Internship at a Surf Magazine and my own photo exhibition
During my internship I worked most of the time as a photographer. I took pictures at different events the magazine wrote about. Besides taking pictures I was responsible for editing. I also had the opportunity to write some articles for the surfing magazine. For that I had organized an interview with an important Kitesurfer and had visited some delicious restaurants I wrote about later.
The food in Indonesia is very tasty! My favourite dish was “Sate Ayam” (grilled chicken with peanut sauce) and “Sticky Rice”. I also ate a lot of fresh fruit like papayas, pineapples or bananas. The banana-pancakes I had in Lombok, an island next to Bali, have become unforgettable for me.
I stayed one month in an apartment in Denpasar, which was arranged by the local contact person from Studentsgoabroad. After this first month in the city I had the opportunity to move to the Studentsgoabroad student house in Kerobokan where I lived with another German and a Czech. The bonus of the villa was the pool in the garden ;-)
About the culture
You won´t get involved in the cultural events if you remain in the touristic areas. You have to take the scooter and go for a trip to explore the north of Bali Island. There you find less tourists and more typical Indonesians. In the North you see villages with locals. They were very surprised and fascinated to see me as a white, blond European. The biggest adventure during my stay in Bali was the 3,726m “Mount Rinjani”. It took me 3 days to climb this mountain. Those were the probably most exhausting days in my live, but I´m sure I will always remember this great experience.
My way to Transartlenstisicm – My photo exposition on Bali
“Do your own photography exhibition at the end of your internship, Viki!”, with his typical coolness, Piping (the head of the Surf Magazine where I did my internship) proposed me to display my photos after we had visited an opening of an exhibition at the PhotoArt Community at the end of June. At the beginning I was struggling and was very unsure if I can do such a big project, but Piping´s 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 of the Indonesian PhotoArt Community.
The first step of my exhibition
was scheduling the date of my “preview”, which was one week later. During my preview I simply showed my best photos I had already taken to the other photographers. The reactions to my pictures were not only enthusiastic. The head of the photoArt community, and his photographer mates found the most of my images just: boring. They have already seen a lot of photos of the Balinese landscape and beaches just like mine. My photographer heart was broken after these reactions but photoArt community guys encouraged me to find my special topic for the exhibition. I have decided to specialise in 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 photoArt community has invited two other female photographers to participate in the exhibition: Vanessa from New Zeeland and Éva from Hungary who both agreed. Three female travellers from three different countries should show how they see Bali through their lenses.
During our first big meeting
(of course in the 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 parts of Bali to capture the differences of the children´s habits in these places. I was shooting in Tabanan, Tenganan, the orphanage house “Seeds of Hope” in Denpasar and Kuta Beach. Popo, a photographer from Linkgara 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 rubbish… I have experienced that they do not need much to be happy. The most important things for the Balinese children seemed to be: having a lovely family and faithful friends.
After the photos were shot
and selected and edited with the help of the photoArt community 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 had the photos of playing children printed 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 a lot of evenings and nights at photoArt community´s. Talking about the photography, eating, laughing and drinking I felt like a member of a big family. From the beginning until the very end: printing the photos, designing the banner and catalogues, organizing the food and drinks, we had the full support of the whole photoArt team, which I really appreciate! Without the photographers from the community, their lovely help, connections and even their mental support it would have been nearly impossible for three foreigners to organize an own exhibition on Bali.
The opening of the exhibition
was on the 7 th 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 an 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.
On my way to Bali I could have never imagined that I would organize my own photography exhibition that summer. It was a completely new and enriching experience for me. I appreciate the help and cooperation of Piping, the photoArt community, Vanessa, Éva and everybody who has supported me during these weeks. Thank you!