Whose Canvas: Tjandra Hutama K.

Tjandra Hutama K. is not only an active entrepreneur, but also a well-known Balinese photographer. Two years after graduating from college, he established a digital printing company in Denpasar. Through this company, he made his way through the professional photography scene, and is now an active figure in the local community.
How did your interest in photography begin?
I’ve been in the photography world since 2009 as a self-taught photographer; it was a mere hobby initially, but turned out to be one of the most important parts of my life now. I frequently partook in many photography exhibitions and won various competitions. Since 2010, I’ve been active in a photography organization called Bali Photographers Association.
Before Rejang Dance, you also documented two traditional Balinese dances in two different villages, precisely in Tejakula and Blangsinga. What sparked your interest in documenting them?
My devotion and love for my homeland motivates me to create works, giving a different perspective to preserve Balinese art and culture through photography.
What do you want to convey through this “Rejang Dancers” exhibition?
The soul of Bali is the culture. “Rejang Dancers” make us aware of how important the preservation of Balinese culture that has a unique identity, as well as the radiated taksu (a divine spirit that sometimes manifests through art performance) in Balinese daily activities that seem religious and virtuous.
In this collection, your photographs are shown in ancient colors. What is the idea behind it?
It brings the audience into a different dimension because everything changes as time does. The photographs stimulate the subconscious of the beauty and memory of the past through low-saturated coloring that shows something pure and natural.
The photographs are also seen as overlapping with images that resemble some natural elements like cracked stone, wood and leaf. What is the motivation behind that?
The combination of various natural elements is the interpretation of parts of the Balinese philosophy called Panca Maha Bhuta, the elements of the universe and the human body. It provokes our awareness of the importance of human harmony with the universe as a manifestation of the gods’ presence in our daily lives.
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