by Catriona Mitchell
On Thursday 12th December, an exhibition of contemporary photography by 28 photographers from across Bali and Jakarta opened at Tony Raka Gallery in Mas. I’d never seen such highly imaginative and wildly diverse ways of presenting photography – some works were printed on aluminium or glass, others slathered in varnish or gold-leaf or paint, torn to reveal other images beneath, presented in light-boxes, or etched to imitate primitive wood-cuts. There were interactive elements too – you could walk right through Rio Helmi’s banner photo of a procession in Penulisan at the gallery’s entrance; one machine created different planes of light, the camera picking up on movements in slow exposure as you walked across; another contraption allowed participants to take innovative self-portraits when they ventured inside a darkened box the size of a small room.
In short, it was the best exhibition I’ve ever seen in Bali – a brave, experimental and adventurous interpretation of what photography can be, by those for whom photography is their primary medium (as opposed to those who work mostly in other forms, with photography as one tool amongst many), within the framework of the contemporary art market. Above all it’s the sheer range and edgy juxtaposition of styles that makes the experiment so successful. If you weren’t there for the opening, be sure to see it before the exhibition concludes on 12 January 2014.
Tomorrow we’ll be publishing an interview with the curator, Jim Supangkat, but for now, here’s a taste of the exhibition in images.
Rio Helmi’s banner photo at the entrance of Tony Raka Gallery
by D. Tjandra Kirana
by James Wilkins
by Nico Dharmajugen
by Natasha Gabriella Tontey
by Komang ‘Totok’ Parwata
by Jill Gocher
by Oscar Motuloh