Publication, Travel, Travel Photography

DestinAsian Indonesia May – June 2013

Few days back, I just realized that it has been more than a year since my last post. Time passed so quick and that’s terrible for this blog, extraordinarily terrible. For now at least, no second glance, I’m up for blogging again. Will I post regularly? Honestly, I have no idea yet. But will see if this new blog outlook will bring something good.

So, back in March, I was shooting around Magelang, Central Java, for a main travel feature in the May-June edition of DestinAsian Indonesia, the second edition of the magazine. I’ve been in Magelang before, but that was long time ago. And to my surprise, just like Tony Wheeler who’ve been always ignored this city in his Indonesia edition of Lonely Planet, I’ve actually missed many charms about this place, literally.

The trip itself took me to Oei Hong Djien Museum, Selogriyo (the Ubud of Central Java), some less visited temples (you’ll meet no other curious tourists other than yourself, and there are more than 70 other temples around), and some great resorts (I didn’t usually find any resort stay worth to be the highlight of my trip but who can resist the joy at Villa Borobudur).

The shooting conditions were great, and a lot of photo opportunities around. I just can’t complain.

Well, here’s the complete tearsheet and you can read the whole story here in Bahasa.

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Publication, Travel Photography

Lipka Tatar’s Trail : Garuda Magazine

The pictures and words report from my trip to Kruszyniany, a Lipka Tatar village in eastern part of Poland finally published in recent edition of Garuda Magazine (Middle East Edition). It is nicely put on the cover and run six pages inside. What I’m so happy about, my favourite image displayed really well for the double spread title page 🙂

“These days, along with their muslim tradition, some thousands Lipka Tatars still live in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.”


Lipka Tatar is a group of Tatar who initially resided in Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the 14th century.  Their ancestors can be tracked back to the Golden Horde, the later Mongolian Khanate famous for its nomadic style of living. But instead of bringing their shamanistic religion from the east, the Lipka Tatars are Sunni Muslims.

The Wodden Mosque of Kruszyniany on the Cover

Tatars, along with their ancestors are famous thourghout history for one thing: horse-riding. In the war-infested medieval times, the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth saw this as a great chance. This was a right decision. By waging them as soldiers, the commonwealth won some crucial battle, including the Battle of Grunwald against the Teutonic Knight. As the result, the Lipka Tatars gained a noble status which granted them spacious lands to live on.

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These days, along with their muslim tradition, some thousands Lipka Tatars still live in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. My visit to Poland on summer 2011 has brought me to Kruszyniany, a small deserted village near Belarus border (there are also another village called Bohoniki). The inital plan was to do an in-depth photo reportage there. But everything wasn’t going too well. I messed up the planning with a bad last-minute research.

Special thanks to (Jedrek Wojnar)

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Portrait Photography, Publication

Portrait of a Rebel

Few weeks of silence, that’s what happened again to this blog. Yes I was quite busy lately. Last week, I spent 6 days in the southern part of Sulawesi (Celebes) for a special assignment. The reportage along with photographs will be published soon. And then, in the tiring month of Ramadhan, I found myself busy of writing some travel stories. The stories from my last European trip. Let alone this blog, I even don’t have time for myself.

So here is the last portrait I made and published by TEMPO English Edition. A portrait of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. He was in Jakarta several days before I was leaving for Sulawesi. The shot itself was in a rush. 3 minute available time since he had plane to catch. So I ended up with only 7 pictures in my compact flash. Fortunately, all is usable 🙂

Anwar Ibrahim Portrait as Published

Anwar Ibrahim

That’s all for now.

A very short post.

P.S: I personally like the original color better, but somehow it was adjusted for publication.

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Portrait Photography, Publication

Interviewing the National Hero

A quick post. An intermezzo from my European travel posts if you really tired of it.

Last week, I had a chance to photograph Rudy Hartono, a former world champion badminton player for TEMPO. It was a special interview regarding nowadays Indonesian struggle for its long tradition in this sport. In the last few years, Indonesian reputation in badminton is getting worse and worse. Interviewing Rudy hopefully will give the Indonesian some idea why. And he did it. He eagerly stated his personal point of view.

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Talking about Rudy Hartono, he’s one of the few national sport heroes of Indonesia. More than a hero, he’s a living legend. He won men’s singles of All England Badminton Championship as much as 8 times, which 7 consecutively from 1968 to 1974. Making him a record of no one can beat until today. No wonder he is one of the most famous player in the history of sport.

And these days, if you are interested to know, he roles as a successful businessman.

The Selected Photograph for Publication

You can read the whole interview in TEMPO 5 July 2011 edition.

Selected Image for TEMPO English Edition

Thank you for visiting 🙂

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News, Portrait Photography, Publication

Ali Topan: Revival

It’s time for a little update.  My days in Jakarta are just fine. The job are just perfect for now; taking portraits, do some level of post-processing, captioning, and everything is done.

My last assignment for TEMPO was to photograph the preparation of the musical theatre of Ali Topan. If you’re an Indonesian at the age of 25 or more and don’t know who/what Ali Topan is, then you’re simply ou of league :). For any Indonesian below 25 you can ask your parents. Your father should know him, or even struggled to become another Ali Topan in his past. 🙂

O.k, so now you’ve known him; the iconic character of Indonesian past scene which marks the late 70s timeline. Although most of you might recognize hime from the mid 90s TV series, the story is based on the novel written by Teguh Esha, a bright star in the world of Indonesian journalism at that time. Some people assume the story is actually based on facts and Teguh Esha personal account. He, which we also paid a visit and interviewed, didn’t deny it.

Dendy & Kikan as Ali Topan & Anna

Teguh Esha, the author of Ali Topan in his house.

Now, in form of musical theatre, both Ari Tulang, the famous Indonesian choreographer, and Dian HP, a musician, brought Ali Topan back into view. The key role on the stage is played by Dendy (Mike’s Apartment vocalist) as Ali Topan and Kikan (ex-Cokelat vocalist) as Anna, Ali’s pair. The performance lasted from 11th to 17th of April 2011 in Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta.

My focus for the assignment was about everything behind the scene so I didn’t photograph the performance. I travel to Teguh Esha house twice and wait for both Dendy & Kikan in some boring hours just for 3 minute shooting chance. At the end, the photographs are just as good as I imagined. 🙂

Click HERE for the other posts.

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News, Portrait Photography, Publication

A Brand New Day

The last few weeks have seen me contemplating for a decision; moving to a big city.  O.k let’s make it clear. Big cities? I was never a big fan of them. Just to be honest, I never really lived in a big city before, the thing that probably made me never love it. My case now is about Jakarta, the Indonesian capital that jam-packed by millions people, cars, and skyscraper brick walls. I’ve visited it a lot in the past, but never really get myself into it. However, time passed and opportunity offered. After think about it for a while, I finally decided to move and give it a try.

So what am I doing in Jakarta? Shooting pictures for sure. I cannot think of doing something else. For the last few years I’ve been doing what I like to do and I don’t think it’s time to give it up, or at least not yet. But there’s a slight difference between what I have done before and the thing I am doing now. Commissioned for Tempo, an Indonesian leading news magazine, it’s no longer about travel pictures, but more to portrait and photojournalism. I will still shoot travel pictures though, but for now I will try to tackle and do the best to this new challenge. I just feel that there are a lot to learn from this.

Above is my first photo session and publication for Tempo. It’s a portrait of Andi Mallarangeng, Indonesian Minister for Sport and Youth Affair. I did it for this week Interview pages which discuss about the conflict between Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and Indonesian Government. The interview are published both in Indonesian and English edition. The latter will be available in the newsstands as far as Europe within few days.

Final words, it’s a brand new day and there’s always first time for everything. I eagerly will look forward for more 🙂

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News, Publication, Travel

Eyewitness: Life Among the Mentawai

Last week, one of my photo story was published in The Jakarta Globe, an English language-based Indonesian daily. Those pictures was taken May 2010 on my trip to Siberut Island, the last stronghold of the Mentawai society. I love how the editor chose the pictures. The first (and the biggest) photograph depict Bajak Toikot, a Mentawai Shaman, who are getting back from the jungle. He is holding the hunting spear, in movement to the Uma (Mentawai traditional jungle hut), but with an empty basket. The other pictures complete the whole stroy as an insight into the Mentawai life.

The Jakarta Globe's Eyewitness: Life Among the Mentawai

The Mentawai are an egalitarian society living inside the jungle of Siberut Island. They used to live in other islands too on the island group of Mentawai. But modernization affected the others while left the jungle of Siberut as the only last place to meet them nowadays. The Mentawai of Siberut live in both traditional and natural way like their ancestors. They still practice hunting and cultivating the sago palm in order to feed the family. They also tattooed all over their body as an identity. They can distinguish people from different village just by looking at the tattoo. More about the Mentawai later.

Actually, I am not the one who documented the Mentawai. There are few others photographers who do so. Some of the best are Joey Lawrence and Diego Verges. However my favorite was taken by Sebastiao Salgado. There are also some more photographers who went here and out with magnificent work. I still remember when I read Smithsonian magazine somtime around last year in edition which covers about tattoo culture. Unfortunately I forgot the photographer’s name.

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