by Brian Arnold
This limited-edition, serial-numbered book is the result of a three-year study of contemporary photography by Brian Arnold made across the island of Java.
Working with a grant from the American Institute for Indonesian Studies, Brian traveled Java teaching and lecturing on photography at a variety of institutions and universities. In doing so, he engaged the developing ideas and patterns on photography emerging in the Javanese art schools and markets. The resulting book focuses on a group of artists and photographers addressing issues of personal or cultural identity, questioning or examining the forces that shape each of the individual photographers and the communities they represent, while also looking at the emergence and discourse of art photography in Java today.
Featuring work by a number of important photographers and artists working around the island – including Krisna Murti, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Jim Allen Abel, Angki Purbandono, Dito Yuwono, Deden Durahman, Henrycus Napit Sunargo, Arum Tresnaningtyas Dayuputri, Amran Malik Hakim, and Tino Djumini – as well as historical photographs from the collections at the National Gallery of Art in Australia, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and Cornell University, the book offers a unique perspective on the emerging trends of fine art photography across Java. Brian’s accompanying text offers historical and global contexts for understanding the uses of photography in Indonesia today, and includes some of his own pictures made while working in Java. An afterward by art historian and writer Aminudin TH Siregar provides further historical context for looking at photography in Indonesia.
Identity Crisis is being published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. This is the first exhibition devoted to work by Indonesian photographers in the United States.