I rarely comment but I just have to today. The photo on the left is terrific; it speaks volumes about your trained fashion eyes. I’m from Asia, so naturally I tend to take things here for granted and often complain how there’s no real sense of fashion here. Now, I really have to train my eyes harder. Bali is amazing as always, by the way!
These batiks are actually not traditionally African, they’re Indonesian. In fact, African batik was introduced by English and Dutch traders. Patterns and colours on African batik are certainly influenced regionally though, and are often different from the patterns you see here.
I have a black and white batik print dress I’ve been wearing for years and never got tired of.
On the photos, I particularly like the perfect length of the sarong skirts showing just enough of slender ankles.
Great prints and great baskets !
I grew up in the Philippines, close by in Asia, where these batik patterns are also prevalent… I find it so interesting that you are fascinated by these patterns that I found so normal while growing up! Funny how sometimes, it really takes an outsider’s perspective to remind you of the beauty of your own culture. Thank you for this!
i noticed this sort of print mixing back in the late 80s with a rise of people migrating from multiple developing, or economic/politically battle torn nations into this otherwise, fashion-two note, town. not till the 90s when i started to have a richer and broader sense of fashion did i start to appreciate the beauty of it. like all style, some pairings are more successful than others but i love the approach. for me it showcases an attention to tone and shade and understanding scale, textiles and a different way of being very put together. …yep, i have folded it into my own style!
I never know you’re in Bali.
Very nice pictures! Love handmade batik especially.
I wished to offer you my dream tropical haven in the jungle in Ubud
I’m in love with Bali and let me know if you’re still in Ubud.
Super loving it !
Sartolialist to the finest details, yes you are really one of a kind photographer.
Keen eyes, a natural in finding the unique and wonderful things.
I grew up going to these kind wet market, it is harmoniously chaotic !
Appreciate the shot very much.
I feel uncomfortable and conflicted about these Indonesian photos. As someone a generation away from the paddy fields and markets. It makes me feel dirty. Like my people are being watched by some superficial, sadistic voyeur. I think it’s out of habit – I’m so used to people self-gratifying through, and objectifying, the “oriental other”.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone can love fashion. My grandmother bred and sold chickens but she had some amazing batik sarongs. Enjoying looking good is not something reserved for the wealthy, even if it is certainly a luxury to feel like you’ve actually achieved the “good look” you’d ideally want. Quality threads cost, after all. Nevertheless, we still make efforts, even if our earnings limit us.
In fact I actually think your construction worker shot emphasises that. At first I felt insulted by it – but now I appreciate you taking a shot of a dirty, smiling lady in a cracking lime green hat. Nevertheless, people are quick to pity – “oh, look at her smile, even though she’s wearing terrible clothing!”. Oh, VOMIT.
But do they know you are taking these photos because of their sartorial content? It’s an unusual angle to take. The Balinese are used to having their photos taken, but not for that.
Essentially, my main beef is that I just want them to participate in this capturing, to be invited in. To be briefed, at least. I want to hear their thoughts. I want other people to hear them. Too much photographic capturing of the “other” renders the “other” silent. It’s simplistic and orientalising. I hate that.
I guess what I appreciate is that you’re not smothering them too much with your own voice. You’re letting the photos speak for themselves (I still don’t think this is always enough, though). And I could personally do without the “If you’re thinking about… prints” and all that. I know you exist to inspire people, but it just feels cheap.
Another thing: I think one of my main beefs is how incongruous these photos look against the backdrop of all that fancy, high end Florentian and Parisian fashion. I guess that’s where you’re based, but I want more of this grungy, everyday, plebeian dirty stuff, please..
AND I want more well-tailored Indonesian outfits… we’re not all dirt poor and working in the fields..!!!!
I’m Indonesian and I’ve been to Bali so many times but this post especially has really shown me how complacent I’ve gotten. I take photos as well and I thought I had an ok eye but it’s good to be reminded to pay more attention. Thanks mate! Love your work.