Surabaya Photo Festival 2015

12 May 2015 / Surabaya Dinner with members of the festival team
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
Dinner with members of the festival team

The second edition of Surabaya Photo Festival takes place at Ciputra World from 11 to 17 May 2015. I will like to thank Mamuk Ismuntoro and Stevanus Lim for inviting me to speak during the occasion. Other speakers present at the festival include Erik Prasetya, Dwi Oblo, Jim Allen Abel, Shamow’el Rama Surya and Wimo Bayang, amongst others.

For my presentation on 13 May, I talked about my long-term documenting work on the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. I also previewed my ongoing project, Small Town Stories: Chinese in the Small Towns and Rural Areas of Southeast Asia.

My photographic life has been intimately tied to Surabaya. All my major projects have been previously exhibited in this city of East Java, Indonesia. My first photo workshops also germinated there, having organised two of them in 2008 and 2011 for the French Cultural and Language Centre.

As such, I am more than happy to return to this strangely familiar-yet-decidedly different city for this edition of the photo festival. Surabaya has often been stereotyped as a city of work, a metropolis with little interest in culture and arts. Despite the perceived lack of support, the festival team has managed to put together two editions of the event. I think they deserve immense credit for what they have accomplished.

To situate a festival in a massive mall is probably not the most conducive way to encourage dialogue due to the constant distraction of window-shoppers and loud music. On the plus side though, it does help to bring photography to people who do not usually visit cultural and artistic venues. The diversity of photographic practices covered by the talks is a welcoming sign. Looking ahead, the festival probably needs to find its critical focus, which will significantly improve the quality of its shows and talks.

On a personal level, I am glad to catch up with old friends and hang out with newly made ones. To this end, I am grateful for the invitation.

12 May 2015 / Surabaya Artotel: The room that greets me at Surabaya
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
Artotel: The room that greets me at Surabaya
12 May 2015 / Surabaya Selling the last remaining copies of my book during the festival
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
Selling the last remaining copies of my book during the festival
12 May 2015 / Surabaya The Surabaya Photo Festival is housed in Ciputra World, one of the biggest malls in the city. The talks are held on the ground floor of the mall.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
The Surabaya Photo Festival is housed in Ciputra World, one of the biggest malls in the city. The talks are held on the ground floor of the mall.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya The Surabaya Photo Festival is housed in Ciputra World, one of the biggest malls in the city. The photograph on the right is made by Indonesian photographer Erik Prasetya.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
The photograph on the right is made by Indonesian photographer Erik Prasetya.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya The Surabaya Photo Festival is housed in Ciputra World, one of the biggest malls in the city. In the foreground are images made by educator/photographer Oscar Motuloh.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
In the foreground are images made by educator/photographer Oscar Motuloh.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya The Surabaya Photo Festival is housed in Ciputra World, one of the biggest malls in the city. Dutch photographer Jan Banning's work on comfort women is being shown during the festival.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
Dutch photographer Jan Banning’s work on comfort women is being shown during the festival.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya The Surabaya Photo Festival is housed in Ciputra World, one of the biggest malls in the city. This is the photobook display at the festival.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
This is the photobook display at the festival.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya, Indonesia The beginnings of my previous work "Chinese Muslims in Indonesia" started in Surabaya with the support of the French Cultural and Language Centre (CCCL). In 2008, the centre displayed the project at Galeri CCCL Surabaya as part of the programming for its Month of Photography. The work is more recently exhibited at Ciputra World Surabaya, one of the largest malls in the city, as part of the Surabaya Photo Festival. The festival runs from 11 to 17 May 2015.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya, Indonesia
The beginnings of my previous work “Chinese Muslims in Indonesia” started in Surabaya with the support of the French Cultural and Language Centre (CCCL). In 2008, the centre displayed the project at Galeri CCCL Surabaya as part of the programming for its Month of Photography.
The work is more recently exhibited at Ciputra World Surabaya, one of the largest malls in the city, as part of the Surabaya Photo Festival. 
12 May 2015 / Surabaya, Indonesia "Chinese Muslims in Indonesia", on display during Surabaya Photo Festival
12 May 2015 / Surabaya, Indonesia
“Chinese Muslims in Indonesia”, on display during Surabaya Photo Festival
12 May 2015 / Surabaya The work of photographer Rizal Abdi Dharma is being featured in this event.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
The work of photographer Rizal Abdi Dharma is being featured in this event.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya The work of Ingetdjie Tadros is being featured in the festival.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
The work of Ingetdjie Tadros is being featured in the festival.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya Arief Priyono's work is being exhibited at the festival.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
Arief Priyono’s work is being exhibited at the festival.
12 May 2015 / Surabaya Having fun with the festival guests and volunteers
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
Having fun with the festival guests and volunteers
12 May 2015 / Surabaya Having fun with the festival vounteers and visitors
12 May 2015 / Surabaya
Having fun with the festival vounteers and visitors
13 May 2015 / Gresik Special lunch, hosted by Romi Perbawa, at Rumah Makan Bandeng Pak Elan
13 May 2015 / Gresik
Special lunch, hosted by Romi Perbawa, at Rumah Makan Bandeng Pak Elan
13 May 2015 / Surabaya With my former workshop participant and friend at Surabaya Photo Festival
13 May 2015 / Surabaya
With my former workshop participant and friend at Surabaya Photo Festival
13 May 2015 / Surabaya, Indonesia During the Surabaya Photo Festival 2015, I am invited to talk about my long-term documenting work of the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. My previous work "Chinese Muslims in Indonesia" is part of this ongoing attempt to collect and visualise stories of the Chinese communities scattered across the region. The talk is held on 13 May 2015 at Ciputra World Surabaya, one of the largest malls in the city.
13 May 2015 / Surabaya, Indonesia
During the Surabaya Photo Festival 2015, I am invited to talk about my long-term documenting work of the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. My previous work “Chinese Muslims in Indonesia” is part of this ongoing attempt to collect and visualise stories of the Chinese communities scattered across the region. The talk is held on 13 May 2015 at Ciputra World Surabaya, one of the largest malls in the city.
13 May 2015 / Surabaya During my presentation on 13 May, I talked about my long-term documenting work on the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, including "Chinese Muslims in Indonesia", which is exhibited at the festival. I also previewed my ongoing project, "Small Town Stories: Chinese in the Small Towns and Rural Areas of Southeast Asia".
13 May 2015 / Surabaya
During my presentation on 13 May, I talked about my long-term documenting work on the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, including “Chinese Muslims in Indonesia”, which is exhibited at the festival. I also previewed my ongoing project, “Small Town Stories: Chinese in the Small Towns and Rural Areas of Southeast Asia”.
13 May 2015 / Surabaya Photograph with my 16-year-old translator for the presentation
13 May 2015 / Surabaya
Photograph with my 16-year-old translator for the presentation
13 May 2015 / Surabaya With former workshop participant Agyl
13 May 2015 / Surabaya
With former workshop participant Agyl
14 May 2015 / Surabaya Hanging out with former workshop participants in Surabaya: Quite a few of them have moved to other cities since then.
14 May 2015 / Surabaya
Hanging out with former workshop participants in Surabaya: Quite a few of them have moved to other cities since then.
14 May 2015 / Surabaya Jim Allen Abel and Wimo Bayang from MES56 in Jogja give a presentation on "Contemporary Photography: Beyond Reality" for the Surabaya Photo Festival.
14 May 2015 / Surabaya
Jim Allen Abel and Wimo Bayang from MES56 in Jogja give a presentation on “Contemporary Photography: Beyond Reality” for the Surabaya Photo Festival.
14 May 2015 / Surabaya Jim Allen Abel and Wimo Bayang from MES56 in Jogja give a presentation on "Contemporary Photography: Beyond Reality" for the Surabaya Photo Festival. Festival advisor Irawan Hadikusumo, who collects their work, interjects at the end of the presentation.
14 May 2015 / Surabaya
Jim Allen Abel and Wimo Bayang from MES56 in Jogja give a presentation on “Contemporary Photography: Beyond Reality” for the Surabaya Photo Festival. Festival advisor Irawan Hadikusumo, who collects their work, interjects at the end of the presentation.
15 May 2015 / Surabaya S Rama Surya and Lans Brahmantyo give a presentation on "Photobook: Behind the Scene" during the Surabaya Photo Festival.
15 May 2015 / Surabaya
S Rama Surya and Lans Brahmantyo give a presentation on “Photobook: Behind the Scene” during the Surabaya Photo Festival.
15 May 2015 / Surabaya Erik Prasetya gives a presentation titled "Banal Aesthetics: An Approach for Street Photography in Southeast Asia" during the festival.
15 May 2015 / Surabaya
Erik Prasetya gives a presentation titled “Banal Aesthetics: An Approach for Street Photography in Southeast Asia” during the festival.
15 May 2015 / Surabaya Dinner with festival guests and volunteers
15 May 2015 / Surabaya
Dinner with festival guests and volunteers
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