Ruth Onduko

Her day job has never been too far from art. She promotes art events in Bali, and she provides art-related information for those who are interested. Now, she also creates her own. Starting off as a course during her study, photography has now become a hobby that has seen her joining some photography exhibitions on the island. So, here is Ruth Onduko sharing her story about her photography journey and work.
How did you jump into the world of photography?
Photography was one of the courses in my department when I was still at the college. Back then, I still used an analog camera. I started to like photography as I could record the moments which became a valuable archive. Photography then just became a hobby for me; not something I do on a professional level. Now that I’m in Bali, I have hung out with and befriended many photographers, from fine art photographers, to analog camera users.  In the last three years, I have started shooting again with an analog camera.
How do you describe your photography style?
My photos mostly capture ordinary life in public spaces or found objects that I find interesting, odd or disturbing. By genre, it might be street photography, documentary photography and still life photography.
What inspires you in taking photos?
When walking around in Bali or in other cities, inspiration can come just by looking around. Sometimes, it comes when I have a chat with friends, from the books or other photographers’ social media.
What are your objects?
Human. I usually capture their expressions and their activities. Then, the found object. For some reason, I’m very interested in photographing cables. It doesn’t look good, but it can make an interesting composition or form. I also love capturing the street signs which are unique, and can have some multi-interpretation sometimes. When I’m on a photograph hunt with other photographers, I sometimes capture the culture and landscape as well.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest photo collection at Tukang Kopi District?
I look for colors, signs and certain patterns in my photographs. For example, in my photo titled Full Package which shows one of the old shops in my hometown of Salatiga. Next, another photo titled Take Me as Far as My Wallet Will Allow which I took in Singapore. I feel that in Singapore, everything is fast paced, unlike Bali. People are all walking fast and working fast. This experience is what I try to show in that photo.


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