I spent three months this past spring in Java, working on a number of different projects. One of these, is gaining lots of traction.
A few years ago, I initiated a study of photography in Indonesia, using archives at Cornell University and the National Gallery in Canberra to look at the history of colonial era photography in the Dutch East Indies. With some help from the American Institute of Indonesian Studies - as well as some other, smaller granting agencies - I've traveled to Java a few times in the last few years. During these recent trips, I've conducted a number of studio visits, and I am now working to put together an exhibition of contemporary art photography from Java.
I've given this exhibition the working title You, Me, Us?: Questions of Identity in Contemporary Javanese Photography. This exhibition will open at the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in August 2016. To the best of my knowledge, this will be the first exhibition devoted to Indonesian photography in the United States (there is some talk of it traveling to other venues in the States). Before opening at Cornell, it will open at the Institute of Technology in Bandung, West Java. The exhibition in Bandung will open in conjunction with a short, international conference on photography. There is also some talk with Cornell collaborating with the Galeri Foto Jurnalistik Antara in Jakarta to make a bilingual publication to document this exhibition, and distributed in both Indonesia and the United States. There are currently 8 contributing photographers to this exhibition - Jim Allen Abel, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Angki Purbandono, Krisna Murti, Dito Yuwono, Henrycus Napit Sungaro (image below), Deden Durahman, and Tino Djumini.
Brian Arnold is a photographer, educator, writer, and musician living in Ithaca, NY. For more information, please visit my other blog, A Photographer's Journal.