stigma attached to photography, thus it was born, my motivation to fight against this discrimination. While learning to take pictures with some of the seniors soon leaving Antara, I also began to conceptualize a future for Antara’s editorials, which at that time was only a small consideration for the news agency. A colleague later admitted to me that with outdated equipment and supplies there had to be low expectations for the visual content we could provide. At that time, Antara supplied a maximum of 10 photographs in the morning edition, and only 12 in the afternoon edition. Meanwhile, as a news agency reporter, I had access to photo collections and archives from international news organizations like Reuters (UK), Associated Press/AP (United States), Agence France-Press/AFP (France), Yonhap (South Korean), Dyodo (Japan), and Xinhua (China), and could see news material before it was selected for publication. Likewise, I could see photos sent through the wires, although I was most interested in watching the reports coming from Reuters and AFP, two of the most fierce competitors for global news. When I started work as the photo editor, I began to analyze the style of photo work administered by Reuters and their eternal rival, AFP, Antara subscribed to both. It was my observation that Reuters’ style affected their historical environment, including England and the Commonwealth countries. AFP had more influence over the continental style of Europe. Reuters pursued a more straight or direct style to their photographs, while AFP looked for a more aestheticized style to their photo reportage. I believed these two styles also influenced Dutch photo editorial, and was also carried forward by our pioneers of modern photojournalism in Indonesia, by photographers like An-

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tara’s Wahab Saleh and the Mendur brothers who went on to found IPPHOS.[10] ▶ 8.4 ▶ 8.5 ▶ 8.6 I noted these characteristics, and then mixed them with what I knew of national magazines and newspapers in Indonesia and tried to compose a blueprint for photo reporting to use with a new generation of Antara journalists. Using this empirical experience, I tried to build guidelines for myself as an inexperienced photojournalist. I was fortunate to create friendly relationships with senior colleagues in the field, such as Kartono Ryadi (Kompas), Bernandus Sendouw, Tinnes Sanger (Sinar Harapan), Zaenal Effendi (Bola), Alex Lumi (Jakarta Post), Don Hasman (Mutiara), and of course Ed Zoelverdi (Tempo). From all of them I received input while teaching myself photography and sharpening my understanding of photojournalism. Fellow photojournalists such as Julian Sihombing, Arbain Rambey and Eddy Hasby (Kompas), Donny Metri and Robin Ong (Tempo), and Gino F. Hadi (Media Indonesia) also contributed to helping me develop a practical approach to photojournalism, sometimes even lending me equipment while I learned. Eventually the leadership of Antara approved my request for a large-scale retooling of our equipment. In an attempt to rebuild our photographic content, I did my best to develop a training course to raise our standards for qualification, Photojournalist Course (Susdafo). With references to literature and some consultations here and there, I developed a six-month course to broaden the insight of our staff, approved by management and sent to ASJ for implementation. Susdafo’s curriculum included theory, ethics and visual insight (45%), as well as field practice (55%). Field practice emphasized the synergy between text and image into a single unit. I am of the opinion that the way to destroy the preconceptions of photographers as second-class passengers is for the photographer to master the characteristics needed for all journalists. The ideal photo reporters are those who can process issues, develop plans, and envision the news so as to obtain photographs that are pithy and have adequate style and character. Today, journalists who pass this class are complete photojournalists, because they are able to both photograph and write. And I always emphasize the formation of a unique photographic character or style, and that all of them be tested of their ability to create photo essays with personal opinions and choices. These personal choices are essential for moving things forward, and for creating a unique and expressive form of journalism. This training turned out to produce positive and constructive results for developing strong capabilities and characteristics for every pho[10] For more about IPPHOS see Chapter 6, A Short History of IPPHOS.

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8.4

8.5

8.6

President Sukarno, Yogyakarta,

Merdeka 20 February 1946 (Raising

President Soekarno greeting

silver gelatin photograph.

the Indonesian flag after the

the crowd during his visit to

IPPHOS/Antara Foto.

proclamation of independence

Subang, West Java, IPPHOS/Antara

Courtesy of “Remastered

by Sukarno and Mohamad Hatta

Foto, 1947. Courtesy of GFJA.

Edition” Project & GFJA.

(left) at the Sukarno residence on 17 August 1945). Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional (National Library of Indonesia), reproduction by matawaktu.

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to reporter. This training program has been carried out in a number of different newspapers and educational programs wanting to rejuvenate their visual cadres. Since 1990, the Antara photo department has had a new, qualified generation, trained as complete reporters. This foundation enables them to be more communicative and engaging. I also instilled within them the spirit to share their knowledge and experience, considering that at the time there were no colleges or universities with photography majors—slowly campus newspapers and photography clubs started asking us to bring our experiences to their campuses. At the end of the 1990s, I received a new task, this time from Handjojo Nitimihardjo, general leader of the Antara news agency. He appointed me to lead a small task force to designate a new purpose for the Antara Cultural Heritage Building in Pasar Baru, which had just recently been restored. I took the job, despite my inexperience with such matters, though this time felt much more important as I felt a sort of aura or soul to the historic building, and one deeply connected to my own experience as a journalist. ▶ 8.7 At the time, Handjojo was also the head of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), and he asked me what would be a suitable project to submit to the OANA conference in Tehran at the end of 1991. I suggested a book about photojournalism, which was immediately approved. The finished book, Photojournalism, contained photographs from a number of different OANA members. This project was my first curatorial work, and included professional and amateur photojournalism. In an effort to make the book really contemporary, for the final picture I included Andrej Soloviev’s photograph of a massive demonstration in Moscow with a giant bronze statue of Lenin looming over the crowd, eventually documenting the fall of the Soviet Union. ▶ 8.8 For the designation of the old Antara building in Pasar Baru, I held focus group discussions which included participants from across disciplines, all with some experience of the press in Indonesia. The recommendation of the focus group was that this historic building would best be used as a memorial hall or a small museum. I began to design simple patterns for the interior so that the museum would not be rigid or cold and would have a little style. I worked in collaboration with a rehabilitation team lead by Wagiono Soenarto,[11] and included staff and graduates from the Fine Arts program at the Institute of Technology in Bandung.[12] ▶ 8.9 ▶ 8.10 ▶ 8.11

[11] Wagiono Soenarto is a well-known designer in Indonesia, and served as Chancellor for the Jakarta Institute of Arts. [12] The Institute of Technology in Bandung (ITB) has an internationally recognized art program. For more information on ITB see Chapter 6, A City on the Move: Bandung Today.

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8.7

8.8

Cover for Photojournalism,

The refurbished and newly

the first curatorial project

designated Antara Gallery of

by Oscar Motuloh, 1991.

Photojournalism, Octa Christi.

Courtesy of Oscar Motuloh.

Courtesy of matawaktu.

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8.9 A view of the mural painted in the Antara Gallery and Museum, Maulana Marbun. Courtesy of GFJA.

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Our emphasis on style can be seen in the mural on the landing, decorated with historical fragments of the agency’s history. Wagiono’s team, influenced by the pop-art style of Lichenstein, used a pixelated technique based on images by renowned journalists like Abdul Wahab Saleh[13] and the Mendur brothers. Also included is an interpretative comic by Jan Mintaraga,[14] called Antara Historical Flashback. The stairs up to the second floor are contoured with the Antara logo. The second floor is home to the mini press museum, where we keep the Morse code equipment used to surreptitiously announce the Proclamation of Independence shortly after it was first given on August 17, 1945. ▶ 8.12 ▶ 8.13 ▶ 8.14 ▶ 8.15 Part of the original mission when undertaking the restoration, according to the leader of Antara, was to attract young people to the field of journalism. Based on my reading of this, the first floor was designated as the Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara (GFJA—Antara Gallery of Photojournalism). It was also the intent for GFJA to bring light to the mini Antara museum on the second floor. To further attract a younger generation to photography and journalism, in 1992 the Institut Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Institute for the Arts) officially opened a photography department, in the shadow of the Film and Television Faculty. There were originally two different photography majors, journalism and commercial photography.[15] I taught some of the first courses here. Inspired the Dutch recognition of Indonesian independence, on December 27, 1992,[16] the Antara Museum and GFJA were officially dedicated and opened to the community. The inaugural exhibition highlighted work by Antara photojournalists, entitled Kilas Balik (Flashbacks). This has since become a tradition, a series of exhibitions called Kilas Balik (Flashbacks). ▶ 8.16 ▶ 8.17 After the inauguration, I began working as the supervisor and coordinator for GFJA. I invited Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo, my friend and colleague, and at that time photo editor at Tempo magazine, to join me and work as curator for the gallery. Antara’s management supported my choice, and thus Yudhi became the curator of GFJA. He then rolled out a series of exhibition programs, and initiated different educational and community programs in accordance with the Antara agency. At first Yudhi was skeptical because he had no experience as a curator, but I believed in his potential, especially since he had such a strong interest in the history of photography. Yudhi was able to run it all successfully. GFJA became the center for photography, as [13] Abdul Wabah Saleh was an important photographer during the Indonesian war for independence. [14] Jan Mintaraga is a famous comic book artist from Yogyakarta, https://bit.ly/3PPcaJa. [15] For more information on the development of photographic education in Java, see Chapter 11, Development of Photographic Education in Indonesia. [16] The Dutch officially recognized Indonesian independence on December 17, 1949, a little over four years after Sukarno’s proclamation.

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8.10 View of Antara Historical Interview by Jan Mintaraga, Rahmad Gunawan. Courtesy of GFJA. 8.11 View of the mini press museum in the Antara Museum, Maulana Marbun. Courtesy of GFJA.

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8.12

8.13, 8.14, 8.15

Installation view of an

Three posters announcing

exhibition held at the Antara

different Kilas Balik

Gallery of Photojournalism.

(Flashbacks) exhibitions at

Courtesy of GFJA.

the Galeri Foto Jurnalistik

Originally conceived as a sort

Antara. Courtesy of GFJA.

of teaching gallery, GFJA was an attempt to engage a broader and younger audience with photography, as an attempt to connect more students with the history and significance of photojournalism.

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8.16

8.17

Deputy Leader of Tempo Magazine

President Suharto wipes away tears

reacting to the news that the

as he mournfully attends the wake

magazine would be banned by the

of his beloved wife, First Lady

New Order, Julian Sihombing,

Tien Suharto, in Ndlaem Kalitan,

1994. Courtesy of Kompas.

Surakarta, Julian Sihombing, 1996. Courtesy of Kompas. Although the image appears normal or even mundane, it reflects the nature of oppression during the New Order era. The image was made in 1996, but was not published until 2005. All images that showed any signs of weakness with the President were not allowed to be published. Journalists were even warned not to photograph Suharto wiping sweat from his brow.

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well as a “home” for Yudhi and myself to broaden our own visual insights. While GFJA prioritizes journalism and documentary photography, it remains open to exhibit and support any photography we deem important. With a new generation of photographers joining Antara, the ASJ training program, the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism, the new photography majors at the Jakarta Institute for the Arts, then a new photography program at Indonesian Institute of Art in Yogyakarta—soon followed by programs in several other universities—our world of photography in Indonesia suddenly became more lively. In 1993, the status of the photography department at the agency was elevated when it was redesignated as the Antara Photo Bureau, first led by senior journalist Djamal Soamole. This trend has continued, in 2005 the status of the Photo Bureau was upgraded again to the Independent Photo News Division, and it is now an integral part of the Antara News Agency. My routine of visiting campuses to work with students made me much more involved in the design and publication of campus papers. As the years evolved, I felt the need to be more involved for political reasons. This political phenomenon became more apparent when I discovered that the young son of President Suharto opened an office for a family business in the Wisma Antara building. On certain days a black Rolls-Royce would be out front, an indication that Tommy was in the building.[17] Within my own community and activities on campus, I began to feel a political fatigue toward the ruling party. At one time sluggish, the campus presses became more and more sound, complete with photographs of everything. I felt the antipathy of the students and the people, and their growing resistance to the Suharto family’s business octopus reaching into everything. A climax occurred when Tempo magazine was banned in June 1994. I was in charge of publishing news photos, and also actively collaborating with national campus papers. Understandably the Antara News Agency was always concerned with the censors, namely the Army Information Service (Dinas Penerangan Angkatan Darat—or Dispenad). Luckily, their leadership paid closer attention to the text than to the photographs. We were very careful with our publications, but still tried to be true to the facts for the sake of our readers. Every photojournalist at Antara had their own resources for speaking, the campuses opened their doors wide to us because we often made ourselves available to their classrooms. Public trust in Antara Photo [17] A businessman, playboy, and convicted murderer, Tommy Suharto is the youngest son of Suharto, the second president of Indonesia. Tommy was found guilty for commissioning the murder of a judge who convicted him of corruption.

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8.18, 8.19, 8.20 The Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara has produced a series of exhibitions and publications to document and commemorate reformasi, the pivotal transitions in Indonesian political and public life. Courtesy of GFJA.

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was increasing. Nevertheless, we stayed off Dispenad’s radar. In 1997, the New Order was elected into office for the sixth time, and we began to be on high alert, it felt like a time bomb was about to explode.

In 1998, Indonesian political history would take another dramatic turn, inscribed in a barrage of bullets, in the hatred for and in the blood of four martyrs fighting for reform on the Trisakti campus. The momentum of one evening, finally collapsing a week later under the tyranny of Suharto’s power. ▶ 8.18 ▶ 8.19 ▶ 8.20 Juxtapose the representation of Suharto’s resignation in the brilliant photo by Saptono, an Antara News Agency reporter. Following the withdrawal of several brutes from Suharto’s cabinet, Saptono kept abreast of developments in the news and used his instincts, resulting in his being prepared to photograph the ultimate resignation of Suharto. On the morning of May 21, important news circulated among the students who were waiting nervously for the possible resignation. At 8 o’clock a number of students took the initiative to move a large TV from a space they’d occupied since May 18th. They brought the TV to the lobby so as many people as possible could watch. Hundreds of reporters began to search for the right position to make a photograph. Saptono chose a position based on his experience as a journalist. He stood between the students and the TV. Seconds passed, then live national television broadcasts showed the atmosphere of Merdeka Square.[18] Suharto’s resignation would soon become a reality. Saptono readied his camera for this historical moment. Promptly at 9:02 am, it happened. Saptono had prepared his analog camera with a wide angle lens. Things developed as he imagined, and the students roared and danced in celebration. He captured the students celebrating and Suharto reading his resignation on the TV, his camera steadily advancing the film with each frame he exposed. ▶ 8.21 Hundreds of photographers were gathered at this location, cameras clicking wildly. However, it is Saptono’s picture that provided the most accurate portrayal of the moment. He managed to fully articulate the importance of this moment in our history. In line with the entire reformasi movement, the image will always call to our memories, and marks our nation changing colors towards democracy.

[18] Merdeka—or Freedom—Square is a location in Central Jakarta created to commemorate Indonesian independence.

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8.21

8.22

View of students during Suharto’s

Trisakti University, Julian

resignation announcement,

Sihombing, color negative,

Saptono. Courtesy of Saptono.

1998. Courtesy of “Remastered Edition” Project & Kompas. An iconic scene of the reformasi era.

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8.23 Julian Sihombing, Benny Soetrisno. Courtesy of Benny Soetrisno.

It is the omega at the tail end of the New Order’s history. It fits with the alpha, captured by Kompas photojournalist Julian Sihombing depicting a wide-eyed university student lying on the ground juxtaposed with a scene of anti-riot enforcers driving away protestors. A line from a poem by activist Wiji Thukul, “Just one word: FIGHT!” ▶ 8.22 ▶ 8.23

Since the publication of Photojournalism for the OANA conference in 1991, I have had the opportunity to design numerous photobooks. The next one was East Timor: a Photographic Record (1992), a book about East Timor before its independence. In covering this conflict, I felt it was necessary not only to create coverage from our perspective as professional Antara reporters, but also to make images with our individual lenses and provide a personal approach to the photographs. ▶ 8.24 ▶ 8.25 I used a similar approach with two publications done collaboratively with Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL, or the Indonesian Navy), Pengawal Laut (Ocean Guards, 1993) and Korps Marinir (Marine Corps, 1996). With the freedom to explore the concept and design of the books, it became a departure from previous books that were much more rigid and ceremonial. A similar opportunity came in 2006, when the Lontar Foundation[19] wanted to make a book about President Suharto’s administration. The book, Indonesia in the Soeharto Years: Issues, Incidents, and Images (2006) was a photographic history of the administration, including a variety of journalistic sources from the era. ▶ 8.27

While developing all this work for Antara and GFJA, I continued to deepen my own visual resources and expressions. I have long wanted to make a trilogy of books with own photographs looking at the mystery of death as an essential part of life. A universal mystery of humankind, and a mirror reflecting the nature of life. I am not interested in the process, but the metaphor that comes with it. ▶ 8.28 ▶ 8.29 ▶ 8.30 The first part of my trilogy is The Voice of Angkor (1997), a book exploring the metaphors and power associated with the triumph and [19] The Lontar Foundation is an organization in Jakarta working to bring Indonesian art and literature to a global audience, primarily through English-language translations of Indonesian literature, poetry, and plays.

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8.27

8.24, 8.25, 8.26

Indonesia in the Soeharto Years:

Three early publication by Oscar

Issues, Incidents and Images, John

Motuloh, East Timor: a Photographic

McGlynn, Oscar Motuloh, et al., The

Record (1992), Pengawal Laut (Ocean

Lontar Foundation, 2005. From the

Guards, 1993) and Korpus Mariner

collection of Brian C. Arnold.

(Corpus Marine, 1996). From the collection of Oscar Motuloh.

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8.28, 8.29, and 8.30 Book covers for The Voice of Angkor (1997), The Art of Dying (2002), and Soulscape Road (2009), a trilogy of by Oscar Motuloh.

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destruction of the Khmer empire, and its parallels with the Hindu/ Buddhist empires in Indonesia found in Borobudur and Prambanan, and how this all reflects on the New Order. The second in the trilogy, The Art of Dying (2002), explored what arose when encountering the famous tombs found in Paris at Père Lachaise and Montparnasse. The last in this series is Soulscape Road (2009), a capita selecta about natural and human-made disasters. ▶ 8.31 ▶ 8.32 ▶ 8.33 ▶ 8.34 ▶ 8.35 ▶ 8.36 My interest in the mystery of death found its echo in the words of Mohamad Sobary, who wrote after the opening of my exhibition The Art of Dying: A grave is a description of the past, as well as the future. Teachings about the symbolism of graves and our pilgrimage cover both of these at once. The pilgrimage of life and death deals with history. He tries to relive the past and to commemorate the body lying there, praising honesty, and praying for a clear path to unfold before him. The pilgrimage of life and death also orients him towards his future.[20] This visual odyssey (or pilgrimage in Sobary’s language) made me wander from one disaster to the next. This odyssey is summarized in the exhibition and book Soulscape Road, which is actually a reflection of our reality as a nation strung out along the Ring of Fire,[21] which requires that we treat nature with a certain respect and wisdom. These pictures have been displayed around the world, in Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, China, and Germany.

To be extremely simplistic, the journalistic process is an ongoing one of creating memories and taking notes. GFJA created a process of remembering and documenting our shared history in 1992 with our inaugural exhibition Flashback. This is now a series, and there have now been 14 Flashback exhibitions since 1992. ▶ 8.37 In 1995, the Republic of Indonesia celebrated its 50th anniversary. GFJA designed an exhibition of historic photographs, conceived as part of our foundation and history. Yudhi prepared a photo exhibition, IPPHOS: The Miracle Years, held at the kraton in Yogyakarta, to celebrate the half-century of the Republic by showing some of its visual roots, an idea that would eventually become the Future Histo-

[20] From Singgasana dan Kutu Busuk (Thrones and Bedbugs), by Mohamad Sobary, 2004. [21] The Ring of Fire refers to a major basin in the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. The basin is about 40,000 km, and is a nearly continuous ring of oceanic trenches and volcanic belts. Located on the Ring of Fire, Indonesia is one of the most volcanic and geological unstable regions in the world.

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8.31 From the series The Voice of Angkor, Oscar Motuloh, silver gelatin photograph, 1997. Courtesy of Oscar Motuloh.

8.32 From the series The Art of Dying, Oscar Motuloh, silver gelatin photograph, 2002. Courtesy of Oscar Motuloh.

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8.33 and 8.34 From the series Soulscape Road, Oscar Motuloh, silver gelatin photograph, 2009. Courtesy of Oscar Motuloh. Soulscape Road is a profound meditation on the disasters of a nation strung out along the Ring of Fire.

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8.35 From the series Soulscape Road, Oscar Motuloh, silver gelatin photograph, 2009. Courtesy of Oscar Motuloh.

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8.36 From the series Soulscape Road, Oscar Motuloh, silver gelatin photograph, 2009. Courtesy of Oscar Motuloh.

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ry Program.[22] “How can we name our pride and identity as a nation,” said historian Asvi Marwan Adam, “if the Mendur brothers were unable to attend the Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Indonesia at Bung Karno’s home?” I believe, whether with exhibitions or publications, that the cultural and visual literacy found in photographs is essential for understanding history and ourselves. We have since also developed a series of exhibitions looking at the history of Indonesian independence, first started with this exhibition in 1995, and with the most recent of these exhibitions being Art and Diplomacy (2019). There have been a total of 19 exhibitions in this series: The Miracle Years of Photographs of the Independence Period 1945–1950 (1995); The Future of a Past (2005); Merdeka Merdeka!!! (2009); Identity for All (2010); 66 RI: From Pengangsaan to Rijswijk (2011); IPPHOS: Remastered Edition (2013); Proclamation for a New Indonesia (2014); 70th History of the Future (2015); 71st RI: Gift of Revolution (2016); 72nd Tapestry of Independence (2017); Corn Flowering Between Bedil & Sakura (2018); HistoRI of the Future: 10 Windu Antara News Agency (2017); and Art and Diplomacy (2019). ▶ 8.38 ▶ 8.39 ▶ 8.40 ▶ 8.41 ▶ 8.42 GFJA has also instigated a series of publications about natural disasters. Working with journalists—affiliated and independent, professional and amateur—we create a thorough documentation of natural disasters across Indonesia. For reasons both technical and editorial, these disasters are never fully covered in the media. We try to make a more comprehensive documentation, with contributions from various points of view. So far there are seven publications in this series: Samudra Air Mata (2005), Fifty Seven Seconds (2006), Mt. Merapi  10 (2011), Aftermath Gambara Nias (2012), Sinabung Kelud Calling (2014), Civilization of Light (2014), and Lombok Palu Donggala Rev!val (2018). ▶ 8.43

We are in an age in which information is developing faster than the speed of light, and journalism is struggling to face a world turned upside down. The post-truth era in which we live is a challenge for the press industry to help solve, a problem that is undermining and fragmenting a tired and controversial world. There are no longer boundaries between East and West, North and South.

[22] The Future History Program became fully established in 2015, on the 70th anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia. This is a research program that aims to uncover the facts of historical photography through primary source research, all to strengthen the diversity of Indonesia.

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8.37 From the series Yang Kuat Yang Kalah (The Strong and the Weak), Shamow’el Rama Surya (Rama Surya), silver gelatin photograph. Courtesy of Shamow’el Rama Surya. Yang Kuat Yang Kalah is an incredible meditation on the complex relationship between humans and animals. And like many great photographic projects developed in Indonesia, was part of the exhibition series at GFJA.

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8.38 IPPHOS Remastered, 2013. In addition to their exhibition series, Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara actively produces photo books. This title, IPPHOS Remastered, is part of a series of publications documenting important contributors to the field of photojournalism in Indonesia.

Our current civilization has an interesting phenomenon. Post-truth is the biggest challenge journalism is facing today. It is true that we human beings have relinquished our individual responsibilities to our rulers, so that now common sense is powerless to stem the flood of hoaxes created by the stakeholders in power. They are the directors who pilot democracy while at the same time suppressing it, destroying our independence. My esteemed colleagues, That is all. Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatallahi wabarakatuh. Peace to us all. Om santi santi santi om. Freedom!

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8.39, 8.40 and 8.41 A series of publications initiated/ curated by Oscar Motuloh to document natural disasters in Indonesia, including Samudra Air Mata (Ocean of Tears, 2005), Civilization of Light (2014), and Lombok Palu Donggala Rev!val (2018). Courtesy of GFJA.

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8.42 Kay Lara Xanana Gusmao behind the walls of the Cipinang penitentiary in East Jakarta. He was sentenced to life at the East Timor District Court in Dili in 1993 for instigating a demonstration and illegal possession of weapons (from the series East Timor: A Long and Winding Road), Eddy Hasby, silver gelatin photograph, 1994. Courtesy of Eddy Hasby. East Timor underwent an incredible struggle for independence from Indonesia, culminating in the 1999 referendum for a free and independent state. Hasby’s East Timor: A Long and Winding Road provides an amazing window into the struggle for independence.

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8.43 Mount Merapi spews volcanic material as seen from Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Photography by Kemal Jufri/Imaji. For this series Kemal earned himself a World Press Photo 2011 Second Prize in the People, News, Stories category.

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C HAPT E R 9

REFLECTIONS ON REFORMASI PHOTOGRAPHY (FROM THE VANTAGE POINT OF THE 2014 ELECTIONS) Karen Strassler

In

the presidential election of 2014, the fate of Indonesia’s democratic experiment seemed to hang in the balance. The two presidential candidates offered a stark choice between a return to authoritarianism in the figure of Prabowo Subianto, a former general widely considered responsible for human rights abuses and Suharto’s ex-son-in-law, and Joko Widodo (Jokowi) a self-made businessman turned politician with weak ties to the political establishment and a reputation for being “clean.” Jokowi’s narrow defeat of Prabowo in July 2014 seemed to augur a renewed commitment to the reformasi project of a more just society and transparent politics, although subsequent events have revealed how fragile that victory was. This essay juxtaposes photography during the reformasi period and the 2014 elections in order to examine shifts in the media environment and in political practice that have taken place in the intervening years. During the reformasi demonstrations of 1998, students took to the streets to protest Suharto’s authoritarian New Order regime; they also photographed themselves protesting. In my book Refracted Visions (2010) which was based on fieldwork conducted from 1998–2000, I argued that making and consuming photographs of demonstrations was an important way for students to participate in the political project of the reform movement. In the presidential campaign of 2014, young supporters of Jokowi also turned to photography to demonstrate their support for his candidacy and their aspirations for a more democratic, tolerant, and just Indonesia. I will argue in this essay that three aspects of photographic production and reception that were already present during reformasi had become amplified in 2014. These are: first, investment in photographic transparency; second, blurring of the boundaries between personal and the political; and third, reworking images as a means of political participation and commentary. Comparing the practice of photography during these two critical periods offers insight into the ways shifts in media technologies yield shifts in political imagination and practice, and reveals the ways that the hopes and aspirations animating the reformasi movement were both sustained and transformed in the decade and a half that followed. Karen Strassler is an anthropologist who looks at images, media culture, and photography. This essay was written specifically for this book, derived from research she conducted for her own book Demanding Images: Transparency and Mediation in a Democratizing Public Sphere.

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The “evidentiary” documentary photograph imagined as a means of holding a government accountable and assuring the validity of public truth claims played a key role in reformasi as a hallmark of the liberal democratic order that activists sought to bring about. By 2014, this kind of evidentiary photography, consistent with ideals of transparency and liberal democratic norms of rational political communication, was subject to intense doubt and scrutiny, while highly personalized and playfully reworked images were in ascendance. These latter visual forms, which thrive on the decentralized circuits of social media and make their public claims in a more affective register, suggest ways that new forms of political agency and practice are transforming the nature of democratic politics in Indonesia— and elsewhere—today. REFORMASI PHOTOGRAPHY: A LOOK BACK To look back on reformasi-era student photography is to return to a time when not everyone had cameras, when cameras were not attached to devices that allowed instantaneous circulation of their images, when the vast majority of people did not have cellphones, nor Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms by which to effortlessly share and view images. In 1998 many Indonesian students did not own cameras of any kind, and digital cameras were still, for the vast majority, exotic objects largely out of reach. Cell phones were ostentatious prestige objects for the rich, not the readyto-hand, essential means of communication they have since become. The student photographers I knew in Yogyakarta then prided themselves on their ability to focus and shoot simple SLR cameras with fixed lenses, usually acquired second hand. Their cameras lacked autofocus, telephoto lenses, and other features that were already staples of photojournalism. Cash-starved, student photographers often bought discounted, recently expired rolls of film and sometimes went without eating decent meals to pay for their film to be developed. A few students worked as stringers for international press agencies and had access to scanning devices that allowed them to circulate their photographs digitally, but the vast majority went to local photography studios to get them printed, and relied on impromptu campus exhibitions and hand to hand circulation to display them; many amassed personal collections of photographs that never circulated publicly at all. ▶ 9.1 Some of the students who photographed the reform movement modeled their photographic practice on journalism, seeking to record events as they unfolded, often at significant risk to themselves. With the final outcome of

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9.1 Student photograph of an anti-Suharto demonstration at Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta, March 11, 1998, Fatchul Mu’in, C-print, 19 × 25 cm; 1998. Courtesy of Karen Strassler. 9.2 Students take in reformasi photographs at the “Three Orders Photo Exhibition," Yogyakarta, April 1999, Karen Strassler, C-print, 10 × 15 cm, 1999. Courtesy of Karen Strassler.

the reformasi movement uncertain, they imagined that their images might preserve a history that could otherwise be erased from the record or distorted beyond recognition. Calling themselves and their images “witnesses” of history, they were aware of the state’s power to manipulate the past, and were motivated by faith in the power of photography to provide an irrefutable account of the student movement from the students’ perspective. Although when pushed, they acknowledged that photographs could be manipulated or interpreted in varying ways, and that photographs always record a point of view, nevertheless they were committed to the idea that the camera image offered a reliable, objective “historical file” that gave direct and incorruptible access to events. Even as they emulated journalists, student photographers also worked to distinguish themselves from professional photographers. Their status both as participants in (rather than observers of) the student movement and as amateurs gave their images a kind of authenticity that photographs produced by professional photographers lacked. Students were free of the financial dependence and political pressures that constrained journalism during the New Order. Like student activists more broadly, student photographers were also admired for their moral purity and idealism. Unlike paid journalists, they could not be bought. This amateur authenticity was often inscribed into the very appearance of their images. Students were often more “in the mix” of the demonstrations (as opposed to journalists who stood safely behind police lines), and their cameras (and sometimes their photographic skills) were rudimentary. The result was images that were often “poor” with reference to standards of framing, clarity, and perspective, but these blurry, chaotic images were often seen as more “authentically” capturing the events as they unfolded, bringing the viewer into the action. If student photography was closely linked to the reformasi ideals of transparency and moral authenticity, it was also tied to ideals of access and participation. Student photographers imagined themselves as participants in the creation of a vast, open public archive. This multi-authored, dispersed photographic archive would be the basis for a future history that could no longer be monopolized by the state. ▶ 9.2 Beyond a small group of student photographers willing to risk their lives to document violent demonstrations, a far larger group of students used cameras to take souvenir photographs at the many peaceful demonstrations that began in 1998 and extended throughout 1999 and beyond. In Refracted Visions, I argued that students’ photography of the student movement was in many ways continuous with the role that the camera had come to assume in their daily lives more generally. Chronicling one’s personal history with the

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camera—the creation of personal albums—had become a normative practice for middle-class youth, even if in actuality many students didn’t have the means to consistently fulfill that expectation. At “demos,” students took pictures of themselves and their friends to record personal mementos of “our moment in history.” Students were motivated by awareness that they were participating in a historic movement and desired to mark their own participation in it. Through photography, they placed themselves at the center of the scene, claiming their presence on the stage of history. Encompassing these images within the affective embrace of what Marianne Hirsch calls a “family frame” (1997), they imagined a future in which they would share these images with their grandchildren. This dual investment in photographs—as embodiments of “transparency” and as personal memory objects—was also evident in the way students responded to images of demonstrations at reformasi photography exhibitions held in the months following the end of the New Order. The exhibitions, I have argued, provided an occasion to begin recalling the student movement, encoding it as a kind of mythic national memory. Students writing in comment books at the exhibitions hailed the photographs as “authentic proof” of momentous events in the nation’s history. At the same time, comments like, “keep these photographs for our grandchildren,” “I see my friends!” “Can I have one as a souvenir?” and “nostalgia!” reveal students’ highly personalized responses to the images encountered as tokens of their own pasts. This conflation of personal and national memory gave engagement with the reformasi movement an added affective charge that could enhance political commitment but could also lead to romanticization of the movement and an ultimately politically disenabling nostalgia for a high point of idealism and shared purpose that would contrast with the inevitable compromises, disappointments, and divisions that would accompany the work of making a democratic Indonesia after the fall of Suharto. A third, less prominent but nevertheless significant mode of photographic engagement with the reformasi movement was through the creation and circulation of manipulated, repurposed, defaced, and recombined images. Especially after Suharto stepped down, his official portrait became an object onto which political sentiments could be inscribed. At one reformasi exhibition, students scrawled epithets in pen across a photograph of Suharto praying, unmasking his appearance of religious morality with their coarse condemnations. In a more playful mode, a student made a greeting card using a photograph he had taken immediately after Suharto resigned. It pictured a group of students who had pledged to shave their heads if Suharto resigned; they appeared with newly shorn scalps, some of them gleefully holding Suharto’s portrait upside down. On the other

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side of the card was a conventional Idul Fitri greeting. The card thus linked a moment of carnivalesque political celebration to pious sentiment. As a greeting card, it sold as a commodity but ultimately was intended for intimate circulation between friends or family. It thus exemplifies both the personalization of reformasi images and what I call a “ludic” mode of popular reworking of official and other images. ▶ 9.3

Each of these modes of political engagement via photography evident during reformasi—investment in transparency, personalization, and popular reworking—make distinctive claims to authenticity and authority. Embodying ideals of transparency, documentary photographs of reformasi demonstrations promised to bring about a new era of unmediated, unvarnished truths in contrast to the distortions and repressions of the Suharto era. Framed as personal memory objects, documentary and souvenir photographs acquire the affective force of sentiments associated with the intimate and the personal in contrast to and outside of a political and public realm perceived as driven by corrupt “interests.” Finally, the production and circulation of reworked images—especially official imagery newly available for appropriation by ordinary people—provided a powerful icon of popular participation and freedom to transgress that was consistent with reformasi ideals of democratic openness. PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE 2014 ELECTION As I argue in Demanding Images (2019), the years intervening between the 1998 student movement and the 2014 election saw a radical transformation of the Indonesian media ecology, a result of the convergence of political opening with the advent of new media technologies. By 2014, Indonesians were among the most intensive users of Twitter and Facebook in the world. Practically everyone carried a cell phone, a device that combined a camera with the means to disseminate and receive camera images. Large numbers of people owned personal computers and scanners and possessed a sophisticated grasp of the tools used to manipulate, recombine, and repurpose images. The public sphere had become a noisy realm of battling images and voices within which neither the state nor establishment journalistic outlets could dominate the circulation of knowledge. Transparency remained a salient political ideal, particularly in the ongoing fight against corruption, but both the ideal itself and the status of the photograph as its emblem had become beleaguered by doubt and skepticism. The possibility of manipulation and falsification has always haunted the photograph’s promise of transparent truths, but as I have argued elsewhere (Strassler 2004; Strassler

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9.3 Untitled [Reformasi/ Idul Fitri greeting card], Kelik Supriyanto, 12.5 × 18.5 cm, 1998. Courtesy of Karen Strassler.

2009), these anxieties about and threats to the political ideal of transparency came to the fore in the years after Suharto’s resignation. In numerous political corruption scandals and attempts to expose state-sponsored violence, scrutinizing images and other recordings for their authenticity became a kind of public sport in which members of the public were not merely spectators but active participants. Widespread suspicion about the authenticity of images proffered as truthful evidence registers a pervasive attitude of skepticism about the possibility of an authentic politics. Such skepticism and associated performances of digital forensics nevertheless retain an investment in transparency—and the idea that there could be a truthful, unmanipulated image—as an elusive and threatened ideal. In the 2014 presidential campaign, as both sides relied heavily on images to secure their candidate’s appeal, political supporters expressed their allegiance by performances of scrutiny that sought to undermine the opposing side’s claims. In June, just weeks before the election, a photograph circulated of Jokowi at a rally at the National Monument (Monas) addressing a massive crowd. Prabowo supporters claimed the image had been manipulated by Jokowi’s campaign to enlarge the size of the crowd. The image, marked with red circles and arrows indicating where it had been manipulated, circulated virally through social media. In response, Jokowi supporters accused Prabowo supporters of falsifying the image in order to discredit the Jokowi campaign. No longer accorded the status of transparent truth, images were tendentious objects to be questioned in a battle of competing political interests. ▶ 9.4 When Jokowi once again stood before a massive crowd of supporters at a benefit rock concert just four days before the election, his supporters were thus prepared for the inevitable skepticism to which photographs of the event would be subjected. Celebrity photographer Jay Subyakto, motivated by his frustration with attempts to call into doubt the “people power” behind Jokowi, turned his act of photographing Jokowi addressing the crowd into a spectacular event. Photographs of Subyakto perched precariously atop a 20 meter high screen behind Jokowi circulated on Twitter and Facebook along with the resulting photograph as a kind of authenticating signature. Despite his status as a professional, in interviews, Subyakto stressed that he was acting in his capacity as a “volunteer” for Jokowi; he was not being paid to photograph. Like the crowd who showed up in droves even in the rain, he was moved to photograph by his genuine desire to support Jokowi and bring about a better Indonesia. The image of a crowd made up of idealistic volunteers, each acting according to their own moral compass and not as followers of a party or group, distinguished Jokowi supporters from widespread

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9.4 Untitled [Image of Jokowi crowd indicating where the image has been altered using Photoshop to make the crowd seem larger] photographer unknown, dimensions variable, 2014. Courtesy of Karen Strassler.

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negative images of political crowds. Not only were political “masses” seen as dangerous, but people widely assumed that those attending political rallies were doing so either because they had been paid or because they were blindly loyal to a party. ▶ 9.5 The assertion of “pure” voluntary and idealistic motivation behind Subyakto’s photograph echoed the authenticity accorded to the student photographers of 1998. Selfies taken by members of the crowd at the Jokowi rock concert likewise recall the blurring of political and personal photography that was characteristic of the reformasi period, and suggest an intensification of this sentimentalized mode of political engagement. Like students who pictured themselves at reformasi demonstrations in photographs they planned to show to their family and friends, at the rock concert, many Jokowi supporters posted pictures taken from within the crowd in a way consistent with the practice of using social media to share (carefully curated) glimpses of their everyday lives and social affiliations. A few of those posting photos of the concert explicitly described their images as “proof” intended, like Subyakto’s photo, to pre-empt attempts by Prabowo supporters to cast doubt on the Jokowi campaign’s claims. One Twitter post, for example, read, “yo… this is a livetweet, yo,…for those who claim it’s not crowded….#konser2jari”. But most accompanied their photos with highly personal and sentimental statements such as, “I truly got goosebumps and nearly cried, seeing the people who all showed up voluntarily.” ▶ 9.6 Even more so than those produced by students in 1998, these images, like those circulating on social media in general, reflect a far more thorough collapse of any line between the personal and the public image. A selfie posted on Twitter is always addressed to an imagined anonymous public, and holds the potential to gain a wide audience, even when its idiom is highly personal. The sentimental, colloquial language, self-positioning, and intimate framing of the selfie genre lent a kind of amateur authenticity to these political images. As a performance of political agency, the crowd selfie was consistent with the highly individualized, neoliberal terms of Jokowi’s call for a “mental revolution” to bring about genuine change in Indonesia. It helped secure the image of the Jokowi crowd as made up of individuated, aware, politically mature individuals, self-governing and acting on their own agency, in implicit contrast to the cynically manipulated, or even bought, immature political crowds of his adversary. If the photograph as emblem of transparency has become an object of scrutiny and suspicion, and the tendency toward the personalization of political engagement has been amplified via the genre of the selfie and social media, what of the third kind of political engagement with photography I identified in the reformasi period, the reworking of images? Epitomized in the widespread circulation of campaign-related memes, this type of photo-

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9.5

9.6

Untitled [Jay Subyakto with his

Untitled [Twitter photograph

camera, and his photograph of

from a Jokowi rally - “…for

Jokowi and the crowd at the “Two

those who claim it’s quiet…”],

Finger Salute” Rock Concert,

photographer unknown, 2014.

as circulated on Twitter], Jay

Courtesy of Karen Strassler.

Subyakto, dimensions variable, 2014. Courtesy of Karen Strassler.

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9.7 Untitled [Jokowi as puppet], photographer unknown, dimensions variable, c. 2014. Courtesy of Karen Strassler.

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graphic practice, which played a relatively minor role during the reformasi period, has become far more central as a more digitalized, decentralized, and densely networked media ecology has created more opportunities for people to put such images into circulation. Let me offer two examples. The first image, which appeared in various forms as a sticker on cars, a poster that could be bought in stores and roadside stalls, a T-shirt, and an internet meme began to circulate (to the best of my knowledge) in 2013. Expressing a nostalgia for the Suharto era that was integral to Prabowo’s popularity among his followers, It featured an informal snapshot of Suharto, smiling and waving, with the text, in colloquial Javanese, “How’s it going? My era was better, wasn’t it?” The image had numerous variations, including humorous and caustic responses that countered its nostalgic message. The second example was more directly related to the presidential campaign; this image figured Jokowi as a “puppet” of former president and PDIP leader Megawati Sukarnoputri. Like the Suharto image, this was an obviously fake, humorous image that circulated widely in various forms and iterations and appealed to political subjects in a ludic and affective mode. It gave vivid visual form to the political commentary that Jokowi was a proxy for and controlled by Megawati and her party. Other versions pictured Jokowi, a political newcomer, as a baby held in Megawati’s arms. ▶ 9.7 The ludic image thumbs its nose at the conventional forms of truth-telling once granted pre-eminence in liberal democratic public spheres. Both the Suharto-How’s it going? and the Jokowi-as-Puppet images reused old photographs to create new, overtly artificed assemblages that articulated political claims by making visible at the surface of the image that which could not otherwise be “seen.” Such irreverent images reject the dominant terms of the evidentiary photograph and the threats of manipulation that go with them; they thus offer a decisive challenge to the logic of transparency as the foundation of political authority. Rather than personal authenticity, moreover, what also lends authority to such images is their very ubiquity and virality. Anonymous origins and movement outside of official circuits render them indexical signs of public sentiment. CONCLUSION During the reformasi period, photography’s claim to speak truth to power reached an apex. At a time of intensified state violence, rising anger about the corrosive effects of corruption, and growing awareness that the New Order regime had been built on an edifice of lies, photographs promising unmediated truths were hailed as embodiments of the political ideal of transparency. Amenable to popular production and consumption, photo-

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graphs also gave material form to democratic aspirations for an authentic politics of and by the people. A decade and a half later, a new generation of young people—along with many who had been activists during the student movement— experienced a wave of enthusiasm for Jokowi that seemed to reawaken the faded “spirit” of reformasi. A more democratic Indonesia seemed to be once more on the horizon—and at the same time more profoundly threatened than at any time since 1998. In the intervening years, failure to end the corruption and impunity of the powerful, economic insecurity and horizontal violence, and the cynical march of elite politics-as-usual, had revealed the limits of an open public sphere to secure genuine democracy. As guarantors of transparency, photographs had failed to deliver on their promise and, in a more disillusioned climate, also came to embody the ever-present threat of manipulation and falsity. An ensuing crisis of documentary photography—in which photographs were no longer uncritically accorded authority in public truth-telling—coincided with the rising prevalence of two modes of political image-making and reception that were nascent in the reformasi period but had become far more prevalent. These include the role of personalization in authenticating both photographs and the politics they picture, and the rise of a ludic mode of repurposing images as a means to express and disseminate political sentiments. Both of these developments cannot be understood outside of the changing media ecology within which politics today takes place. At first glance, images like the “How’s it going?” and “Jokowi-as-puppet” seem diametrically opposed to documentary images like the student photographs of demonstrations or journalistic photographs of crowds at political rallies. Evidentiary and ludic images occupy polar ends of a spectrum in terms of the ways they make political claims—the “evidentiary” by providing apparently unmediated access to a pre-photographic real and the “ludic” by means of an artificed assemblage whose truths are generated at the surface of the image. But, on the other hand, in the current, skeptical political and media environment, from the vantage point of popular practice, it is a short distance from the pleasures of scrutinizing of images for possible manipulation to the pleasures of making, circulating, and consuming overtly faked or repurposed images. In their ambiguous, plural authorship and viral circulations, such ludic images also, on the one hand, challenge the personalized, voluntaristic forms of participation embodied in the Jokowi crowd selfies. The selfie pictures its own author, lending it a first person “I” and emotional immediacy that enhances the authenticity of its claims. The students of 1998 used cameras to place themselves on

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the scene of history; the selfie makes essentially the same authenticating claim to presence: “I was there!” By contrast, the ludic image has no “I” and no “there,” its force comes not from location but from proliferation and anonymity. But yet again there are commonalities between these apparently opposed types of image-practice. Both memes and selfies are effective precisely because the informality of their mode of address, and their very proliferation, mark them as popular expressions opposed to more official and establishment forms of communication. Both types of image thrive within media channels other than the mainstream electronic and print media that once dominated the public sphere (and still did in 1998). Saturated with affect, both of these genres of political engagement via images reject the rationalist expectations of political communication in classic imaginings of the liberal democratic public spheres. They suggest ways that contemporary intensely mediated public spheres foster and accommodate new forms of political engagement, with uncertain consequences for democratic politics. Rather than a radical break with the reformasi period, I have argued that the current landscape of political photography registers an intensification of what were already present tendencies in that formative moment of today’s democratic Indonesia. Photography has come to play a wider, at once more significant and more ambiguous, role in the mediation of political imaginations and the agency of political subjects since 1998. This shift in the conduct of politics has been conditioned by both the advent of new media technologies and platforms and by the failures of Indonesia’s neoliberal democratization to deliver fully on its promises. The political value of the evidentiary photograph to reveal truths that might otherwise be concealed or falsified has not lost its salience in the post-reformasi era, but it is increasingly subject to doubt and scrutiny as the ideal of transparency has lost its luster. The ascendance of the highly personalized “selfie” and the ludic, viral meme, which speak to and for the public in very different registers, further decenter the documentary photograph from its formerly dominant, authoritative position as the medium of public imagining and visual political communication. The lasting effects of these changes on the shape of Indonesian democracy—and on democracies elsewhere–remain to be seen.

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C HAPT E R 10

NEW MEDIA CULTURE

Krisna Murti

10.1 Jarak dalam Hiungan yang Sama (An Awkward Measurement of Our Distant Experiences), Dito Yuwono, single channel video within larger video installation, 9’47”, 2019. Courtesy of Dito Yuwono. A member of MES 56 and cofounder of the Lir Space, Dito Yuwono has explored a variety of media, technology and community interactions to develop his work.

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“Any one of our new media is in a sense a new language, a new codification of experience collectively achieved by new work habits and inclusively collective awareness.”

Al

MARSHALL MCLUHAN

though this dictum may seem ancient as it was written in the book The Medium is the Message: An Inventory of Effects in 1967, today we are witnessing that its predictions have become a reality. TV, video, medical scanners or CT Scans, ATM machines, closed-circuit television (CCTV) security equipment, computers, games, cell phones, and the internet not only surround us, but without our being conscious of it the new media have changed the way we look at reality and the way we act. In many cases, media technology has created a new reference, a kind of understanding never before known. ▶ 10.1 ▶ 10.2 ▶ 10.3

Do you remember when Habibie gave his testimony from Germany in a virtual trial—about giving up East Timor—held in a courtroom in South Jakarta in 1999?[1] The video conferencing technology which was used dismissed how we define the physical presence of a witness, and virtual presence promptly became part of jurisprudence. In this event, space-time on two different continents was united by a media machine in a definition of real-time. From this immaterial presence, we can also understand why the Bali bombing terrorists didn’t have to be blown apart themselves. They simply sacrificed a cheap cell phone and altered the ringtone to become a long-distance bomb triggering device. Clearly that event was a crushing blow to our sense of humanity. But there is still a bitterness left by these violence worshiping Laskar (militants) as if they are mocking us. While the mainstream celebrates the cell phone as a lifestyle gadget, they expertly exploited this media technology to become a political statement. ▶ 10.4

Krisna Murti is widely considered a pioneer of video and new media arts in Indonesia. This essay was first published in Essays on Video Art and New Media: Indonesia and Beyond, a collection of Murti’s essays on video and new media culture published by the Indonesian Visual Arts Archive in 2009. The essay was originally written in Indonesian, and the translator has not been identified. [1] Habibie was Suharto’s Vice President. He took over as President after Suharto’s resignation and was in office when East Timor was granted independence from Indonesia.

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10.2 Wayang Machine (video still), Krisna Murti, date unknown. Courtesy of Indonesian Visual Arts Archive. Like FX Harsono, Krisna Murti is considered a pioneer of contemporary and new media arts in Indonesia. Murti’s work beautifully blends traditional arts into a new media vocabulary, creating new ideas and questions about Indonesian and Javanese culture.

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10.3

10.4

Blank Spot on My TV (detail),

Losing Face (video still),

FX Harsono, 20 digital prints,

Krisna Murti, single channel

30 cm × 40 cm, edition of 5,

video, 1993–2000. Courtesy of

2003. Courtesy of FX Harsono

Indonesian Visual Arts Archive.

and Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

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10.5 Intercourse, Tromarama, two channel video, 4’10”, 2015. Courtesy of Tromarama and Edouard Malingue Gallery. Tromarama is an artist collective established in Bandung, West Java, in 2006. The three artists in the collective—Febie Babyrose, Ruddy Hatumena, and Herbert Hans—are all graduates of the famous fine arts program at the Bandung Institute of Technology. There work often explores the nature of digital reality, and how this shapes our lives today. 10.6 Dark Play, Jompet Kuswidananto, photographs series, 2016. Courtesy of Jompet Kuswidananto. Jompet Kuswidananto, like FX Harsono, is an artist whose work expands beyond the boundaries of a single medium. With a background in music and a degree in Communications from the Political Science program at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Jompet is a self-taught artist. His work challenges our perceptions of sound, the body, and the history of Indonesia. This series, Dark Play, documents tattoos removed with laser procedures. Within the context of Jompet’s work, the photographs become metaphors for the scars, symbols, and pain at the heart of Indonesian culture.

BEYOND VISUAL CULTURE Functionalism and entertainment seem to define our mainstream society’s relationship with the new media. The fact is we are consumers not innovators. Another point is that perhaps we never experienced reading culture (books), listening culture (radio), audio-visual culture (TV), and cyber culture (internet) in that consecutive order. As a result, when we entered into the last two cultures mentioned, we were gasping or even greedy. ▶10.5 TV is a passive medium which doesn’t provide an opportunity for analysis like when reading a book. The way individual perception operates makes us unable to differentiate between fact and fiction in the infamous gossip show or reality shows. At this point, many television experts worry about the impact on our collective knowledge. But that is TV culture: a visual language resembling a mantra that produces repetitious imagery and icons rather than careful analysis. Leisure is then at the forefront, which also happens in games, the nephew of TV media. In game centers at malls, we often see young people dancing around in front of monitors, even though they rare not watching in the sense of watching specific programs or shows. Media games go beyond visual culture because the texts, pictures, and sounds have changed the definition of a performance to the buttons of media machines which trigger the movements of those who access them. This interface. Citing the new media expert, Lev Manovich, people in the digital age are bound to a kind of contract between themselves and a machine or an individual and a kind of interactivity. Digital technology perfects that interactivity, for example through webcam. Amongst young people in China, according to news reports, there’s a mania of using network cameras for intimate relations with anonymous partners, without knowing their citizenship, and without physical contact. This can happen because the interface makes it possible for here-now realities to occur and can give the simulated body meaning that is as important as the real body. Then they slip away to the boundaries of public and private space from the paradox of this electronic connection. Could new behavior like this be taking place in Indonesia? ▶ 10.6 HEGEMONY TO GUERILLA ACTION Many experts believe that technology is neutral. But in the application of media and information technology there is a power struggle amongst the government, corporations, and the people. Indonesia entered into the new media culture at the time that TVRI was established in 1962.[2] Until 1987, when the first private TV stations began, two government regimes con[2]

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TVRI is the state-owned and operated TV station for the Republic of Indonesia.

10 ▶ NEW MEDIA CULTURE

trolled public information and media distribution. In Suharto’s regime, TV functioned as nationalist propaganda in line with those in power and was even used by them as a public relations tool. When attempts were made to fortify authoritarianism through censorship of the mass media, global TV and internet broke through the domination with alternative networks and a different system of presentation. The existence of warnets (neighborhood internet cafes), according to cyber anthropologist Merlyna Lim,[3] provided an alternative public space for young people to subvert the hegemony of power, shoulder to shoulder with the reformasi movement on the streets and at the parliament building.[4] In this crisis situation, the new media culture overthrew the authorities, and at the same time demonstrated the shaping of a new generation’s identify outside the scenario of the establishment. ▶ 10.7 This guerilla movement spirit was also happening in the arts. Electronic Disturbance Theater, a group of hacker artists in Mexico, actively intervened with the official government website to support the Zapatista’s movement for autonomy. They created mailing lists asking anyone, anywhere, to participate. In another way, their art project of hacking works to creatively scramble and reformat the information on the site. They continued to use their energy as artists to crack the domination of information in the international media arts festival in Linz, Austria, directing it at the sites of the Pentagon and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. What is unique is that these two institutions attacked back using the same technology and network. Democratization took place in cyberspace, circumventing a physical confrontation in real space! ▶ 10.8 Hole in the Earth (2003–2004) is internet art in an open space, manifesting artist Maki Ueda’s imaginings as a child that the earth is not round, nor is it flat. And to reach a distant place, the young Maki would have to dig a hole in the earth. This dream became a reality when Maki made two internet wells that were connected: one in the Islamic boarding school Pesantren Daarut Tauchid, Bandung (directed by Aa Gym[5]) and the other in a city park in Rotterdam. What happened? Anyone from either place could take a peek inside and then have a dialog about the time difference, the weather, their identity, if necessary using gestures to communicate. Even personal debates took place about issues such as why a woman here wears a headscarf or in the Netherlands they wear tight fitting cloths, and without censorship. Here it was not just equality and openness that made people able to express things [3] Merlyna Lim is scholar interested in the impact of new media technologies in nonWestern contexts. She currently works in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University, serving as Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society, https://carleton.ca/sjc/profile/lim-merlyna/. [4] For more information on reformasi see Chapter 9, Reflections on Reformasi Photography (from the Vantage Point of the 2014 Elections). [5] A leading religious leader and media evangelist in Indonesia.

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10.7 Destruction (video still), FX Harsono, single channel video with sounds, 6’26”, edition of 5 with 2 AP, 1997. Originally a performance piece, Destruction has since become an iconic piece by FX Harsono. His face painted like a traditional mask, this piece challenged the Suharto regime and the roots of Javanese culture. Destruction was originally performed as part of an exhibition at the Cemeti Art House called Slot in the Box, an exhibition questioning the integrity of the Indonesian electoral system and the power of Suharto. In speaking of this exhibition, FX Harsono once said, “The process of demolition, destruction, and burning colored my work from April 1997… My aim was to illustrate to the audience with the hope that of an emergence of awareness that all conflicts carried out with militaristic means will have victims, and that the manipulation of information will give rise to the fabrication of history.” The video documentation lives on as representation of the guerilla tactics of the New Art Movement.

10.8 (Re)Collection of Togetherness stage 6, Tintin Wulia, game performance and installation with handmade passports and unsynchronized video projection, dimensions variable, 2011. Installation view at Transfigurations: Indonesian Mythologies, Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris. Courtesy of Tintin Wulia and Milani Gallery. Tintin Wulia was born in Bali, and received a degree in composition from the Berkelee College of Music in Boston, MA and architecture from Katolik (Catholic) Parahyangan in Bandung, West Java, before receiving a PhD in Arts Practice from the University of Melbourne in Australia. She was included in the 2017 Venice Biennale. Her work works across media, employing digital and video technologies, to explore questions of nationalism, conflict, and identity.

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that are private (secret), but this art event seemed to signal that the myth of centralistic teachings on life in religious institutions is not absolute. ▶10.9 Democratization has indeed been the primary issue since the first generation of new media art, in the genre of video art, like the work done by Nam June Paik and Frank Gillette, with the deconstruction of TV culture and resistance through alternative TV in the 1960s. The question once again of the validity of authority is being directed by new media users at CCTV, technology that was originally developed for the military. The use of this security equipment is now also required by the Jakarta municipal government, especially in offices and shopping centers. The good intentions to prevent crime—terrorism?—ironically in a discriminatory way position the public as the ones being monitored, rather than the other way around. According to cultural expert John Fiske (USA), this surveillance machine can be applied to anyone, including the behavior of the police. ▶ 10.10 NEW REFERENCE The new media in Indonesia have not been seriously considered even though we’ve been under its influence for over forty years. In everyday life, the new media have already been proven to be helpful in our work and play, yet it is still lacking in many ways as a tool for broader cultural expression. Our limited awareness about our relationship with this new environment makes it difficult for us to see (and also criticize) ourselves and our fast-changing lives. It’s most unfortunate that the Jakarta Biennale 2006—in which new media art was exhibited—missed the opportunity, because all the focus was on making a case about routine visual arts activities, rather than on the new media for an understanding of changes in our modern society which is full of influences from the spread of visual culture. This became perfectly clear in the seminar session that centered around discussion on the use of the wrong terminology new, which implies digging up the old trauma of the innovation in visual arts like what took place in 1974. Whereas, what is more essential is to understand the new media culture: the language, behavior, reality, norms, and new laws. A challenge for a new reference we can share today and in the future. ▶ 10.11 ▶ 10.12 ▶ 10.13 ▶ 10.14 ▶ 10.15 ▶ 10.16

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10.9 Nous ne notons pas les fleurs (We Do Not Notice the Flowers), Tintin Wulia, game performance and installation with growing flowers in pots, surveillance camera, time-lapse app, and two channel unsynchronized video, variable dimensions, 2011. Interaction view at Kaap. Courtesy of Tintin Wulia, Kaap/Stichting Storm, and Milani Gallery.

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10.10 War of Java, Do You Remember #2, Jompet Kuswidananto, video still, 5’53”, 2008. Mixing video, kuda lumping (flat horse, a traditional Javanese dance), and a colonial era sugar factory, this video creates a remarkably poetic perspective on the complex narratives about the history of Javanese culture. 10.11 War of Java, Do You Remember #2, Jompet Kuswidananto, video still, 5’53”, 2008.

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10.12 The Landscaper, Mella Jaarsma, single channel video, 3’40” (custom-made with wood, paint, and leather—wooden panels carved by Pengho and painted by Anex at Jatiwangi) still photographed by Mie Cornoedus, 2013. From the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Courtesy of Mella Jaarsma. Co-founder of the Cemeti Art House, Mella Jaarsma’s work has defied boundaries and worked across media. As a curator and educator, she has worked to develop venues and an audience for photography and mew media alike.

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10.13 Open Your Mouth, FX Harsono, photoetching on paper, 57 cm × 219 cm, 2002. Courtesy of FX Harsono and Tyler Rollins Fine Art. FX Harsono is an incredibly prolific and innovative artist that works beyond the confines of traditional boundaries, often working with new media and digital technologies.

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10.14 Space Within Time #11, I am Forever, Prilla Tania, stop motion video with chalk drawing, 1’46”, 2012. Prilla Tania makes playful, innovative videos that combine new media and low tech image construction, often with simple tools like chalk drawing or cut paper.

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10.15

10.16

TV Lovers, Angki Purbandono,

The Lost One, Tromarama, single

installation composed of photo

channel video, 4’36”, 2013.

transparencies mounted in light

The Lost One is a very funny,

boxes, dimensions variable, 20??.

lively video that explores the

Courtesy of Angki Purbandono.

space between individual and group

An incredibly prolific artist,

identities. Tromarama use a variety

Angki Purbadono uses a variety

of different visual strategies in

of photographic and digital

developing their work. This video

technologies to analyze,

is a stop motion animation composed

question, and record life

with hundreds of still photographs.

in contemporary Java.

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C HAPT E R 11

DEVELOPMENT OF PHOTOGRAPHIC EDUCATION IN INDONESIA

Soeprapto Soedjono

As

a matter of discourse, education requires a rational philosophical base for the implementation of an ongoing and sustainable teaching and learning processes. This premise is based on the belief that a philosophical concept of education requires direction and meaning in relation to the people involved, and that the act of education is carried out in a continuous manner that can be developed according to the demands of the times. ▶11.1

Because of the impact of colonialism, the early history of photography in Indonesia is bound to a European vision, as the Dutch had penetrated so deeply into the workings of the homeland. Early photographers working with the Dutch—including Jurriaan Munnich, Adolph Schaefer, Isidore van Kinsbergen, Woodbury & Page—devoted their work to the needs of the colonial government, often collaborating with archaeologists, geologists, and anthropologists.[1] Out of necessity these photographers had to work with indigenous leaders, which ultimately brought them into greater contact with Indonesian communities. The first Indonesian to emerge in photography during the 19th century is none other than Kassian Céphas, the court photographer for the Sultanate in Yogyakarta.[2] He opened a photography studio in Lodji Ketjil, Yogyakarta. In addition to portraits of the royal family, Céphas' work also includes archaeological photographs of Borobudur, Prambanan and its reliefs, as well as several buildings in the Sultan's palace of in Yogyakarta. ▶11.2 In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most of the amateur photographers working in Indonesia were ethnic Chinese, due in part to close relationships between Chinese and Dutch communities during the colonial era. Chinese were able to develop commercial photography studios in the major cities across the country. Likewise, during World War II the Japanese developed a dominating presence in Indonesian photography. However, the Japanese presence did not last long because after the war they left a minimal footprint in the archipelago. It is typically assumed that the Japanese used photography for espionage while occupying Indonesia.

Soeprapto Soedjono was born in Java but received his advanced education in the United States. After finishing an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a PhD in Comparative Arts from the University of Ohio, he returned to Java. He has since been instrumental in creating photographic education in Indonesia. [1] For more information on these photographers see Chapter 1, The Invention of Photography, the Netherlands, and the Dutch East Indies, or Chapter 2, Journeys Completed and Journeys to Come in Indonesian Photography. [2] There is more information on Kassian Céphas in Chapters 1 and 2, and Gerrit Knapp compiled a thorough study of the photographer and his work, Céphas, Yogyakarta: Photography in the Service of the Sultan.

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11.1 Dua Persona (Two Personas), Soeprapto Soedjono, color photograph, (dimensions unknown), 2004. Courtesy of Soeprapto Soedjono. One of the primary originators of photographic education in Java, Soedjono is an accomplished street photographer. With an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and a PhD in Comparative Arts from the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University, Soedjono has a remarkably unique background, and his been an essential figure in the development of contemporary photography and photographic education in Indonesia.

11.2 A portrait of Pak Soeprapto Soedjono featured on the cover of Bersama Menyigi dan Meneroka: Fotografi, Media, dan Seni, date unknown. Courtesy of Soeprapto Soedjono and the Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta (Indonesian Institute of Art).

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Up to and even beyond the Japanese occupation, no attempt had been made for special photographic education, neither formal nor informal. Even if there were, it might be more vocational, or courses for hobbyists who later developed it towards professional/commercial photography, especially for developing portrait studios. But it is clear from the number of photo studios developed throughout the 20th century that photographic knowledge was passed through families to maintain small, family-run businesses. At the time of independence and the creation of the Republic of Indonesia, there was a rising number of photojournalists, professional Indonesian photographers working for newspapers and magazines. This proved an important transition in the history of photography in Indonesia as it increased public exposure to the medium, and developed a more native vision. Photography provided factual illustrations in the printed media in circulation around the archipelago. Some of the daily papers started using photographs even before independence. ▶ 11.3 Most well-known among Indonesian photo journalists are the Mendur brothers (Alex & Frans Mendur) and IPPHOS (Indonesian Press Photos Service) in Jakarta.[3] The Mendur brothers and IPPHOS recorded many important events leading to the independence of the Republic of Indonesia. Not much is known about their photographic education. It is assumed that Alex Mendur learned photography from several fellow foreign photo journalists in Jakarta, and Frans learned from Alex.[4] ▶ 11.4 The use of photography in magazines and newspapers extended more broadly throughout print media. As photojournalism developed, photography was increasingly used in advertisements in newspapers and magazines. This created a whole new class of professional photographers working to fulfill these needs. Photographic education is complimentary to any education in visual communication or design, seen in universities throughout Indonesia. Given that photographic education is so pervasive abroad, it seemed appropriate to address a broader, more comprehensive discourse on photographic education in Indonesia. In 1994, ISI (Institut Seni Indonesia—Indonesian Institute of Art) created the first degree program in photography. Developed in the FSMR (Fakultas Seni Media Rekam—Department of Media Arts) offering a Bachelor of Arts degree, with the first students matriculating in 1998. The Media Arts program was the first established within the [3] For more information on the Mendur brothers and IPPHOS see Chapter 6, A Short History of IPPHOS. [4] In 2013, Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo and the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism released IPPHOS Remastered, a thorough history of the Mendur brothers and the photo organization. Included is information on how the Mendur brothers learned photography and started their careers.

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11.3

11.4

Untitled, Kassian Céphas,

Untitled, IPPHOS, gelatin

gelatin silver print,

silver photograph,

13.6 cm × 9.6 cm, c. 1880.

1962. Courtesy of

Courtesy of the National

Perpustakaan Nasional

Gallery of Australia,

Indonesia (National

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Library of Indonesia). Founded by the Mendur brothers, IPPHOS (Indonesian Press Photographic Service) were a pioneering force in Indonesian photojournalism.

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11.5 Untitled, IPPHOS, gelatin silver photograph. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Nasional Indonesia (National Library of Indonesia).

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11.6 From the series Tut Wuri Handayani, Jim Allen Abel, C-print mounted on aluminum, 110 cm × 165 cm, 2009. Courtesy of Jim Allen Abel. A founding member of MES 56 (see Chapter 13), Jim Allen Abel was a member of one of the first graduates with a degree in photography from ISI Yogyakarta.

state university system. Historically this program was established under the academic conditions of ISI Jogja—which initially had three academic programs, the Department of Fine Arts, the Department of Performing Arts, and a Non-Degree Program)—in accordance with institutional requirements and by-laws. Based on an evaluation by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, the existence of a non-degree program was deemed inappropriate for a state-certified institution. Thus the Non-Degree Program was dissolved, terminated in 1990. With only two programs left—Fine Arts and Performing Arts—ISI Jogja was no longer working in accord with the original charter establishing the institution and was immediately charged to develop an alternative. A proposal was submitted for the FSMR with two majors: Photography and Television. At the time, its establishment answered the needs of the educational community for graduates with the ability to work not only in art but also with a contemporary, insightful understanding of technology. ▶ 11.5 Both administrative and academic preparations ensued in creating FSMR. In developing the Photography Studies Program, ISI Jogja sent Dr. Surisman Marah to Australia for one month to visit several different photography programs at academic institutions around the country. The visit was intended to provide reference points and criteria for a new academic and educational experience. The television program was based on the program already established at the Jakarta Art Institute (IKJ), with input from several television stations in Jakarta as well. The proposed formation of the FSMR at ISI Jogja was finally approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture/Directorate of Higher Education, with the Ministry of Education offering a formal decree in October 1993. Teaching in the program began during the 1994–1995 academic year. The first initiatives in the classroom were overseen by Professor R.M. Soedarsono—at the time serving as the second Rector of ISI Yogyakarta—with Dr. Sun Ardi (Dean of the Department of Fine Arts), Dr. Surisman Marah, and Ali Shahab, a renowned filmmaker from Jakarta. Currently in its 24th year, the curriculum of FSMR has continued to evolve. ▶ 11.6 Rapid changes in the medium of photography have resulted in many changes to the photography program in FSMR. The Photography Studies Program has continued to process and work towards its goals, contributing to the establishment of photography across Indonesia. Since organizing a formal S-1 (Bachelors) photography education in 1994, the Photography Studies Program, FSMR ISI Yogyakarta, has graduated approximately 300 undergraduates, who are now spread across the country within various professions as well. Some of these students continued to study S2 (Masters) and S3 (Doctorates), some have opened professional photography studios,

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11.7 A page from Rekam: Jurnal Fotografi Televisi Animasi (Record: Journal of Photography, Television and Animation), Vol. 12, No. 1, 2016. Courtesy of Irwandi, Soeprapto Soedjono and ISI Yogyakarta. The page illustrates student work and the content of courses held at ISI Yogyakarta on lighting and expressive photography.

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11.8 Piramid (Pyramid), Risman Marah, inkjet print, 110 cm × 150 cm, 2014. Courtesy of Soeprapto Soedjono and ISI Yogyakarta. An example of student work from ISI Yogyakarta as they keep their curriculum in accord with the technological changes of the early 21st century.

some work as lecturers at public and private art colleges, some as freelance photographers, and some switched professions and developed in other fields. ▶ 11.7 ▶ 11.8 Developing the photography program was not without its challenges. In the beginning it was difficult to find qualified lecturers; none of the first professors in the program had a background in photography or photographic education. The first Dean, Dr. Surisman Marah, was trained as a painter; Dr. Soeprapto Soedjono studied photography, advertising, and visual communication at the Art Institute of Chicago and the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University; Dr. Parsuki and Dr. Irlanto Soedomo both held degrees in advertising. In an effort to overcome these limitations, we recruited a number of photographic experts and practitioners willing to contribute their energy and knowledge to the advancement of the department. Several people were recorded within the department as Tenaga Pengajar Luar Biasa (TPLB—Extraordinary Teachers), including Dr. Sun Ardi, Dr. Soebroto, and Dr. Titoes Libert, as well as many outside visitors and teachers, among them S. Setiawan, Johnny Hendarta, Don Hasman, Octo Lampito, Rama Surya, Herry Gunawan, Tantyo Soekadar, Darwis Triadi, Ferry Ardianto, and Oscar Motuloh. Some of these people are still active contributors to the program today.[5] ▶ 11.9 More than just finding people of expertise, early on the photography program struggled with other challenges as well. Among them was developing appropriate facilities with all the necessary equipment and technology for a comprehensive photographic education. Moreover, it was a struggle to develop a strong, critical discourse surrounding photography. In tune with the rest of the program at ISI Jogja, the Photography Studies Program was expected to develop a theoretical framework to support photographic praxis, a challenge when the whole idea of photographic education was still so young. Developing the photography program in FSMR at ISI Jogja in 1994 was a breakthrough, a historical step in art education in Indonesia. Many people offered support, others condemnation. Is photography really needed in undergraduate education? Is it an academic necessity or part of the student activities program? Thus spoke the scorn of many opponents. This is somewhat understandable, because even in the 1990s photography was seen as limited to journalism, commercial or personal pursuits, or simply as a hobby, not as a fine art deserving academic study. Courses like Expressive Photography—a benchmark of the program—seemed strange to many.

[5] Many of these photographers are discussed in Chapter 8, Journalistic Circus: A Look at Photojournalism in Indonesia and the History of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism.

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11.9 Bolehkan tapi Tidak Diijinkan (Allowed but not Permitted), Edial Rusli, (dimensions unknown), inkjet print, 2016. Courtesy of Soeprapto Soedjono and ISI Yogyakarta. A student from ISI Yogyakarta mixing new technology with classical Javanese icons to produce new kinds of images and ideas.

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Dr. Subroto SM and Dr. Surisman Marah, as professors of Expressive Photography, insisted that their students forget the divisions and expectations of conventional photography. Students were encouraged to carry out technical exploration and experimentation with various subject matter. As a result, the students’ work was considered by the public to be strange, eccentric, and jumbled, but nevertheless they worked within established aesthetic paradigms. Some of these experiments were said to be desperate, given the public’s appreciation of such photographs was still very minimal at the time. Within the photographic community at the time, art photos followed well established rules—beautifully made prints with commonly understood technical conventions—and photographs produced more conceptually and with larger aesthetic struggles were overlooked. This was quite different from my own experiences studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1983–85). The result of these experiments has been a much more open attitude towards photographic expression, with students pursuing work with much more pure artistic value because of their freedom to explore conceptual and personal approaches to the medium. Over time the Photography Studies Program at ISI Jogja has come to expect an understanding and pursuit of photography with conceptual merit and nuances, a medium of artistic expression that works with photography but not solely grounded in traditional photographic discourse. Students created their work with freedom and by denying conventions. Some of these students have gone on to work as fully established fine art photographers, developing reputations nationally or even internationally. The development of MES 56—most of whom are alumni of the photo program at ISI Jogja—have made a tremendous impact on the development of contemporary, photographic art in Indonesia and abroad.[6] MES 56 includes some of the first alumni from the Photography Studies Program at ISI Jogja, like Angki Purbandono, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Jim Allen Abel, Abdul Wachid, Rangga Purbaya and others. ▶ 11.10 Additionally, the Photography Studies Program from ISI Jogja initiated various educational activities outside the campus by conducting workshops, seminars, and exhibitions, all to further promote medium around Indonesia. Surisman Marah worked with different amateur photo clubs and universities in Yogyakarta, offering his experiences on teaching photography, and eventually conducted similar activities in different cities around Java (Malang, Surakarta, Bandung, and Purwokerto). To note, the author was also asked to oversee a new photography program in the Fine Arts Department at Trisakti University in Jakarta (USAKTI), a new major in the department in the Fakultas Seni Rupa dan Desain (FSRD—the Department of Fine Arts [6] For more on MES 56 see Chapter 12, MES 56: Souvenirs from the Past, or Chapter 13, The Hybrid Forms in the Practice of the Ruang MES 56 Photography Collective.

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11.10 Jagad Raya #3 (Universe #3), Risman Marah, inkjet print, 110 cm × 150 cm, 2016. Courtesy of Seprapto Soedjono and ISI Yogyakarta. From the beginning, faculty in the photography department encouraged an experimental approach to the medium.

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and Design). The author was also asked to evaluate the S1 (Bachelors) and S2 (Masters) programs at USAKTI. A few years later, together with Surisman Marah, I was invited to Bandung to participate in the inauguration of a Bachelor’s in Photography major at the Pasundan University (UNPAS). Both UNPAS and USAKTI are private universities, and thus marked new developments in photographic education. However, looking at the development of photographic education over time, as well as the breadth of people's knowledge today, we can see how conceptual and contextual photographs have gained an appreciation and position in line with other visual arts. This can be said to be the fruit of the presence of the Photography Studies Program, FSMR ISI Yogyakarta, which since its founding has been actively displaying the works of lecturers and students to the community through a series of photo events held on behalf of the institution, as well as organization of student initiatives, including hosting several photographic competitions, workshops, and seminars. In line with the development of increasing photography praxis activities, it is also important not only to support the need for knowledge and theoretical discourse on photography, but also to support various efforts to enrich scientific studies of photography with different approaches grounded in the humanities and social sciences. All of these things are carried out with the spirit of integrative academic science as stated in the theory of D-B-A-E (Discipline Based Art Education): “Builds on the premise that art can be taught most effectively by integrating content from four basic disciplines—art making, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics (the philosophy of art)—into a holistic learning experience.”[7] This type of approach provides a diverse knowledge base when teaching photography. Among other things, in addition to teaching an art practice, students are introduced to the history of photography, aesthetic and philosophical discussions about art, and also courses on art criticism. This is important for increasing student knowledge and awareness, and for preparing them to be qualified scholars and competent photographers. Recognizing a need, the Soeprapto Soedjono produced a textbook for students, called Pot-Pourri Photography (2006), to provide a foundation for discussions on the theory of photography. Pot-Pourri Photography has become standard in several art colleges and photographic education programs around Indonesia. Because of increased demand, the book is now in its second, revised edition. ▶ 11.11 As the photographic curriculum developed at ISI Yogyakarta, the program began to stabilize and reveal its success. Four years after it began, the [7] Brent Wilson with Donovan R. Walling, Rethinking How Art is Taught: A Critical Convergence, p.19.

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11.11 From the series High Hopes, Wimo Ambala Bayang, digital C-print mounted on aluminium, 110 cm × 100 cm, 2012. Courtesy of Wimo Ambala Bayang. A graduate from the photography program ISI Yogyakarta, Wimo Ambala Bayang is now an artist celebrated internationally, having shown his work in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Korea, and across Southeast Asia.

program graduated its first students with majors in the art of photography. Shortly after, the program began attracting teachers with a stronger formal background in photography. By 2008, more of the faculty in the photography department had received Master’s or even Doctoral degrees in photographic education. In 2009, the author was acknowledged for his contributions as the first professor of photography. At the award ceremony, I delivered a speech entitled Photography in the Constellation of Indonesian Visual Culture in which I discussed the development of photography as a separate constellation in Indonesian visual culture. This address was brief, but eventually published by ISI Yogyakarta. There are currently discussions to expand this text to be a more substantial book for adding the continued development of photographic education in Indonesia. Currently the Photography Studies Program has three teachers with doctorates, plus several with master’s degrees. Dr. Irwandi is currently serving as Chair of the Photography Studies Program at FSMR ISI Yogyakarta, since 2016. Dr. Irwandi is very accomplished as an educator and a photographer. He has published several books aimed at advancing the theoretical and technical discourses in photographic education: Reading Portrait Photography (Membaca Fotografi Potret—2012) and Old Print: Photographic Work Towards a Creative Economy (Karya Fotografi Menuju Ekonomi Kreatif—2011), cowritten with Edial Rusli. ▶ 11.12 With Old Print, Dr. Irwandi has created a photographic practice based on experimental photographic printing using a number of different historical photographic processes. He also created a study group called KOPPI (Keluarga Old Photographic Processes—Family of Old Photographic Processes), in which he and his students work with a number of photographic processes, including albumen, cyanotype, calotype, Van Dyke brown, and several other similar techniques. Dr. Irwandi and KOPPI have successfully spread their interests and expertise to several student groups at different universities in Malang, Surakarta, Bandung and Padang Panjang, earning him the nickname Irwandi Old Print. ▶ 11.13 ▶ 11.14 The photography program at ISI Yogyakarta is continually reassessed, and continually asks how to address the increasing demands and needs of the students. Furthermore, the curriculum at ISI Jogja continues to make a large impact on photographic programs across Indonesia. Consequently, reforming the curriculum and supporting faculty research remain a top priority. To address these issues, we are publishing two academic journals, REKAM and SPECTA, each released twice a year. Both of these journals publish a broad range of research on photography and education. ▶ 11.15 More and more we are seeing the benefits of the Photography Studies Program, FSMR ISI Yogyakarta. High school graduates are increasingly

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11.12

11.13

Soeprapto Soedjono has helped

Selfitasi, Irwandi, cyanotype,

produce a number of different

(dimensions unknown), 2016.

publications to help support

Courtesy of Irwandi.

and develop photographic

With a strong interest in

education in Indonesia.

alternative process photography, Irwandi has brought a new element to photographic education in Yogyakarta.

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11.14 Ibu dan Anak (Mother and Child), Irwandi, cyanotype with Van Dyke brown, (dimensions unknown), 2016. Courtesy of Irwandi.

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showing interest in this program. This has resulted in an increase in our course offerings—specifically in Expressive Photography, Photojournalism, and Commercial Photography—a pattern seen in similar programs around the country. Many of our graduates are now teaching in different art programs at universities and high schools across Indonesia. Many are also pursuing entrepreneurial activities as visual artists, commercial photographers, and designers. There are now a number of other public and private universities granting degrees in photography, including ISI Yogyakarta, ISI Surakarta, ISI Denpasar, ISI Padang Panjang, USAKTI (Trisakti University) Jakarta, IKJ (Institut Kesenian Jakarta—Jakarta Art Institute), and UNPAS (Pasundan University) in Bandung. Of these seven institutions, only three have national accreditation in photography—ISI Yogyakarta, ISI Denpasar, and USAKTI Jakarta. What does this all mean? If nothing else it demonstrates that an academic pursuit of photography will continue to develop in Indonesia, as part of an arts education and to meet the demands of today’s society. As this trend continues, the academic discourse must be developed in a structured and systematic manner. There are a number of ways this can be approached, but the final goal must be targeted towards substantial academic achievement, in a designed and predetermined manner. In any program, there are particular components that must be addressed—the basics of the curriculum (courses offered), human resources, and facilities (computers, software, etc.)—all of which are integrated in such a way as to meet the specified goals. All of these components are essential for an integrated, comprehensive photographic study. The development of these academic standards begins with the entrance exams. At a minimum this begins when a prospective students prepares him/ herself in anticipation for the exam. The test material must be designed to attract students with the appropriate interest/talent for a meaningful photographic education. With the students enrolled, a course program needs to be developed that not only meets the national standards, but also considers the necessary benchmarks for evaluating theoretical and technical competence. For this reason, crucial questions must be answered to solve the various problems facing photographic education.   Some basic questions that arise are: Is the curriculum adequate to justify an academic degree? What is the right balance between technical and conceptual considerations? What are the basic requirements that need to be met for an undergraduate student to be a sufficient, well-rounded photographer? Are there different, local standards for programs scattered around Indonesia? How does the larger institution impact the curriculum of a photography program?

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11.15 Rekam (Record) is a journal published by ISI Yogyakarta to help facilitate discussions on photographic education.

11.16, 11.17, 11.18 An example of student work from UNPAS (Pasundan University). Date and photographer unknown. Courtesy of Regine Ronald and UNPAS.

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11.19 An example of student work from UNPAS (Pasundan University). Date and photographer unknown. Courtesy of Regine Ronald and UNPAS.

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The curriculum is the heart and soul of a program, and essential to the learning process and experience of all of its graduates. When constructing a range of courses, the goal must be both diverse and supportive, so that the collection of courses is both expansive and united towards a common goal. It is essential that an academic curriculum has a mission or philosophy, and can be implemented to achieve predetermined goals. The primary resource in any educational experience is the people. In essence there are three groups interacting in almost any learning process in higher education—students, teachers/lecturers, and administrative staff. Things run most smoothly when all of the bodies synergize with full awareness, and have similar standards as to what constitutes academic success. In many ways the students are the most essential component. Finding students with measurable interest in and talents for photography is important for the success of any program. Think of the students as seeds, and superior seeds are a determining factor for the growth and development of a photography program, and thus in turn the development of photographic culture as they graduate. We made a specific effort to evaluate students before they entered the program at ISI Yogyakarta, to test whether or not they demonstrated the initial competency for an academic degree in photography. These students will go on to become professional photographers and artists, and some even professors themselves, so this type of evaluation ensures the ongoing success of any photographic education. The teaching staff is necessary for measuring the intellectual standards and expertise represented the program. They are the architects of the educational process, passing knowledge between generations based on their own achievements. Teaching requires tremendous dedication and commitment, and all teachers should be active, creative, and full of initiative for guiding their students. Teachers should be role models that will help forge their students, so that the students too can grow into the same kind of expertise, creativity, and initiative demonstrated for them in the classroom. The work by the administrative staff is often less obvious, but still equally as important. The administration helps make sure the facilities and infrastructure necessary for education are in place, including equipment and academic services. When done correctly, this work is an essential part of the daily educational process. Facilities and the physical components of education are not to be undervalued. Building, studios, analog and digital equipment, hardware and software, and research materials are essential for a strong educational experience. Updating and maintaining studio equipment requires considerable attention; photography is a technical medium, and needs the correct resources to build new concepts and

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visual ideas. In our current era, updating equipment and software is a daily challenge, and one that is necessary to ensure a contemporary photographic education. An academic process can run smoothly with all these pieces in place, carried out in a synergistic and sustainable manner. This is really a necessity, so that the targeted goals can be met. In 2000, ISI Yogyakarta started a Masters Postgraduate Program (S2) in photography. A research program, Master’s students must complete a substantial exhibition, with a written report detailing the creative process. There is a plan to continue the Master’s degree program with a Doctorate (S3). This will augment the existing program with an interdisciplinary approach to art and education. Putting all of this together we can see that photographic education has gained academic legitimacy in Indonesia. Before independence, photography was an auxiliary element which served other disciplines (archaeology, geology, anthropology, etc.), really just as a tool for documentation. Later the medium was developed for commercial and portraiture purposes, and as a tool for illustration in journalism. Understanding and uses of the medium have continued to grow since this time, with more creative, practical, vocational uses becoming a part of a contemporary education. Furthermore, the development of the discipline has grown to be more sophisticated, with more advanced study and degrees now available. The postgraduate studies at ISI Yogyakarta is the only new program on photography in Indonesia, the first offering a doctorate degree. Once again ISI Yogyakarta is pioneering education on photography. In addition to the formal, academic training, photographic education in Indonesia has also developed informally with community workshops and more vocational training. There are many such courses emerging in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and Denpasar. These types of courses are typically aimed at more amateur photographers and hobbyists. Worth mentioning among these are the Darwis Triadi School of Photography, established in Jakarta in 2003. The school now has offices in Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, and Denpasar. The school is owned by Darwis Triadi, and teaches fashion and commercial photography. Similarly, the Jakarta School of Photography (JSP) provides private workshops. Managed by Harry Tjiang, since 1999 the JSP has provided training in commercial photography, and now offers courses on drone and aerial photography. Since 2000, TEMPO magazine has been offering courses on photojournalism. Each of these schools is tuition driven, unlike Kelas Pagi Jakarta (KPJ—Morning Class in Jakarta). Established in 2006, KPJ offers free, community-based courses on basic photographic technique. Founded by Anton Ismael, a graduate of RMIT (the Royal Melbourne

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11.20 Hei… Learn to Listen, Soeprapto Soedjono, color photograph, (date and dimensions unknown). Found in Jalan Menuju Media Kreatif #8 (The Road to Creative Media #8).

Institute of Technology) in Australia, these morning workshops are now being held in Yogyakarta and Papua as well. Putting all of this together, we can get a sense as to how photographic education has developed in Indonesia, looking at both the formal academic education as well as at some of the smaller, entrepreneurial schools. Now that it has taken root, I think photography and photographic education will continue to grow throughout Indonesia, and result in the unique possibilities of Indonesian culture manifesting in a larger, global discourse on photography. ▶ 11.16 ▶ 11.17 ▶ 11.18 ▶ 11.19 ▶ 11.20

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C HAPT E R 12

MES 56: SOUVENIRS FROM THE PAST

Wimo Ambala Bayang

12.1 Studio Portrait of Antoinette Westerman and Her Nanny (Babu), Java, 1915–16. Silver gelatin printing-out-paper, 10.1 cm × 6.6 cm. Courtesy of the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam. Photographic Studio: Charis & Co., Semarang Catalog #60027454, Gift of J.H. de Groot-Verschoor van Nisse, 1985. Former collection of A.E.M. Westerman.

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My

mother just received a digital camera. She carries it in her bag everywhere she goes, and often has her pictures taken against the backgrounds of the places she visits, the food she eats, or simply pictures of herself wearing the clothes she has just bought. One day I asked her why she liked being photographed so much. She answered, “Photographs are a way for me to exist forever.”

This statement about photography and mortality is similar to Susan Sontag’s observation about memento mori. In her book On Photography, Sontag wrote: “To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” Different from film, photography has a poetic charge, full of nostalgia and sentiment because it is a slice of time, not a flow. Each still photograph is a privileged moment that is transformed into a slim object that can be kept and looked at again and again. Through her own efforts, my mother consciously photographs herself and the objects she finds appealing; by taking pictures she remembers and even reminds others that she once existed, and will continue to exist. My mother’s answer also reminds me of George Eastman, founder of Kodak in 1934, who developed an intriguing marketing concept that was summarized in the slogan: “Kodak doesn’t sell film: it sells memories.” ▶ 12.1 The notion of existing in photography is related to how reality is represented. It is also related to how memories of the past are constructed. During its infancy, camera technology was considered as capable of recording reality perfectly, and photographs were therefore often used as scientific proof. Over the years, scholars have rigorously critiqued these ideas of photographic objectivity. A photograph constitutes a choreographed visual record: to take pictures is to select what one wants to present in a single frame. When a photographer takes a picture, her or she is not capturing reality, but is constructing it instead. ▶ 12.2 Presented with a collection of photographs taken in photographic studios in the Netherlands East Indies from 1860 to 1940, I tried to focus on how This essay was first published in Photographs of the Netherlands East Indies at the Tropenmuseum in 2012. The book focuses on colonial era photography held at the Tropenmuseum in the Netherlands, with an epilog written by Wimo Ambala Bayang, a founding member of the influential contemporary arts collective MES 56. While the intention of the essay is simply to address the substance of colonial photography, in a different context the essay reads like a mission statement for MES 56, to create a truly Indonesian vision for photography.

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12.2 Studio portraits nudes, Isidore van Kinsbergen, photographs mounted to both sides of card, 19 cm × 15.8 cm (image), 20.1 cm × 16.5 cm (sheet), 1865. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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these photographs have articulated reality and memory. Unlike my mother’s photographs, an individual who has been represented through her own pictures, these images are not representations of individuals. Instead, we see only surfaces, facades of human types: an itinerant satay seller wearing a broad woven bamboo hat, surrounded by three customers, each of who holds a stick of satay; two sarong wearing, bare-chested females, each with a bamboo basket on her head; and two frowning men wearing sarongs, standing beneath broad banana leaves as if protecting themselves from rain. All these scenes were reconstructed in a photographer’s studio. When taking pictures of locals in a studio, the colonial photographers were trying to focus their attention on the symbols of status while maintaining their distance from the subjects of the photographs. What was interesting for the photographer was not who was being photographed, but what the person was wearing or carrying, or what he or she was doing: these were the things the photographers found unusual. They were collecting cultural artefacts of a colony. Viewed with the perception of a conventional anthropologist, these pictures framed Orientals, or in this case Indonesians, as primitive tribes in a distant land who were disconnected from the progress of the age. ▶ 12.3 Imagining how photographers selected and constructed reality in their studios provides insights into how the West viewed the East at that time. Yet, in my reading of these images, I also see frightened expressions and rigid or awkward gestures. While more research would be required to investigate the relationships between the photographer and the persons who were portrayed, I am inclined to ask whether these subjects were photographed under duress. Were they paid like photographic models? I suggest that their discomfort might be indirect forms of defense or resistance. The photographers could direct their poses, clothes, and backgrounds, but the subjects’ expressions did not lie. When these photographs were published, was it true that they were cultural artefacts representing clothes and culture? I think that the fear and rigidity of the subjects reflected their perception that colonization had forced them to become the other—they were nothing more than mere primitive curiosities. Compare this to the efforts of the offspring of wealthy aristocrats who had access to camera technology, which enabled them to portray themselves more simply in unpretentious poses in extravagant costumes. These pictures were intended to display their pride and dignity. Although the West might see such images and the people they portray as exotic, for me this effort contrasted the image that was constructed by Western photographers. Like my mother, they started portraying themselves in an attempt to exist in their own way. The studio photographs in the Tropenmuseum collection remind

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me of a corner near the cashier’s compartment in the Mirota Batik souvenir shop at the end of Jalan Malioboro, in Yogyakarta. Mirota Batik sells a wide array of arts and crafts such as sculptures, batik clothing and fabric, key chains, and postcards. One series in the collection intrigues me: the series of olden days pictures that depict the Indonesian archipelago of yore. One of the pictures in the series is an itinerant locksmith carrying his equipment in two containers hanging from a yoke over his shoulders. The picture was taken in a studio against a background of the tropical rainforest. The style of this photograph is similar to that of some other images in the Tropenmuseum collection, and I think it was part of a group of photographs. What is interesting is why these old photographs were deemed valuable, either aesthetically or as mementos, and worthy of being made into postcards. Also, I was interested in why they circulated in Indonesia. Considering that the photographs were certainly produced by colonial or Dutch photographers, it means that ultimately, we Indonesians also perceive the reality of our past from a Western perspective. Much like Kassian Céphas, who took his photographs from a Western perspective, we also experience the pictures like a Dutch visitor to Indonesia. Apparently, the only visual records we have of the nation’s past are found in trivial exotic souvenirs. This publishing project by the Tropenmuseum is a highly valuable effort and needs to be seen as a way to contextualize the collection, which is treated with great care and examined with attention to history. ▶ 12.4 It remains important, however, not only to discover and analyze photographs of Indonesia taken by colonial photographers, but to pay particular attention to photographs made by Indonesians. In this way we can better understand how Orientals perceived their own identity. ▶ 12.5 ▶ 12.6 ▶ 12.7 The Javanese aristocrat, Raden Ajeng Kartini already expressed this sentiment in one of her letters published posthumously in the book titled Door duisternis tot licht (Through the Darkness to the Light, 1990): “I often wish I had photographic equipment and was able to take pictures of our people—in ways that only I could do, not in the ways of the European. There are so many things that I want to convey in words and in pictures so that the European can see the true image of us, the Javanese.” ▶ 12.8 ▶ 12.89 ▶ 12.10 ▶ 12.11 ▶ 12.12 ▶ 12.13 ▶ 12.14

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12.3 Sekolah Jawa (Javanese School), from the series Unfolded City, Ruang MES 56, 2005. Courtesy of MES 56. Unfolded City is a series of postcards produced by MES 56. To make these postcards, colonial era photographs were altered by inserting contemporary artefacts into these scenes of the past. The completed postcards challenge ideas of memory and the role of the colonial past in contemporary Javanese culture.

12.4 Kantor Pos (Post Office), from the series Unfolded City, Ruang MES 56, 2005. Courtesy of MES 56. The back of each of the postcards produced by MES 56 reads, “Unfolded City is crashing the perception of time, between Jogja city today and beyond. The representation of past time always stands in a romantic way without imagining or reconstructing it to be ‘beyond today.’ It means, we’re trying to create a virtual reality of Jogja city today which is still in past time.” The MES 56 postcards are reminiscent of the famous quote by William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

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12.5 A colonial era postcard of the kraton Yogyakarta, photographer and date unknown. Collection of the author.

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12.6

12.7

Studio Portrait of a Chinese

Cabinet Card Photograph with Signed

Locksmith, Java 1890–95. Siver

Portraits of the Three Sisters

gelatin printing-out paper,

Kartini, Kardinah, and Roekmini,

21.2 cm × 28.5 cm. Courtesy of

collodion printing-out paper,

the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.

10 cm × 14.5 cm, c. 1900. Courtesy

Photographic Studio: H. Salzwedel

of the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.

Catalog #60022746.

Photographic Studio: Charls,

Provenance: H. de Booy.

Van Es & Co. Catalog #60033327. Purchase: H.L. van der Kamp, 1999. Kartini (on the left), or more commonly Raden Adjeng Kartini, was a prominent figure in colonial era Indonesia, pioneering rights for girls and women in Indonesia. She is most well known for her letters, published in two books, Out of Darkness to Light and Letters of a Javanese Princess. Today, Kartini’s birthday (April 21) is a national holiday in Indonesia.

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12.8 Keren dan Beken, portrait produced from the project, MES 56, 2003. Courtesy of MES 56.

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12.9 Reprinted from Landing Soon #7, Wimo Ambala Bayang, zine, 22.5 cm × 15 cm, 36 pages, published by Cemeti Art House, 2008. Courtesy of Cemeti Art House. Wimo Bayang is found member of MES 56. Landing Soon #7 catalogs some of his early work, including Belanda Sudah Dekat (The Dutch are Close), a very funny but insightful series of pictures made with a broad cross-section of Javanese, from weight-lifters, Muslim students, farmers, police officers, and transvestites, all posing with toy guns, ready to battle the history of colonialism. 12.10 Reprinted from Landing Soon #7, Wimo Ambala Bayang, zine, 22.5 × 15cm, 36 pages, published by Cemeti Art House, 2008. Courtesy of Cemeti Art House. Like Belanda Sudah Dekat, the pictures in We Are Everybody Else work with a cross-section of Javanese citizenry, and with Wimo’s humor brings insight into the shared difficulties of everyday life. 12.11 Landing Soon #1, Angki Purbandono, zine, 22.5 cm × 15 cm, 34 pages, published by the Cemeti Art House, 2007. Courtesy of Cemeti Art House. Located in Yogyakarta, the Cemeti Art House has long been at the center of the Indonesian contemporary art scene. For years, Cemeti has supported artists with exhibitions, residencies, and publications. Angki Purbandono, one of the founding members of MES 56, worked at Cemeti between November 2006–January 2007. This zine, Landing Soon #1, part of a series documenting artists in residence at Cemeti, reproduces some Angki’s investigation of photographs purchased at flea markets around Java. Like so many artists before them, Cemeti helped bring the work of the MES 56 artists into the Javanese contemporary art scene.

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12.12

12.13

Mella Jaarsma and Nindityo

Arahmaiani, from the series

Adipurnomo, from the series

Second Pose, Ruang MES 56,

Second Pose, Ruang MES 56,

C-Print, 26 cm × 64.5 cm,

C-Print, 26 cm × 64.5 cm,

2008. Courtesy of MES 56.

2008. Courtesy of MES 56. Second Pose is a series of portraits of Javanese artists made on the streets of Yogyakarta. The portraits are an attempt to not only highlight the artists living in Jogja, but also to provide some indication of the role artists have in defining perceptions of the city, people and culture.

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12.14 Ugo Untoro, from the series Second Pose, Ruang MES 56, C-Print, 26 cm × 64.5 cm, 2008. Courtesy of MES 56.

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C HAPT E R 13

HYBRID FORMS IN THE PRACTICE OF THE RUANG MES 56 PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTIVE Adelina Luft

It

was October 2014, my first year of living in Yogyakarta, when I visited Ruang MES 56 (ruang meaning space) at the invitation of Wimo Ambala Bayang, one of the founding members. The collective was just moving into a fairly large space with a front yard on Jl. Mangkuyudan, near the touristic cluster of the city in the southern part of Yogyakarta, or simply known as Jogja. Six years later and looking back at this moment, this year marked a significant transition in the life and configuration of the collective as it entered a different phase by settling in a new space with long-term commitments. In 2020, the rental was extended for another decade and was completely renovated using governmental funds.

Ruang MES 56 was officially initiated in 2002 as a collective of photography students who shared ideas, views, materials, and a dormitory space where they began experimenting with contemporary photography techniques and concepts. It included a handful of students from the Photography Department at Institut Seni Indonesia or ISI (Indonesian Art Institute) in Yogyakarta, and slowly grew into a small community whose members fluctuated from just a few to two dozens, while its current configuration includes around 17 male artists and cultural producers. The founding members continue to hold active positions as gatekeepers working along with a younger generation of artists who have organically become part of the collective, while others were recruited by former director Woto Wibowo (known as Wok the Rock).[1] Apart from the collective, all members are active contributors to the dynamic local art scene, some taking side jobs or developing projects as managers and organizers, while others became established full-time artists. As one of the most long-lasting art collectives in Indonesia, MES 56’s practice needs to be looked at not only from its relation with the medium of photography, but as a practice of open-ended actions, series, processes and projects.[2] This requires a reflection on the manifold manifestations in which [1] In 2014 MES 56 recruited new members for the first time, on an invitation basis. The new members recruited under director Woto Wibowo (2014–2019) included: Eri Rama Putra, Fajar Riyanto, Gatari Surya Kusuma, and Afil Wijaya. Previous to this, members would instinctively join after occasionally hanging out in the space, showing interest in similar photography practice, desire to mingle, hang out, and being open to work collaboratively. During the early 2000s, members would come and go without strict attachments. After 2010, the collective began to form a clearer membership list that would define the total members involved, a practice kept until today. [2] Marcus Boon and Gabriel Levine (Eds.), “Introduction/The Promise of Practice” in Practice (Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art, the MIT Press, 2018), 12.

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the medium of photography is appropriated by both individuals and the collective as a whole, in its intimate relation with the internal dynamics and external shifting contexts. MES 56’s practice was pioneering in both in the realm of contemporary photography and as an art collective in Indonesia, while their commitment to developing new experiments in photography and a shared creative space has shifted over the years from a loose, ambiguous format, to its current position and function as a grassroots quasi-institution. Since 2014, members developed new programming strategies to reconfigure the working methods and sustainability of the space, yet slowly detaching from the initial spirit of collective artistic production, focusing now towards building an open organization under collective efforts. The current MES 56 space includes a gallery, office, residency dormitories, merchandise shop, and a hang-out area, and has become a fixture of the Jogja art scene, making a lasting, meaningful impact. ▶ 13.1 The various stories of the intricate and multi-layered narrative of MES 56 have been compiled in the book Stories of a Space. Living Expectations: Understanding Indonesian Contemporary Photography Through Ruang MES 56 Practice, released in 2015, a publication serving as ten-year anniversary milestone. It stands as the most significant record of the collective thus far, coming from varied contextual viewpoints, while other oral histories about the “MES Boys”[3] have developed as the collective is now approaching its second decade. This essay wishes to shed additional light on certain hybrid forms that construct the scheme of MES 56 through the collective’s past and current configurations, between the intertwined practices of collectivity and photography. I seize the aforementioned year of 2014 to juxtapose two different decades of practice: between the past five years which I intermittently examined from an empirical posture, and the years of its formation. By juxtaposing we not only contrast the encounters between different spectrums, but we realize they have merged into hybrid forms. MES 56 incorporates both the realm of photography embedded into contemporary art practice and the spectrum of collectivity in post-reformasi Indonesia. While this aspect is treated non-idiosyncratically, other hybrid forms are unfolded in each of the following sections. I begin by reading MES 56 through the relationship between the alumni of ISI Photography Department and the becoming of the quasi-institution, while the second part looks briefly at their collective efforts in using the medium of photography. The third part offers a zoom [3] Ruang MES 56 is often referred to as the “MES Boys” by the large community of artists and friends. The collective is formed by male members and only one female member. This appellation was reinforced in one of the recent group exhibition “The History of Boys: the MES 56 and Beyond—A Survey of Contemporary Photography in Indonesia” curated by Alex Supartono at DECK Singapore in 2017.

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13.1 Profile Portraits of MES 56 Members, Yudha Kusuma Putera (Fehung), 2016. From left to right: Afil Wijaya, Akiq AW, Anang Saptoto, Andri William, Angki Purbandono, Daniel Satyagraha, Dito Yuwono, Edwin Roseno, Fajar Riyanto, Gatari S. Kusuma, Jim Allen Abel, Nunung Prasetyo, Eri Rama, Rangga Purbaya, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Wok the Rock, Yudha Kusuma Putera. (Note: the configuration of the members has changed since this picture was made)

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in into the photography works of each member in a quest for a MES 56 aesthetic practice, opening up the discussion on the manifold manifestations of photography at the intersection with other media and disciplines. ALUMNI OF ISI AND THE QUASI-INSTITUTION In 1994, ISI Yogyakarta first inaugurated the Photography Department at the Faculty of Recording Media Arts, in short FSMR (Fakultas Seni Media Rekam), the second in Indonesia after Jakarta Art Institute in 1992.[4] This achievement was reached after photography in the archipelago aged a century and a half since the first cameras were brought into Java during the Dutch colonial occupation, followed by the series of salon shows organized since 1973, and the nationalist agendas of the photojournalistic groups during the independence years.[5] The opening of the department at ISI with three main specializations in journalism, commercial and “expressive” photography is of particular interest as it set the stage for the first generation of Indonesian artists educated in photography. However, the type of curriculum proposed hardly resuscitated the status of photography at that time. The promotion of yearly graduates turned photography into an instrument for increasing markets in visual consumerism, yet it had unintentionally contributed to building a scenery for new creative artistic outlets. Dr. Subroto SM, one of the founders of the department, argued that photography should be equally placed with other forms of art, such as it had been already embraced by the neighboring department, expressive ceramics.[6] With no formal education in photography, the professors bet on the same pedagogy already shaping the institution: the formation of technically skilled and individual “expressive” art students. Perhaps what drove Subroto was an institutional validation of photography as art, which was previously argued in the Dutch East Indies starting with the 19th century—an endeavor which rapidly failed as “truth” and “beauty” were seen as a painter’s task—and continued throughout the following century.[7] Was the expressive photography department envisioned to educate artists in the style of Edward Weston or Ansel Adams? Or looking more closely at the neighbors among the Malaysian fine art photography

[4] More about the development of these two programs can be found in Chapter 8, Journalistic Circus: A Look at Photojournalism in Indonesia and the History of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism, and Chapter 11 Development of Photographic Education in Indonesia. [5] Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo, “The Challenge of Space: Photography in Indonesia, 1841– 1999”, in Agung Nugroho Widhi (ed.), Stories of a Space. Living Expectations: Understanding Indonesian Contemporary Photography Through Ruang MES 56 Practice (IndoArtNow, 2016), pp 157–167. [6] Brigitta Isabella, “Stories of a Space and Those Who Live in It” in ibidem, p 214. [7] Lucy Soutter, Why Art Photography? (Routledge, 2013), p 4.

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pioneers during 1980s, Eric Peris or Ismail Hashim? Or were they aiming for a grassroots aesthetics through personal “expressive” lens? There are no certain answers to these questions. Precisely from this ambiguity, the students enrolled in what I now call an academic experiment which has, instead, led to the birth of surrogate practices of photography, alternative to the wider institutional landscape yet rooted in the academia’s photography darkrooms. What was broadly certain about the inauguration of this department was to differentiate from the long lasting practices of photo journalism and salon photography, yet with no specific vision or discursive ambition to create a new art practice. ▶ 13.2 These alternative forms, drawn from the academic experimentations, were being cultivated in the student boys’ dormitory located on 56 Jalan Kolonel Mess Auri Sugiyono as early as 1996. Angki Purbandono was among the first students enrolled in the photography department, followed by Wimo Ambala Bayang two years later, both involved in setting the foundation of the collective from the very dormitory (together with former members Bayu Handojo, Iskandar, or Rangga Purbaya, to name just a few). The rented rooms and their shared living space were used as studios for experimentations, a gallery space, and to a very large extent as a hang-out area. Being rapidly populated by other aspiring photographers and friends who shared similar visions and the know-how of hanging out in a “Mes style” provided the set-up for organizing the first group exhibition in the dormitory walls: Langkah (translated as The Step) in 1997, prior to the official formation of the artist collective in 2002. In one of my many encounters with the collective in recent years, I was told how during that time cameras had been switched among members, sold to cover printing costs, or even completely nonexistent at a certain time, leaving the collective without the tools that brought them together in the first place. The first digital camera was purchased by Angki in 2003, and as any other elements in the dormitory, it was extensively shared among the members until each of them could afford to own a camera and pay printing costs.[8] ▶ 13.3 In the timeframe when analog experimentations were on the daily menu, the first exhibition Langkah celebrated analog production and marked an important change in the course of a dormant photography condition in Indonesia. Perhaps similar to the experiments in Malaysian photography by artists such as Liew Kung Yu or Yusof Talismail during the 90s working mainly with photo collages, the exhibition was about “making photographs” rather than taking

[8] Informal conversation with Arif Wicaksono, Wimo Ambala, Akiq AW, April 2018, Yogyakarta.

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13.2 Invitation to the Langkah exhibition in 1997. Courtesy of MES 56 The name MES 56 comes from a dormitory where many of the founding members lived while students at the art college in Yogyakarta, Mess Auri, 56 Jalan Kolonel Sugiyono.

13.3 Mini catalog from Langkah exhibition in 1997. Left page, Andi Firdaus, right page Handoyo. Courtesy of MES 56.

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13.4

13.5

From the Langkah exhibition,

Mini catalog from Langkah

Iskandar, silver gelatin print,

exhibition, J. Ulis, 1997.

1997. Courtesy of MES 56.

Courtesy of MES 56.

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photographs.[9] This step came about in a context in which by 1997 Yogyakarta art scene was already exposed to several exhibitions on photography such as Mata Hati (The Eyes) at Bentara Budaya (The Cultural Institution) in 1995, Yogyakarta di Mata Tukang Photo (Yogyakarta through the Eyes of Photography Artisans) in 1996, or the first exhibition of the FSMR ISI at Bentara Budaya in 1997, which soon became an annual tradition.[10] The exhibition Langkah was different because it challenged the expectations of a space—both that of photography and of a functional art space. Their initial experiments drawn from the expressive art class were showcased within the private space of the shared dormitory in an alternative spirit to the established venues, fueled by a new conceptual energy felt throughout the community. ▶13.4 ▶13.5 During the book launch for Stories of a Space, FSMR ISI professor Kurniawan Adi Saputro—reflecting on the consistency of experimenting beyond technical matters but with means of knowledge production while claiming ISI’s lack of any critical art discourse—stated: “One does not need to go to ISI. One can join MES 56. They have already taken that role.”[11] After 17 years of activity, various generations of graduates from the photography department at ISI have taken refuge in the MES 56 collective. From its current 17-member configuration, 14 of them have crossed paths with the same photography department, most of them finally graduating. It has shifted from a small collective of students at ISI to an organization, community, and ‘quasi-institute’, practicing and positioning itself fluidly along this spectrum. There are various taglines that could describe the practice of MES 56 and I have used those terms in a transversal way to emphasize their organic and unconstrained relationships under a supposed structure. Ferdiansyah Thajib, a researcher and KUNCI Cultural Center[12] member, suggests that instead of simplifying into a rigorous narrative what has been developed organically by MES 56, “we would do a greater favor if we would map out its diversity, incongruity, and

[9] J. Ulis Lekso, one of the participants in the exhibition, wrote on a piece of paper: orang bebas memilih “take picture” atau “make picture” (people are free to choose to take picture or make picture). From the archive of MES 56, accessed May 2018. See also Zhuang Wubin “Against the Grain: Photographic Practices in Malaysia since the 1950s” in Nur Hanim Khairuddin and Beverly Yong with T.K. Sabapathy (eds.), Reactions—New Critical Strategies, Narratives in Malaysian Art, (Rogue Art, 2014). [10] Yudhi Soerjoatmodjo, concept proposal for the group exhibition “Revolusi” in 1999. MES 56 archives, accessed May 2018. [11] Kurniawan Adi Saputro, Book Launch “Peran Kolektif Seniman Sebagai Agen Pengetahuan dan Pengembangan Seni Budaya di Masa Kini”, Langgeng Art Foundation, 29 February 2016, Yogyakarta. Presentation attended by the author. Translation by the author. [12] KUNCI Cultural Center is another arts collective based in Yogyakarta, offering resources for research and exhibition. For more about the organization go to http://kunci. or.id/.

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sometimes chaotic direction”.[13] However, reaching maturity after a consistent commitment to producing alternative forms of knowledge in the absence of an institutional landscape, the quasi-institution could describe MES’s current contribution and position in the scene, dedicated to the development of discourse and education in contemporary photography. This space for sharing knowledge is set amidst an art context to which it ceases to be merely an alternative, but raises as a bottom-up, self-organized, independent organization. The stagnant and conservative pedagogy of ISI only offered more room for the collective to assume this role and become an opensource school/space of production for younger generations of artists working within their paradigm.[14] This quasi-institution creates new platforms that are outside the alternative, institutional, or the established local canons, keeping a foot in writing new narratives of art while being free to hold no responsibility towards a certain hierarchy. This position is reinforced by the changes instigated in 2014 to design a more organized and self-sustainable agenda for the collective. After several failed attempts to search for external funding (and lack of consistency), the group has set out clear responsibilities and a sharper structure, embraced and continued both by former and newer members. The current activities in the organization include workshops, artist residencies, exhibitions, presentations/discussions, and interdisciplinary art projects managed by appointed members. The platform is open to external project proposals beyond the practice of photography itself, functioning as a public venue where negotiations take place between the requester and the collective at large. More often, current students from ISI have also joined some of the programs while others have become involved and continue projects such as Video Battle, an online open-source platform for sharing video art first developed in 2004 by Wimo Ambala and Wok the Rock. However, the shift to sharing resources and creating a platform for an external public with wider inclusion brought about a detachment from the early spirit of spontaneous creativity and production of collective works. COLLECTIVE EFFORTS THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY This spirit of collective and artistic productivity was set against the backdrop of a euphoria of self-expression and art activism emerged during the [13] Ferdiansyah Thajib, “Living Expectations: Understanding Indonesian Contemporary Photography Through Ruang MES 56 Practices” in ibidem, p 188. [14] This stagnation can be clearly exemplified through the rejection of Wimo Ambala’s final project idea in 2001. At that time Wimo proposed an exchange of roles between the photographer and the subjects photographed for his graduation project, in which street sellers and other people were asked to become the photographers. The argument of rejection from the professors was that the person taking the photograph must be the student himself.

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post-reformasi years, particularly in Yogyakarta and other academic cities such as Jakarta and Bandung. These collectives raised in a reactionary new spirit to the modern art establishment and served to undermine some of the dominant principles of contemporary capitalist society while aiming to increase their participation in an international arena of social practice and discourses. Within MES 56, as one of the first collectives formed shortly after reformasi, the exploration of the photographic medium is strongly tied to the dynamics of collectivity. This particular narrative around artist collectives and associations is rooted in a wider social practice, and regional art history has revealed that the efforts of artist collectives in Indonesia have made more lasting impacts than those of the individuals. Some examples emphasize how past associations of artists expanded beyond common artistic explorations towards active participation in the realms of art and society at large. The grassroots informal art communities around the sanggar (a form of studio) were formed in the absence of art institutes to share, perpetuate and pass down particular sets of skills. One of the most acclaimed sanggar was PERSAGI (Persatuan Ahli Gambar Indonesia or the Union of Indonesian Painters), led by renowned Indonesian painter S. Sudjojono, which advocated for an “Indonesian” aesthetic practice in modern painting. Using different approaches, LEKRA (Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat or Institute for People’s Culture) promoted a “people-oriented cultural” ideology, urging artists to mingle with the people (turun ke bawah) to better understand the human condition. Several such approaches for converging art and society were also developed by the collectives formed in post-reformasi years, yet with no particular political agendas, but rather aiming to produce a landscape of new collective cultural values. In the case of MES 56, the community-based approach and the interpenetration between art forms and society are most clearly visible in the production of collective projects. Besides each member developing individual bodies of work, MES 56 has produced a record of approximately 11 collective projects and workshops conceptualized and executed together, pioneering in employing the camera both conceptually and contextually by responding to various social aspects of everyday life. Even though the past years have seen a downplay of collective ideas, the relationship between the role of photography and collective-based work is key in understanding how the medium of photography is appropriated in the collective projects at large. ▶ 13.6 The beginning of MES 56 as a collective artistic entity was marked by the fortuitous moment when only a year after their formation, Indonesian senior curator Hendro Wiyanto released an invitation to participate as a group in the Jogja Biennale (BJ VII 2003) main exhibition, Countrybution, even though at that time creating collective

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projects was not yet on their main agenda. Keren dan Beken (Cool and Famous, 2003) is the legendary project that catapulted MES in the artistic production sphere and further instigated more interest to develop consequential and ambitious group projects. Emphasizing dualisms of high art/low art, art/non-art, Keren dan Beken reenacted the vernacular social practice of taking graduation photographs; the public would pose in the gallery set-up and in turn be given prints with the witty inscription Keren dan Beken. ▶ 13.7 In the same manner as Keren dan Beken, most of the collective projects developed after this breakthrough employed the camera not so much as a self-referential aesthetic medium, but rather as a tool to facilitate interaction, experimentation, and collaboration. The subject-object relationships are usually annulled in favor of a peer-to-peer, community-based practice where the relationship between the collective members and the participants allow for the construction of photographic images built jointly and from similar standpoints. The workshop Aku, Kamu & Kita (Me, You & Us, 2011) was conducted in conjunction with Biennale Jogja XI, Equator #1, on the topic of religion, identities and social interaction among students in Yogyakarta. Several groups of students were invited by MES to openly share experiences related to religion and diversity, triggering participants to hold a more critical view on such issues and to practice empathy with their peers. In this project, the camera was employed to creatively complement the various stories as a visual narrative tool. Similarly, the project Holiday (2004) emphasized the feature of the facilitator (through the collective and the camera) to engage with people and to further question what is real and what is true amidst the increased technological developments. Ordinary people were invited to project themselves into landmarks that represent their ideal holiday, and in exchange the collective members digitally modified their backgrounds with the imagined destination. ▶ 13.8 ▶ 13.9 Such projects and workshops create what Carlos Basualdo and Reinaldo Laddaga call “experimental communities.” Conceived in the universe of art (while linked to other regions of human life) these collaborations “explore forms of articulating competition and cooperation, collective learning and radical innovation, design and execution, direction and realization, in such a way that the archives of this exploration can travel and be exhibited.”[15] In building these communities, the individual artist is present through the collective to help give voice to and engage with other communities by facilitating and organizing the exchange of ideas. ▶ 13.10 ▶ 13.11 ▶ 13.12 [15] Carlos Basualdo and Reinaldo Laddaga, “Experimental Communities” in Beth Hinderliter et al. (eds.) Communities of Sense. Rethinking Aesthetics and Politics (Duke University Press, 2009), p 199.

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13.6 Keren dan Beken (Cool and Famous), an interactive photo production and performance, 2002. Courtesy of Indonesian Visual Arts Archive (IVAA). MES 56 launched into the art scene with their contribution to the 2003 Jogja Biennale with the piece Keren dan Beken, an interactive piece that ignited new understandings about photography and photographic art.

13.7 Keren dan Beken (Cool and Famous), an interactive photo production and performance, 2002. Courtesy of Indonesian Visual Arts Archive (IVAA).

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13.8

13.9

13.10

Installing Aku, Kamu, & Kita (Me,

Installation view of Aku, Kamu &

Holiday (Mbak Ana), 2004.

You, and Us), dimensions variable,

Kita (Me, You, and Us), dimensions

Courtesy of MES 56.

2011. Courtesy of MES 56.

variable, 2001. Courtesy of MES 56.

The method for creating the images

Using a mix of photography

in Holiday was both simple and

and text, Aku, Kamu, dan

evocative. People met out in the

Kita created an interactive

public or were photographed at work

dialog between the audience,

or wherever they happened to be,

community, and the artists.

and then asked where they would rather be. The portraits where then cut from the original photograph and montaged into a photograph of where the subjects wanted to be.

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13.11 Hani Masu, from the series Alhamdulillah We Made It, archival inkjet print, 2016. Courtesy of MES 56. First shown at OzAsia Festival, the pictures in Alhamdulillah We Made It employed similar strategies as Holiday, again as a way to engage community dialog and production, this time working with refugees living in Yogyakarta.

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Looking at the past years of activities, one would think more members would equal more ideas for collaboration. For the most part, previous projects have been reenacted, or slightly reshaped to fit the curatorial expectations at the venues exhibiting their works. For instance, the project Alhamdulillah We Made It (2016), commissioned for the OzAsia Festival in Australia, used the same strategies and techniques as Holiday, in which the subjects photographed were no longer ordinary people, but the small community of refugees in Yogyakarta. Likewise, Mystical Mystery Tour (2013/2016) was recreated under a more updated version with scheduled tours for the group exhibition Concept.Context.Contestation at the Cemeti Art House in 2016, while the workshop Absolut Fotogram (2005) was reframed as a new series in Afdruk 56, using similar analog techniques for developing photographs while reenacting a vernacular cultural practice. Afdruk 56 was initiated by Danysswara Gobi, a current student at ISI FSMR, as part of his research project for the final exam and produced workshops in various local events together with MES 56. ▶ 13.13 Moreover, the current urgencies of the collective are, as I exemplified in the second part of this essay, to build an open-ended inclusive organization to expand the existing MES 56 community. As such, in the face of a ten-year history of contributing by initiating and facilitating collective projects, the newer members still face barriers in relation to the recurring question of contribution often raised between generations. Although for senior members this notion incorporates particular constructed values drawn from timely experiences, for Eri Rama, one of the younger members, it takes rather pragmatic forms, such as being physically present: “I think that as long as I can contribute by being there, without having to make an artwork, I have already continued my responsibility as a member; even cleaning or other such organizational tasks”, while for another young member, Fajar Riyanto, it is about searching for the right idea, related to ways of engaging with communities, particularly the closest neighbors of the space, to introduce MES’s practice to a wider non-art public.[16] The new generation of the collective has been handed over an estafette which brings with it critical questions regarding issues of regeneration within the current structure. Although decisions on the changing dynamics of the collective have always been democratic, there are gaps developing between the gatekeepers as the founders of the collective, their changing aesthetic values, and the younger members who are now expected to shape their own voice and take control of the organization’s prospects, yet realizing this under the perimeters of the same ideological space. These ambivalences are more protruding in the relationship between the members and the [16] Interview with Eri Rama, April 2018, Yogyakarta.

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13.12 Mystical Mystery Tour, from the Concept.Context.Contestation exhibition at the Cemeti Art House, 2016. Courtesy of MES 56. Mystical Mystery Tour was a piece included in the traveling exhibition Concept.Context. Contestation, Bangkok (2013) and Yogyakarta (2016). For the first iteration of the project, two video works and a set of photo post-cards were exhibited at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. The postcards documented mystical places in Yogyakarta, with the lyrics of a collectively written song Tale of Two Countries printed on the back of each image. The second iteration in Yogyakarta expanded to a Vespa tour organized by the members of the collective. An installation was set at MES 56 with schedules and maps for the tour to the locations depicted on the postcards. 13.13 Documentation from Afdruk 56, Danysswara Gobi with MES 56, 2005. Courtesy of MES 56. Afdruk was a mobile, analog photographic studio used during the Festival Kesenian Yogyakarta in 2018. Afdruk is an analog photography print technique popular in Indonesia between 1980–2000 before the emergence of digital photography. This practice uses the mobile cart with a darkroom and enlarger inside. The mobile studio was used for making street side portraits during the festival, and as an ad hoc workshop space.

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13.14 Belajar Membaca (Learning to Read), Wimo Ambala Bayang, Interactive installation with skateboards, dimensions variable, 2015. Courtesy of Wimo Ambala Bayang. Belajar Membaca, like much of Wimo Ambala’s work, uses playful methods to circumvent meaning and preconceptions.

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functional space, the ways of nurturing and expanding the organization’s programs and discourse. While on the level of artistic practice, an interesting aesthetic synergy surfaces among individual practices, reinforcing the question and urgency of a true regeneration. INDIVIDUAL APPROACHES FOR A COLLECTIVE AESTHETIC Following my various discussions with some of the members, it became apparent that the majority of individual projects are the result of group discussions and debates, where views on developing projects circulate on a daily basis in their shared space.[17] This constant interaction, a result of the proximity and the strong ties of brotherhood and friendship, has impacted the ways in which perspectives on art and photography are transmitted among members. This synergetic relationship is particularly encountered between the first generation of artists and the subsequent initiated members. The group formed by Eri Rama, Fajar Riyanto, Gatari S. Kusuma, and Afil Wijaya, all part of a younger generation of students enrolled at FSMR ISI, opted for an external supervisor for their final university project. This group worked with Wimo Ambala as an adviser, consequently joining the collective after an internal decision to expand the membership with younger photographers. There are several senior members who have become informal mentors to the younger ones, such as Wok the Rock, Angki Purbandono, Akiq AW, Wimo Ambala, and Anang Saptoto, and continue to act as consultants and discussion partners for the younger members. The question of how individual and collective approaches to photography converge within the group dynamics still stands as a solid inquiry and would require further analysis to potentially draw a MES 56 aesthetic line of practice developed during the two decades of production. Yet, what I propose for now is to designate four common themes where photography is used as a component of a larger individual artistic statement. In these four areas of practice, photography performs to either 1— engage public participation; 2— experiment with materials and techniques; 3— develop personal narratives; or 4— facilitate social commentary. I exemplify each segment with one work by each artist, keeping in mind that the categories are non-exhaustive and open to new categories, while each artist moves simultaneously between these criteria in developing their work. ▶ 13.14 The first of these ideas reflects ways the photographic image can facilitate participation, illustrated here with four different projects developed by MES 56 artists. Wimo Ambala Bayang’s interactive installation Belajar [17] Interviews with Fajar Riyanto, Eri Rama, Fehung Yudha Kusuma, Abud Andri William, March–June 2018, Yogyakarta.

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13.15 Satu Guru Satu Ilmu Jangan Saling Ganggu (One Teacher One Science Do Not Disturb One Another), Abud Andri William, mixed media, dimensions variable, 2016. Courtesy of Abud Andri William. By mixing found photographs and old Javanese mysticism, Abud manipulates our expections for understanding photographs. 13.16 Satu Guru Satu Ilmu Jangan Saling Ganggu (One Teacher One Science Do Not Disturb One Another), Abud Andri William.

Membaca (Learning to Read, 2015) is a form of artistic deviation based on the famous poem by Sutardji C.B. in which the audience of the local art fair is invited to play around with the skateboards creating their own version of the poem. The amusing combinations, following the style of concrete poetry developed across continents in the 70s, are then uploaded on social media, using the trivial practice of taking photos with a phone, calling to question the circulation of images and photographic works on the internet. A different approach is developed in Abud Andri William’s Satu Guru Satu Ilmu Jangan Saling Ganggu (One Teacher One Science Do Not Disturb One Another, 2016), in which the artist collaborated with a shaman observing and following the shamanic practice for three months. He discovered that the shaman can cast spiritual forces into an object, thus inviting him to apply his power on found vintage photographs as part of a performative action in the exhibition venue. Consequently, the photographs were displayed as handout talismans possessing a particular set of powers, such as for attracting charisma, fortune, house protection, etc. Edwin Roseno’s participatory work Visit to the Dreamland (2014) addresses the social function of studio portraiture, reminiscent of Keren dan Beken artistic approach. For this project, Roseno created a public portrait studio with an exotic backdrop depicting Indonesian landscapes, set up in a market square in South Korea. The passersby were invited to be photographed with the background, receiving in exchange a postcard made with an instant mini printer. Coming from a different artistic background, the practice of Wok the Rock is conceptualized outside the realms of photography or visual art. In the work Burn Your Idol (2008–ongoing), Wok engages with youngsters in collecting one thousand CD-Rs of their favorite music albums. Each ‘burnt’ CD features the photograph of the contributing participant, the tracklist of the original CD, and a testimonial on how the album inspired his/her life. Beyond exploring the music scene among the youth, the work addresses further issues on piracy, copyright, and the relationship between subcultures and idolatry. ▶ 13.15 ▶ 13.16 The second characteristic of their practice focuses on technical experimentations that explore the definition and boundaries of photography. Angki Purpandono’s series of scanography has slowly developed into an artistic trademark, beginning as an experiment with scanned objects during his studies at the National Art Museum in Seoul in 2005. The digital presentation of the scanned objects into single narratives has grown immensely with the use of light boxes— first used in his solo exhibition at Cemeti Art House in 2006—and since expanded to a variety of different forms of presentation.[18] The complementarity between photographs and objects is also ex[18] Zhuang Wubin, “Contemporary Photography in Yogyakarta: the Case of MES 56” (Art Monthly Australia #234: October 2010), p 18.

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13.17 From the series Visit to the Dream Land, Edwin Roseno, ad hoc photo studio in Wonggok Dong, Ansan Si, South Korea, 2015. Courtesy of Edwin Roseno. Based on an earlier project by MES 56, Keren dan Beken, Edwin Roseno plays with photographic constructions and how these are used to fulfill our personal fantasies and fictions.

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13.18 Burn Your Idol, Wok the Rock, mixed media, dimensions variable, 2008–ongoing. Courtesy of Wok the Rock. In Burn Your Idol, Wok the Rock explores how photography is used in popular culture and deconstructs its roll in commodifying our idols.

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plored in Jim Allen Abel’s works, illustrated in his series The Motorcycle Diaries (2010–ongoing). The artist explores the socioeconomic condition of the cities of Indonesia from the wheels of a motorbike, which are mediated by the camera and curated every three to five years, ultimately displayed in a metal structure installation made of motorbike mirrors. A novel approach is found in the exhibition Re-plating Mooi Indie, a collaboration between Fajar Riyanto and Bakudapan Food Studies Group, in which they recreate the Indonesian mooi indie landscapes from food available at Kedai Kebun Forum, a well-known gallery and restaurant in Yogyakarta. Once photographed, the food is further edited digitally until faithfully resembling modernist Indonesian paintings. Lastly, the Naked Series (2014) by Dito Yuwono presents a systematic investigation into his own body, identity and self-history: a collection of self-portraits depicting X-ray images juxtaposed with the artist’s photographed body parts, ultimately blurring the boundary between the physical and psychological selves. At the same time, the work questions ‘scientific’ images, and challenges our sense of public and private lives. ▶ 13.17 ▶ 13.18 ▶ 13.19 ▶ 13.20 ▶ 13.21

Dito’s work exemplifies both interesting technical experimentation while also providing a remarkably intimate narrative. The third category I list looks specifically at the encounter between photographic experiments and personal narratives. Expanding on the relationship between authenticity and the real in relation with the human body, Lucy Soutter argues that some photographers seek to touch rather than shock the viewer: “Rather

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13.19 Cannabis Friends, Angki Purbandono, scenography printed on metallic paper and mounted in light box, 10 cm × 15 cm × 1235 cm, edition of 2, 2016. Courtesy of Angki Purbandono. Angki Purbandono created a unique vocabulary for his work by eliminating the use of a camera and working simply by scanning different objects and collages. Cannabis Friends will eventually be displayed in the new airport opening in Jakarta.

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13.20

13.21

Motorcycle Diaries, Jim

Mountain Landscape (After Wakidi’s

Allen Abel, mixed media,

Mountain Landscape Painting), Fajar

220 cm × 200 cm × 180 cm,

Riyanto and Bakudapan Food Study

2010–ongoing. Courtesy

Group, archival inkjet print on

of Jim Allen Abel.

Canson paper 62.5 cm × 47.5 cm,

Referencing the famous work by Che

2017. Courtesy of Fajar Riyanto.

Guevara in which the revolutionary

Using humor, a child-like sense of

formulated his philosophies of

play, and a knowledge of Indonesian

social justice, Jim Allen Abel

art history, Fajar Riyanto found a

uses his motorcycle and camera to

new way to imagine the landscape.

create a unique sociological study of photography and Indonesia.

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13.22 Naked, Dito Yuwono, archival inkjet print, 60 cm × 42 cm, 2014. Courtesy of Dito Yuwono. The pictures in the series Naked offer a deeply intimate and humane look at Dito and his personal history. 13.23 Naked, Dito Yuwono, archival inkjet print, 60 cm × 42 cm, 2014. Courtesy of Dito Yuwono.

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13.24 Belanda Sudah Dekat/Angkatan Keenam (The Dutch are Near/Sixth Generation), Wimo Ambala Bayang. Working with a broad crosssection of ordinary Javanese people, the pictures in Belanda Sudah Dekat offer a humorous and insightful look at the impact of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia.

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than a total breakdown of the self, they propose a subtle renegotiation of the barriers between private and public, self, and world and self and other.”[19] This is closely exemplified by Yudha Kusuma Putera in the series Past, Present, Future Come Together (2017) which is reminiscent of the staged photography techniques used by Wimo in his series Belanda Sudah Dekat (The Dutch are Near, 2008). Yudha collaborated with friends to challenge the notion of family not only as an institution tied through marriage, but united through physical, social, and cultural contracts. Developed using his own experience with marriage, the work draws on the self in relationship with the other, similar to Akiq AW’s series of video works Langkah Kecilku Langkah Besarmu (My Little Step Your Big Step, 2017). He created a series of staged performances with his own family based on the state program Keluarga Berencana (Family Planning) developed during Suharto’s regime promoting the notion that the ideal family is composed of four members. This idealization is ironically visualized by the five-member family of the artist in a four-channel video presentation. ▶ 13.22 ▶ 13.23 ▶ 13.24 Similarly Rangga Purbaya’s series presented in the exhibition Stories Left Untold (2015) explores historical family photographs to reconstruct the hidden story of his grandfather lost during the communist genocide in 1965.[20] Through documentation of archives, Rangga exposes photographs and audio recordings from the extended family collection, and often invites the larger public to collectively construct the lost stories of this particular traumatic event. Continuing in the family register, researcher and artist Gatari S. Kusuma, also a collaborator at KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, contributed with a text on reading the practice of family portrait archives in Yogyakarta. The short article draws on the uses of family photographs in their relationship with their owners or as a medium for artists.[21] ▶ 13.25 ▶ 13.26 ▶ 13.27

The last category I identified looks at how the photographic image is used as a social commentary by artists like Anang Saptoto, Daniel Satyagraha, Eri Rama, and Nunung Prasetyo. Anang has been concerned with the issue of deforestation in Indonesia, producing a series of photographs, videos, and installation works under the title Pohon Jati Riwayatmu Kini (A Tale of the Teak Tree, 2013–2016). Beyond the social and environmental issues, the series explores the aesthetic dimensions of the tree rings and the numerology attached to each. Daniel’s portrait series New Romantic (2012) depicts Javanese women in traditional wedding costumes, while tricking the [19] Lucy Soutter, ibidem, p 73. [20] 1965 marks a dark and poorly understood time in Indonesian history, in which a coup led to the fall of Sukarno—the first Indonesian president, the rise of Suharto, and the massacre of hundreds of thousands of civilians. [21] Gatari Surya Kusuma, “Membaca Arsip Foto Keluarga”, http://ethnolab.kunci. or.id/2016/02/16/arsip-foto-keluarga-gatari-surya/, accessed on 28 July 2018.

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13.25

13.26

From the series Past, Present, and

Langkah Kecilku Langkah Besarmu

Future Come Together (Keluarga

(My Little Step Your Big Step),

Akiq AW, Cakra, Awang, Wikan),

Akiq AW, four channel video, 2017.

Yudha Kusuma Putera, digital print on Hahemuehle paper mounted on a wooden frame, 90 cm × 60 cm, 2018. Yudha’s series questions family structure and bonds, in a way both playful and subversive.

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13.27 Family 2 (Investigating Boentardjo 1935–1965), Rangga Purbaya, mixed media from a photographic archive, dimensions variable, 2015. Courtesy of Rangga Purbaya. 1965 was a violent and tumultuous time in Indonesian history, and one still not fully understood. Rangga Purbaya’s work provides a deeply personal and simple look at the lives and families lost as a result of so much violence.

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viewer and tackling issues of authenticity and cultural values. The decorative elements made by plastic are a bargain replacement of the expensive jewelry, questioning what is left from the traditional values and whether they are still relevant in current times. Moreover, Rama has developed a recent body of video works emphasizing the distorting hectic movements in the Yogyakarta public space for the exhibition held at LIR entitled Runningggggg Slow (2018). Using a hyper time-lapse technique, hundreds of photographs of Yogyakarta’s increased traffic and chaotic relationship between the inhabitants and the current infrastructure are put together using the digital features of speeding up images. Lastly, the solo exhibition by Nunung, Holy Picnic (2016), presented at MES 56 exhibition space, depicts personal narratives and social commentary on the holy journey to Mecca. Photographing his son and family members, the journey portrays a different image of the Holy City, one in which tourism and commercialization is around every corner. ▶ 13.28 ▶ 13.29 CLOSING NOTES I chose to categorize these four methods of working to argue that individual works are grounded in a collective creative process. Similar to how the collective projects are the result of the individual voices, individual artworks have also been impacted by the collective—both by the projects conceptualized together and by the relationships built between members. The capacity to coagulate based on personal dimensions of friendship and similar world views are important factors in determining the personal and professional growth of the artists working within MES 56. The presence of each of them in the same city and within the perimeters of the same space have accentuated these relationships, which moreover have created hybrid aesthetic forms where the individual voice echoes in the collective and vice versa. By pointing out some of the individual and collective projects, it becomes apparent how photography is much more than a representational, objective, or fetishistic medium, but is also heterogeneous and voyeuristic, which can be developed and read through an interdisciplinary approach.[22] The above list of works has shown other variations of image-making beyond photography, emphasizing once again their position as artists who use photography, additionally working with other media such as video, performance, installations, site-specific interventions, events, etc. According to Wok the Rock, one does not even need to be an artist to join the collective. As such, their collective practice is widely encompassing—working between the academic experimentation and the quasi-institution, the collective work and photography, or the individual as embodying the [22] Lucy Soutter, ibidem, p 112.

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13.28 Pohon Jati Riwayatmu Kini (A Tale of the Teak Tree), Anang Saptoto, digital print on transparent acrylic mounted in an aluminum frame, dimensions unknown, 2012. Courtesy of Anang Saptoto. Anang Saptoto’s series works both literally and metaphorically, showing the complex human history found in trees.

13.29 Pohon Jati Riwayatmu Kini (A Tale of the Teak Tree), Anang Saptoto, detail. Courtesy of Anang Saptoto.

collective—and demonstrates that photography is not an end, but a means for expanding the field of representation and image-making. The pioneers of MES 56 made a breakthrough in Indonesian photography by lifting it up to the realm of contemporary art, producing milestones through collective efforts and individual ingenuity, while keeping a foot in the shifting social contexts of Indonesia and today’s global community. Within their current position as a quasi-institution, they act as a catalyst for the following generations within and outside the collective, which places them as agents of change, and solidifies their contribution in the larger landscape of art production spaces in Indonesia. Finally, looking beyond the medium of photography as it has already been explored by MES 56, could provide answers for younger Indonesian artists following in their footsteps. In order to do so, I believe we need to examine the expanded potentialities of the interdisciplinary aspects of image-making and photography, to reveal socially embedded practices that might not (yet) function in the perimeters of art but could eventually construct new languages of making/taking photographs individually or collectively. This could perhaps propel a new breakthrough or allow a true regeneration in image-making practices specific of the archipelago and subjected to the constant global technological developments. ▶ 13.30 ▶ 13.31 ▶ 13.32

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13.30 New Romantic, Daniel Satyagraha, C-print, 80 cm × 110 cm, 2013. Courtesy of Daniel Satyagraha. New Romantic provides an almost anthropological look at marriage roles and traditions in Java.

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13.31 Ibrahim Kholil Street, from the series Holy Picnic, Nunung Prasetyo, inkjet print mounted on aluminum, 80 cm × 120 cm, 2016. Courtesy of Nunung Prasetyo. Nunung Prasetyo’s series Holy Picnic provides an unexpected look at the hajj, one that shows the commodification and the economic and social complexities of the rite.

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13.32 Installation view from Foam X Ruang MES 56, 2017. Courtesy of MES 56. In 2017, some of the MES 56 artists exhibited at the prestige Foam Museum in Amsterdam, helping secure the collective’s presence in the international art scene.

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C HAPT E R 14

OUTSIDERS

Jeremy Allan

For

at least a thousand years, the Indonesian archipelago has stood at the crossroads of Asian trade. Any ship plying between East Asia and India, Africa, or Europe threaded its way through the straits lying between Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Sulawesi, stopping at provisioning ports to on- or off-load, supplies, trade goods—and often people. Expatriate traders and economic migrants populated the littoral settlements and eventually spread into the hinterlands, bringing their own beliefs, customs, and modes of artistic expression, creating the intricate social mosaic that is modern Indonesia. ▶14.1 But this metaphorical mosaic has some odd features. Some tiles are more prominent than others, seemingly out of place, while others, which plainly share the color palette and motifs of the others, lie outside. Four photographers are examples of these egregious pieces of the mosaic. Rio Helmi, Jan Banning, Rosa Verhoeve, and newcomer Anton Gautama bring a distinct perspective to recording Indonesian social and cultural life through being, to varying degrees, removed from the national mainstream. Through their lenses, the seemingly jumbled and often incoherent Indonesian mosaic comes into clearer focus. The social landscape of Bali is a blend of many cultures. And of the people from all heritages living on the lush island, Rio Helmi best represents the cultural mosaic of Bali and of Indonesia. The child of an Indonesian diplomat father and a Turkish mother, Rio is famously at home in both Indonesian and Western cultures. ▶ 14.2 Rio committed himself to a career as a professional photographer in the early 1980s, as Indonesia began to promote tourism as a source of foreign revenue. Even as Rio captured the “timeless charms of Bali” for the unabashedly commercial reason of enticing ever-greater numbers of tourists to his home island, Rio’s natural empathy with his subjects, who shared many aspects of his social and cultural background, helped him to create evocative images even as they gave his Western audience exactly what they wanted to see: the travel-poster version of a magic paradise isle with a charming people living their lives in a sort of artistic spiritual bliss. ▶ 14.3 Throughout the 1990s, Rio participated in a number of high-profile projects in which some of the world’s leading photographers— among them Magnum photographers Steve McCurry, Abbas, and Chris Steele-Perkins—were commissioned for books on a given subject. These volumes, which included Seven Days in Myanmar and

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14.1 Sanikem (1926, Semanu, Yogyakarta) from the series Comfort Women, Jan Banning, Chromogenic print, 27 cm × 20 cm, 2010. Courtesy of Jan Banning and Fontana Gallery, www.janbanning.com. Dutch photographer Jan Banning’s series Comfort Women offers a stark and powerful look at women forced into prostitution during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia during World War II. In completed form all the photographs are accompanied with background text provided by Hilde Janssen. The text includes information about the ages of the women when forced into prostitution, where they lived, and details from their experiences.

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14.2

14.3

From the series Bali Style, Rio

From the series Memories of

Helmi, 2003. Courtesy of Rio Helmi.

the Sacred, Rio Helmi, 2010.

With a background that is both

Courtesy of Rio Helmi.

European and Indonesian, Rio Helmi

In many ways Memories of the

has an interesting perspective

Sacred best embodies Helmi’s

on Indonesian culture.

vision, offering a perspective that is both objective and born with an acute understanding of the culture he observes.

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Brunei: Abode of Peace, established Rio’s credentials outside of Indonesia, and raised him to the ranks of elite photographers capturing the essence of global cultures. ▶ 14.4 These projects set the stage for a number of solo efforts. In River of Gems, Rio accompanied British writer Lorne Blair into the heart of Borneo. Large, gentle, famously gregarious and eccentric, Lorne forged an instant rapport with the peoples of Mahakam River headwaters, to which Rio added his own sensibilities and shared-value empathy to create remarkable portraits of societies whose lifestyles were on the brink of massive change. In the mid-1990s, Rio redirected his lens to Bali to produce Bali Style, a book that reflects his own mixed cultural heritage. In this book, Rio traced the antecedents of this idiosyncratic approach to landscaping and architecture design from the grass-roofed, bamboo-walled cottages that often seem to grow out of the lush Balinese soil and geo-spacial precision of palaces and temples to contemporary homes and resorts that blend traditional values with more international styles of art and interior design. ▶ 14.5 In 2010, Rio distilled his 30 years of photographic experience and impeccable cross-cultural credentials into chronicling the spiritual side of his adoptive home with his book Memories of the Sacred. While the book has its share of dramatic shots of entranced ritual dancers and hundreds of worshipers bearing ornate floral offerings, it is the intimate shots of individual prayer and blessing that evoke the profound beauty and transcendent bliss of a Bali that many visitors witness but few experience. Generations of Dutch people felt that the islands now known as Indonesia were their home as much as it was the homeland of their indigenous fellows. These families had lived in the colony for many generations, and were devastated when, in the years following Indonesian independence, they were compelled to leave the Indies and resettle in the Netherlands as the new Republic sought to minimize the economic role of their former colonial overlords. Jan Banning was born in the Netherlands in 1954. Ten years previously, like all Dutch people in the East Indies who had not been able to flee the advancing Japanese forces, his parents had been herded into squalid internment camps. His father and grandfather, like most able-bodied men, were sent to Sumatra and Burma respectively to build railway lines under conditions of virtual slavery. ▶ 14.6 Those who remained in the Indies did not fare much better. A few hundred women of Dutch ancestry, along with thousands of indigenous women, were compelled to “comfort” Japanese soldiers—essentially forced into sexual slavery. While the horrors of the “Railway of Death” attained global exposure through books and films, the silent suffering of the comfort women remained hidden for decades.

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14.4

14.5

From the series Seven Days in

From the series Memories of

Myanmar, Rio Helmi, 2014.

the Sacred, Rio Helmi, 2010.

For the book Seven Days in

Courtesy of Rio Helmi.

Myanmar, Helmi worked with prestigious photographers from around the world to create an interesting perspective on the culture of Burma/Myanmar.

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14.6

14.7

Arcken, from the series Traces

Damin, from the series Traces

of War, Jan Banning, inkjet

of War, Jan Banning, inkjet

print, 2006. Courtesy of Jan

print, 2006. Courtesy of Jan

Banning and Fontana Gallery,

Banning and Fontana Gallery,

www.janbanning.com.

www.janbanning.com.

In Traces of War, Jan Banning addresses the impact of war and colonialism in Indonesia, offering humane portraits of people who survived brutal prison conditions during World War II.

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Jan’s work in Indonesia examines these two distinct, but interconnected historical experiences. In Traces of War, his father, Frans Banning, is one of 24 death-camp survivors who sat for a series of bleak portraits decades after their horrific experiences. The image of Jan’s father depicts a man who, in his long life, went from colonial privilege in the tropical paradise of the East Indies, to a life of slave labor and bare survival building railroads in Sumatra, and then to a modest, quiet life in postwar Europe as he was swept and battered by implacable global forces. Like the others in this series, Frans is pictured shirtless, as he was when he slaved on the railroad. The corpulence brought by age and a prosperous later life is clearly visible, but it does not mask a decades-old misery of a young man being worked and starved to the brink of death. ▶ 14.7 In the second series, Comfort Women, the age-worn faces of elderly Indonesian women evoke the fear, pain, and humiliation of ingenuous girls forced into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers. Again, the uncomprehending distress of these women, many of whom had been virgins and some barely women at all, leaps out across the decades in damning rebuke of those who decreed that they should suffer their humiliation in silence. ▶ 14.8 Jan’s work tends to have an academic, dispassionate quality. Just as a factual police report of some brutal crime can be more horrifying than the lurid prose of a writer struggling to find the words to express their outrage, so Jan’s stark images of survivors reliving their agony after decades evoke, to an almost unbearable degree, the egregious horror of modern-day physical and sexual slavery. The ethnic group that best epitomizes the seamless blending of local and foreign influences—the hallmark of Indonesian culture and society—are the “Indos”: those who identify as Indonesian but are of mixed indigenous and European heritage. During colonial times, relationships between resident Europeans and “natives” were permitted and even expected—at least in regard to white men and brown women. In modern Indonesia, a European cast to Asian features is an ideal of beauty. Most of the otherwise unremarkable (and usually talentless) television soap opera actors have a Caucasian parent or grandparent. ▶ 14.9 Rosa Verhoeve was a second-generation Indo, born in Holland but with a Javanese grandmother and Dutch grandfather. Her family home reflected her dual heritage: a nondescript house in a utilitarian suburb filled with the batik fabrics, teak furniture, and other artifacts of her exotic ancestry. Rosa spent her twenties in rural France, enjoying the sort of bucolic life she might have found in a Javanese village had her grandparents remained in Indonesia. Her early work reflected this preference for life out of the mainstream, with shots of rural festivals in the Neth-

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14.8

14.9

Wainem (1925, Mojogedang,

During the day, she had

Antonetha (1929, Emplawas, Babar,

Central Java) from the

to work in a warehouse.

South Moluccas) from the series

series Comfort Women, Jan

Sometimes she was raped

Comfort Women, Jan Banning,

Banning, inkjet print,

right then and there, but

inkjet print, 2013. Courtesy

2013.

most the time was taken by

of Jan Banning and Fontana

Courtesy of Jan Banning and

soldiers to their rooms

Gallery, www.janbanning.com.

Fontana Gallery,

in the barracks compound.

www.janbanning.com.

“A doctor tested us every

In the book Comfort Women,

week for pregnancy. I

Banning’s photographs are

never became pregnant

accompanied by background

then.” After the war,

information provided by

she walked some 60 miles

Hilde Janssen: Wainem

to get home. She would

(1925, Mojogedang, Central

rather not be reminded

Java) was taken from

of what happened in that

home and forced into

warehouse. “It’s been so

prostitution, first in Solo

long ago. My son, who

for a year and then for

wasn’t born then, already

two years in Yogyakarta.

has grandchildren now.”

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14.10 From the series Kopi Susu, Rosa Verhoeve, dates and medium unknown. Courtesy of Jan Banning and the estate of Rosa Verhoeve. The pictures in Kopi Susu offer a deeply personal meditation on the complex identities resulting from the Dutch occupation of Indonesia.

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14.11 From the series Kopi Susu, Rosa Verhoeve, date and medium unknown. Courtesy of Jan Banning and the estate of Rosa Verhoeve.

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erlands, and a remarkable study of a group of street performers in Ethiopia: children abandoned by their parents who created their own family through art and dance. ▶ 14.10 Rosa’s seminal work, Kopi Susu, began as a chance encounter on a crowded Indonesian public bus. With the blithe unconcern for personal space typical in Indonesia, Rosa’s seat mate, an elderly Javanese woman, reached over to touch her nose, and asked: “kopi susu?”, “coffee with milk?”, which is a local idiom for an Indonesian with a mixed European and indigenous heritage. Rosa was startled at the sudden intimacy, but soon regained her composure and chatted with the woman. As the other passengers listened in, Rosa explained her ancestry, including tragic tales of her grandparents’ brutal internment during the Japanese wartime occupation. Inspired by the incident to research her personal history and place the tales of her childhood in historical and social context, Rosa unearthed photographic images to assemble a mosaic of her twin heritage, with photographs, family stories, and personal experience all given equal prominence. The impression is one of timelessness, of a world not rooted in a specific geographic region or historical period. ▶ 14.11 ▶ 14.12

Perhaps the best place to look for a true outsider in the Indonesian social landscape is in the non-indigenous group most thoroughly enmeshed in Indonesian history and economy: the ethnic Chinese. Most Chinese Indonesians trace their ancestry to Hokkien, Hakka, and Cantonese migrants from southern China. The earlier arrivals were miners and laborers who fully intended to return to China in their old age. By the early 20th century, however, as the ports in Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi developed into major urban centers, ethnic Chinese migrants tended to put down roots in the new land. Many leveraged the resources available through extensive clan connections to start small businesses, which often grew into considerable enterprises. Anton Gautama was born into such a family, traders who had lived in Makassar, the busy port city on the island of Sulawesi, for generations. Born in 1969, Anton grew up in an environment in which his cultural heritage was actively suppressed by the authoritarian government of the period as it sought to estrange Chinese Indonesians from their traditional culture—and any ties with China—by banning the use of Chinese ideograms in public signs and placing tough restrictions on ritual or festival activities such as the lion dance. At the turn of the millennium, the lions returned to Indonesian streets for the Lunar New Year as a new government eliminated suppression of Chinese cultural identity. By then, Anton had established himself and, typically, attained considerable success with a business he founded promoting international education. He soon found he had ample time and resources to pursue his long-nurtured artistic interest: still photography. However, he

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seldom turned his lens toward the public resurgence of traditional identity among Chinese Indonesians. Instead, he explored the private, hidden worlds, where the culture of his people had secreted itself for generations.

14.12

▶ 14.13

the estate of Rosa Verhoeve.

Anton has now completed a trilogy documenting the experience of Chinese Indonesians. In the first book, Pabean Passage, Anton does a deep dive into the labyrinth of claustrophobic passageways and cramped stalls bursting with merchandise of the century-old Pabean market near the port of Surabaya, the world of his Chinese Indonesian grandparents. His intimate portraits of small traders and laborers, plainly exhausted from a long day in the stifling heat, speak of a life little changed in a hundred years. ▶ 14.14 His second volume, Home Sweet Home, presented considerable difficulties. The usual residence of entrepreneurial Chinese Indonesians, the urban shop house, is a zealously guarded space, a sanctuary where the dwellers can express their ancestral traditions without risk of censure. Anton managed to gain entrance into many of these second-story private worlds in Surabaya, where he now lives, and in Makassar, where he was born and raised. Here, a practiced eye for composition—and the high resolution of his topof-the-line digital camera—reveals and examines the subtle complexities of household objects, memorabilia, and ritual artifacts that the occupants used to define their necessarily private lives. ▶ 14.15 The final volume in this trilogy, The Outsiders, was developed collaboratively with documentary photographer and designer Ed Kashi, and marks a maturity in Anton’s vision. Here, Anton turns his lens toward a truly marginalized community, ethnic-Chinese squatters sheltering in a decrepit colonial-era building where they had sought refuge during the massacres of suspected communist sympathizers in 1965. With an empathy untypical of a prosperous, educated Indonesian, Anton captures the quiet dignity of the remnants of this community, trapped by poverty and age in the aptly named Gudang Setan, the Devil’s Building, who have transcended the squalor of their surroundings in an inspiring display of the indefatigable human spirit. A defining characteristic of great photography is the ability to look at familiar subjects with a novel point of view. The works of Rio Helmi, Jan Banning, Rosa Verhoeve, and Anton Gautama amply demonstrate how a slight change in perspective, one gained by standing on the margins of Indonesian society instead of being immersed in the mainstream, can pull this multifaceted nation and people into sharper focus. ▶ 14.16 ▶ 14.17

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From the series Kopi Susu, Rosa Verhoeve, date and medium unknown. Courtesy of Jan Banning and

14.13 The lives of people living inside the Pabean market, SurabayaIndonesia, Anton Gautama, 100 cm × 68.5 cm, inkjet print, 2015. Courtesy of Anton Gautama. After starting his own business promoting international education, Anton Gautama has since developed an interesting perspective as a photographer, focusing primarily on the lives of Chinese-Indonesians.

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14.14 This man was a living legend at 90 years old. He came from China in his early 20s and worked as a BBQ meat seller in Pabean market, Surabaya, Indonesia. He worked 364 days a year and was able to buy two flats in Hong Kong. He lived in a tiny house with his late wife and eight children, and with five workers who helped his business. Anton Gautama, 100 cm × 68.5 cm, inkjet print, 2015. Courtesy of Anton Gautama.

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14.15 This home was occupied by a widow who is a third generation Indonesian. Her bedroom combined with a tiny dining table. She lived with two sons, a daughter in-law, and a granddaughter. In the past, her family could earn two baskets of gold from selling buns. Unfortunately, none of her sons continued the business and all the wealth was lost. Anton Gautama, inkjet print, 100 cm × 76.2 cm, 2016. Home Sweet Home is an ambitious project and book, looking at domestic interiors to trace the personal and cultural histories of Chinese-Indonesians.

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14.16 The Satan Building. Located in Surabaya, East Java, the Satan Building was built during the Dutch colonialization about 200 years ago. The name is a result of the creepy and spooky exterior of the building, especially when the days turn dark. There were mass killings in Indonesia in 1965 because of a suspected coup attempt by the Communists, in which many Chinese-

Indonesians were victimized. Running away from both death threats and looting, many Chinese in Surabaya headed to the Satan Building for shelter. The owner, who himself never dwelled there, gladly let the refugees stay. Nowadays, there are still about thirty families living in the building. Anton Gautama, inkjet print, 100 cm × 68.5 cm, 2017. Courtesy of Anton Gautama.

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14.17 Ms. Sakinem, the eldest resident in the Satan Building, Anton Gautama, inkjet print, 76.2 cm × 50.8 cm, 2017. Courtesy of Anton Gautama.

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C HAPT E R 15

ON SILENCE, SEEKING, AND SPEAKING: MEDITATIONS ON IDENTITY, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND DIASPORA THROUGH FAMILY ALBUMS

Alexandra Kumala

Im

portant disclaimer: The term “Chinese-Indonesian” or “Indonesian-Chinese” does not fully hold the layers of complexities and intricacies of this identity. As the understanding and usage of terms evolve, people have created and used the terms “Tionghoa,” “Hoakiau,” “Peranakan,” “Indo-Chinese,” and more recently “Chindo,” a portmanteau popularized by English-speaking urban millennials mainly in Jakarta. Who knows if any term will ever evolve to truly encompass the full extent of complexity and intricacy of being Chinese-Indonesian. ▶15.1 ▶15.2 Another disclaimer: I didn’t know I was Chinese-Indonesian until 2017.

15.1 Chinese kamp te Batavia (Chinese camp in Batavia), photographer unknown, c. 1940 Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program. Chinese-Indonesians have long held a marginalized and complicated position in Indonesian culture. 15.2 From Chinese Whispers, Rani Pramesti, digital animation, 2018. Courtesy of Rani Pramesti. Chinese Whispers is a digital animation that tells the story of violence perpetrated against Chinese citizens in Indonesia during the period of refomasi. The piece was developed as a website, and is available at TheChineseWhispers.com.

“The Hoakiau are not voyagers from abroad landed on our shores. They have been here for as long as our own ancestors. They are, in fact, Indonesians, who live and die in Indonesia, but because of a certain political veiling, suddenly become strangers who are not foreign.” PRAMOEDYA ANANTA TOER

When I first started this essay, I was in the midst of a five-month quarantine lockdown in Brooklyn, NY, a nest of revolutionaries and a hotspot for both protests and riots following the murder of George Floyd and other Black-American citizens who, after 400 years, continue to be marginalized, disenfranchised, and treated as second-class citizens in the United States. Sounds of sirens surround my apartment and helicopters hover above as I wait in limbo for my artist visa extension to be approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), now working with new policies under a chaotic administration implementing a radically new agenda. I contemplate my (dis)place(ment) here in the United States—how I've spent half my life sending hundreds of pages to USCIS every few years to prove my worth—and my (dis)place(ment) in Indonesia—where my family has resided for centuries but continues to be alienated. I am neither a historian nor an academic, and I do not consider myself a photographer or an expert on Chinese-Indonesian identity. I am simply an artist working in film and theater, constantly scrutinizing patterns and phenomena within a society and its sub-societies. My search for truthful stories and traditions of storytelling has led me to investigate the history behind photographs from my family archives.

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“How do you deal with the stereotyped view of yourself that you yourself have been socialized to accept?”[1] SYLVIA WYNTER

In early 2017, on the opening of my biggest show by industry standards, I lost my home in New York City because my partner decided that we were too different to continue building a future together. On the outside, it sounds strange: we were both ethnically Chinese Southeast Asians who spent our childhood in tropical metropolises before moving to the West Coast of the United States in our early teens; so what’s so different? The next two months was an arduous journey of finding new footing while continuing to show up at the theater to perform eight times a week. But more importantly, it was the beginning of my journey in discovering my relationship to Indonesia and how the experiences of being Chinese-Indonesian is one so unique to itself. Once this show closed, I returned to Indonesia after nine years of living in the US. This time, I decided to stay more than a couple weeks, and this trip turned into a much greater investigation of personal and cultural identity. Three months turned into six, and six turned into resenting the fact that New York City and Jakarta are at opposite ends of the world. I ended up spending a year traveling around the country, though mostly around the western and central regions. In these travels, I witnessed and experienced incidents of “othering” that I never had during my childhood and adolescent years. Has the Indonesia I knew changed? Or had I not known the real Indonesia all this time? Was I just too young to comprehend the true complexities of the country before I moved away? What is Indonesia? Being Indonesian? Could we really squeeze the span of the largest archipelago of the world into a single, homogenous idea of “Indonesian-ness” under the guise of “unity”? Prior to this, I didn’t know I was a hyphenated Indonesian: Chinese-Indonesian or Indo-Chinese. I’ve always thought I’m simply Indonesian. I never knew I had to qualify my Indonesian-ness. Before my travels, I used to think it was ridiculous whenever my Chindo friends told me of their experiences with discrimination and violence. I'd always think they were exaggerating. As someone who feels more comfortable in a culture of modesty and subtlety (often associated with Javanese culture) and constantly distancing myself [1]

From an interview with David Scott for The Re-Enchantment of Humanism.

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from extravagance and ostentation (often associated with Chinese culture), I accused them of being exclusive (a common myth about Chinese-Indonesians) therefore inviting animosity to themselves. But these travels opened my eyes to the kind of ethnic violence that whispers within all aspects of Indonesian life, resounding in both rural and urban areas, and reverberates through all levels of socioeconomic class. It seems to live in people’s bones waiting for a chance to manifest, almost like a disease that the upper class and upwardly mobile middle-class have paid to escape, and one that has consequently given birth to various forms of self-hate in many Chinese-Indonesians of the younger generation, including many of my own close friends. It seems universal to conflate assimilation with erasure with unity with progress with peace and security. I came to a heartbreaking realization, coincidentally not long after Ahok had been imprisoned on the basis of blasphemy,[2] that the home I was nostalgic for and hoped to return to no longer exists. Perhaps, it never even did. As the universe would have it, though I didn’t know at the time, my soul-searching adventure flipped upside down turned out to be my gateway to seeing the world with new eyes. To start, I discovered a collection of photographs in my family archives that became a starting point in helping me gain more knowledge and insight about the history of Indonesia.

“[DeRay] said, I used to think that silence would help the pain go away, that speaking about pain might actually make it worse. But it took me a while to realize that silence doesn’t usually help us understand the things that hurt us. Silence, if anything, often makes them hurt more.” CLEO WADE, WHERE TO BEGIN

Sometime in the 2000s, my mother had stumbled upon a neglected album of family photographs in my aunt's house. The black and white photos intrigued me and so I scanned them onto my computer, saved them onto a hard drive, and then forgot about them until recently. In this time of deep despair and disillusionment surrounding my transnational existence, I decided to go through these photos that had been sitting dormant on my hard

[2] Ahok was Jakarta’s Chinese-Christian governor, accused of blasphemy during his reelection campaign in 2016 when a video surfaced of him quoting a verse in the Quran to prove to his supporters that there were no restrictions on Muslims voting for non-Muslim politicians. He was jailed for two years.

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15.3

15.4

Untitled, photographer unknown,

Indo-Chinese familie voor de woning

1939. Courtesy of Alexandra Kumala.

van Tan Bie Sien te Jogjakarta (Indo-Chinese family in front of Tan Bie Sien’s house), photographer unknown, c. 1930. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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15.5 Untitled, photographer unknown, date unknown. Courtesy of Alexandra Kumala.

drive. At first I mindlessly zoomed in and out of the scanned photographs. I studied the little details just to appreciate the visual aesthetics. Eventually, I dug a little deeper and finally learned my great-grandfather’s name, something my mother had never told me. Like most inquiring minds today, I started my fact-finding by randomly googling his name out of curiosity, only to find that there are a number of articles and newspaper clippings about him floating in hyperspace. ▶ 15.3 ▶ 15.4 ▶ 15.6 I found that Denys Lombard and Claudine Salmon, two leading scholars and experts on Southeast Asian anthropology and history as well as Sinology studies, had included my great-grandfather in their articles. Google doesn't have a good library of historical archives, let alone archives from Southeast Asia, so I imagined a proper academic library would garner more results. Having quickly exhausted the resources I found online, I went searching for other sources to help me dig a bit deeper. Gunawan Widjaja from Antara Gallery of Photojournalism[3] used Delpher Kraten[4] to help me find some newspaper articles from the 1930s about my great-grandfather’s work as a city commissioner. It turns out he was involved in a lot of philanthropic work and, with other city council members, ensured aid and proper response following floods and fires in Batavia (now Jakarta). Delpher Kraten also has limited text recognition capabilities, so I told the search results were also limited. ▶ 15.6 Two photographs from the albums seemed particularly unique and “alive.” I sent them to Gunawan, who then told me they were very uncommon compared to other photographs of Indo-Chinese during the Dutch colonial era, most likely because most were taken from a colonial gaze of the Dutch who posit the people as subjects of perpetual spectacle. I learned that my great-grandfather opened and taught at a major martial arts dojo in Batavia, a highly regarded medicinal company (their biggest competitor, Lo Ban Teng, became what is now the largest producer and distributor of traditional medicinal and herbal products in Indonesia), and even his own hospital building. He was a doctor under the Dutch Red Cross and also practiced Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in his private practice. Seeking the help of friends who translated the Chinese characters in the photographs, I found out that he advertised his medical practice in catchy poems and haikus. “He writes such creative poems,” my friend tells me in between her translations, “maybe you got your writing skills from him.” From my aunts I learned that he had fled Xiamen, at the time a British-run treaty port city off the Taiwan Strait with a predominantly

[3] For more on the Antara Gallery see Chapter 8, Journalistic Circus: A Look at Photojournalism in Indonesia and the History of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism. [4] The largest online newspaper bank, digitizing newspapers from the 17th to the 21st century.

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15.6 Untitled, photographer unknown, date unknown. Courtesy of Alexandra Kumala. Author’s great-grandfather outside his dojo. 15.7 Red Cross ID, photographer unknown, date unknown. Courtesy of Alexandra Kumala.

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15.8 Untitled, photographer unknown, date unknown. Courtesy of Alexandra Kumala. Catholic grave of the author’s great-grandfather.

European and Japanese population. At a very young age, he found himself in Batavia and built his life from a few coins and the clothes on his back. From my mother, I learned that the medicinal rubbing oil and tiger balm he concocted were extremely effective, incomparable to any over-the-counter topical pain reliever today. From the newspaper clippings, I learned that he would fly back and forth to Shanghai to train at the Shaolin Temple. There, he gained knowledge both in martial arts as well as TCM diets and lifestyle habits. Interestingly, he wasn't Tao or Confucian but Catholic, apparent in the photographs of his church and his gravesite. Still, he practiced Javanese traditions such as keris collecting, washing them with floral and coconut waters. ▶ 15.7 ▶ 15.8 I am told he was extremely influential and powerful as an Indonesian, in fact the first commoner outside of the Japanese ruling class to own a car. When the Japanese came to occupy Batavia in 1942, they saw him as a threat and destroyed the foundation he had built as well as the legacy he planned to share with his family. My grandfather, who hated the harshness, severity, rigor and discipline with which my great-grandfather raised him, felt an immense freedom in letting go of all the “glory” he had been trained to inherit. Grandfather chose to humbly work as a photographer, training himself as an itinerant traveling freelance photographer before eventually settling at Foto Studio Istimewa in South Jakarta. Every dawn and dusk, he would ride his unassuming Vespa from his home at the city center to the studio downtown. My grandmother, anxious about sustaining the family under a photographer’s income during tumultuous, stifling periods—particularly for the ethnically Chinese in Indonesia—decided to open up a shop. She served noodles and desserts in front and sold batik clothing in the back. When this modest “restaurant” finally gained traction, my grandfather took over as the head chef and manager, so that my grandmother could take care of the children and spend more time growing the batik business. He would work the restaurant during the day, then spend his night developing photographs in the darkroom. Perhaps what I did inherit was my grandmother’s taste. Born to Peranakan/ Benteng[5] parents, there is sadly not much formal documentation on the history from my grandmother’s side even though her ancestors’ first step on Indonesian soil predated my great-grandfather's by centuries. Besides knowing that grandmother’s family was one of the early Peranakan communities in Karet Kuningan, it’s impossible to trace how much Javanese, from which part of Java—West of Central of East—and how much Chinese [5] Chinese-Indonesians of mixed descent, native to the historic Tangerang area since at least 1407 A.D.

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is in grandmother’s genetic makeup. Already underrepresented in traditional historical texts and contemporary literature as Chinese-Indonesians, being a woman is an added layer of invisibility. Grandmother was ahead of her time. She sewed “matching” mother-daughter wardrobe. She grew vegetables for the noodle shop, and imbued it by making floral arrangements from her garden. She designed, illustrated and embroidered fabrics for apparel and for the home. She taught herself to wax and dye batik, sewed them into shirts and skirts and sarung, and used her hard-earned money to invest in elegant curtains, rugs, and leather sofas to create a polished home that balances the noodle shop disarray. My mother tells me the sewer water would stain colorfully from all the dye residue. ▶ 15.9 With her savings, grandmother would take herself (and, on a good day, a kid or two) to see movies at Bioscoop Metropool (or Megaria) and the cinemas at Prinsen Park, rotating between classic Hollywood, Bollywood, French, Japanese, Mandarin, and Indonesian films. Not surprising, as she spoke Dutch, Javanese, Sundanese, Bahasa Indonesia, and English. Alas, her Mandarin and Hokkien skills went from speaking-capability to listening-capability, as she lost the chance to practice it following the New Order’s ban on Chinese languages and dialects. In the photographs, Grandmother can be seen leading family trips to museums, parks, and zoos, with everyone wearing elegant wardrobe pieces that she made.

“There are only two choices, to be apathetic or to follow the flow. But I choose to be human.” SOE HOK GIE

▶ 15.10

In looking through the albums, a large chunk of the photographs were snapshots of social gatherings. My great-grandparents and grandparents were both patrons and participants in art and cultural events. They were quite legendary hosts, although not big with hoarding material possessions. In fact, both my maternal grandparents were known to be too generous and too sincere, so that people often took advantage of my grandfather, even when he held none of the remains of great-grandfather’s glory. This is a stark contrast to the stereotype that Chinese-Indonesians are frugal, stingy, money-minded, etc.—a common sentiment among Indonesians today. Perhaps my grandfather and I both give away too much of our money and time and energy and vision for free. And so it is incredibly strange when I meet

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15.9 Zoon van Koo Kiem Tie en King in Jogjakarta (Son of Koo Kiem Tie and King in Yogyakarta), photographer unknown, 1933. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program. 15.10 Untitled, photographer unknown, date unknown. Courtesy of Alexandra Kumala. The Foto Studio Istimewa in South Jakarta.

15.11 Echtpaar, vermoedelijk te Jogjyakarta (Couple, presumedly in Yogyakarta), photographer unknown, c. 1931. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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someone new in Indonesia, and they start talking to me about trade and trading practices. It wasn’t until I fully understood the history of Dutch-Arab-Chinese-Javanese dynamics that I understood how some people hold onto colonial stereotypes and chose to open conversations with me using those topics. Sometimes, they’d ask me if I’m related to so-and-so-wealthyChindo-businessperson (imagine the rage if someone were to ask a Black American woman if she is related to Michelle Obama simply because she’s Black). I’d smile and say a simple no, to which they press on, as if I’d admit “I am” if they pressed on enough, which I’d ignore and laugh about on my way home. ▶ 15.11 Other photographs showed smaller groups of people against storefronts, in the studio, in the backyard, or inside the home. It was a large home, and the letters addressed to my great-grandparents read “Prinsenlaan No. 1–3.” My aunts tell me the house stretched across what is now Jalan Mangga Besar, starting from what is now Jalan Hayam Wuruk all the way to what is now Jalan Labu. Bordered by three streams, the house expanded so broadly they’d get lost just playing hide and seek. Of course, that all went away when the Japanese captured and imprisoned great-grandfather during their occupation. By the mid-1960s, my grandfather had moved the family to a small, modest home on the opposite side of the river, close to the National Archive Building, where the children had to draw water from the well and sell snacks after school to make meager earnings for the day. Though my grandmother sold batik in the back for customers, the kids went to school with yellowed uniforms and disintegrating shoes held together with tape; they resorted to dampening rubber bands with water to use them as erasers, and sharpening their pencils with a knife. They attended “Chinese schools,” a byproduct of Dutch policy, which despite exploiting the Indo-Chinese, excluded the them from their “ethical policy” of providing education in the colony. By then, my grandparents couldn’t even buy new uniforms, new shoes, or new stationery for their children, let alone film to document their new life in the shophouse. Not long after, all Chinese schools in Indonesia were ordered to close down, along with the prohibition of Chinese language press and publications, and the elimination of textbooks which record the involvement of ethnically Chinese-Indonesians in the struggle before and after Indonesian independence, and the banning of Chinese-Indonesians from government and civic professions. As evidenced in these photographs, my family lineage had endured the Dutch colonization, Japanese occupation, independence and the rise of Sukarno, the New Order, reformasi, and Technology 4.0. So how does a family continue on through the many tumultuous turns of a country that specifically scapegoats them? And more personally,

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why do I harbor embarrassment in revealing my research and sharing these photographs? Do I subconsciously harbor the self-hatred I see in my Chindo friends? Do I feel the need to distance myself from my roots in order to prove my Indonesian-ness? Each time I speak, I can’t help but think of how many Chinese-Indonesians confront uncertainty and insecurity every day, how Chinese-Indonesians have been attacked for simply speaking out. Historically, Chinese-Indonesians have been accused of pandering to white European colonizers and ratting out the pribumi,[6] therefore taking part in the colonization of the pribumi, which in turn has justified the violence towards Chinese-Indonesians for decades as payback. Though a misconception developed during colonialism and a myth perpetuated by regimes past and present, this “colonial hangover” gives me torment and conflict, walking on eggshells each time I make a decision to participate in a creative project about my birthland. And even as I write this, I cannot shake off the anxiety of potential negative responses. Will they see me associating myself with narratives written from a Western perspective? Will they perceive me, a Chinese-Indonesian, rubbing shoulders with white writers? Will they invalidate my story? ▶ 15.12 ▶ 15.13 ▶ 15.14 As I struggled with these questions, I turned to art and literature by fellow Chinese-Indonesians to help me comprehend the confusions I found in the wake of my observations and experiences. Among these is photographer Adrian Mulya. I found his work exhibited at Salihara’s LIFE Festival in 2019 and Galerija Jakopič’s Vision 20/20 Exhibition in 2020, which showed his own family archives. Using photographs to narrate his family history, his display dates back to stories about his grandfather, who spoke Dutch and Bahasa Indonesia but not Chinese, and his father, who had to carry the SBKRI certificate of citizenship, identity papers used to discriminate against Indonesians of Chinese descent.[7] His story ultimately concluded with his failure to obtain a permit following his father’s death, because his father was not considered Indonesian by law. Like Adrian, I ask: if I am not native to the land in which my own forebears were born, then where am I native to? ▶ 15.15 ▶ 15.16 ▶ 15.17 ▶ 15.18

[6] A title or class created by the Dutch colonizers to lump the indigenous ethnic groups, previously clans and tribes and empires speaking different languages and at war with each other, into one tier (bottom tier), segregated from the Chinese, Arabs and Indians (middle tier), who are segregated from the Europeans (top tier); today, it is used by nationalists as a political tool to discriminate against Indonesian citizens of Chinese ancestry. [7] Chinese-Indonesians had to carry the SBKRI, Surat Bukti Kewarganegaraan Republik Indonesia (or Proof of Citizenship Letter of the Republic of Indonesia) to prove their Indonesian-ness, and processing fees were purposely priced at a high cost, even though Chinese-Indonesians were required to carry it at all times for their own safety.

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15.12

15.13

Indo-Chinezen vrouwen,

Untitled, photographer unknown,

vermoedelijk te Jogjakarta

date unknown. Courtesy

(Indo-Chinese women, presumedly

of Alexandra Kumala.

in Yogyakarta), photographer

Snapshot of gathering found

unknown, c. 1931. Courtesy of

in author’s family albums.

KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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15.14 Indo-Chinese kinderen met een drakenkostuum, vermoedelijk te Jogjakarta (Indo-Chinese children in a dragon costume, presumably Yogyakarta), photographer unknown, c. 1931. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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15.15 Exhibition detail from So Far So Close, by Adrian Mulya, 2019. Courtesy of Adrian Mulya. This work was first exhibited in 2019 at the Salihara’s LIFE Festival. The piece is an investigation of family, community, and state power, specifically in relation to Chinese ethnicity in Indonesia.

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Rani Pramesti, a multidisciplinary artist based in Melbourne, initiated a project from her own experiences and those of the women around her. Conversations with her own circles and community of Chinese-Indonesian women in Australia culminated in Chinese Whispers, a digital animation based on oral history interviews with survivors of the 1998 mass rapes. Twenty-four years ago in Jakarta, life seemed to have frozen in time and I took a “long break” from school; it wasn’t until I went to college in Seattle that I understood why. Due to the New Order regime—perpetuating animosity towards Indonesian citizens of Chinese ancestry and blaming them for rising prices of rice, milk, oil and gas—citizens took out their anger in racially-motivated sexual violence that brutalized the bodies of Chinese-Indonesian women, and arson and looting that specifically targeted homes and shops of Chinese-Indonesians. Families hid or fled. When I returned to school many months later, people smiled and spoke as if nothing had happened, even though my car rides to school were spent in perplexed bewilderment, trying to make sense of why the buildings were charred and covered in soot, windows like gaping mouths screaming silent pleas.

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Though 14 hours apart, Rani has been a source of support in navigating a career in the arts, particularly on working as a Chindo artist in spaces and environments dominated by insular US-centric perspectives. Rani eventually referred me to panels held by the Center for Chinese-Indonesian Studies. In one of the talks, professor Esther Kuntjara presented the national survey results from her extensive research on perceptions towards Chinese-Indonesians. The results, from multiple ethnic groups spanning across the nation, reveal the pervading distrust, prejudice and discrimination towards Chinese-Indonesians that continue strongly today, and provide an insight as to why we probably won’t see an ethnically Chinese-Indonesian public leader again, especially after Ahok. In our exchanges, Gunawan Widjaja informed me of laws I had not known until last year: nativist nationalization programs which specifically targeted the ethnic Chinese, using laws developed during the nation’s formative years, namely the Presidential Instruction No. 10 of 1959 (PP10) which built on the 1958 Citizenship Act. The domino effect of these laws, coupled by military implementation, forced Chinese-Indonesians out of rural areas and into urban city centers, and eventually caused the largest exodus of Chinese-Indonesians from the archipelago. The online project by Daniel Lie,[8] developed in collaboration with curator and historian Adelina Luft, narrates in incredible detail how his family lived through the laws enacted against the ethnically Chinese in Indonesia starting in 1957—banning them from multiple trade opportunities, from large-scale industries, to export-import licenses, to retail trade, among others— until his family’s eventual escape from Indonesia to Brazil in 1958. Like myself, Daniel is a Chinese-Indonesian who resides neither in Indonesia nor in China, where we face different kinds of discrimination in the United States and Brazil. Salvage, the poetry collection by Bali-born, Philly-based Cynthia Dewi Oka, urged me to examine irreplaceable loss, remnants of identity, and the fervor to forge on despite repeated erasure. Always urging us to look deeper, Dewi is also incredibly candid about her working class family and the unglamorous toil her parents had to endure, thus dismantling the stereotype that Chinese-Indonesians are all wealthy and well-off. Indonesian society perpetuates myths and stereotypes by focusing all media attention on affluent Chinese businessmen and pointing out the filthy rich—those who had been taken on as lieutenants to support the regime’s claim that they did not ethnically discriminate. Dewi’s poems gives a face to the remaining majority: humble shopkeepers who bear the brunt of discriminatory national laws. ▶ 15.19 ▶ 15.20 ▶ 15.21 [8]

www.tokobukuliong.com

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15.16 Sri Suprapti, from the series Winners of Life, Adrian Mulya, 2016. Courtesy of Adrian Mulya. The series Winners of Life investigates the impact of 1965 and the impacts of anti-communist policies in Indonesia, specifically focusing on women imprisoned for alleged communist associations.

Yaya Sung’s Jalan Kemenangan (Victory Road) weaves, literally, the stories of Chinese-Indonesians in Glodok, the capital city’s Chinatown. Ignorant to the fact that Chinatowns were created by colonizers to deliberately segregate ethnic and racial groups, there is a prevailing sentiment that the ethnic Chinese-Indonesians who haven’t moved away from their family homes are cliquey and limit themselves only to their only neighborhood communities; this sentiment leads to Glodok being an easy target for brutal violence. Yaya Sung’s work presented the fragile and fluid nature of memory and the immense resilience within communities directly and deeply affected by the 1998 events. Edita Atmaja’s Tato Tolak Bala, born from the phenomenon of towering gates and extra security measures

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15.17

15.18

From Chinese Whispers, Rani

From Chinese Whispers, Rani

Pramesti, digital animation,

Pramesti, digital animation,

2018. Courtesy of Rani Pramesti.

2018. Courtesy of Rani Pramesti.

Chinese Whispers is a digital animation that tells the story of violence perpetrated against Chinese citizens in Indonesia during the period of refomasi. The piece was developed as a website, and is available at TheChineseWhispers.com.

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post-1998, encouraged me to explore the tension of permanence and impermanence, to illustrate my belonging in Indonesia and the Indonesian-ness at my core. ▶ 15.22 ▶ 15.23 ▶ 15.24

“The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see.” JAMES BALDWIN

On a trip to Yogyakarta, a Javanese colleague took great pride in tracing her family lineage back to the Majapahit Empire,[9] mapping her ancestors on the royal family tree and recognizing their names in a public heritage site. Over the next several years, her words became a progressively jarring comparison to more and more Chindo friends and colleagues telling me how their families had to bury or burn their own photographs and documents, mainly during the anti-communist purge in 1965, so as not to be suspected of having connections to communist China. Friends and colleagues from North Jakarta, one of the hardest-hit targets of the 1998 ethnically-motivated arson and looting, share how their neighbors had to leave behind their homes and everything in them, including treasured family archives. How powerful is this contrast, when one sees themselves memorialized, while the other has to erase themselves simply in order to survive? Following my sojourn in Yogyakarta I made my way east to Surabaya, where I met legendary visual anthropologist Hadipurnomo, who worked with Margaret Mead, Jean Rouch, Ann Dunham, Alvin Ailey and everyone in between. Hadi lived many quiet revolutions, from the colonial era to today’s digital age. He became friends with the unlikeliest people: political prisoners and military commanders, high-ranking politicians and displaced villagers, army rebels and civilians. He spent his life recording, mapping, and preserving marginalized and disenfranchised communities. He created a library that revealed power structures and dynamics, and showed real abuse of power. Most extraordinary to me, he made films freely during the New Order regime. As an expert of historical documents in the analysis of cultural and social change, I spoke to him about the lack of records to prove that Chinese-Indonesians had been around before the Dutch arrived—how we keep getting our Indonesian-ness [9] A Hindu-Buddhist empire centered in Java that reigned from the 13th to the 16th centuries.

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15.19

15.20

15.21

Mammie, from the web project

From the web project Toko Buku

Visa for the family, from the web

Toko Buku Liong, Daniel Lie with

Liong, Daniel Lie with Adelina

project Toko Buku Liong, Daniel Lie

Adelina Luft, 2020. Courtesy of

Luft, 2020. Courtesy of Daniel

with Adelina Luft, 2020. Courtesy

Daniel Lie and Adelina Luft.

Lie and Adelina Luft.

of Daniel Lie and Adelina Luft.

Toko Buku Liong is a web-based project that documents Lee’s family fleeing Indonesia for Brazil.

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challenged, questioned and invalidated. What was his take on photographs as a record of history? What did he think of the potential for these records as a way to reimagine a more empathetic future? He told me to leave it behind and forget all about it. “Stop looking at those photographs!” He’d tell me, “Go be a New Yorker and get busy with the city.” This made me extremely angry and hurt. Before I could even discuss concepts and ideas with him, he would tell me that the issue is a moot point. If he spent his life producing images that challenge and confront the establishment and power hierarchies, why then was he telling me to forget about my pursuits? I have spent the last several months thinking about Hadi's words, so annoying and frustrating. Was he trying to protect me all this time, knowing my identity puts me at risk even when I'm not talking about controversial topics? Many moons later, I found out that Hadi was Chinese-Indonesian, although he’d only ever allow people to identify him as Javanese, not unlike many Chindo youth today who insist that they are simply Batak, Sundanese, Ambonese, Manadonese, etc. Maybe this was his way of saying that being Indonesian needs no hyphenation, long before the youngins. Perhaps Hadi did understand full well the kind of work I wanted to pursue, the kind of implications of sharing such private matters, and he was only keeping me from endangering myself. Or, was he trying to build me up so that when the industry tries to tear my work apart, I can stand my ground and have confidence in my artistic decisions? Hadi died before I was able to get my answers.

“People are strategic regarding what they can tell, and what they must tell, in order to make sense of the violence and displacements that mark their lives.” VANNINA SZTAINBOK

In 2019, against Hadipurnomo’s advice, I mustered up the courage to share some of my great-grandfather’s photographs on my private Instagram account stories. I received a flood of responses from many Indonesian diaspora, especially the Chindo families who shared the same experiences of oppression and silencing, but also other friends from Southeast Asian countries with similar histories. A friend from the Philippines shared how the Japanese invasion affected his Filipino family members, another shared how her Tsinoy[10] family members endured decades of sneers, jeers, slurs [10] Tsinoy is an ethnic minority group of Filipinos of Chinese descent.

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and slight, another shared how she made sense of her identity crises after visiting the Bahay Tsinoy Museum.[11] A Thai-American colleague told me of how she collected stories from family members who were alive when Thailand was invaded by Japan and when the nation decided to stop resisting and ally with Japan. A friend whose parents fled Vietnam on a boat told me of the history of persecution of Hoa and Mien[12] people. Burmese colleagues in France and Myanmar educated me on the history of animosity and legal struggles towards ethnically Chinese Burmese and other minority ethnic groups due to what they call “Burmanization.” In a Foreign Affairs report titled “Chinese Minorities in Southeast Asia,” Walter H. Mallory writes that they, at the hands of the dominant majority, “suffer social indignities, economic handicaps and sometimes actual bodily harm.” And from these personal accounts, it turns out, far removed from their ancestral land, ethnically Chinese in Southeast Asia live in the shadows, battle against national laws against them, and are dismissed by the governing powers of the dragon country as they do not wield any political power to influence a nation or even acquire land.[13] Sharing these photographs on social media led me to deep, genuine heart-to-heart. They became a gateway for conversations with friends and colleagues who would otherwise have kept their stories to themselves. They opened up dialog about the intersecting trajectories of decolonization and imperialism, diaspora versus displacement, and the choice to resist or flee. Could the sharing of photographs be a window to a more just world? We have seen how the lens is a witness to events unfolding, and the sharing of what it captured have started neighborhood movements that turned into a global revolution. And yet, too many of us are either too afraid of the consequences or are no longer are in possession of the photographs. One morning, on a day of particular existential crisis, I opened my long-abandoned Facebook account to find that my friend Cindy Marshall had posted her own family photographs from the early 1900s. Her post started a discussion about what it meant to be Chinese-Indonesian. The deluge of responses revealed that we're all full of stories we keep to ourselves, whether it’s getting up in the middle of the night on that fateful May 1998 to get on the next flight to Singapore, or being called “Aching” or “Achong” throughout middle school and high school because teachers and students refuse to learn their real names, or riding on the back of a box truck from Jakarta to Bandung, or almost being tricked to turn back and [11] This is a museum that documents the history, lives and contributions of the ethnic Chinese in the Philippine life and history. [12] Hoa and Mien are an ethnic minority group of Vietnamese people with Chinese descent. [13] Since 1975, the Special Region of Yogyakarta has barred Indonesian citizens of Chinese descent from owning land, even those who have lived in Indonesia for many generations.

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drive into 1998 riots, or watching cough medicine commercials with exaggerated Chinese shopkeeper characters who speak the Indonesian language with a thick accent. The stories I read exemplified how we go about our lives pretending that we don't carry this deep pain, both experienced and inherited. These stories highlighted the strength of the human heart and plasticity of the human mind to accept an unfair fate, to forgive, and to bear being a dartboard of discrimination. ▶ 15.25 To see other Chinese-Indonesian diaspora share their own family photographs from the 1900s on social media was a surprise. Some, stuck in Covid quarantine, elaborated at length how their family albums are in an aunt or uncle’s home, inaccessible to them until it’s safe to travel again. Others shared letters between their grandparents writing to relatives abroad, in perhaps the eloquence of an era long gone, their struggles being marginalized and disenfranchised by the system in Indonesia. In these private collections, stowed away and very rarely shared, rests an aperture to the way they see themselves and the world, without the labels that have been attached to them, without preconceptions that have been burdened onto them, without the meddling of others who tell them who they are and where they stand. In private, safe from judgmental scrutiny of social media, friends and even acquaintances told me of their Chindo grandmother and great-grandmothers, slaves to the Dutch colonizers in Central Java and South Sulawesi. What grand deconstruction of the myth and misconception that the Chinese were conspirators with the Dutch during colonization. In fact, the Chinese were held in contempt by and forced into service for the Dutch rulers. At the same time, they were distrusted and detested by the native islanders who accused them of collaborating with Dutch colonialism. Stuck in between, they suffered continuous violence from both sides. After the country's independence in 1945, attempts at decolonization ended up in scapegoating the ethnically Chinese yet again, this time from nationalists championing nascent nativist, nationalist hegemony. Reflecting on these stories, I ask myself: which of my experiences with discrimination and violence should I share in public, share in private, or keep to myself? In the photographs from my family archives, the writings, although in Chinese characters, describe the celebration of Batavia, of Djakarta, or of “coming home” to Indonesia, never of a far-off land. From Chindos in the homeland and in the diaspora, these photographs and letters abound but are hidden away in storage, probably rotting under the equatorial heat and tropical humidity. Tiptoeing between precious and dangerous, older family members don’t make an effort to share them—and the stories behind them—to the younger gen-

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15.22

15.23

Jalan Kemenangan (Victory Road),

Jalan Kemenangan (Victory Road),

Yaya Sung, digital photograph

Yaya Sung, digital photograph

on canvas with gold colored

on canvas with gold colored

thread, 60 cm × 120 cm, 2012.

thread, 60 cm × 120 cm, 2012.

Courtesy of Yaya Sung.

Courtesy of Yaya Sung.

The portraits in Jalan Kemenangan were inspired by the 1998 riots in Jakarta, and the impact these had on Chinese communities.

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15.24 Installation view of Tato Tolak Bala, Edita Atmaja, mixed media, 2015. Courtesy of Edita Atmaja.

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eration. They certainly don’t publicly show them off the way they do with other material possessions. Perhaps these photographs, kept in secret and stored away, are symbolic of the pain so many Chinese-Indonesians hold inside. We’re all full of stories we keep to ourselves. If simply being already invites so much alienation, what would sharing such intimate matters attract? Chinese-Indonesians are often mocked and ridiculed for hoarding and holding on to relics. If everything can be taken away from us at such ease and speed, is holding on to mementos simply a form of preserving memories? ▶ 15.26 ▶ 15.27

“…for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.” AUDRE LORDE, SISTER OUTSIDER

There are many other holes in the story, amplifying how structural and systemic erasure has manifested—from the dearth of documents, to the palpable internalized fear that has been instilled, passed down, and psychologically embedded so that generations after generations stay silent, therefore killing stories upon stories until a new generation is left with nothing else but skewed perceptions of self from the narratives others have written. I ponder about the myths and misconceptions that persist, and how they would cease to exist if only more literature, more records, more artwork— unsimplified and uncensored—about the full history and experience of Chindos were available and accessible. Today, I sit in my Brooklyn apartment writing this in between a podcast, two major projects, and numerous proposals I’ve neglected for too long. Every hour, the ringing of bells along Church Avenue chime in through the windows, inched open for the early autumn breeze. Easy laughter and reggae have replaced sounds of choppers and chaos. The trees have goldened at the tips and the dilapidated building round the corner has turned into a luxury condo. The USCIS finally approves my visa extension for the full maximum term. Still, impunity persists. Still, the lack of a proper, wholesome term to honor the true history, heritage, and experience of Indonesian citizens with Chinese ancestry. Still, people skip to push for “unity” before acknowledging the repeated, ongoing, systemic violence and the incredible resilience that goes overlooked. Still, I ask myself: what does it really mean to be Indonesian?

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15.25 Screenshot of Cindy Marshall’s Facebook feed. Courtesy of Alexandra Kumala.

15.26 Indo-Chinese man, vermoedelijk de vader van de heer Koo Kiem Tie te Jogjakarta (IndoChinese man, presumably the father of Mr. Koo Kiem Tie in Yogyakarta), photographer unknown, c. 1931. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

15.27 Indo-Chinese vrouw, vermoedelijk de moeder van de heer Koo Kiem Tie te Jogjakarta (IndoChinese woman, presumably the mother of Mr. Koo Kiem Tie in Yogyakarta), photographer unknown, c. 1931. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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In the evenings I stroll to Prospect Park and sit by the boathouse, illuminated under the velvet sky. I watch as people dance to the jazz and calypso the musicians play. On warmer nights, I saunter a little further and make my way to the piers along the promenade downtown. I watch the city lights twinkle over the rippling water and find a quiet spot to listen to the waves lap against the shore. In my mind, I bring myself closer to a tropical home. In the distance, the familiar sound of the trains banging against the bridge. I think of something to write home about and all the things I’ve written about home. I check my phone to find a text from my mother. I capture the view across the bridge on my phone camera and send it to my mother. Since starting this essay, I’ve closely examined my own archives, the photographs I’ve taken over the years, and how I’ve recorded the world around me. I take a Nikon and a notebook, I walk down the tree-lined streets of my block and ask myself: though not a photographer or cinematographer by trade, what are the images I capture and how do I capture them? Do they perpetuate or dismantle the dominant narrative? Do I hold back or limit myself in the process? How have I documented my transitions from the Eastern hemisphere to the Western hemisphere, from North America to South America, from the West Coast to the East Coast, from the Upper West Side to Astoria to Flatbush? If they say I am “other” in every place, how do I reclaim the narrative as my own? How did my family use their camera as a tool to refuse that our stories be framed by violence and erasure? I contemplate these questions, and revisit my family albums. ▶ 15.28

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15.28 Indo-Chinese kinderen, vermoedelijk te Jogjakarta (IndoChinese children, presumably in Yogyakarta), photographer unknown, c. 1931. Courtesy of KITLV and Leiden University, Creative Content program.

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C HAPT E R 16

A CITY ON THE MOVE: BAN DUNG TODAY

Brian C. Arnold

Or

ganized by Hou Hanru and Hans Ulrich Obrist and featured in locations across Europe between 1997 and 1999, the groundbreaking exhibition Cities on the Move highlighted an evolving understanding of modernism based on the post-World War II cities of East and Southeast Asia.[1] Curating a visual experience that mimicked the controlled chaos of late-twentieth-century Asian cities, the show brought together more than 150 artists and architects in an attempt to identify hybrids and commonalities in a pan-Asian cultural development that arose in the wake of colonialism and the Cold War, and has continued into the age of “hypercities”[2] like Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Tokyo.[3]

In discussing the development of Cities on the Move, Obrist stated: Normally curators know what they are looking for, but our research was a complicated process. We never worked out a complete exhibition concept— it was only during our travels that the whole complexity of the urban conditions started to dawn on us. As a result of this research it became clear that the theme of the exhibition would be the city and its dynamic variables. A city is never static, it never sleeps. Using these materials, we put together an exhibition that is in constant motion itself.[4] Ironically, this exhibition only traveled through Europe, securing the established divide between Asia and the Euro/America-centric visions of internationalism. Nonetheless, the exhibition opened new opportunities for discussion and innovation across borders, helped define a lexicon for better understanding contemporary Asian art entering the global markets, and left an indelible mark on international festivals and biennials for years afterward. ▶ 16.1

[1] There is a lot written, documented and produced about Cities on the Move. The catalog itself is expensive and difficult to find, but YouTube and other internet sources feature interviews with the curators and other important documentation. [2] From the perspective of architecture or urban development, a hypercity is home to 20–40 million inhabitants, but from a more conceptual approach it references a saturation point in information abundance, a chaotic influx of urban stimulation and information. [3] Curator Alia Swastika provides an interesting conceptualization of this exhibition looking at Javanese art in the early 21st century in her essay “Seni dan pertumbuhan dinamika sosial politik masyarakat urban (Art and the Growth of Socio-political Dynamics in Urban Society),” published in S Kripta, Volume 03/Semester 1/2016. [4] Quoted in Kiasma Magazine, No. 5 Vol.2, found online at https://bit.ly/3wmhU60.

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16.1 Untitled [installation view], Heri Dono, mixed media, date unknown. Courtesy of Tyler Rollins Fine Art. Long considered an innovator of contemporary Javanese art, mixed media artist Heri Dono represented Indonesia in the Cities on the Move exhibition organized by Obrist and Hanru.

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BANDUNG, INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL Bandung, the capital of West Java, has been a city at the heart of intellectual revolution since World War II and the Indonesian march toward independence, and represents a major urban center of ideological evolution, innovation, and conflict in Southeast Asia. Between organizations like Darul Islam and Muhammadiyah leading the path toward an Islamic state after the Dutch occupation, and the Institute of Technology in Bandung (ITB) offering an innovative approach to education and cultural development, Bandung has been a greenhouse of ideas for advancing different conceptions of Indonesian culture from the modern era and into the twenty-first century. Often overshadowed by the city of Yogyakarta in the international art scene, within the country itself Bandung is recognized as a center of creative innovation, and holds a unique position in the intellectual and cultural development of the islands. Bandung is surrounded by a rich volcanic landscape, with steep dramatic hills and stunning views of West Java. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Bandung was a major city of the Dutch occupation—the city was almost made the capital of the colonial government—and is home to some of the best art deco architecture in Java. The hills outside of the city are some of the most lucrative agricultural land in the region, evident in Bandung Aroma, one of the best known coffee plantations developed during the colonial era and still working today. Like other major cities of Southeast Asia, it is also characterized by relentless traffic jams, urban congestion, graffiti, and pollution. ▶ 16.2 At the heart of the intellectual and creative culture of Bandung is ITB. Founded by the Dutch in 1920, ITB was the first university in Indonesia that allowed natives to enroll, a substantial gesture by an oppressive colonial government. Originally conceived as a way to train drawing teachers, after independence the art school evolved into a center for fine arts education, attempting to mix Western and indigenous artistic traditions into something much more innovative and modern—and distinctively Indonesian.[5] Many influential people from Indonesian history graduated from ITB, including presidents Sukarno and Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, as well as influential artists like video pioneer Krisna Murti, multimedia artist Agus Suwage, painter A.D. Pirous, sculptor and writer Jim Supangkat, sculptor Nyoman Nuarta, and painter Srihadi Soedarsono, among others. Along with the University of Indonesia in Jakarta and Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta,

16.2 Ken Dedes, Jim Supangkat; wood, marker pen, and paint; 186.5 cm × 85 cm × 27 cm; 1975 (remade in 1996). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Singapore. Known as both a writer and artist, Jim Supangkat also demonstrates a keen and complicated understanding of Indonesian history. Ken Dedes is an iconic figure in Indonesian history. She was the first queen of the Singhasari (Hindu/ Buddhist court centered in East Java during the 13th century. Ken Dedes was also a favorite subject for sculptors during her time, with her image now memorialized in collections around the world. Supangkat’s piece reveals a much more complex set of questions about power, femininity, and sexuality, and how that reflects on both the past and contemporary worlds. 16.3 Eros Kai Thantos #3, Agus Suwage; oil, acrylic, and gold leaf on zinc; 119 cm × 91.5 cm, 2010. Courtesy of Tyler Rollins Fine Art. The Institute of Technology in Bandung is now known as an innovative program in fine arts, with many alum going onto notable careers, like the international renowned Agus Suwage, who mixes an incredible understanding of materials with a sharp perspective on Indonesian history. 16.4 Intercourse, Tromarama, two channel video (installation view), 4’10”, 2015. Courtesy of Tromarama and Edouard Malingue Gallery. Tromarama, a collective of new media artists based in Bandung, are more recent graduates of the arts program at ITB. Their work again represents a superlative understanding of technique combined with a playful and insightful approach to creative process.

[5] Claire Holt’s remarkable book, Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change, provides an excellent history on the development of the art school at ITB – along with several other art academies – after Indonesia achieved independence. For more information on Claire Holt, see Chapter 4, The Dance Photographs of Walter Spies and Claire Holt: A Biographical Study.

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16.5 RAWS Issue 1, saddle-stitched zine, 10.5 cm × 14.7 cm, date unknown. Courtesy of Brian C. Arnold. Perhaps influenced by the great Russian Socialist designers, the first RAWS zine spells out their motivations right away, to use humor and other disarming elements to engage people in a sense of self-articulation found in photography. 16.6 RAWS Issue 1, saddle-stitched zine, 10.5 cm × 14.7 cm, date unknown. Courtesy of Brian C. Arnold.

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ITB is widely considered one of the best universities in Indonesia, and their fine arts program is recognized throughout Asia. ▶ 16.3 ▶ 16.4 THE EMERGENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY Today the city of Bandung is a major hub in the development of photography and photographic arts in Indonesia. With a campus scattered across the city, Pasundan University—like Trisakti University in Jakarta and the Indonesian Institute of Art in Yogyakarta—was one of the first academic programs in Java to offer a degree in photography.[6] Adding photography to the rich art culture already established in Bandung was bound to develop new ideas and creative discourse in the city, and thus across Indonesia.[7] There are a number of important grassroot movements happening now in Bandung to develop an interest in and education on photography. At the heart of many of these movements are Wahyu Dhian and Harry Reinaldi (more commonly known as Pak HarSOS). Together, the two have initiated a number of important activities and resources for photography in Bandung, including the RAWS Syndicate, Bandung Photography Month, Bandung Photography Book Show, Perpustakaan Fotografi Keliling (Mobile Photography Library), and the Indonesian Photography Archive (IPA). ▶ 16.5 ▶ 16.6 All of these programs are designed to increase popular awareness of and interest in photography. Both the Bandung Month of Photography and the RAWS Syndicate first emerged in 2013.[8] The RAWS Syndicate has a catchy, tongue-in-cheek motto, “All Photography is Propaganda.” Within this, however, is an emphasis on self-ownership, an elusive but unique characteristic of photography in defining subjective reality. RAWS is active in many ways, including offering classes on nontechnical issues in photography—called RAWS ATTACK CLASS, which offers what they call a look inside the photograph (with discussions on research, writing, the history of photography, critical investigations of the medium, propaganda, project development, and the ethics of photography), providing space and other resources for exhibitions—called RED RAWS CENTER—and leading discussion groups; it also now functions as an ad hoc bookstore and propaganda machine (by its own definition[9]). As of this writing, RAWS is working to develop a web [6] See Soeprapto Soedjono’s essay The Development of Photographic Education in Indonesia, Chapter 11, for more information on the development of photographic education in Java. [7] ITB does not have a designated photography department or curriculum, but a number of people have worked as visiting professors teaching the medium at the school. Dating back to the 1930s or 1940s, Professor E.J.G. Schermerhorn, a Dutch chemical engineer who taught photography at ITB, other photographers contributing to the curriculum of the program include Leonardi Rustandi and Henrycus Napit Sunargo. [8] To learn more, visit their Instagram or Facebook feeds, @bandungphotographymonth and @rawssndct, or https://www.facebook.com/bandungphotographymonth/. [9] To see more of their sales project visit tokopedia https://bit.ly/3Clshej.

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portal serving as a directory and research archive for Indonesian photobooks.[10] ▶ 16.7 ▶ 16.8 ▶ 16.9 Begun in 2013, Bandung Photography Month is an annual fall event showcasing a variety of photographic activities. Throughout the city, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and other happenings are organized to promote a greater involvement with and understanding of photography. Each year, Bandung Photography Month gives a lifetime achievement award to a photographer of notable influence working in Indonesia. Previous winners include prolific technical writer R.M. Soelarko[11] and Leonardi Rustandi, an itinerant photographer who takes on a variety of jobs ranging from weddings to teaching at ITB.[12] Perpustakaan Fotografi Keliling (or Mobile Photography Library) is a truly unique project designed to bring more photography to more people. Just as the name suggests, it is a small, portable library of photography books made by a remarkably diverse range of photographers from around the world. The library is packed up and brought to photography and art events around Bandung and across Indonesia, and can even be spotted on random street corners from time to time. The intent is clear: make photography and a critical discussion on the medium available to as many people as possible. Founded in 2017 and established in collaboration with Dr. Andang Iskandar, the Indonesian Photography Archive is the newest of all these efforts. Housed in the Rumah IPA, the Archive has great ambitions. The goal is to create a research archive that holds negatives, publications, equipment, and other ephemera documenting the history of photography from across the archipelago. The resources of the Indonesian Photography Archive are still small, but the ambition and necessity are substantial. The ultimate goal is to establish an Indonesian photography museum. Given the other successful grassroots organizations pioneered by Pak HarSOS and Wahyu, as well as the investment made by the city of Bandung, the Archive seems destined to be a unique and important resource for archiving the history of photography in Indonesia. Similar to all of these small organizations is Unobtanium. Founded in 2015 by Ferry Ferdianta Ginting and Aditya Pratama, two former law students, Unobtainium is both an aspiring publisher and the first bookstore in Indonesia dealing exclusively with photobooks. The two founders connected over a shared love of photography and photobooks, and soon demonstrat[10] For more information visit their website, www.bukufotoindonesia.com. [11] The World Cat attributes about a dozen different publications to Pak Soelkaro, all detailing different approaches to an array of technical and conceptual issues in photography, including manuals on creating scenarios, composition, photograms, and how to earn a living as a photographer. [12] Bandung based photographer and amateur geologist, Deni Sugandi, published a great portrait of Leonardi on his blog (published in Bahasa Indonesia), https://bit.ly/3dOBAcg.

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16.7 Perpustakaan Fotografi Keliling in the field. Courtesy of Perpustakaan Fotografi Keliling and Wahyu Dhian.

16.8

16.9

Perpustakaan Fotografi Keliling in

Perpustakaan Fotografi Keliling in

the field. Courtesy of Perpustakaan

the field. Courtesy of Perpustakaan

Fotografi Keliling and Wahyu Dhian.

Fotografi Keliling and Wahyu Dhian.

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16.10

16.11

From the series Coming Home, Tandia

From the series Coming Home, Tandia

Bambang Permadi, digital file

Bambang Permadi, digital file

made from silver print template,

made from silver print template,

dimensions variable, 2011–2016.

dimensions variable, 2011–2016.

Courtesy of Tandia Bambang Permadi.

Courtesy of Tandia Bambang Permadi.

The first book published by Unobtainium, Coming Home by Tandia Bambang Permadi is a noir or Japanese inspired meditation on self and home.

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ed a savvy understanding that book publishing in photography is rapidly developing as a large global industry. Thus far Unobtainium has only published one book, Coming Home (2017) by Tandia Bambang Permadi. Ferry and Aditya started this venture thinking that there was much great photography in Java, but little support for artists interested in publishing. Much of the publishing that came before focused on documentary photography and photojournalism, so they sought to create a new forum to promote art photography in Indonesia.  Coming Home, their first book, reveals a clear understanding of the techniques and critical discourse surrounding contemporary photobook publishing, and brings to voice a new talent in Indonesian photography. Due to financial limitations, the publishing venture is developing slowly, but regardless, Unobtainium has found other ways to fill the void and continue to develop an interest in and market for photobooks in Java. Today Unobtainium is the sole Indonesian distributor of many elite international publishers of photography, all in turn furthering the discourse and understanding of the medium for the growing community of artists working in Bandung and beyond. In some ways, Tandia is representative of many of the photographers emerging in Bandung. He won a scholarship to attend a Magnum Photos Workshop in Singapore, where he studied with Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol and the Danish-South Korean filmmaker Sun Hee Engelstoft. The style of Tandia’s work in  Coming Home  is reminiscent of Daido Moriyama, or perhaps Sobol himself, though the story is a bit more complex and confrontational.  Coming Home  is Tandia’s first serious project, and looks specifically at the contradictions and complexities of identity as these relate to home. When Tandia would return home to Kuningan and Depok—two small cities in West Java outside of Bandung—he felt more a sense of alienation than comfort. Too often the people he would see on the streets could not remember him, or would only offer simple, superficial pleasantries. To combat this, he resorted to entering his neighbors’ homes without permission, to photograph them and their possessions. To increase the confrontation, the pictures are made with a flash, often blinding the subjects he photographed. The real goal was to make a lasting impression, so that the people of his hometown would remember him and help secure his sense of identity in relation to place. ▶ 16.10 ▶ 16.11 ▶ 16.12 THE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Tandia, like many of his peers working around Bandung, is a graduate of ITB. Several of these people have helped legitimize photographic art in Bandung and across Indonesia, some even developing and expanding photographic education in the region. Sandi Jaya Saputra, a professor of photography at Padjadjaran University just outside Bandung, pursues a traditional docu-

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16.12

16.13

From the series Coming Home, Tandia

From the series Pause; Urban

Bambang Permadi, digital file

Decay, Sandi Jaya Saputra,

made from silver print template,

C-print, 60 cm × 90 cm, 2009–2001.

dimensions variable, 2011–2016.

Courtesy of Sandi Jaya Saputra.

Courtesy of Tandia Bambang Permadi.

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mentary approach to urban and landscape photography. His book  Pause; Urban Decay (2018) reveals a secret vision of Indonesian cities, with a calm and peace beneath all the chaos. Like this project, his first, self-produced book  EX  (2016) is a series of panoramas documenting the evolving landscape of Bandung. The pictures in EX were first exhibited at the Singapore Biennale in 2012. The publication of  EX  has an effective DIY quality, and uses low-resolution printing in an evocative manner to describe the city of Bandung. Sandi works with an interesting and progressive educational program at Padjadjaran University to further substantiate photographic education and discourse in Indonesia. ▶ 16.13 ▶ 16.14 Photographers such as Henrycus Napit Sunargo have developed a much more eclectic approach to traditional photographic processes and visions. Henrycus finished a degree in architecture in 1999, and then a Visual Arts Magistrate Program (akin to an MFA) at ITB in 2015 with a degree in architecture, after which he taught himself photography. His work is diverse and innovative, ranging from deeply personal narratives to traditional documentary to abstract retellings of cultural history, and always displays a quiet, poetic sensitivity. His techniques, for the most part, are traditional, employing wet-plate collodion, gelatin silver, and C-prints. His ideas, however, remain a bit more eclectic. In a curatorial statement that Henrycus prepared for  Revisiting Bandung: Four Decades of Personal Approach in Photography, an exhibition held as part of the inaugural Bandung Photography Showcase in 2015 at Selasar Sunarygo Art Space, he lays out a critical framework used for understanding his own work as a photographer. In the statement, he references a number of leading critics, both Western and Indonesian, to create a complex dialectic between personal experience and fiction. He quotes Javanese curator and art historian Aminudin T.H. Siregar: Most artists of the millennial generation… talk more about “personal and identity problems” and “personal wounds”… In Indonesia, in the midst of chaotic social and political conditions… Artists chose to remove themselves as well, more interested in building their worlds.[13] Henrycus’ series Afterimage (2000–10) provides a poignant meditation on family, portrayed with a quiet humility and affection, and explores the space between fiction and documentary. True to the words of Aminudin, the series seems an attempt to grapple with control over his identity and personal history. ▶ 16.15 In his curatorial statement for Revisiting Bandung: Four Decades of Personal Approach in Photography, Henrycus credits American critic Arthur Danto in creating the theoretical background of his work. In an early statement he [13] Henryucs Napit Sunargo, “Revisiting Bandung: Four Decades of Personal Approach to Photography,” Writing Photography/SE Asia, March 19, 2015, https://bit.ly/3PC8yd7.

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16.14 From the series EX; Sandi Jaya Saputra, Risograph, from softcover saddle stitched book (edition of 100), 14 cm × 38.8 cm, 2012. Courtesy of Sandi Jaya Saputra.

16.15 From the series Afterimage; Henrycus Napit Sunargo, silver gelatin print, dimensions variable, 2002–2010. Courtesy of Henrycus Napit Sunargo.

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16.16 From the series Hometown, Beliefs, and Personal God(s); Henrycus Napit Sunargo, digital C-print, 50 cm × 50 cm, 2015. Courtesy of Henrycus Napit Sunargo.

references a classic line from Danto: “trusting the photograph was probably a huge mistake.” Like questions about fact and fiction, Henrycus’ work explores the tension of a photographic representation as a legitimate social or historical tool. His series Hometown, Beliefs, and Personal God(s) (2015) looks at an entirely underacknowledged and often maligned part of Indonesian culture: its Chinese communities. Photographed in Bandung’s Chinatown, these pictures are full of subtlety and curiosity, and with care and humanity document basic elements of this community. Given the complex history Indonesia shares with its Chinese citizens, his sensitivity questions the past and creates a poetic call for new histories. ▶ 16.16 ▶ 16.17 A more recent series by Henrycus, Reconstruction #3 (2015), uses wetplate collodion to represent the complex colonial past of Indonesia. Much more conceptual than these other series, the pictures in  Reconstruction #3 were made by scanning images of some of the early leaders of Bandung, all gathered from Dutch archives. In developing his wet-plate technique, Henrycus worked with Ario Pradipta Wibhisono, a Bundung photographer committed to alternative process photography.[14] The images in Henrycus’ series are printed as film positives, but before printing he erased the faces from the people using digital tools, in order to obscure the history they represent and create profound questions about colonialism and identity. These film positives were then projected onto plates sensitized with wet-plate emulsions—an antique, nineteenth-century photographic process— and processed as direct positives, again using a hybrid set of tools to confound our sense of history. The pictures are in turn presented as though authentic nineteenth-century photographs, complete with the jewel box presentation characteristic of times past. The obscured images presented in such a traditional way suspend history, offering an abstract interpretation of time and representation. ▶ 16.18 ▶ 16.19 A professor at ITB and a close friend and creative colleague of Henrycus, Deden Durahman pursues photography in a completely different way. Self-identified as more of a media artist, Deden works in photography, painting, printmaking, and graphic design. After completing an undergraduate degree in printmaking from ITB, Deden pursued an MFA in digital media in Germany. His work creates an inherent conflict with the viewer, as it is both disturbing in the digital distortions he creates, and also highly aestheticized by the superlative craft he brings to his work. His photographic work deconstructs conceptions of the body and its connection to technology, using digital manipulation to fragment and reconstruct—to question, distort, and compromise our physical nature. In addressing Deden's work, [14] A visit to Ario’s studio provides a unique experience, as he seems equally influenced by American tintype photographer John Coffer and Bob Marley.

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16.17 From the series Hometown, Beliefs, and Personal God(s), Henrycus Napit Sunargo digital C-print, 40 cm × 40 cm, 2015. Courtesy of Henrycus Napit Sunargo.

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16.18

16.19

Untitled [Portrait of Jez O’Hare],

From the series Reconstruction#3,

Ario Pradipta Wibhisono, wet

Henrycus Napit Sunargo wet plate

plate ambrotype on plexiglass,

ambrotype on glass, 4 × 5 in

4 × 5 in, date unknown. Courtesy

(image) 16 cm × 20 cm × 2.3 cm

of Ario Pradipta Wibhisono.

(display box), 2015. Courtesy of Henrycus Napit Sunargo.

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16.20 Another Me #08, Deden Durahman, Chromogenic print in acrylic dibond, 110 cm × 110 cm, 2011. Courtesy of Deden Durahman. With training across media, Deden Durahman creates fantastic, distorted, and disturbing images of bodies. Photographic materials and meanings are essential to his work, and also undermined by his digital fabrications. 16.21 Innermemories #6, Deden Durahman, Chromogenic print in acrylic dibond, 280 cm × 110 cm, 2011. Courtesy of Deden Durahman.

Henrycus writes, “This process of reconstruction reflects a response towards post-modern and contemporary thoughts, departing from heroic ideologies in order to convey something more layered, reflective and analytical.” Deden’s work, ultimately, is about history, technology, and representation, grounded in photography, but pushing the boundaries of traditional photographic representation. His images ask important questions as to how technology shapes our understanding of our bodies. ▶ 16.20 ▶ 16.21 ▶ 16.22 BEYOND ITB It’s more than just the academies and institutions, because of its unique intellectual and cultural environment Bandung is home to a number of interesting photographers and artists, including Jez O’Hare and Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayaputri. Spanning a career of more than twenty years, O'Hare's photographs offer a remarkably unique perspective on the archipelago. Born in England, O'Hare moved to Indonesia in 1973, finally achieving citizenship in his adopted nation in 1995. His specialty is aerial photography, and he has photographed a large number of the seventeen thousand islands scattered around the archipelago. O'Hare has photographed using helicopters, planes, a trike microlite (an open cockpit plane he built himself), a paramotor, drones (some mounted with 4  ×  5 film cameras), and kites. He has worked for oil companies, mines, nature conservancies, and tourism boards, but the sum total of his efforts has given O'Hare an infectious affection for and understanding of the diversity, beauty, corruption, heedlessness, economics, geography, and radiance found in the complexity of the archipelago. With a work-aday proficiency, O'Hare crafts his pictures with a genuine love for photographic processes, and reveals a rich understanding of color, space, and form. The end result is as informative as it is seductive. ▶ 16.23 ▶ 16.24 ▶ 16.25

Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayaputri pursues her work in an entirely different manner. With an education in photojournalism, she has since developed a pursuit aimed more toward the fine arts. Arum has set up grassroots projects to help establish her voice as a photographer and artist. Her first project was Kami Punya Cerita (We Have Our Own Stories, 2011–14), an education program she put together to train amateur and novice photographers about the self-realization and empowerment found in photography. Most of the participants used the most basic of tools—phones or other inexpensive cameras—and worked to develop projects examining their daily lives. The end results of these workshops were published in small zines, in which the participants shared a spread of photographs with a brief description

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16.22 Peers #01; Deden Durahman, ultrachrome print on Hahnemühle paper, 117 cm × 77 cm, 2017. Courtesy of Deden Durahman.

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16.23 Deep Sea Ice Drill Ship, Teluk Bintuni, Papua, Jez O’Hare, inkjet print, dimensions variable, 1998. Courtesy of Jez O’Hare. Having spent over 20 years photographing the Indonesian archipelago from the air, Jez O’Hare has an incredibly unique and insightful understanding of the great expanse that is Indonesia as we know it.

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about how the pictures reflect their lives. Arum now helps with Omnispace, an artist-run gallery in Bandung that provides exhibition space for artists outside of the commercial and academic circles that are plentiful in the city. More recently, Arum has worked with artists in the renowned Yogyakarta collective Ruang MES 56,[15] and has also participated in the international residency program at the Cemeti Art House, also in Yogyakarta. The most interesting of Arum's projects was completed as part of her thesis while pursuing her degree in photojournalism, Goddess of Pantura (2012–2013). The title of the series references the goddess of the north coast of Java, and is used to suggest the mythologies and idolatry that surround the music. This project documents a form of popular music in Java,  dangdut. Rather than developing like a typical musical documentary that focuses on the performers, Arum's pictures record the culture and people that surround the performers, focusing on the fantasies and social needs represented in the music. Like many forms of popular music, dangdut allows for public displays of sexuality not found elsewhere in Indonesian culture. Often photographed from the perspective of the musicians, the pictures also show the crowds and cultural landscapes of Java, both rural and urban, providing a rich understanding of the context of the performances. Arum also captures some sensitive behind-the-scenes situations, offering a strong sense of the people underneath the masks of performance. The artist's decision to print the photos as cheap, self-published zines or newspapers allowed her to share them at dangdut performances throughout Java. As a 2016 commission for the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Arum prepared a more ambitious self-publication of Goddess of Pantura. This more recent publication comes with much richer reproductions of the photographs, and shows a savvy approach to design and presentation. ▶ 16.26 RICHARD WRIGHT AND THE LEGACY OF BANDUNG In April of 1955, President Sukarno held an ambitious conference gathering leaders from across Africa and Asia, referenced now as the Bandung Conference. The purpose of the conference was to bring together the newly independent nations emerging after World War II and the end to colonial occupation of their lands. Sukarno gave the opening address to the conference, and in doing so offered insight into the history of and ambitions for the gathering: ▶ 16.27

[15] For more about MES 56, see Chapter 13, Hybrid Forms in the Practice of the Ruang MES 56 Photography Collective.

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16.24 Kelok Sembilan, Sumatra Barat, Jez O’Hare, inkjet print, dimensions variable, 2014. Courtesy of Jez O’Hare. 16.25 Lake Jempang, East Kalimantan, Jez O’Hare, inkjet print, dimensions variable, 1996. Courtesy of Jez O’Hare.

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16.26 From the series Goddess of Pantura, Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayaputri, digital C-print, 60 cm × 80 cm, 2012–2013. Courtesy of Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayaputri. The pictures in Goddess of Pantura provide a remarkable look at dangdut, the culture fantasies and idolatry represented in the music and performances.

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16.27 Pasar Baru, Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayaputri, 150 cm × 100 cm, inkjet on professional photo paper, 2019. Courtesy of Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayaputri. Similar to Goddess of Pantura, the pictures in Pasar Baru address issues facing women and identity in contemporary Javanese society.

I recognize that we are gathered here today as a result of sacrifices. Sacrifices made by our forefathers and by the people of our own and younger generations. For me, this hall is filled not only by the leaders of the nations of Asia and Africa; it also contains within its walls the undying, the indomitable, the invincible spirit of those who went before us. Their struggle and sacrifice paved the way for this meeting of the highest representatives of independent and sovereign nations from two of the biggest continents of the globe.[16] The conference was an attempt to unify the postcolonial nations into a political bloc. Holding it in Bandung was significant, as the city provided a clear history of both colonialism and education, the past and a path forward. Evidence of this conference can still be found on the streets of Bandung today.

[16] From an English translation of Sukarno’s opening speech at the Bandung Conference, taken from the CVCE.eu website, a research archive maintained by the University of Luxembourg, https://bit.ly/2VDwy54.

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An interesting side story of the conference points toward the significant effects of this occasion on the arts and artists of Java. Famed African American novelist Richard Wright was living in Paris when he heard about the gathering. The history of colonialism and oppression was at the heart of his work, so Wright felt it imperative that he attend, and arranged to get press credentials so that he could report on the conference. He eventually published an account of his time in Indonesia called The Color Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference (1956), which reads as a manifesto calling for the demolition of the color barriers that allowed for slavery, colonialism, and oppression. ▶ 16.28 Wright's books Native Son (1940) and Black Boy (1945) had already been translated into Indonesian and were very influential with many Javanese writers. While there, Wright met with a number of influential writers working in Jakarta and West Java, including Mochtar Lubis, Achdiat Karta Mihardja, Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana, and Beb Yuk. While many of these writers questioned Wright's account of his time in Java—suggesting that he provided a rather romantic and self-aggrandizing account of his time in Bandung—these meetings also secured his influence on writers in the region.[17] ▶ 16.29 In many ways this conference and Wright's participation reveal a great deal about the city of Bandung. Historically, the city has a rich, complicated history in regard to colonial rule and independence. It is a city that has led the nation in discussions about education, creativity, and revolution. The agricultural lands surrounding the city abound in the history of colonial plantations; the city is adorned with some of the best Dutch architecture; and it is a center of education and culture for the entire archipelago. Wright's involvement points to the best and worst of all this, both in his influence on and engagement with some of the leading intellectuals of Java, as well as in the subversive intentions behind his visit. At the heart of all this is an innovative approach to the arts and art education, all driving the new development of photographic discourse in Java. Circling back to Cities on the Move, Bandung represents so much of the emerging cities and influence of Asia during the transition from the twentieth to the twenty-first century—embodying both the residue of colonialism and leading the way toward meaningful cultural change. At the heart of Cities on the Move is an identity crisis that emerged as the newly liberated nations negotiated a sense of self after colonialism. The complex narratives surrounding Wright's visit to Bandung beautifully portrays these complexities, illustrating hope, opportunity, subversion, and a recounting that blends fact [17] The Color Curtain is often praised for its vision, but also criticized for offering a romanticized and incorrect account of his time in Java. For more information, see Indonesian Notebook: A Sourcebook on Richard Wright and the Bandung Conference.

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16.28 Untitled [Richard Wright, from the Bandung Conference], Richard Wright, date unknown. Courtesy Beinecke Rare and Manuscript Collection at Yale University. 16.29 Untitled [Sutan Takdir, from the Bandung Conference], photographer unknown, date unknown. Courtesy Beinecke Rare and Manuscript Collection at Yale University.

and fiction. The emergence of photography in educational and artistic discourses across the city is ripe with possibilities, and provides a next step in the emerging iconoclastic and revolutionary cultural and creative changes at the heart of Cities on the Move, and one grounded in all of these complexities.

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C HAPT E R 17

URBAN PARALLAX: JAKARTA THROUGH A STREET PHOTOGRAPHER’S LENS

Brent Luvaas

Chris

Tuarissa is a photo maximalist. He fills his color-saturated frames from edge to edge. In one shot from 2017, a young boy takes up the right half of the image, his eyes, large and alert, staring past us. Snot streaks from his nostrils. His expression—open-mouthed, teeth bared—is not entirely legible. Perhaps he is distraught, perhaps excited. We have to wonder why he hasn’t yet noticed and wiped away the snot. Behind him are the disembodied legs of other children, climbing the ladder of a playground slide. To their left, are several more, one facing us, a few others looking away. A woman caretaker is handing out something from a tin. A man in a red cap stares absently towards the lens. Further in the background, a row of Indonesian flags, their stark red and white cutting diagonally across the frame, stop abruptly before a child’s foot. And behind them, we see the outstretched legs and arms of the Irian Jaya Liberation Monument, the most obvious clue as to where this scene takes place. It looms like a sentry over all the action. It is a scene of play, but it doesn’t exactly feel playful. The mood is tense, frenetic. The presence of the flags and the monument makes the image feel vaguely political, but if there is a message to it, it is not clear what that message is. The image remains stubbornly ambiguous. ▶17.1 ▶17.2 In another of his shots from the same year, a butcher’s body, cut off at the arm, holds an axe in one hand, a rack of meat (possibly goat) in the other. The meat, raw and pink, covers the head of the man behind him. A blue tarp, stretched across the background, stands in for, and blocks out, the sky. More subjects rendered anonymous. More everyday scenes made unknowable. ▶ 17.3 Tuarissa likes to play with depth and scale in composing his photographs. He often gets uncomfortably close to his subjects, so close we sometimes cannot make them out, his wide-angle lens distorting their relative size, then juxtaposes them with something else, often incongruous, happening in the background. A profiled silhouette moves past a busy billboard. A man in a superhero costume pats a child on the head. A single hand emerges through a crowd of TransJakarta bus passengers, its fingers touching the glass longingly, as if aching for meaningful connection. Tuarissa’s images are often shot looking up, from a child’s point of view. There is a certain

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17.1 Untitled [Jakarta], Roe, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2018. Courtesy of Roe. 17.2 Untitled [Jakarta], Chris Tuarissa, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2017. Courtesy of Chris Tuarissa. Characteristic of Chris Tuarissa’s pictures, this photograph is full of action and vibrant colors, and also telling of life on the chaotic streets of Jakarta. 17.3 Untitled [Jakarta], Chris Tuarissa, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2017. Courtesy of Chris Tuarissa.

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self-imposed naivety to them, as if Tuarissa is challenging himself to see his home city of Jakarta with new eyes. ▶ 17.4 Jakarta is not the first city anyone thinks of when they think of street photography. The urban documentary tradition devoted to capturing candid images of everyday life in public space, is associated most closely with Paris and New York, large Western metropolises full of grand thoroughfares and tree-lined avenues. Street photography is about seeking out the beauty in the ordinary. But Jakarta, claims pioneering, Jakarta-based photographer Erik Prasetya, is not a beautiful city. It has no grand architectural tradition, was never centrally planned by a Baron Haussman or a Robert Moses. It is, instead, a city of contrasts and extremes, of snarled traffic jams and pushcart vendors, burning trash pits and luxury malls, makeshift shelters jutting up against impenetrable high rises. It is these extremes that show up in the work of photographers like Tuarissa and Prasetya. There is a beauty about the spaces portrayed in their photographs, but it is not an easy beauty. It is the beauty of recognition, of realizing some basic truth about one’s life and one’s city, not the beauty of romance or nostalgia. Prasetya calls it “the aesthetic of the banal” (estetika banal). ▶ 17.5 City streets have appeared in Indonesian photographs since photography came to the archipelago in the middle of the 19th century, but street photography, as a genre devoted to candid captures of everyday urban life is a relatively new phenomenon in the Indonesian capital city, as with the rest of the island nation. There are several factors that contributed to its slow adoption there. First, street photography is a genre for the urban flâneur, that much-mythologized figure of Western bourgeois modernity who takes long aimless walks through city streets, observing their ebbs and flows. Jakarta, however, is barely a breathable city, let alone a walkable one. The sidewalks, when they exist at all, are broken and crumbling, teetering over open sewers. Respectable middle-class Jakartans—the kind of people with enough disposable income to spend on cameras—avoid them altogether. There is an entrenched anti-walking culture in the city. Once-a-month carfree days along Jalan Sudirman and Thamrin are beginning to change that, but slowly. ▶ 17.6 Second, under the authoritarian regime of Suharto, which governed Indonesia from 1967 to 1998, taking pictures in urban public places— the very lifeblood of street photography—was actively discouraged, associated with political struggle and protest. It was not at all uncommon for photographers to be harassed, or even jailed, for documenting conditions or activities the government would rather not have acknowledged. Suharto sought to maintain careful control over

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17.4 Untitled [Jakarta], Chris Tuarissa, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2017. Courtesy of Chris Tuarissa. 17.5 Untitled [Jakarta], Ade Aryani, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2018. Courtesy of Ade Aryani.

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17.6 Untitled [Jakarta], Adela Pradikta, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2016–2018. Courtesy of Adela Pradikta. Adela Pradikta strives to sustain an innocence and freshness to his approach to photographing the streets of Jakarta, so that the streets always remain new.

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the public image of Indonesia. Urban photographic documentation, practiced by private citizens, was a potential threat to that control. Third, Indonesians tend to imagine rural spaces as the site of authentic local culture, the places where “real life” happens, not cities. Cities are where cultures go to die, to get sucked up into the meat grinder of modernity. For well over a hundred years, professional and enthusiast photographers in the archipelago concentrated their lenses on a fading, picture-postcard version of village life. “Salon photography” was the name given to the genre. Street photography runs in direct contrast to that tradition. It composes its aesthetic in the grimy alleys and congested roadways of the city. ▶ 17.7 Erik Prasetya, a commercial photographer and photojournalist, was an early practitioner of street photography in Indonesia, as was photographer and educator Edy Purnomo. First hitting the streets to document the student protests that ultimately brought down Suharto in 1998, Prasetya was inspired by New York City heavyweights like Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, and Dianne Arbus. He went on to publish several books of street photography with publisher PT Gramedia, including a 2014 guidebook to the practice, titled simply On Street Photography. He now holds occasional workshops teaching the practice at Jakarta photography studios. Prasetya’s growing regional fame and infectious enthusiasm, combined with the rise of relatively cheap, mirrorless cameras, helped start the current trend of street photography in Indonesia. The emergence of online photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Tumblr brought increasing awareness to the genre. There was, however, one platform above all others that contributed to the explosion of interest in street photography in Jakarta: Instagram. Launched in 2010, the iPhone photo-sharing app introduced thousands of amateur photographers to the street photography tradition. Street photographers from around the world began posting on Instagram, amassing thousands of followers in months. Some, like Roe, became “brand ambassadors” for camera companies like Fujifilm, Olympus, and Leica. Urban Indonesians took to Instagram almost immediately, and began to experiment with new ways of shooting and seeing. Inspired by a young generation of digitally-savvy street photographers—Matt Stuart in London, Eric Kim in Los Angeles, Tavepong Pratoomwong in Bangkok—Indonesians began to wander the streets camera in hand, documenting everyday life in the “Big Durian” and posting their images for others to see. ▶ 17.8 Like most amateur photographers, Adela Pradikta shoots mostly on the weekends, commuting up to Glodok, Kota Tua, Sunda Kelapa, and the northern parts of the city to wander through the hustle and bustle of electronics marketplaces and working ports. But there was a time, he says, when he would be out “24 hours

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17.7 Untitled [Katmandu, Nepal], Edy Purnomo, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2004. Courtesy of Edy Pornomo. Edy Pornomo was an early practitioner of street photography in Indonesia, even photographing the street protests that led to the fall of Suharto.

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17.8 Untitled [Sydney], Roe, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2017. Courtesy of Roe.

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a day.” The South Jakarta-based training manager with a degree in psychology loves the feeling of being enveloped by city life, keeping his mind and camera open, while discovering new things and neighborhoods. That’s why he chooses parts of the city that remain essentially foreign to him, parts dominated by ethnic Chinese merchants, manual laborers and squatters, where the rhythms and sights are different from his own, more middle-class, version of ordinary. Pradikta considers himself “masih hijau” (still new) at street photography, though he’s been at it for a few years now, and in truth, he would like to keep it that way; good street photographers strive to see things continually with new eyes. ▶ 17.9 It was Instagram that first triggered Pradikta’s passion for the subject and where he came across the accounts of iN-PUBLiC and Magnum photographers from the United States and Europe, but once his interest peaked, he began digging deeper into Jakarta’s own street photography scene, such that it was. There were only a few self-labeled “street photographers” around at the time, Edy Purnomo and, of course, Erik Prasetya. Pradikta took a workshop with Prasetya and still considers him his mentor. They share an interest in the urban mundane. But unlike Prasetya, who tends to focus his lens on the middle-class lifestyles of the central business district, Pradikta gravitates more towards the margins of the city, finding the working poor, and the ethnically distinct. His images are more straightforward and documentary than Prasetya’s, but no less observant. He scours the city with an ethnographic eye, alert to social relations, ethnic tensions, and new cultural traditions emerging in the cosmopolitan maelstrom of the city. ▶ 17.10 In 2015, Pradikta made himself into something of a proselytizer for Indonesian street photography. Along with friends, and fellow enthusiasts, Rachmad Ravael, Baskara Puraga, Agung R.U., and Arifan Sudaryanto, he started the Instagram street photography collective InstaStreetID. The five of them run a common Instagram account and hashtag, organize the occasional “photo walk” and “Instameet,” and do what they can to popularize, and educate about, the genre. InstaStreetID now has sister accounts in Semarang, Makassar, Surabaya, Padang, Yogyakarta, and Manado. They also occasionally hold joint events and conferences with other online street photography collectives, including Maklum Foto, the Jakarta and Bandung-based group founded by Chris Tuarissa, along with Tomi Saputra Ghazali, and Ade Andryani Sitompul. InstaStreetID and Maklum Foto have become two of the active collectives in the budding Indonesian street photography scene. Who knows if it will stay that way. New street photography Instagram collectives are popping up every month in Indonesia. Social media is framing the genre as a kind of movement, a new way of seeing the city, a new way of moving

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17.9 Untitled [Jakarta], Adela Pradikta, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2018. Courtesy of Adela Pradikta. 17.10 Untitled [Dieng], Edy Purnomo, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 1999. Courtesy of Edy Purnomo.

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17.11 Untitled [Jakarta], Ade Aryani, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2018. Courtesy of Ade Aryani. 17.12 Untitled [Jakarta], Ade Aryani, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2018. Courtesy of Ade Aryani. 17.13 Untitled [Jakarta], Roe, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2016. Courtesy of Roe. Roe, like many young street photographers in Indonesia, took immediately to the possibilities of Instagram and social media, amassing thousands of followers and immediately finding a voice on the platform.

through space. The Facebook public group Indonesia on the Street (IOS), 20,606 members strong as of October 2018, has become an online forum in which each of these collectives participates. It is a space of dynamic discussion and education, where members post their images for feedback and critique, and share tips and tricks of the trade. ▶ 17.11 ▶ 17.12 It may be too early to refer to an Indonesian “street photography tradition.” The genre is still new to the archipelago. Photographers are still getting their bearings, trying on styles, exploring new ways of shooting and composing. Most Indonesian street photographers, like most street photographers on Instagram more generally, do work that is clearly derivative of the street photography canon: “one-liner” shots where a subject’s head is replaced by a ball, a man in a red shirt standing before a red tarp, a woman with an umbrella walking past a billboard of a woman with an umbrella. But like many other developing photographic trends in Indonesia, street photography in the archipelago is dynamic, and it is rapidly growing in popularity. Slowly but surely, it is developing its own distinct set of regional conventions, its own aesthetic vocabulary: a collage of hijabs and consumer ads, motorbikes and fruit vendors, silhouetted kids jumping off ships and piers. Though each street photographer has his/her own unique vantage point and style, the collectivist practice of the genre, and what Adela Pradikta describes as its “budaya ajak” (culture of inviting people along), is producing a recognizable set of themes and expressions. Indonesian street photographers like distinct foregrounds, middle grounds, and backgrounds. They like to fill the frame, favor the busy and chaotic over the stark and minimalist. The contemporary Indonesian city emerges in these photographers’ work as a kind of Escher-esque funland of alleyways and staircases, a surreal social landscape—half real, half imagined into being—and permanently altered by its proximity to the lens. ▶ 17.13 ▶ 17.14 ▶ 17.15 ▶ 17.16

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17.14 Untitled [Jakarta], Chris Tuarissa, digital photograph, dimensions variable, 2017. Courtesy of Chris Tuarissa.

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17.15

17.16

Untitled [Jakarta], Adela

Untitled [Jakarta], Ade

Pradikta, digital photograph,

Aryani, digital photograph,

dimensions variable, 2016–2018.

dimensions variable, 2018.

Courtesy of Adela Pradikta.

Courtesy of Ade Aryani.

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AF T E RWARD

THE EARTH BENEATH MY FEET: IDENTITY, FAMILY, AND FAMILY LIFE

Tino Djumini

I

‘NICE BOY’ PHOTO

18.1

was eight years old when Mama, my Dutch mother, first showed me a pile of photos she had kept for years in an album in the cupboard. Together we would often look through the album to our past. Most of them were baby photos of my older brothers and sisters and portraits to remind us of birthdays or weddings. Other times, there were even photos of Mama with her parents when they still lived in Indonesia. Mama would gesture for me to sit next to her on a bench. I would sit, sidle up to her and wait for her to tell a story about things that happened in the past. After many years in Holland, we almost never talked about these memories anymore. “You came to Holland in April 1978. You were three years old. Mama still remembers it as if it were yesterday, picking you up at the airport. The plane was delayed. We had to wait for two hours at Arrivals. It really felt like giving birth. I was so happy, but also nervous to welcome you into my arms. It wasn’t easy to bring you to Holland. We needed to send a lot of letters beforehand. Everything was done through official institutions and the post, which sometimes took a long time. We never went to Jakarta, because your father doesn’t like the heat of the tropics. As soon as we heard the news that the notary papers were signed, we were so relieved to know that the long chain of procedures for adopting you were over. Before meeting you, we only knew you from four photos sent from an orphanage where you lived in Jakarta. So fragile and soft you were in those photos, with big eyes looking out to the world. What was in your mind that time, when not a single mother or father could protect you? It must have been a difficult time for you,” she would say softly. ▶ 18.1 My earliest memory was of being guided by an Indonesian woman, who probably worked for the adoption agency, into an airplane leaving for an unknown destination. Throughout the flight I kept crying and screaming, annoying the other passengers whose night’s sleep I interrupted. Many efforts to calm me down did not work and, exasperated, the woman began to give me lots of chocolates. She succeeded, because not long after that I fell asleep. When I opened my eyes, the plane had already landed, I felt a cool wind blowing on my cheeks, and I was carried away by a couple I did not know. Turning over one of those photos, I see written behind it the words, “Nice Boy, 1978”. Later on in life I would feel glad that Mama always spoke openly about my origins and Indonesian background. The fact that I was an adopted child was not something they could have possibly hidden,

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Nice Boy, unknown photographer, 1978. Courtesy of Tino Djumini. This is a copy of the adoption photograph that led Tino from Java to the Netherlands.

because the difference between myself and my other siblings was too great. At that time there was hardly any other child in my neighborhood who looked similar to me. My small figure and dark skin defined me apart from my two older brothers and three older sisters who were tall even for Dutch standards. This intrinsic difference in my body shape and Asian features was in some cases confusing. Because I was raised in the outskirts of Bloemendaal, home to high society, I mostly played with children of well-todo families. My classmates initially did not believe that I was the younger brother of Vincent van Dijk, the tall boy in fifth grade. Only when I invited them home did they begin to understand this fact. Vincent and I lived in the same house, slept in the same room, and we also had the same parents. During secondary school and university, I began to be acquainted with children of other nationalities and cultural backgrounds. They were of Turkish, Moroccan, Suriname and also Indonesian origins and were raised among families with different cultural values and religious beliefs to the Western upbringing I was used to. An understanding of Protestant, Catholic, liberal and social-democratic notions were the norm in my education. Forming one’s own opinion and rational thoughts on life was the starting point to solving family problems, although it sometimes heats up an argument. ▶ 18.2 ▶ 18.3 Quite the opposite with Abdelkader, a Moroccan friend who entrusted his fate to “Allah”, the issue of faith did not play a vital role in my education. I met Abdelkader while frequenting a shoarma restaurant where he worked, in the Leidseplein area in Amsterdam. He would tell me how he missed his homeland Morocco where most of his extended family lived. He missed the Moroccan atmosphere that he had known, especially during the month of Ramadan. He spoke Dutch well enough and had plenty of opportunities to interact with his peers, but he didn’t feel happy among a people he considered too individualistic. Abdelkader hoped that one day he would be able to put together enough money to bring his other siblings to Holland. For the time being, the money he sent each month to help with his younger brothers’ and sisters’ education was above standard. ▶ 18.4 The loneliness Abdelkader felt for being far away from kin, I also felt, but my fate was different to his. While similarly strangers in a foreign land, by being adopted my relationship with my homeland had been cut earlier. Brothers and sisters, father and mother are not concepts that come about on their own accord, in the sense that they are not necessarily genetic traits. It was not Indonesian culture, but Western thought that framed my experiences for all these years. Until then I had only known Indonesia through books, photos and the stories of Mama in Holland. And seeing myself in the orphanage photos, an added awareness grew in me about my origins and Indonesian background. Knowing the few facts she told me, I felt the

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18.2 and 18.3 Dutch family snapshot album, unknown photographer, silver gelatin and album prints, c. 1918. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. Across the world, photo albums have been used to document personal and family identity. Looking at albums from the colonial era in the Dutch East Indies sometimes reveal murky conditions, showing both the hierarchies of the colonial system but also the development of new identity as types of families emerged.

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18.4

18.5

Untitled [Studio portrait of

Untitled [Studio portrait

Indonesian gentleman], Atelier A.J.

of Dutch family], H. Bodom,

Jahn, silver gelatin photograph,

silver gelatin photograph,

14 cm × 10 cm, c. 1910. Courtesy of

14.2 cm × 9.2 cm. Courtesy of the

the National Gallery of Australia,

National Gallery of Australia,

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

The mixing of European and Indonesian cultures created new opportunities and identities for many of the natives.

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first years of my life as a child spread out like a riddle, the solution to which now rests in Mama’s bosom. ▶ 18.5 I realize that the ‘“Nice Boy” photo was once the starting point of my crossing to Holland. This photo is responsible for bringing me to the heart of a Dutch family, who perhaps without that child’s image would not have chosen me. That photo allowed me to be seen by the world, and that caused the chain of events that changed my entire life. This is why I became interested in cameras. Cameras are my tools to record the events in my life with which I can recreate reality. Imaginations of family, kin and homeland took form in negatives that years later would bring me home to the land where I was born. OTHERS AND I I scrutinize a number of large black-and-white photos strewn on the table in front of me. The photos show Indonesian parents and children, grandparents with grandchildren, old, young, wealthy and poor. They seem to be frozen in time looking at me. These were pictures of people whose names I have forgotten. These photos remind me of brief encounters that almost did not allow for conversation, or even introductions. Between them and myself, between the others and myself, lay a world of difference, troubled only by a sense of déjà vu. After being captured in a photo, people’s images do not change. They remain young or old. The granddaughter with her grandfather, for instance, the latter not shy in showing me his white hair, wrinkles and bulging veins. Upon his face he shows a wide laugh, showing an empty row of top teeth. His eyes are laughing too, there is a twinkle in his eyes. Or perhaps the wrinkles around his eye socket give the gaze a warm and friendly sheen? As if he could bear years of illness and pain lightly. As if what was heavy and difficult all these years had been transmuted by acceptance. Now, after printing the photo in a large format, the contrast between dark and light shows its strengths, and details become more clearly visible. With a magnifying glass I seek out the unevenness and damage that comes in the printing process. I carefully examine the contours of the face and I see how the difference is refracted through the thickening curve of the magnifying glass. A stray hair or a minor damage to the negative that becomes visible after printing, I deal with using a soft pencil and retouching medium. The structures of body and bone, skin and hair, are almost palpable upon the photo. To observe the people up close in all their faults and imperfections is always an awe-inspiring experience, something very intimate. Is this connection between the people depicted and myself actually tangible? What is left here are only memories of these people, their images that live on whether printed on paper, kept in archives or exhibited in a room. ▶ 18.6

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18.6 Samsoedin Indonesian family album, unknown photographer, silver gelatin photographs, 24 cm × 31 cm, 1930–1933. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. 18.7 Journalist, His Wife, and Their Son (A Student Activist), from the series Kerabat/Relatives, Tino Djumini, silver gelatin print, 50 cm × 60 cm, 2006. Courtesy of Tino Djumini.

Looking at an image that knows no change, where time, light and space have been captured by camera, is an activity that gives me peace. After being recorded in a photo, life seems to stop, allowing particular occurrences and moments to be appreciated and remembered. Like childbirth, birthdays and weddings, for instance, from the first steps to the last breath. After being placed in a photo album, framed on a wall or slipped into a wallet, photos obtain meaning by reminding us of the past, of something or someone, of those we care for or love, often our family. I’m aware that one day every single one of us could continue to live on, having been bereft of a parent. Quickly or slowly, the ties between parents and children could wither away as a new generation takes its place among family, kindred and community. There is hope that one day they will become fathers, mothers, like the ones they knew. But how closely do we really know our family and kin? Where does a family find its role among the community? ▶ 18.7 BURIED TREASURE Mama was born in Surabaya on September 23, 1928 as the only child to a father from Brabant and a mother from Friesland. Her parents’ relationship was based on a long correspondence as penpals, and in that correspondence they entrusted their deepest secrets to each other. For years they wrote to each other without meeting, until my grandmother Willemien decided to set sail to the Dutch East Indies. In the “Far East” the two young people got to know each other more intimately and soon decided to marry. From this union, a child was born: Paula Hezemans, my Mama. Besides her, there was also the daughter of an Indonesian woman, Paula’s older stepsister Wil. My grandfather Wim Hezemans, Paula’s father, is someone I only know from stories. He worked as a police officer for the Dutch administration in the former Dutch East Indies. During service he was stationed in various places such as Malang and Medan, causing the family to move place often. But all the while, Surabaya was the permanent residence they would visit often. Because she was raised among Indonesian maids, my mother was soon acquainted with Indonesian culture, along with the local customs. Household work that was the norm for girls did not interest her. She preferred to spend her time playing kites, swimming and climbing trees. Her behavior was such that she was treated “like a boy”. People called her “Paultje”. Paula described her youth in the former Dutch East Indies as the most pleasant time of her life. This period continued until the Japanese occupation abruptly put an end to her previous dreams. With my grandmother, Paula who was then fourteen years old, was interned in a camp for prisoners of war. My grandfather, who worked for with the Dutch colonial administration, was immediately arrested by Japanese soldiers and taken away. The family only met again when they were free in 1946, after arriving in Holland. ▶ 18.8

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Most of my mother’s precious belongings such as documents, jewelry and old photos had slowly disappeared. They were lost in the frequent moves from one residence to another, or buried in the ground for fear of being found by the occupying Japanese forces. For safekeeping, all precious items such as documents and family portraits were brought together and put into a metal case, then buried in the ground. Documents such as passports or identity cards with her photo, in the hands of the Japanese authorities could bring serious consequences. For my mother and her family, the internment was a time of separation from the land of her birth, the place where she had lived happily until she had grown up. After being set free, as she left for Holland, in the deepest corner of her heart she knew that it would be a final goodbye, that it would be the last time she would set foot in Indonesia. ▶ 18.9 Since then, a chain of events unfold as one decade eagerly chased another. From the ashes of a former colony, the country of Indonesia was born and established, celebrating its 60th year of independence in 2005. With the influence of time, as the Indonesian people were molded by historical events, memories of the Dutch East Indies lost their power. But somewhere out there, deep in the ground, there may lie remains that would hark back to that past, memories that would remind us of the time when my Mama still lived there. Now, more than 60 years later, surely the metal box is still buried in its place in front of that house in Surabaya. ▶ 18.10 ▶ 18.11 TIME PASSES BY In November 2005, a the first snow of the year is already falling, she looks out the window and watches how the wind plays with snow. Sometimes she reminisces of past events, but she does not know for sure whether those events really took place or whether they were only in her imagination. Since all her children left home, she has felt lonelier. Mama has spent most of her life and time raising and educating her six children, including me, her youngest. All of us have our own families now. Only on birthdays or special occasions such as Christmas and Easter does the family come together. A family portrait taken on her 50th wedding anniversary stands proudly in its frame on the dresser next to her bed to remind her of that special day. Since then many things have changed, and because of it she often asks herself when the time would come for the whole family to be together again. She worries that making appointments would be a nuisance to those young people with such busy lives. Busy with their jobs, their families and responsibilities, their acquaintances and friends, they only have little time left for large family events. Mama cheers herself up by thinking that she has enjoyed ample success in practically everything. Mama always wished the best for her children. ▶ 18.12

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18.8 Untitled [Portrait of European family], unknown photographer, silver gelatin photograph, 16.8 cm × 23 cm, c. 1900. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. 18.9 Retired Navy Officer from Sulawesi, from the series Kerabat/Relatives, Tino Djumini, silver gelatin print, 50 cm × 60 cm, 2006. Courtesy of Tino Djumini.

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18.10

18.11

Our home in Tosari Enthoven

Wally Enthoven’s family album,

album, unknown photographer,

unknown photographer, silver

silver gelatin photographs,

gelatin photographs, 18 cm × 25 cm,

18 cm × 25 cm, Courtesy of the

1931–1934. Courtesy of the

National Gallery of Australia,

National Gallery of Australia,

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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18.12 Grandmother with Family Portraits, from the series Kerabat/ Relatives, Tino Djumini, silver gelatin print, 50 cm × 60 cm, 2006. Courtesy of Tino Djumini.

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Paula gets up from her chair and moves her body, stiff from sitting too long, she struggles to her feet and tries to get back to bed. She spends most of her time in a steel bed that can be moved on wheels and can turn around. By pressing a button, the back can be shifted to various angles as necessary for sleeping, eating or watching television. A nurse is almost always by her side to assist and accompany her, but this time she is alone in her room. Paula wants to lie down. Her two hands grab the sides of the bed’s frame. With great effort she lifts her body and takes one of her feet off the floor. The strength in her foot betrays her as the second foot leaves the ground. Luckily, she can maintain her balance with the other foot. Body bent sideways and both arms stretching forward, she reaches the mattress. Tired from her exertion, she closes her eyes right at the moment when the room door opens and a nurse enters. While sitting on her bed accompanied by the nurse who had just dispensed her daily dose of medicine, she leafs through a photo album on her lap. It is one of the few albums that survived the war, having returned to her through an amazing chain of events. The brown leather cover has lost its luster; dark threads now decorate the front, possibly due to damp. At the time, in his haste checking for valuables in the house, my grandfather didn’t see the photo album. It was a servant, the cook everybody called “Koki”, who found it hidden under a bed, right before the Japanese soldiers emptied the house. The sudden farewell with the family had made Koki sad. ▶ 18.13 She was accustomed to looking after Mama from the time she was a child. Koki would often give snacks such as sticky rice, mangoes or the hairy rambutan fruit for Mama to eat on her way to school. After working for years with Mama’s family, a special bond had grown between them. Mutual respect and loyalty had developed. She hoped to find the family in good health, so she could give them the photo album she had hidden. Years later, after great effort to locate them, she managed to meet Mama and her mother before their departure to Holland. ▶ 18.14 ▶ 18.15 ▶ 18.16 Paula turns the pages, one by one, and stops to a photo slipped in the last page of the album. She examines the two women in the picture: a young lady with woman. Both are wearing white, the young girl is wearing a white blouse and skirt with an old pair of slippers. The adult is wearing a long, embroidered gown. Between the two of them there is a large suitcase of two halves bound together with a leather belt and buckle. In the distance, the background shows shadows of ships. After examining the photo, without saying anything, she directs her gaze to the nurse and asks: “Who are the people in this photo?” The nurse answers: “The girl is you, Mrs. Hezemans, when you were 17 years old. The adult is your mother who passed away

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18.13 Untitled [Portrait of A J ten Velden in military uniform with Indonesian wife and their baby], A M A Susan, 14.8 cm × 10 cm, c. 1930. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. 18.14 Family portrait, Dutch father, Javanese wife and Eurasian daughters, unknown photographer, silver gelatin photograph, 19.2 cm × 13.4 cm, c. 1912. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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18.15 From the Samsoedin album, unknown photographer, silver gelatin photographs, 23 cm × 28 cm, 1930–1933. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007. 18.16 Family portrait, Dutch father, Javanese wife and Eurasian daughter, unknown photographer, silver gelatin photograph, 14.2 cm × 9.9 cm (mount 24 cm × 16.1 cm), c. 1917. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

years ago.” With great effort she reads the words handwritten on the back of the photo: “Tandjong Priok, Indonesië 1946”. ▶ 18.17 In May 2005 Paula Hezemans was brought to the Alteveer nursing home in Bijlen after symptoms of Alzheimer’s were confirmed. On 15 February 2007, she passed away. LETTER FROM THE EAST By day, my Papa works in an attic filled with boxes where pictures of old buildings and archives are piled up, thick with dust. For someone two meters tall, this room is too small. Often the angled roof makes him frustrated, especially when he stands without being careful and hits his head on one of the beams. Curses would stream from his mouth. He rarely comes down to rest. Even if he does, it would only be a short while before he would disappear again to the top floor. An ancient drawing table and a bureau with a telephone and fax on it are his most important helpers. On the walls hang oil paintings my father made in his youth. In the studies he painted, the influences of 19th-century painters such as Monet and van Gogh are evident. He passed down this interest in paintings and visual arts to me from the days when I was still a young boy. I still remember how he would often take me to the museum to enjoy first-hand the works of the “old masters”. Especially the impressionists such as Monet, whose series on a hay pile in the open air made me enthralled. The same view was painted at different times throughout the day, as Monet interpreted the light conditions in his own way. Various colors, whether green, purple, blue or ochre hues together or individually, spread freely and thickly upon canvas, reflecting the play of light and shadow as it changes throughout the changing day. Seen up close, the objects in the painting seem to lose their shape, but from a sufficient distance their contours become apparent. Monet’s tendencies and haste in creating his art towards the end of his days reflects his obsession to record light and the continuous changes of the world upon canvas. Unintentionally, perhaps, Monet’s ideas touch upon the basic principles of photography. Light is the point of origin in making photos. In general, my father is not particularly interested in photography. He considers that in the mechanical reproduction of a potentially unlimited number of pictures, the photographer’s hand becomes invisible, unlike paintings whose value is determined by the fact that there is only one original work. To this day he remains faithful in his preference. He still often sketches the outlines of his buildings by hand, quite the opposite to the architects and engineers of the present generation, who make their designs with the help of a computer program. ▶ 18.18

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18.17 From the Samsoedin album, unknown photographer, silver gelatin photographs, 23 cm × 28 cm, 1930–1933. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

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Besides many paintings, there is also a black-and-white photo on the wall depicting a cozy village and its environment. It is a quick aerial photograph taken by a technical camera on an airplane. Canals, roads, fields of grass and villages look miniature in the landscape. Straight lines crossing the landscape divide the space into organized plains, where the mutual influence of man and nature seems to retain a balance. On that photo, the village seen from the air is no more than a row of houses and a wharf. In one of those houses my Papa, Tjebbe Meindert van Dijk, was born on the fourth of June 1928. As the child of a couple from Friesland, he was raised among the water and wind of that landscape, in Terhorne village. In earlier years Papa would often return to the place of his birth to visit his father, but he passed away years ago. Papa sometimes took the journey from IJsselmeer to the lakes area of Friesland in a sailing boat that would dock at the pier in front of his home. That home will surely still be there now, although the surrounds would look different after all these years. New homes would have been built, as well as shopping centers, which would have changed the face of that Friesland village. This is one of the few photos that my father considers important to display. One morning, as usual Papa goes to fetch the contents of the post box. Besides local newspapers and a paycheck, this time he also finds a white envelope. From the stamps he can tell that the letter was sent from Indonesia. This clearly means that this letter and perhaps also photos have come from “Tinus”, that’s how he has called me all these years. Without opening it he walks to take the mail to the sitting room to give the good news to “Paul”. He is surprised to see the room empty. The room from where he expects the sound of a television is quiet and empty. That is when he realizes the change that had happened in his life. For a moment he had forgotten how after all those years of companionship he now lives in that house alone. For sixty years the couple were inseparable and so used to each other’s presence that Papa was almost unaware that he was now depending on his own. His daily food is delivered once a week by the local service institution, and his dirty clothes also taken to the laundry. As a man from a generation that never learned to cook and do housework, most of those jobs would be too difficult for him. Sometimes he would salivate at the memory of fried potatoes and the meatball soup that his wife used to cook. He decides to drop in tomorrow morning to the place where his wife is now. He will give her the mail.

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18.18 Officer from Sulawesi and His Family, from the series Kerabat/ Relatives, Tino Djumini, silver gelatin print, 50 cm × 60 cm, 2006. Courtesy of Tino Djumini.

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18.19 Three Hajis and Their Families, from the series Kerabat/ Relatives, Tino Djumini, silver gelatin print, 50 cm × 60 cm, 2006. Courtesy of Tino Djumini.

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FAR AWAY FROM HOME, RETURNING TO MY NATIVE LAND My brother in law buries the umbilical cord and afterbirth about almost two feet into the ground. After some heavy work he finally reaches a hard, lower layer consisting mostly of rocks and concrete. Apparently, the suitable place was not to be found in the soft ground of the courtyard, but in the front store of the family home. Away from wind, rain and flood. I admire the sheer quantity of the afterbirth. After being opened, that thing was much longer and heavier than the newborn baby at 46 cm and 2.6 kg. Before being buried in the ground, the umbilical cord and afterbirth are examined intently. An old woman from the village known as Mbah dukun observes black dots on the umbilical cord. She discerns that a second baby would follow, for whom the parents would have to wait for at least five years, and if a third pregnancy were to follow, then it would be a set of twins. ▶ 18.19 I had never seen birth and death up close, but this time I had to be there to allay my fears of losing my wife and child, as well as for the happy reason of welcoming the arrival of a new life. This time, with the help of a doctor, the baby was born in a soundless delivery room, with no shriek of happiness or baby’s cry. Most of the delivery happened behind closed doors. Nervous, I wanted to know whether everything was going well. Uninvited, I decided to enter the delivery room. There I saw a small body swinging upside down. With one hand, the doctor held the baby’s two feet, and with the other hand he slowly slapped the baby’s back. There was still no sound until, after what seemed to be an eternity, a baby’s scream was heard. After the nurse washed the umbilical cord and afterbirth carefully, she wrapped it all in plastic, tidily packaged to be brought home. Initially the custom of burying the afterbirth and umbilical cord in the ground felt strange to me, so I sought a logical explanation to this custom. I couldn’t find one. For my in-laws, the custom was a fact of its own which required no consideration. ▶ 18.20 I recall the words of an Indonesian friend who told me that while in the womb, the baby is connected to life via the umbilical cord. For many months the baby lives and exists in an environment that cannot be seen directly with human eyes. The cutting of the umbilical cord means separation to a source of life, but also the beginning of a new life in the human realm. Thus, the link between the baby and the umbilical cord that had connected it to life is broken. The official announcement of the new life is only done once the afterbirth is buried in the ground and a thanksgiving ceremony completed. This ceremony includes giving alms, which is carried out for the child’s prosperity in his human life. When close to where his umbilical cord is buried, whether while growing up or after leaving his parents’ house, the child

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18.20 Untitled [Snapshot of Madé Danu and His Two Sons], Brian Arnold, C-print, 10.3 cm × 15 cm, 1992. Courtesy of Brian Arnold. 18.21 Untitled [Snapshot of Putu], Brian Arnold, C-print, 10.3 cm × 15 cm, 1992. Courtesy of Brian Arnold. 18.22 Untitled [Snapshot of Madé], Brian Arnold, C-print, 10.3 cm × 15 cm, 1992. Courtesy of Brian Arnold.

will always feel at home. This strong connection to the land of his birth, the land where the roots to his past are buried, will prevail. ▶ 18.21 ▶ 18.22 With the birth of my first baby, a boy, notions of family and kinship have come closer to my heart. Something once alien has now become a day-to-day fact, and I can start to recognize myself as “other people”. Moments after the birth, I took a photo showing the child and his proud parents. I will soon send it to Holland. On the back of the photo I wrote the following words: “Nice Boy, 2005”.

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Fischer, Joseph, editor. Modern Indonesian Art: Three Generations of Tradition and Change, 1945–1990. Jakarta: Festival of Indonesia, 1990. . Story Cloths of Bali. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2004. Fontein, Jan. The Sculpture of Indonesia. New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc, 1990. Gautama, Anton. Home Sweet Home. Jakarta: Afterhours Books, 2017. Geertz, Clifford. The Religion of Java. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960.

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Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992. Motuloh, Oscar. The Art of Dying. Jakarta: Bentara Budaya, 2002. . Soulscape Road. Jakarta: R&W, 2009. Murti, Krisna. Essays on Video Art and New Media: Indonesia and Beyond. Yogyakarta: IVAA, 2009. . Mediatopia: Krisna Murti’s Works 1993–2010. Semarang: Semarang Gallery, 2010. Newton, Gael. Picture Paradise: Asia-Pacific Photography 1840s–1940s. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2008.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

. Garden of the East: Photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2014. O’Hare, Jez. 17,000 Islands of Imagination. Jakarta: Afterhours Books, 2015. Oja, Carol J. Colin McPhee: Composer in Two Worlds. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990. Oorthuys, Cas. Een staat in wording. Amsterdam: Contact, 1947. Owen, Norman G., editor. The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia: A New History. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2005. Perbawa, Romi. Riders of Destiny (second edition). Jakarta: Afterhours Books, 2015. Permadi, Tandia Bambung. Coming Home. Bandung: Unobtanium, 2017. Pfunder, Peter and Gilles Mora. Gotthard Schuh: A Kind of Infatuation. Göttigen: Steidl, 2009. Pinney, Christopher and Nicolas Peterson, ed. Photography’s Other Histories. North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2003. Pisani, Elizabeth. Indonesia Etc. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2014. Prasetya, Erik. Jakarta: Estetika Banal. Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia bekerja sama dengan Dewan Kesenian Jakarta, 2011. . Banal Aesthetics & Critical Spiritualism: A Dialog of Photography and Literature in 13 Fragments. Jakarta: PT Gramedia, 2015. Purbandono, Angki. Landing Soon #1: Anonymous. Yogyakarta: Cemeti Art House, 2006. . Top Pop. Singapore: S.Bin Art Plus, 2011. Reed, Jane Levy, ed. Toward Independence: A Century of Indonesia Photographed. San Francisco: Friends of Photography Press, 1992. Reichle, Natasha. Violence and Serenity: Last Buddhist Sculpture from Indonesia. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007. . Bali: Art, Ritual, and Performance. San Francisco: Asian Art Museum, 2011. Ricklefs, M.C. A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300 (Second Edition). Paolo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1993. Roberts, Brian Russell and Keith Foulcher, editors. Indonesian Notebook: A Sourcebook on Richard Right and the Bandung Conference. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.

A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE DIGITAL AGE

Rosenblum, Naomi. A World History of Photography. New York: Abbeville Press, 1984. Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon, 1978. . Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage, 1994. Satake, K.T. Sumatra–Java–Bali. Surabaya/ Middlesbrough: Hood and Co., 1935. Siregar, Aminudin T.H. Sang Ahli Gambar: Skets, Gambar and Pemikiran S. Sudjojono. Yogyakarta: S Sudjojono Center, 2010. Soeprapto Soedjono. Teori D-B-A-E (Discipline Based Art Education) dalam Pendidikan Seni Fotografi: Suatu Pendekatan Kompetensi. Jurnal SENI, IX/02 Maret, Yogyakarta: BP ISI, 2003. . Pot-Pourri Fotografi. Jakarta: UPT Percetakan Trisakti, 2006. . Fotografi Dalam Konstelasi Budaya Visual Indonesia, Pidato Pengukuhan Guru Besar di ISI Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta: BP ISI, 2009. Soerjoatmodjo, Yudhi. IPPHOS Remastered: Indonesian Press Photo Service. Jakarta: Antara, 2013. Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1978. Spiller, Henry. Javaphilia: American Love Affairs with Javanese Music and Dance. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2017. Steele, Janet. Mediating Islam: Cosmopolitan Journalisms in Muslim Southeast Asia. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018. Stowell, John. Walter Spies: A Life in Art. Jakarta: Afterhours Books, 2011. Strassler, Karen. Gendered Visibilities and the Dream of Transparency: The Chinese Indonesian Rape Debate in Post-Suharto Indonesia. Gender and History, 16(4): 689–725, 2004. . The Multi-Media Expert, Pakar Telematika in Figures of Modernity in Post-Suharto Indonesia. Joshua Barker and Johan Lindquist, eds. Indonesia 87, Spring: 35–72, 2009. . Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. . Demanding Images: Transparency and Mediation in a Democratizing Public Sphere. Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2020. Surya, Rama. Yang Kuat, Yang Kalah. Jakarta: Majalah Fotomedia, 1996.

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Szarkowsi, John. Photography Until Now. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1989. Tan, Boon Hui and Michelle Yun, editors. After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History. New York: Asia Society Museum, 2017. Teuns-de-Boer, Gerda. Isidore Van Kinsbergen, 1821– 1905: Photo Pioneer and Theatre Maker in the Dutch East Indies. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2006. Vickers, Adrian. A History of Modern Indonesia. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2005. . Balinese Art: Paintings and Drawings of Bali 1800–2010. North Clarendon: Tuttle Publishing, 2012. Wachlin, Steven, ed. Woodbury and Page: Photographers Java. Leiden: KITLV Press, 1994. Walling, Donovan R. Rethinking How Art is Taught: A Critical Convergence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc., 2000. Weissenborn, Thilly. Vastgelegd voor later: Indische foto’s (1917–1942). Leiden: Luitingh-Sijthoff, 1983. Widhi, Agung Nugroho, editor. Stories of a Space. Living Expectations: Understanding Indonesian Contemporary Photography Through Ruang MES 56 Practices. Jakarta: Indo Art Now, 2015. Wright, Astri. Soul, Spirit, Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters. Kuala Lumpur; New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Zhuang, Wubin. Photography in Southeast Asia: A Survey. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2016. Zoete, Beryl de and Walter Spies. Dance and Drama in Bali. New York: Haper and Brothers, 1939.

471

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

CONTRIBUTORS Brian C. Arnold received an undergraduate degree in English and Ethnomusicology from the Colorado College 1993, and an MFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1998. He has taught and lectured on photography at a number of institutions around the world, including the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, the Beijing Film Academy, the University of Indonesia, Pasundan University, the Institute of Technology in Bandung, Santa Reparata International School of Art, the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, and the National Gallery of Australia. Brian has exhibited his work internationally, and his photographs are included as part of the permanent collections at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Denver Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art in Australia, the Eastman Museum of Photography, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Light Work. He is author of the books Alternate Processes in Photography: Technique, History, and Creative Potential (2017) and Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography (2017). Brian has also self-published a number of small edition artist books and zines. He is currently doing Indonesian-language work for the Cornell University library. Jeremy Allan was born in Canada but has been living in Indonesia for over 40 years. He has written for a number of different books, magazines, videos, and promotional programs, and sought to portray Indonesia in a fair and positive manner and to promote the interests of Indonesian businesses, cultural and social organizations, and the nation itself. In 2001, he published his first novel, Jakarta Jive, a book about the fall of Suharto and how this affected daily life in Jakarta. In 2004, he published Bali Blues, a book about the 2002 terrorist bombing in Kuta Beach, Bali. Wimo Ambala Bayang was born in Magelang in 1976. He studied interior design at Modern School of Design and photography at the Department of Photography at the Indonesian Art Institute, Yogyakarta. He works primarily with photography and video. Wimo was one of the founding members of MES 56, and currently works as its director in Yogyakarta. Wimo’s work has been exhibited internationally. Matthew Cox is Curator of Asian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. His curatorial practice is broadly engaged with history and contemporary art, and he works actively with artists, curators, and academics in Australia and Asia to explore relationships between art history and living communities. Cox completed a BA in Asian

A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE DIGITAL AGE

Studies with a major in Indonesian Studies at the University of New South Wales, an MA in Art History at the University of Sydney, where he also completed his doctoral thesis The Javanese Self in Portraiture from 1880 to 1955. Tino Djumini was born in Indonesia but raised in the Netherlands. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem, majoring in audio/visual media and photography. After completing his degree, Tino returned to Indonesia and started Spotlight New Media, a design and production studio in Jakarta. He has exhibited his work internationally, and completed two books on photography, Relatives/Kerabat: Portraits of contemporary Indonesian families/Potret keluarga Indonesia masa kini and Indonesian Dreams: Reflections on Society, Revelations of the Self. Tino currently lives and works in Jakarta. Alexandra Kumala is an actor, writer, and performer based in Brooklyn, NY. With formal training in ballet, she spent her early childhood in Indonesia performing on stages and in ballrooms across Jakarta. She immigrated to the United States, where she pursued a degree in performance at the University of Washington in Seattle. Alexandra has performed in the Obie Award winning revival of The Skin of Our Teeth. As a writer, she has contributed to the American Writers Workshop, PlayGround Experiment, and the Broadway Coalition, working to advocate for a plurality of narratives about immigrant experience. Adelina Luft was born in Romania in 1989. She is an independent curator based in Yogyakarta. After finishing a bachelor degree in Public Relations (2012) at SNSPA Bucharest, she left for Indonesia where she finished a MA in Visual Art Studies (2017) at Gadjah Mada University. She has curated a number of different exhibitions, including Diverting Politics of (Re)Presentation at the Gajah Gallery in Bantul (2019), Made Of: Stories of the Material at Lorong Gallery (2018), Terra Incognita at Acrolabs (2017), and Neglected Ordinaries at the Redbase Foundation. Adelina contributed to Stories of a Space. Living Expectations: Understanding Indonesian Contemporary Photography Through Ruang MES 56 Practices, a survey of work about the artist collective MES 56. Brent Luvaas is a visual and sociocultural anthropologist interested in digital technologies and their impact on creative practice and everyday urban experience. He is the author of Street Style: An Ethnography of Fashion Blogging (Bloomsbury, 2016) and DIY Style: Fashion, Music, and Global Digital Culture (Berg, 2012), and co-editor of  The Anthropology of Dress and Fashion: A Reader. He has received several prominent fellowships,  including the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research

472

Abroad Grant, the University of California Pacific Rim Research Program Grant, and the American Institute for Indonesian Studies Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship, and has published in journals including  Cultural Anthropology, Ethnography, Fashion Theory, and Visual Anthropology Review. Brent received a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Drexel University. Oscar Motuloh started his career in journalism as a staff writer for the Antara News Agency. After being appointed as a Photo Editor, he started an ambitious career as a photographer, journalist, editor, curator, and educator. He was the founder of the Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara (GFJA—the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism) and Antara Museum, both located in the historic Antara building in Pasar Baru, Jakarta. Oscar has edited and organized a number of important exhibitions and publications, including Indonesia in the Soeharto Years: Issues, Incidents, and Images, a photographic history of life under the Soeharto (Suharto) regime, and IPPHOS Remastered, a historical study of the highly regarded and influential Indonesian Press Photographic Service. He has also published several monographs of his photographs, including Voice of Angkor (1995), The Art of Dying (1997), and Soulscape Road (2007), a documentation of the Sumatran province of Aceh after the 2004 tsunami. Krisna Murti was born in 1957 and currently lives and works in Jakarta. He is considered a pioneering new media artist in Indonesia and has exhibited his work internationally. Krisna’s work is included in the permanent collections at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan, the National Gallery of Art in Indonesia, Kuc Fehbi Foundation in Turkey, and the National Gallery of Singapore. Krisna is also author of the book Esai Tentang Seni Video dan Media Baru/Essays on Video Art and New Media: Indonesia and beyond. Gael Newton is an internationally recognized Australian art historian and curator specializing in photography across the Asia-Pacific region. She is the retired Senior Curator of Australian and International Photography at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra. While at the NGA, Gael organized two major exhibitions on Asia-Pacific photography, “Picture Paradise: Asia-Pacific photography 1840s–1940s” (2008) and “Garden of East: photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s” (2014), both accompanied by important publications. During her time at NGA, Gael oversaw the development of one of the most important collections

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of photographs from the Dutch East Indies, as well as a major collection of Asia-Pacific photography. Aminudin T.H. Siregar was born in Jakarta in 1973. He completed an undergraduate degree in printmaking at the Institute of Technology in Bandung, and continued on to complete a master’s degree in Art Studies and Art History. Aminudin is a prolific and important writer on contemporary and modern Indonesian art. His articles have been included in numerous newspapers, magazines, and exhibition catalogs. Additionally, he has written or contributed to many books on Indonesian art, most recently completing a book on the famous Javanese painter S. Sudjojono. Aminudin works on the faculty at the Institute of Technology in Bandung, and runs the Soemardja Gallery on the ITB campus. He is founder of Gallery S.14 in Bandung, and works as a freelance curator for galleries across Indonesia and Singapore. He is Adjunct Curator for the National Gallery of Singapore. Aminudin has lectured about art and curatorial practice across Asia, and in 2015 was awarded a research grant by the Getty Foundation. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Leiden. Soeprapto Soedjono is a Senior Professor of the History of Photography and Art History, and was the fourth Rector of the Indonesian Institute of Art (ISI) Yogyakarta (2006–2010). He completed his undergraduate study at the Fine Art Academy (STSRI) Yogyakarta, and continued to complete an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a PhD in the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University. Soeprapto currently teaches in the photography programs at ISI Yogyakarta and Trisakti University in Jakarta. He has published several books on photographic technique, and recently released a book of his own photographs, Streetscenes. Karen Strassler is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York, Queens College, and holds a PhD from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include images and visual culture, media and mediation, memory and violence, specifically in Indonesia. In 2011, Karen released her first book, Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java which examines the role of popular photography in the making of national subjects and postcolonial Java. Her second book, Demanding Images: Democracy, Mediation, and the Image-Event in Indonesia (2020), looks at images in Indonesia’s post-authoritarian public sphere.

CONTRIBUTORS

INDEX A

Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change

Abbas

346

Abdullah, Basuki

Adams, Ansel

5 273 310 327 332

311

Agence FrancePress

14 304

autochrome autofocus

200

AW, Akiq

369 382

albumen

137 185 281 36 39 52 55 133 236 327 371

374 378 389 395 446 457

Alisjahbana, Sutan Takdir

105 133

Antara Historical Flashback

206

Antara News Agency

Bagg, Claire

Brilliant

87

bromoil

34 77 78 123

Baldwin, James

Antara School of Journalism 183

203

Capa, Robert

385

ii 420 424 470

Arbeiderspers, De

147

Archeology Union

43

Archipenko, Alexander

124

Archipenko, Angelica

110

275

464

Artaud, Antonin

156 468

403

403 404

31

cell phone

237 251

Cemeti Art House 5 256 261 303 322 327 420

Céphas, Kassian

Bateson, Gregory

42 43 44 45 55 64 65 66 82

85 89 90 92 93 94 96 102 187 268

109 469

271 296

Bauhaus

137

Céphas, Sem 5 277 281 291 293

303 308 310 312 324 325 334 472 480 198

Beato, Felice

Covarrubias, Miguel cyanotype

176

223 226 18

113

34 281 282 283

349

Blandquart-Evard, Louis-Désiré

Bonnet, Rudolf

A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE DIGITAL AGE

398 399 425

Cornell University Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) 5

176

Bintang Mahaputera Nararya

46

Cornell Modern Indonesia Project

162 169

66 67

Bintang Jasa Utama

Flip Bool

Charls, Van Es & Co.

Civilization of Light

109

Blair, Lorne

44 66

Cities on the Move

51

Bleckmann, WCC

273

51 103 104 138 140

154 155 156 157 158 159 162 171 468

468 469 470

Bintang Hindia 33

36

Cartier-Bresson, Henri

346 349 352 354 355 356 358

Berita Film Indonesia

Archer, Frederick Scott

43 55

154 171

carte-de-visite

116

Bandung Photography Book Show

Belo, Jane

304

26 33 34 281

Camerik, Simon

122

Bayang, Wimo Ambala

196 198 211 213 223 473

Arnold, Brian

97

calotype

Barang

Antara Cultural Heritage Building

Ardianto, Ferry

Brandon

Burton, Deena

B

Banning, Jan

Apin, Mochtar

45

310 312 325 335 336

Bandung Photography Month

Anderson, Benedict

Ardi, Sun

233

Bandung Conference

415

85

Arahmaiani

51 52

74

Bali Museum

424

Amengkoenegoro, Pangeran Adipati Anom ampilan

Borobudur to Bali: Past and Present Photographic Art in Indonesia 52

C

4 27 34 35 38 39 40 41 42 43

ambrotype

30 31 32 33 37 44 45 52 63

64 95 108 127 142 183 218 268

Brady, Mathew

200

387

44 46 60 61 64 85 90 92 93 94 96

albums

430 439 441

Australian National University

131 132 183 187 189

Ailey, Alvin

Aryani, Ade

217 218 219 469 473

Associated Press

Adipurnomo, Nindityo Affandi

The Art of Dying

100 102 103 104

Abel, Jim Allen (Jimbo)

Ahok

Borobudur

17 18 122 125 131 133 183 400 469

34

D Daendels, Marshal Willem

68

Daguerre, Jean Louis

113 116 131 188

daguerreotype

77

474

88

26 27 29 30 33 137

26 30 31 32 52 187

Dance and Drama in BALI Danto, Arthur Darul Islam

Effendi, Zaenal

112

Electronic Disturbance Theater

410 413

Engelstoft, Sun Hee

400

Darwis Triadi School of Photography Dayuputri, Arum Tresnaningtyas De Arbeiderspers

17 468

digital cameras Diponegoro

Flickr

Djawa Shimbun Sha

Djumini, Tino (see also Afterward: A Personal Note) ix 17 443 444 451

452

456 462 463 468 472 480

documentary photography

17 211 246 407

Dōmei Tsushin (Dōmei News Agency) Dono, Heri

165

Hadi, Parni

Dunham, Ann

Foto Studio Istimewa

77

373 374

FSMR (Fakultas Seni Media Rekam = Department of Media Arts) 270 273 275 279 281 311 315 322 325

Fukui Japanische Fotograf

68

G

x 17 188 190 191 193 413 417 418 468

Dutch East India Company (VOC = Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) 26 88 Dutch Ministry of Colonies

30

235 255 400 472

Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara (GFJA = Antara Gallery of Photojournalism) 166 206 208 212 225 473

gamelan

Ganda, Oscar

Haks, Leo

17

51 52 55 68

51

Hamengkubuwono VI

37 54 58 59

Hamengkubuwono VII 43 82 88 89 90 92 93 95

Gardner, Alexander

E

45 55

Gautama, Anton 10 15 293 472

East Timor: a Photographic Record 215 216

346 357 358 360 361 362 363

Ghazali, Tomi Saputra Gillette, Frank

154

133 154

Een staat in wording (A State in the Making) (see also Oorthuys, Cas) 138 470 183 187

436

258

Ginting, Ferry Ferdianta Gobi, Danysswara

322

Graham, Martha

124

GR Lambert & Co

54

475

Hanru, Hou

88 113

312

398

Harsono, FX

14 52 53 252 253 255 256 263

Hasby, Eddy

201 227

Hasman, Don

169 176

x 30 33 36 37 43 52 55 470

Effendi, Oesman

Haks collection

Hashim, Hashim

2 5 113

Garden of the East: Photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s

200

Echols, John

55 62

Hakim, Amran Malik

Handojo, Bayu

Gadjah Mada University

Durahman, Deden

Echols Collection

387 388

Hamengkubuwono VIII 52 56

387

Eastman, George

198 199

Haj (Haji or Hajj)

45 469

251 400

201

Hadipurnomo

342

14 399

Düben, Cesar von

Dyodo

Hadi, Gino F.

206 208

Foto Lux (see also Weissenborn, Thilly)

166

51

Habibie, B.J. (Bacharuddin Jusuf)

433

Fontein, Jan

97

275

256

Haas, Ernst

54

258

Foam Museum

233

183

H

153

Flashbacks (see Kilas Balik)

403 404 405

4 34

10 233 237 239 389 392 439

Fiske, John

vii 138 148 150 152 153

gum bichromate

Gym, Aa

Feilberg, Kristin

Dekker, Niels Douwes

43 55

Gunawan, Hendra

407

F

Family of Man, The

148

Groneman, Isaac

Gunawan, Herry

Facebook

147

Dekker, Eduard Douwes

256

288

Decisive Moment, The (Images a la Sauvette) 154 156

Dhian, Wahyu

201

311

201 275

Hatta, Mohammad (Bung Hatta) 169 196 198 202

Helmi, Rio

346 348 350

Hendarta, Johnny

275

Hirsch, Marianne

236

Holt, Claire

vi 17 18 107 109 110 122 123 124 125 127 128 129 131 132 133 156 182 183 184 400 468

Holveg, Barbara (see also Holt, Claire) 404

Hopfen, Bernard Humphrey, Doris

125

123 124

Hurgronje, Dr. C (Christiaan) Snouck 55 62

INDEX

I

Jogja Biennale

I Gusti Ngurah Ketut Djelantik I Gusti Nyoman Lempad

Jokowi (see also Widodo, Joko)

37

113 115

Indonesia in the Soeharto Years: Issues, Incidents, and Images 215 Indonesian Photography Archive

403 404

Jufri, Kemal

K Kahin, George

Les Danses a Bali (The Dances of Bali)

133

Lewis, George P.

3

Karna

Instagram

Kartini, Raden Ajeng

436

98 159 161 162 165 166 168 169 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 179 270 271 272 470 473

Kim, Eric

223

IPPHOS: The Miracle Years Irwandi, Dr. (Oldprint)

Lir Space 288

206 208

433

37 40 41 43 54 268 294 471

274 281 282 283

ISI Denpasar (Institut Seni Indonesia = Indonesian Institute of Art) 284

Kleingrothe, Carl

10 137 293

284

ISI Surakarta/Solo (Institut Seni Indonesia = Indonesian Institute of Art)

Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (KITLV = Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) 45 51

284

101 105 294 366 370 374 375 378

68 72 73 82 84 85 89 90 93 94 96 379 393 395 468 469 471 480

5 6 19

6 273 274 275 276 278 279 281 284 287 288 311 470 473 480

Iskandar, Dr. Andang Ismael, Anton

Kunst, Jaap

288

ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung = Institute of Technology in Bandung) 14 133 203 400 403 404 407 410 413 417 473

394

Lubis, Batara

131

Luft, Adelina

315

viii 307 382 386 472 480

201

M Magnum Photo 385

Maklum Foto Malik, Adam

436 198

Mamusung, Alex

Kuriharaha, M (Mikado) Kusuma, Gatari S.

68

310 325 335

Kuswidananto, Jompet

Marshall, Cindy

Jakarta Biennale

Jakarta School of Photography (JSP) Java-bode

166

Lampito, Octo

258 288

Larson, Bird

A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE DIGITAL AGE

273 275 277

389 392 45

346 109 113 470

Mead, Margaret

97 98 100

109 116 387 469

Membaca Fotografi Potret (Reading Portrait Photography)

275

124

Lecouteux, Antoine F.

169 176

Mathew (see Brady, Mathew)

255 260

McPhee, Colin

Labrousse, Pierre

x 14 261 304 468 469

388

Marah, Dr. Surisman

L

Jaarsma, Mella

104 138 154 155 156 157

158 159 171

Mallory, Walter H.

113

223 226

424

McCurry, Steve J

371

Lorde, Audre

Majapahit

Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (KNIL = Royal Netherlands Indies Army) 88 KUNCI Cultural Center

404

Lombard, Denys

Lumi, Alex

196 201 210 214 215

ISI Padang Panjang (Institut Seni Indonesia = Indonesian Institute of Art)

ISI Yogyakarta (Institut Seni Indonesia = Indonesian Institute of Art)

148

250

Lubis, Mochtar

55

Kodak (Eastman Kodak) Kompas

382 386

Lombok Palu Donggala Rev!val

Kinsbergen, Isidore van 223

275

Linggadjati Agreement

330

Kelas Pagi Jakarta (KPJ = Morning Class in Jakarta) Kilas Balik

184 186 198 199 201 202 223 225

Lie, Daniel

296 300

Mendur, Alex (see also IPPHOS and Chapter 6) 162 169 176 270

33 37

476

156

9

Libert, Dr. Titoes

97 98

Kedai Kebun Forum

IPPHOS (Indonesian Press Photographic Service) (see also Chapter 6) vii x 84

118 154 433

Lembaga Pendidikan Jurnalistik (LPJA = Antara Journalistic Educational Institute) 198

kallitype

ix 388 403 433 436 439

Leica

84 100 105 469

LEKRA (Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat = Institute for People’s Culture) 317

229

Islen der Götter (Iles des Dieux) (see Schuh, Gotthard) 140

IPPHOS: reMastered

20 232

239 240 242 243 244 245 246

IKJ (Institut Kesenian Jakarta = Jakarta Institute for the Arts) 273 284

InstaStreetID

Legge, J.D. (John D.)

317 319

281

Mendur brothers (see also IPPHOS and Chapter 6)

National Gallery of Australia

x 29 30 33

36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 46 51 52

166 169 176 179 184 186 187 201

53 56 60 61 62 63 64 69 74 75 137

206 223 270 271

261 271 446 448 451 452 455 458 459 460 470 473

Mendur, Frans (see also IPPHOS and Chapter 6) 162 164 165 166 176 270

Neeb, Christiaan Johan

Merdeka

Neeb, Hendricus Marinus

MES 56

159 166 172 196 202 213 223

viii 5 250 273 277 293 296 297

New Order

54 61 82 90

420 471 472

Metri, Donny

Nitimihardjo, Handjojo

201

Meyerowitz, Joel

Nuarta, Nyoman

433

Mihardja, Achdiat Karta

Mintaraga, Jan Mohamad, A.

Morris, Rosalind C.

Okujo, K.

Motuloh, Oscar (see also Chapter 9)

vii

17 176 195 196 197 199 204 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 226 275 469 473 480

Muchtar, But

Muhammadiyah

Ong, Robin

Multatuli (see also Dekker, Eduard Douwes) 148 Mulya, Adrian

377 380 382

Munnich, Jurriaan

Murti, Krisna (see also Chapter 10)

Portman, Christiaan Julius Lodewijk

Pradikta, Adela

Prasetya, Erik

432 433 436 439 441

43 45 127 218 268

Pramesti, Rani

366 377 384 430 433 436

Prasetyo, Nunung

45 55

Najoan, P. (Johannes Paulus Simon)

310 335 341

404

Pratoomwong, Tavepong

P

Paik, Nam June

N

279

232 239 242 245

Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agency (OANA) 203 215

Page, James (see also Woodbury & Page)

327

34

Prambanan

36 183

National Art Museum, Seoul

platinum

10 470

116 133

Pratama, Aditya

131

55 65 68 72 73

Pita Maha

Opleidingsschool Voor Inlandsche Ambtenaran (OSVIA = Education School for Native Civil Servants) 65

viii

14 249 251 252 253 400 469 473 480

Museum Puri Lukisan

Pisani, Elizabeth

Prabowo

O’Sullivan, Timothy

30 268

400

Pot-Pourri Photography

433

vii 136 138 144 146 147 148 470 77

vii

26 29 30

201

Oorthuys, Cas

Mulder, Dr. Denis G.

30

Picture Paradise: Asia-Pacific photography 1840s–1940s 473 Pirous, A.D.

68

Ondergedoken Camera, De (The Subversive Camera) (see also Oorthuys, Cas) 147

400

PERSAGI (Persatuan Ahli Gambar Indonesia = Union of Indonesian Painters) 317

371 473 480

385

On Street Photography 183

403 404 405

206 208 211 215 270 275 281 311

398

Old Print: Photographic Work Towards a Creative Economy 281

86

(Mobile Photography Library)

Pers, Auguste van

x 7 15 17 415 417 419 420

Oka, Cynthia Dewi

407

Perpustakaan Fotografi Keliling

162 166 176 179 195 196 203 204

O’Hare, Jez

155 156

406 407 409

Photojournalism (see also Chapters 6 and 9)

Obrist, Hans Ulrich

206 207

Moriyama, Daido

400

O

55 65

Mohini, Ratna

196 199 203

424

Ministry of Education and Culture (Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan) 273 469

311

Permadi, Tandia Bambang

196 210 213 215 218 232

Nieuwenhuis, C.B. (Christiaan Benjamin)

321 322 325 327 328 338 339 342

197 470

Perhimpunan Amatir Foto (or Preanger Amateur Fotografen Vereeniging = Association of Amateur Photographers) 77 78 Peris, Eric

46

235 236 245 374 376 382 387

301 304 305 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 319 320

46

Perbawa, Romi

258

Pakoe Boewono X Pakubuwono IX

90

Pencil of Nature, The

84 166 198 202

Protschky, Susie

55

Puraga, Baskara

436 x 5 14 265 277 303 310

312 325 331 470

Purbaya, Rangga

29

Pengawal Laut (Ocean Guards)

477

proclamation of independence

Purbandono, Angki

37

433

215 216

Purnomo, Edy

277 310 312 335 337

433 434 436

INDEX

Putera, Yudha Kusuma

310 330 336

Sanger, Tinnes Saptono

Rama, Eri

308 310 322 325 335

Rambey, Arbain

RAWS Syndicate reformasi

10 20 196 212 213 214 232

Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java (see also Strassler, Karen) 77 471 473

Satake, S.

SPECTA

310 335 340

183 400 468 470

Steele-Perkins Chris

33

Schaefer, Adolph

30 31 32 183 184 187 268

Selfies

Rodger, George

154

vii 184 187 189 191 192 193 480

Rolleiflex

Roseno, Edwin Rouch, Jean

277 296 297

304 305 307 308 309 311 315 342 420 471 472

Rustandi, Leonardi

403 404

Sihombing, Julian

Subyakto, Jay

436

SLR (Single Lens Reflex)

233

Soamole, Djamal

Sobol, Jacob Aue

Soebroto, Dr.

Saleh, Abdul Wahab

201

82 88 90 105

Suharto

255 335 430 433 434 468 471 472 473 218

Sukarno

407

Salzwedel, Herman Samudra Air Mata

54 60

223 226

Soelarko, R.M.

166 169 171 174 176 186 198 202 436

206 335 376 400 420 424 469

Sukarnoputri, Megawati Sumardjo, Trisno

273

Sun Ardi

400

245

183 187 189 191

273 275

Sunargo, Henrycus Napit viii x 6 267

x 8 403 410 411 413 414 415

Sung, Yaya

385 390

Supangkat, Jim

275

400 469

Surya, Shamow’el Rama

404

Soenarto, Wagiono

A HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDONESIA: FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE DIGITAL AGE

84 97 98 100 101 102 103 104

105 138 153 156 159 162 164 165

Soedjono, Soeprapto (see also Chapter 11)

Soekadar, Tantyo

10 20 171 196 210 211 213 214

215 232 235 236 237 239 245 251

470 473 480 371

436

103 183 187 189 317 470 473

268 269 274 275 276 282 289 403

Salmon, Claudine

239 243

Sudjojono, S. (Sindoesoedarsono)

211

Soedarsono, Srihadi

183 187

102

275

Sudaryanto, Arifan

275

Soedarsono, R.M.

S

Saleh, Raden

Subroto SM, Dr.

201 210 214 215

Sitompul, Ade Andryani

110

Subroto, Raden Abdullah Surio

131

Social media (see also Chapter 17)

201

vii x 65 77 86

433

Stutterheim, Willem

275

Sobary, Mohamad

276 281

Ryadi, Kartono

Stuart, Matt

201

vii x 188 191 410 473 480

387

Ruang MES 56 (see MES 56)

Rusli, Edial

Sendouw, Bernandus

310 327 328

Stories of a Space: Living Expectations

244 471 473 480

Siregar, Aminudin T.H. (see also Chapter 7)

125

84

Strassler, Karen (see also Chapter 9)

242

Siagian, Ompu Pandemauli

Ro’is, J.M. Arsath

153

105 231 232 235 237 239 240 243

Setiawan, S.

429 433 435 439

346

309 311 315 471 472

vii 138 140 141 142 143 470

308 310 322 325 330 332

Steichen, Edward Steijlen, Fridus

77

Schuh, Gotthard

200

vi 107 109 110 112 113

116 118 119 122 125 131 133 156

268 277 473 183 187

311 330 338

281

Spies, Walter

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

281

Riyanto, Fajar

Salim

217 218 220 221 222 469 473

68 74

Sauman, L.

97

Soulscape Road

315

68 74 75 137 138

Satyagraha, Daniel

293 468

Sosrodihardjo, Raden Sukemi

Soutter, Lucy

Schermerhorn, E.J.G.

403

Resobowo, Basuki Reuters

407 409 410

55 65

Satake, K.T.

403

256 309 316 317 376 412

REKAM

Saputra, Sandi Jaya

Sarto

436

233 235 236 237 242 245 246 247

Reinaldi, Harry

Sontag, Susan

310 325 335 338 339

Saputro, Kurniawan Adi

201

Ravael, Rachmad

Roe

159 162 165 166 206 270 311 315 213 214

Saptoto, Anang

R

Soerjoatmodjo, Yudhi

201

Susdafo

203

478

201

224

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Suwage, Agus

U

176

Wiyanto, Hendro

Ueda, Maki

400

Wok the Rock

256

Umbas Brothers (see also IPPHOS and Chapter 6) Talbot, William Henry Fox

26 28 29 137

Tanah Air Kita (see also Dekker, Niels Douwes) 138 148 150 151 153 154 468

Tan Bie Le

Unie, De

4 27 35 36 37 38 39 43 46 54 57 58 59 60 268

Unobtainium

Tan, Lushun

55

Vaccaro, Tony

Thajib, Ferdiansyah Tillema, Dr. H.F.

Verhoeve, Rosa

315

Tjiang, Harry

288

13 14 15 45

Tosari Studio (see also Satake, K.T.) Traditional Balinese Culture (see also Belo, Jane) 109

68

110

275 288 214 277 284 403 473

Wachlin, Steven Wakidi

Yudhoyono, Susilo Bambang Yuk, Beb

55 65

176

424

Yuwono, Dito

250 310 330 333

183 332

Wayang

118 252

Weissenborn, Thilly

Z

51 74 76 77 147

Zaini

183 187

Zenith

311

wet plate collodion (see also Archer, Frederick Scott) Wibhisono, Ario Pradipta

vii 188 189 190 191 193 480

Zoelverdi, Ed

201

Zoete, Beryl de

109 112 116 156

413 415

Wibowo, Woto (see Wok the Rock) Widjaja, Gunawan

Wijaya, Afil

429 430 436 440

255

Winogrand, Garry

325 327

433

Wirokusumo, Sudarso

479

20 232

308 310 325

William, Abud Andri

433

308

371 382

Widodo, Joko (see Jokowi)

292 293 295 296 300 468 480

TVRI (Televisi Republik Indonesia)

200

32 33 34 137

255 265 400

233 237 239 243

200

215 217 218

277

Weston, Edward

Tropenmuseum (see also Chapter 12)

Twitter

Xinhua

124

Wij (We) (see also Oorthuys, Cas)

183

Tuarissa, Chris

X

346 353 358

Yonhap

Wachid, Abdul

Topografische Dienst van Nederlands Indië (Topographic Service of the Dutch East Indies) 46

Trisno, Djoni

257 258

257

W

Toer, Pramoedya Ananta

Tumblr

Wulia, Tintin

ii 420 424

Y

69 71

Trisakti University

Wright, Richard

Voice of Angkor, The

257 258

17 18

281 283

Vishniac, Roman

68

Tintin Wulia

Tromarama

77 102 116 119 138 156 165 166 171 183 268 346 352 398 400 420

171

Venice Biennale

Tentara Nasional Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL) 215

229

World War II

Van Dyke brown

288

36

110 137

Wright, Astri

V

Triadi, Darwis

World War I

65 70

264

Tjie Lan

World Press Photo

305

Tania, Prilla

TEMPO

404 406 407

UNPAS (University of Pasundan) Untoro, Ugo

Tan Gwat Bing

Woodbury, Walter Bentley (see also Woodbury & Page)

166

279 284 285 286

65

308 310 316 325 327 338

Woodbury & Page

165 169

T

317

192

INDEX

Untitled [Portrait of a man], Kassian Céphas, c. 1880, gelatin silver photography, 13.6 cm × 9.6 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2007.

A NOTE ON THE PUBLICATION Several of the essays in this book were published in other books or journals previously, and are included here with permission. The essay Art Photography in Indonesia: J.M. Arastath Ro’is, Tirsno Suardjo, and Zenith Magazine, was first published in Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography, co-published by the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and Afterhours Books. It is reprinted here with permission of Aminudin T.H. Siregar and the previous publishers. New Media Culture by Krisna Murti was first published in 2009 by the Indonesian Visual Arts Archive in an anthology of Murti’s writing about art and technology, Essays on Video Art and New Media: Indonesia and Beyond. Journalistic Circus: A Look at Photojournalism in Indonesia and the History of the Antara Gallery of Photojournalism is extracted from a lecture Oscar Motuloh gave at ISI Yogyakarta in September 2019. It is reproduced here courtesy of the author. The essay by Wimo Ambala Bayang, Souvenirs from the Past, was first published in 2012 by KIT Publishers in the book Photographs of the Netherlands East Indies at the Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics). It is reprinted here with permission from both the author and publisher. A City on the Move: Bandung Today was first published in Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, Vol. 46 No. 4, December 2019, and is reproduced with permission of the author. The Ground Beneath My Feet was first published in Indonesian Dreams: Reflections on Society, Revelations of the Self by KITLV in 2006, and reprinted here with permission of the author and publisher. The rest of the chapters were written specifically for this book, and printed with permission of the authors. Every effort has been made to obtain permission to use all copyrighted illustrations reproduced in this book. Nonetheless, whosoever believes to have rights to this material is advised to contact the publisher. This publication was made possible by the generous support of the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University.

COLOPHON

Editor

Brian C. Arnold Contributors

Adelina Luft, Alexandra Kumala, Brent Luvaas, Brian C. Arnold, Gael Newton, Jeremy Allan, Karen Strassler, Krisna Murti, Matthew Cox, Oscar Motuloh, Soeprapto Soedjono, Tino Djumini, and Wimo Ambala Bayang Producer & Creative Director

Lans Brahmantyo Book Designer

Luciano Andrew Afterhours Books, Jakarta, Indonesia Format

28 cm × 21.5 cm, xiv + 482 pages Typography

Crimson Pro, Ballinger Mono, Century Schoolbook, and Sutro Shaded Gradient Software

Adobe Creative Cloud 2022 on macOS Monterey 12.5 Hardware

Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro, 14 inch, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, and BenQ PD3220U Professional Designer Monitor ISBN

978 94 6372 949 9 e-ISBN

978 90 4855 802 5 DOI

10.5117/9789463729499 NUR

692

Any copy of this book issued by the publisher as a hardcover or paperback is sold subject to the condition that it shall not by way of trade or otherwise be circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover, other than in which it is published and without a similar condition, including these words being imposed on a subsequent purchaser. First edition © 2022 by Afterhours Books/Amsterdam University Press All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the authors, the editor, the writers, the contributors and the publisher. Published by Amsterdam University Press Nieuwe Prinsengracht 89 1018 VR Amsterdam, The Netherlands [email protected]

Cover Picture Javanese Actor, Professor E.J.G. (Edgar Johan Gerhard) Schermerhorn, half-tone plate LVIII in Photograms of the Year 1931.