Testimonial: internship at a photo art community in Bali
“Let´s just do you own photography exhibition at the end of your internship, Viki!”, with his typical coolness, Piping proposed me to display my photos after we have visited an opening of an exhibition at a Photo Art Community at the end of June. At the beginning I was struggling and was very unsure if I can make such a big project, but Pipings relaxed enjoy-Bali lifestyle was very contagious. He gave me one week to think about it and after I have decided to begin this adventure he has introduced me on the same day to photographers from the Photo Art Community.
The first step of my exhibition
was scheduling the date of my “preview”, which was one week later. During my preview at the photo community I have simply shown my best photos I have already taken to the other photographers. The reaction to my pictures was not accompanied by pure enthusiasm. Also, the head of the photo community, and his photographer mates were rather bored of most of my images just. They have already seen too many photos of the Balinese landscape and beaches. My photographer heart was broken after this criticism.
But the photo community guys encouraged me to find another specific topic for the exhibition. I have decided to focus on Balinese children, because I think that the children can personify the Balinese lifestyle and the contrast between the mass tourism and the deep Balinese culture in a very significant way. The photo community has invited two other photographer women to participate on the exhibition: Vanessa Green from New Zeeland and Éva Varga from Hungary who both agreed. Three female travelers from three different countries should show now how they see Bali in their point of view.
During our first big meeting
During our first big meeting (of course in the photo community's very relaxed working atmosphere) the date and the costs of the exhibition had to be discussed. Vanessa, Éva and me got three weeks to shoot the photos for our exhibition. I have been travelling through different places in Bali to capture the differences of the children's habits on these places. I was shooting in Tabanan, Tenganan, am orphanage house in Denpasar and Kuta Beach. Popo, a photographer from the photo community accompanied me even to Kintamani, where I have made a lot of pictures of children cutting grass for the cows on the steep meadows in the middle of the mountains.
I have found a lot of differences in how children live in the different regions of Bali. Some of them were working, selling bracelets on the beach, collecting the grass in the mountains, helping their parents, playing with a rubbish… I have experienced that they do not need much to be happy. The most important things for the Balinese children are having a lovely family and faithful friends.
My photo selection
After the photos were shot and selected and edited with the help of the we had to decide in which size and format we want to print our pictures. I have decided to divide my photos in two groups of seven pictures: working and playing children. I let print the photos of playing children on canvas in 40 x 60 cm size. As I wanted to show the contrast of working children and the fact that they should actually play in their age, I have tinkered three big dices in the size of 50 x 50 cm and have glued the photos on random sides of the dices.
I have spent many evenings and nights at the photo community. Talking about the photography, eating, laughing and drinking I was feeling like a member of a big family.
From the beginning until the very end was it with printing the photos, designing the banner and catalogues, organizing the food and drinks, we had the fully support of the whole photo community team, which I really appreciate!
Without the photographers from the photo community, their lovely help, connections and even their mental support it would be nearly impossible for three foreigners to organize an own exhibition at Bali.
The opening of the exhibition
The opening of the exhibition was on the 7th of August 2014 and the evening was a real success! After the speeches of Arso, Vanessa, Éva and me around 100 guests came to see our displayed photos. It was a indescribable feeling to see people watching at my pictures and to hear their opinions about them. The familiar atmosphere was rounded by the music performance of Rizal & Rasendriya. I know that I will never forget this evening in my entire life.
As I flew to Bali I could probably never imagine that I will organize my own photography exhibition this summer. It was a completely new and enriching experience for me.
I appreciate the help and cooperation of Piping, the photo community, Vanessa, Éva and everybody who has supported me in the last weeks. Thank you!