The Jakarta Post
A photo exhibition reveals the stunning beauty of Bali and Java.
The black and white photo shows a squatting Balinese man caresses one of his fighting roosters by a desolated road. It is a common sight in Bali, where cockfighting is as much as a favorite pastime as an integral element of religious ritual.
The photo would only attract a fleeting observation if not for the sight of Mount Agung that stands imposingly in the background. Its peak belches a tall and thick column of black and white smokes.
The sight of the rumbling volcano provides the picture with the dramatic contrast it needs to set it apart from other pictures of Balinese men and their morbid love for the bloody game.
In one frame, the photographer has succeeded in depicting the ambience of an island under threat of a natural disaster and of how its residents try to preserve a sense of normalcy.
Captured by I Wayan Sukarma at a village on the slope of Mt. Agung, the photo is one of 30 photographs currently on display at Griya Santrian gallery in Sanur, Bali.
Part of an exhibition titled Mandala Giri (Mountain Landscape), the photographs were selected from more than 300 pictures received by the committee through the submission process.
“The submission process was participated by 56 photographers, amateurs and professional alike from across Indonesia. I am quite happy that this year the submitted works were of a better quality compared to the previous years,” said exhibition curator Iwan Darmawan.
The exhibition is held in conjunction with the annual Sanur Village Festival (SVF), one of Indonesia’s biggest community-based cultural events.
The SVF enters its 13th year while the photo exhibition is in its eighth.
“Indonesia has a large number of active volcanoes, some of which have made their presence felt this year, including Mt. Agung. Through this exhibition, we would like to draw people’s attention to the natural beauty of the mountains and the stunning culture of the people living on their slopes,” said SVF chairman Ida Bagus Gede Sidharta Putra.
Naturally, images of Bali still dominate the exhibition, ranging from a colorful Ngaben near Mt. Batur to a painting-like photograph of Mt. Agung towering over a vast landscape of lush paddy fields.
Fortunately, several photographs of mountainous landscapes in Java provide the exhibition with a richer perspective. Pictures of the sulfur miners in Ijen crater and a solitary street musician at the slope of Mt. Bromo tell stories of economic hardship that still plague the mountain people.
“The number of participating photographers from outside Bali keeps increasing by the year and I am optimistic that this exhibition will grow into a nationally recognized event,” Iwan said.
A photography exhibition
Aug. 19-Sept. 2
Griya Santrian Gallery
Jl. Danau Tamblingan 47, Sanur, Bali