Windee Winata’s journey started off when he was living in Berlin back in 1996 when he bought his first SLR camera for his trips to Egypt, Greece and Turkey. Becoming instantly addicted to photography, he neglected his automotive engineering study for two and a half years, but eventually finished it and worked as a passenger car development engineer at The Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen. Moving to Bali in 2004, he turned this hobby into a profession and setup with his wife’s PhotoFactory, a mainly wedding photography business. Ten years later, he started doing fine art photography which he pursues until now. His latest works are currently exhibited at The Oberoi Bali until July 2.
Which photographers or artists influenced you and how did they influence your work?
Sebastião Salgado has been an amazing inspiration for over twenty years. He has tackled big themes with simplicity and subtlety, but the effects are so profound. And when I thought his works were perfect, he went beyond with his latest work, “Genesis”, that, to me, reveals love itself. Next, the paintings of René Magritte evoke feelings in me far beyond their immediate visuals, and surely influence the surrealist photographic project that I’m currently working on with Russian painter, Natalie Wiswell, called “The Inconsistencies of Time”. I think, many artists have affected me more subconsciously rather than explicitly.
What is your favorite subject?
Connection. It could be anything, to which I feel a connection. It’s not the looks, but the (usually unclear, yet deep) feel that interests me. I don’t see the final image in front of me nor in my head when I start clicking, but instead let the universe take over. With the techniques of long exposure with camera shake, lens tilting and shifting, I sort of give up control when an image is being created.
What makes a photo stand out more than other photos? What characteristics do you often highlight in your works?
Maybe because they aren’t clear like most photographs. Usually, photographs are like news or stories, whereas my works are more like poetry. They’re simple and vague, but as you look at them, you discover more and more, visually and emotionally. It keeps them interesting for a long time, and you can always come back and be with them.
What do you want to convey through your photos?
It’s different from project to project. “Transformation of White – A Tale of Realization” (can be viewed on his website) is a tale that starts with a glimpse and ends with awakening. “The Inconsistencies of Time” deals with bizarre yet common daily struggles of human beings with an outlook to what might be possible. “One” is a personal journey to connect with the unknown. So far, I’ve always started a project with a floating haze in my head, and I have some of those lining up.