Against the backdrop of an ongoing national debate regarding new Indonesian legislation threatening to restrict all artistic expressions involving the human form, renowned Indonesian photographer Rama Surya presents a bold statement via his exhibition "Kemurnian" at Richard Meyer Culture in Kerobokan through April 8, 2006.
"Kemurnian" or "purity" described the subject matter of this collection of Rama Surya's photographs, primarily dealing with the male nude photographed in "natural settings, mostly in poses of supplication during Yoga" at various locations across Bali.
Photographed over a period of five years, the pictures presented also document a period of "cultural adjustment" during Surya's photographic exploration of Balinese culture. Originally from Sumatra, the photographer admits his initial revulsion when requested to make photos of Made Budhiana practicing Yoga in the nude. During the course of his photographic sojourn, however, Surya obtained an understanding of the sexual symbolism and an uninhabited earthiness endemic in Balinese culture and language.
Well documented in photographs records and travelers journals of Bali from the early 20th century Ė dances, dress and temples across the island openly extolled sensuality and fertility Ė natural qualities that have today somehow been tempered by a "prudishness" imported by colonial masters and, later, Javanese "visitors" with strong Islamic sensibilities.
Active as a professional photographer since 1990, Sumatran-born Rama Surya's work appears regularly in leading photographic and art journals. He has produced a number of published photographic essays covering a wide range of subjects - including modern Indonesian society, the destruction caused by forest fires in Borneo, And Yogyakarta street society. The German fotoMagazine cited Surya as "photographer of the year" in 1997. Recent exhibitions include "Bali Living in Two Worlds" at the Museum der Kulturen, Basel, Switzerland in April 2002 and at the Museum for World Culture in Frankfurt, Germany in January 2004.
Richard Meyer Culture is open daily at Jalan Pettinenget 200x in Kerobokan. "Kemurnian" - an Exhibition of Recent Black & White Nude Photography by Rama Surya is open through April 8, 2006.
For more information, call ++62-(0)361-7745179.
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