There is a story going on here, and it extends around the entire temple at Borobudur. What is most fascinating is that the reliefs shown above are incredibly well rendered and seem to include characters from global cultures. There are Europeans, Classical Greeks, Chinese, African, and Indonesian characters, all carved into rocks that are well over one thousand years old. They all reflect the story of Buddha, his birth, life, and transcendence.
There is a story here…but I’m not telling what it is. Please feel free to write a comment explaining the story you see in this photo. I immediately felt the presence of a narrative that doesn’t match the reality at all, but this is a photo that is worth the proverbial “thousand words”. Well, I think it is.
What do you think?
This past Sunday, my family and I attended a church that is in the downtown of South Jakarta. It is on the second floor of a bank building, next to and across the street from a number of very tall buildings. I left the church after my family and made my way down the street when the reflection of this one building in the glass of another caught my attention.
I turned my camera towards it, aimed, and fired off three shots. As I took the last shot, I heard, “Hey! Hey! No bagus! No bagus!” A security guard had seen me snapping photos and moved from his post to a spot about two hundred meters from me and was yelling at me, telling me that what I was doing was not good (“bagus”, which is pronounced “ba-goose”, means good). I waved, and put my camera behind my back and walked away, and so did he.
I looked up the name of the building later – it’s an energy company. I wasn’t even shooting the building itself, just the reflection of another building. I wonder what they’re hiding in there.
Oh yeah…sorry for the scrolling. If you want to see the whole thing in one shot, click on the photo.
I’ve had people ask me where I shoot some of my graffiti photos. I shot the six photos above on the way in (the first three) and on the way out (the last three) as I headed back to the car.
Often, when I describe it, people ask me, “You really go down there?” and, “Isn’t it a little sketchy?” and, “How did you find it?”
Let me answer these questions.
1. Yes. I really do go down there. I’ve never felt completely unsafe, but I do leave my wallet in the car and carry my Blackberry with me.
2. Yes. It is a little sketchy. I once came upon a homeless “campsite”. I felt like I had just walked into someone’s bedroom. It was weird. I was trespassing on BC Rail land, but I felt like I had violated some person’s home. Weird.
3. I found it by living near it. The house in which I used to live was a couple of kilometers away, so I used to drive past this stretch of railway underpass. One day I noticed a large, colorful piece of street art. I found a nearby place to park and took a walk through the area. What I discovered was a street art paradise. So cool. I had driven past it hundreds of times, but had never really looked closely. Now I go down there once a month. It’s like documenting a living, ever-changing art exhibit.
BTW, more graffiti tomorrow.
Also, I know you call two photos together a diptych, and three are a triptych, but six? Is it a sestych? sextych? I don’t know, but I hope you like it.