Indonesia

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Photography

Black-and-White Photos by Daniel Tjongari Frame the Dramatic Landscape of Indonesia's Sawarna Beach

April 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Daniel Tjongari, shared with permission

Between 2015 and 2019, Indonesian photographer Daniel Tjongari made multiple treks to a complex of white sand beaches that sit adjacent to the Indian Ocean. He wanted to capture the fluctuating coastal area over time, a project that resulted in a series of dramatic, ethereal images highlighting the beauty of the region. Through monochromatic shots—he shares photographer Elliot Erwitt’s understanding that “color is destructive. Black-and-white is interpretative”—Tjongari frames the rocky expanses and waterfalls of Sawarna Beach in various states, whether shrouded in thick fog or experiencing a brief moment of calm.

Tjongari is a SONY Alpha Professional Photographer for SONY INDONESIA. He recently traveled to White Crater in West Java Province to shoot a new series, which he’ll be sharing soon on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art History

This Warty Pig Painting Is Thought To Be the Oldest Cave Art in the World

January 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

Deep within Leang Tedongnge, a cave tucked away on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, archaeologists discovered this mulberry-hued painting of a warty pig and two hand silhouettes potentially belonging to the artist, which is now believed to be the oldest figurative work in the world. A study published in Science Advances this week says the impeccably preserved rendering is at least 45,500 years old, which predates previously discovered depictions of mythical creatures in the region. Those prior findings date back about 43,900 years.

Questions remain about the exact age of the work and who made it. Archaeologists from Griffith University, who helmed the mission, utilized uranium-series dating to determine how old the speleothem, or mineral deposits, of the cave is rather than the actual painting. There’s also debate about whether modern humans are responsible for the renderings, a question that’s complicated by the fact that the only skeletal remains that date back at least 45,500 years in Sulawesi belong to early hominins.

Dr. Adam Brumm, who co-authored the study, told The New York Times that researchers expect to discover similar artworks in the region, although the cave paintings are deteriorating at a rapid rate and could fade before they’re ever uncovered. “It is very worrying, and given the current situation the end result is likely to be the eventual destruction of this ice age Indonesian art, perhaps even within our lifetime,” Brumm said.

 

 

 

 



Photography Science

Blue Fire Crater: Rivers of Molten Sulphur Flowing Inside an Indonesian Volcano Photographed by Reuben Wu

September 1, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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While on a trip to visit the Ijen and Bromo Tengger Semeru volcanoes in East Java last month, Chicago-based photographer Reuben Wu captured the unusual sight of molten sulphur that flows from fumaroles at the base of the Blue Fire Crater at Ijen. The area is usually swarming with tourists, but Wu stayed after sunset until the moon rose to capture these otherworldly images.

The journey into the Ijen Caldera is not for the faint hearted. A two-hour trek up the side of the rocky volcano is followed by another 45-minute hike down to the bank of the crater. The blue fire found at the base is the result of ignited sulphuric gas that burns up to 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit) and can flare up to 5 meters (16 feet) into the air. It is the largest “blue flame” area on Earth.

Additional photos from Wu’s trek through Indonesia can be seen here. (via Colossal Submissions)

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Art Photography

Black and White Underwater Photography by Hengki Koentjoro

May 15, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Underwater photography of scuba divers, coral, or wildlife can sometimes seem commonplace regardless of the remote destination or subject, but Indonesian photographer Hengki Koentjoro (previously here and here) bucks the trend with his desaturated, dark, and often brooding images taken in and around Jakarta, Indonesia. While his landscape photography above ground is often dreamlike and mysterious, as soon as the blue is removed from the ocean it introduces a slightly menacing tone that while deeply beautiful, sets the viewer a little on edge. Oh and also the sharks. Koentjoro is one of my favorite photographers right now and you should get lost in his photos for a bit. Find him on 500px, Flickr, and Art Limited. (via my amp goes to 11)

 

 



Photography

The Travel Photography of Lukas Kozmus

November 13, 2012

Christopher Jobson

While on a backpacking trip through India two years ago, 23-year-old student Lukas Kozmus realized how much he enjoyed using his tiny Sony camera to photograph the Ganges river, the Taj Mahal and other sights. After returning he quickly purchased a better DSLR and took it with him on treks to visit the Himalayas in Nepal, to Indonesia, and of course carried it around his native Berlin, all the while snapping the wonderfully dreamlike images you see here. I think this could be a bit more than a hobby, no? Lukas tells me he’s preparing for a trip to Morocco and I can’t wait to see what he brings back. You can see more of his work on Flickr.

 

 



Photography

Dreamlike Photographs of Indonesia by Hengki Koentjoro

July 20, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Photographer Hengki Koentjoro (previously) was born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia in 1963 and later graduated the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California where he studied video production and minored in fine art photography. He now lives and works in Jakarta where he takes these breathless, surreal photographs of the Southeast Asian landscape in locations like Java and Banten. Via his artist statement:

Photography is not just a way of expressing his most inner soul but also creating a window to the world where through his pictures the unseen and the unspoken can be grasped. Driven by the desire to explore the mystical beauty of nature, he develops his sense and sensibility through the elements of fine art photography. His freedom of expression is more reflected in the elaboration and exploration of black and white.

When looking at Koentjoro’s images and processing technique I find myself unable to believe such profoundly beautiful places exist in reality. You can see much more of his work on Flickr and Behance. Prints are available by request.