Darwis Triadi Photography Exhibition: Jimbaran Bay, Bali

Darwis Triadi paves the way with his new collection of black-and-white photographs of women on display at Ganesha Gallery in Jimbaran.

The exhibit, Terra Incognita, opened July 2 at Four Seasons Resort, Jimbaran to a large crowd of locals and expatriates. People came from all over Bali to see Triadi’s thought-provoking photographs and meet the artist himself.

His new photography book, Terra Incognita Tropicale, was also launched with a book signing. It was a festive event with wine and hors d’oeuvres under the stars.

Bruce Carpenter, an art historian, writer and consultant for Ganesha Gallery, gave an opening speech stating, “The human body is a functional and an inspirational form of art.

“In following this line and in presenting these photos to you in a public way, he (Triadi) feels that just like the people of Bali or Irian Jaya or all the traditional people of the archipelago, there’s nothing wrong with the human body. In fact, it’s a temple that we should all worship and honor,” continued Carpenter.

In Terra Incognita, Triadi has evolved from his days as one of Indonesia’s top fashion photographers to a truly talented artist who is striving to convey the natural beauty of women.

Years ago he began by just shooting women’s body parts and then started photographing women with landscapes. In one photograph in particular, there is a stunning image of a women in front of an ancient banyan tree’s roots. Her body is luminescent and merges with the tree as though they are one.

Triadi’s photographs have mainly been taken in Central Java’s natural environment and at its ancient Hindu-Buddhist temples. His innovative use of digital infrared cameras adds intensity to the photographs’ colors, especially to green foliage. Triadi stated,

“The camera one uses is of little importance; what matters is the inspiration that comes from within.”

Unfortunately Wingless is an exquisite photograph of a nude woman cast against the back drop of the ancient Prambanan temple located in Central Java. Triadi portrays her as an angel patiently waiting to get her wings so that she can take flight. His ability to juxtapose the real and unreal produces stunning photographs that are truly evocative.

“This is not pornography,” said Triadi. “I want to help change the mind-set of people in Indonesia.”

Due to the current political climate, Triadi is effectively not able to exhibit his photographs in Jakarta; he can only exhibit his works in Bali and other countries. He is hopeful, though, that things will change in Indonesia soon.

The photograph I See You reveals a woman’s back as she is pressed up against an old brick wall with one arm covering her eyes. The irony here is evident. Again there is the ever-present flamboyan tree in the foreground with its beautiful wispy leaves.

There are also several photographs of women that were taken in Cambodia near an ancient temple site. Triadi’s subjects are set amid beautiful landscapes that blend seamlessly with women’s bodies.

All of his photos are tastefully done, illustrating how women’s bodies can be appreciated as an art form. The faces of the women are never revealed, remaining a mystery to the viewer.
Triadi skillfully creates poetry in motion in his photographs. The viewer is captivated by these stunning images of women in nature, which look almost like paintings.

He admits that he tried to be a painter but found it to be too difficult, so took up photography instead. That was 28 years ago and today he is perhaps one of the most famous photographers in Indonesia.

Terra Incognita
Four Seasons Resort Bali
Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran, Bali
tel. (0361) 701010
until July 26

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Michele Cempaka