Kelas Pagi refers to the early photography classes held for free at six in the morning by the famed photographer, Anton Ismael.
To celebrate its ninth graduating class, students were tasked to spotlight Jakarta using the lens of a tourist in an exhibition titled “Dinas Pariwisata Jakarta”.
From historical national monuments such as Monas built to commemorate Indonesian heroes who fought against colonial domination, down to the unpleasant sights we encounter on our daily commute: the traffic gridlock, the exhibition does an in-depth exploration of both the positive and negative sides of Jakarta.
Beyond the aesthetical value of the exhibited works, visitors are encouraged to use them as starting points for meaningful reflections. A photo depicting a wheel chair bound child with the backdrop of Monas is accompanied with the following excerpts: Is there independence in traveling for the disabled?
In a different corner of the room, a lively video installation repeatedly acquaints you with the ritual of Palang Pintu, which is characterized by the combination of martial arts and witty rhymes that is traditionally incorporated into the processions of Betawi wedding ceremonies.
As we are confronted with modernisation, we are forced to reevaluate its relevance in today’s society. How can we work towards preserving and ensuring that our cultural heritage is passed on to the next generations?
In the spirit of optimism, we can take a leaf from Wira Dhamma Putra’s work titled ‘Imaginary Pleasure’, where dinosaurs, monkeys and other imaginary creatures are hand drawn over his photos, to portray an alternate world of his humble abode – the Kelapa Gading area.
Together, the displayed works serve as an honest chronicle of the love and hate relationship we harbour with this city.
Scroll down for photos of the exhibition held at Taman Ismail Marzuki from 25th May to 29th May 2016.