Copyright - Dow Wasiksiri

Re-Framing the Present

        Coming from Thailand, I notice how modernizing Asia turns its back on the past, so in approaching these pictures of colonial Indonesia I want to show echoes of history. Within my shots of contemporary Yogyakarta, I placed a frame containing an old photograph that resonated with each subject. But if you crop away the margins outside the picture frame, part of today’s image is transported back into the colonial scene. It is a two-way time travel. As a Buddhist, I’m attuned to the idea of history as endless cycles of moments. While these composites convey a variety of messages, I’m struck how the colonial phase had preoccupations and fashions just as transient and yet eternal as today’s lifestyle. My own country wasn’t colonized and I came to learn about post-colonial sensitivities through seeing the reaction of Indonesians to colonial pictures. Many of the colonial images were staged like propaganda, partly to impress fellow countrymen about their sense of mission. I contrast that with unposed scenes of modern people, who don’t relate to the colonial mindset. I hope these juxtapositions convey some of the predicaments and aspirations that all humans share whatever their historical situation.
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Abandoned memories (2013)

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Choose your history (2013)

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Country in uniform (2013)

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Disorientalism (2013)

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Escalating Expectations (2013)

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Family occasion (2013)

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Placing trust (2013)

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Taste of the times (2013)

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Tracks through time (2013)