I went looking to find a tempe factory to illustrate a point about food (in)security as the price of tempe in Indonesia has rapidly increased due to a major drought in the U.S. (from where Indonesia imports the bulk of its soybeans). It was a pleasure to find that most of Jakarta’s tempe is made not in a huge impersonal industrial setting but in thousands of small home workshops.
When I first saw the above image in my viewfinder, this painting immediately popped into my head:
That was what first popped into my head. I think I saw that in an art class when I was a kid and thought it hilarious – guess it stuck with me. If you are wondering why Gabrielle is tweaking her sister’s nipple circa 1595 you can turn to WTF Art History, which is where I turn for all of my art historical needs. If you’re wondering why the monkey is tweaking the man’s nipple, thats a longer story with an ambiguous ending. A print of the above monkey tweaking photograph will be available for sale among an assortment of fascinating, brilliant and inspiring imagery at the highly esteemed Foto8 Summershow at the HOST gallery in London. If you really like the picture and cannot make it to the exhibition, you can always contact me to arrange a sale 🙂
Trees are some of the most interesting and poetic looking features of our planet, and I’ve been seeing alot of interesting work on trees lately. The Getty Museum, which is beautiful and worth a trip if you are in Los Angeles, has a really interesting collection of tree imagery which you can see more about here. Among the most beautiful and strange of the collection was a photograph by South Korean photographer Myoung Ho Lee. Myoung has been photographing Trees in front of large white backdrops separating them from their environment and allowing us to more easily look at them as objects. I strongly urge you to have a look at his work which you can do at the always interesting Lens Culture Blog, where you can also purchase some of Myoung’s photographs. Here are a few of the beautiful and mysterious trees that have inspired me in my travels:
Time’s LightBox blog ran my story about a kampung in Jakarta which relies heavily on training and performing with monkeys for its welfare. A fascinating and somewhat creepy place. Please have a look here for the whole story. If you haven’t been to LightBox before, it is one of the best places on the internet to find surprising imagery, in-depth stories, and just an incredible range of beautiful and imaginative pictures. I go for a look at least once a day.
Geoffrey Hiller curates an excellent collection of “The New Breed of Documentary Photographer” at the Verve Photo blog. He was kind enough to highlight my work a couple of months ago, this image in particular. If you haven’t seen his blog, have a look. Its a great place to find new and different looking images and undiscovered stories. Here’s a link to the above image on his blog along with some of my thoughts on the image.
North Korean Waitresses entertain customers at the Pyongyang Restaurant in Jakarta
North Korea, starved of foreign currency by sanctions has long been thought to run a shadowy empire of legitimate and not so legitimate businesses through a mysterious agency, Bureau 39. On the legitimate side of things, an increasing number of restaurants run by North Korean embassies are popping up in Southeast Asia which earn hard currency for the government. The food, if you are wondering, is quite nice and very similar to other Korean food you may have had. The waitresses are very pleasant and seem to be professionally trained singers. They live in rooms above the restaurant.
Stopped into a new, for me, club the other day – Masberto which serves up noise, sweat, and intensity seven days a week – proving once again that Indonesia is where the punk scene is still relevant. If you like punk music or just punks – check it out. I haven’t really done justice to it here so please do check out the excellent piece by my friends Maria Bakkalopulo, an ethno-musicologist(which must be one of the coolest job titles in the world), and Ayumi Nakanishi, a great photographer who have been studying Punks here in depth.
The BBC has done an excellent special report on what it means to be without internet. A category which includes much of the developing world. In Indonesia, public internet shops like the one above provide access to the world online for those that cannot afford computers, but Indonesian’s are increasingly getting online using only mobile phones. You can see the BBC report here.