A Recap: Jakarta and Indonesia’s Photo Book Wave
There is a photo book wave in Southeast Asia, led by Singapore and Indonesia it would appear. On our recent trip to Jakarta, I was able to catch up with quite a few Indonesian photographers who have published books or have at least one upcoming. Here’s a brief recap.
I got a first-hand look and feel of Ng Swan Ti’s lovely dummy for her first photo book titled ‘Illusions’. Ng Swan Ti is a freelance photographer at Equator Images and a lead facilitator at Panna Foto Institute. ‘Illusions’ is a delicately designed, intimate visual diary of sorts and expected to go to press in June. Swan Ti professed her love for Munken Paper, I pre-ordered a copy and grabbed my edition number ’73’.
Swan Ti also mentioned a recent independent initiative with peers to start an archive of historical and contemporary Indonesian photo books. Her partner Edy Purnomo published his own first book PASSING in 2012. Limited signed copies of PASSING are available at the IPA Photo Book Store.
Photojournalist Mamuk Ismuntoro is also working with Swan Ti on a book of his project on the Sidoarjo Mudflow Disaster.
No trip to Jakarta is complete without an autograph from Erik Prasetya. In 2012, I grabbed a copy of Erik’s Jakarta Estetika Banal book. This time round Erik signed copies of ‘Street Photo’, his dual postcard bookset, a preview of his latest colour photography. A full book will likely be published in 2015 Erik tells me.
At a book sharing session with The Photo Book Club Jakarta, I was introduced to NESW (short for North East South West) by Forbes Indonesia photo editor Ahmad “Roni” Zamroni. NESW is a newly published book of mobile phone photography by four photojournalists including Roni, Dita Alangkara, Associated Press chief photographer for Indonesia, Kompas daily photographer Yuniadhi Agung; Mast Irham, and European Pressphoto Agency’s chief photographer for Indonesia. Copies of NESW can be ordered by contacting Roni.
Veteran photojournalist Tjandra Moh Amin has been documenting Indonesian megaband Slank for years and expects to publish a photo book in the Rolling Stones tradition in the near future.
Aji Susanto Anom, an IPA Grant recipient and participant at our Street Photography Workshop, had previously self-published his first book ‘Nothing Personal’, described as a fictional, historical story of his hometown Solo. It was great to finally meet and work with Aji in Jakarta. The photo book movement in Singapore inspired Aji to self-publish. Limited signed copies of Nothing Personal are available at the IPA Photo Book Store.
Without a doubt, one of my favourite Indonesian photo books is SOULSCAPE ROAD, by influential photographer and curator Oscar Motuloh. It was a pleasure to finally meet Oscar and spend considerable time chatting with him about photography in Indonesia. A feature interview with Oscar will be posted in the near future. Limited copies of SOULSCAPE ROAD are available at the IPA Photo Book Store.
Last but not least of course, my good friend Rony Zakaria has his sights set on a new followup book to his first monograph Encounters. Last few copies of Encounters are available at the IPA Photo Book Store.