Yoga (b. Yoga Raharja, Semarang, 1968) photographs the life he sees, in order to balance his own life. Years of living in undoubtedly brimmed with art Bali, has turn him to someone who’s in deep love with the roots & culture of Indonesian tradition. “Bali has been my muse for so long, it’s an island of beautiful contradictions – culture and modernism.”
Yoga started to explore photography since 2005. “Before that, my point of view of traditional culture is pretty flat and mundane, and when I start to see it through my lens, culture is becoming more dimensional, deeper and very dinamic… I certainly enjoy it more, because I can freeze all those details of beauty and understand it more. Photography is a wider point of view for me to see my culture, I can see things that I can’t see before.
Like, for example, it would be amazing when we shoot for this Bali traditional ceremony, with this certain level of awareness, knowing that we are a part of it, witnessing it, sharing opinions and stories with the local around and even discussing about the event with the priest – even if we don’t hold the same religion, but we interact and share the same life right there, that time. These people are very accepting you know, and without the reason for me to be there (which is to photograph), I wouldn’t know how about that… about how tolerate humankind are. This tolerance value is something that I also need to share, these days we need to remember the basic value of being a human… To understand, to respect — both to other people and to our origin, it could be the concept of God, or could be the roots of our tradition. That is what I’m trying to tell through my photographs.”
– (And we think we need more people like Yoga in this planet, don’t we?)
This explains the current project he’s working on: documentary of Balinese tradition, from art, traditional dance, ceremony, rituals, folk stories, sports, games, community events, anything… as complete as it can be. “I know for now this probably means nothing, but you never know when things will washed out and leave us no trace of who we originally are. I don’t want that to happen.”
His effort to pursue and documenting traditions has take him to many breathtaking places in Indonesia and make him meet a lot of locals soon he called friends. Through his works, Yoga also wants to trigger Indonesian young generation to also preserve and respect the local traditions, in each possible way.
To name a few, Yoga has worked with Gudang Garam, Kodeco Energy, and Bali Hotel Association. His work has been featured in the catalogue cover of San Fransisco Asian Art Museum, and he has attended several collective exhibition in Singapore, China, Bali and held a solo exhibition in Japan.
If you have a “mission” you think would be perfect for Yoga, email us.
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