Photographs and Words

Photographs and posts by Arnaldo Pellini

Posts from the ‘indonesia’ category

The small shop down the road

Every neighborough in Jakarta has these small shops down the road where one can run to and buy mobile phone credits (pulsa), a soft drink, the three in one powder mix to prepare a milk coffee. The shop in the photo is down our road. It is family run. Open from early morning to late evening seven days a week.

Vespa workshop

In Jakarta, in Kemang Timur, there is Vespa repair show. Actually, it is not a repair shop, it is a workshop where old Vespa piece are repaired and put together to give a new life to these wonderful and old motorbikes. When I walked by the workshop I stopped to listen to the noise from inside and the smell of the paint use for the main frame of a white Vespa. There are few of these workshops in tow and several Vespa clubs, one of them is even called Pontedera!

Rainy season

It is a long rainy season this year in Jakarta. When rain starts these young men appear next to the door of the office tower where I work. It happens all over the city. They appear and accompany under their umbrella the people who need to walk to the near coffee place, the motorbikes parking, of into a taxi. There si no negotiation on the price. A silent agreement. People just know how much to give them.

The alleys of Kemang

I always like to walk in the narrow alleys of Kemang, in the south part of Jakarta. People greet me. I stop for a quick chat. I discover interesting angles and details that I capture in a photo with my iPhone.

The Tjong A Fie Mansion in Medan

This is a very elegant two stories house. It has an internal yard with a nice soft light from the sky. Walking through the rooms, seeing old gramophones, faded mirrors, old family pictures in wodden frame, it is possible to imagine large family gatherings for the Chinese New Year.  This is what was once the house of the richest man in town and maybe the whole of Sumatra.

The Tjong A Fie Mansion in Medan

The Tjong A Fie Mansion is a two-story mansion in Medan, North Sumatra, built by Tjong A Fie (1860 – 1921) a Hakka merchant who came to own much of the land in Medan through his plantations, later becoming ‘Majoor der Chineezen’ (leader of the Chinese’) in Medan and constructing the Medan-Belawan railway. Tjong A Fie is said to be related to Cheong Fatt Tze, who built the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang, Malaysia. The building is constructed in Chinese-European-Art Deco style, and was completed in 1900, and said to have been modeled on the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion.

Pasar Baru, Jakarta

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In central Jakarta there is an old market, called Pasar Baru (New Market). It has been there for a long time. It is still possible to see the Chinese storage house and some of the old Dutch buildings amongst the many modern ones that have been built during the last few decades. I walked there on a quiet weekend afternoon a year or so ago. I do not go very often to central Jakarta, so it was a bit like discovering a new part of this city,

 

My camera got stolen, but I do not stop taking photos

As @tedforbes says: take pictures with whatever camera you have. This is dedicates to the guy who broke into our house the other night and stole (among other things) my Olympus camera and four great lenses. You are not stopping me, I continue more then ever to take photos of the streets of Jakarta. Here the one I took with my iphone this morning at Halte Senayan! 

Break time

There are many guards in Jakarta. They work at the gate of housing compounds, the entrance of office tower, at the malls and at some less known place like a music school in South Jakarta. They have long shift and sometime really need to take a break, if just for a moment.

Halte Senayan, Jakarta

The usual

Every Friday afternoon I spend an hour at the Dialogue art & coffee in South Jakarta. I sit for 45 minutes, waiting for my daughter to finish her piano lesson nearby.  It is a nice, modern coffee. There always new exhibitions. I sit at one if the tables and usually order a sparkling Equil. I then work on a blog or read sonething.

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Jumping off the bus, Halte Senayan (Jakarta)

For the last three years I have been cycling to work here in Jakarta. On my way to the office I have to walk across a pedestrian bridge over one of the stations of the Transjakarta bus line, Halte Senayan. A year or so ago I started to carry my camera and take photos from the bridge as well as under the bridge. Having the camera with me and taking photos every day has made me discover all what is going on here every day: the people commuting to work, the food sellers, the crowded minibuses Kopaja, the motorbikes drivers, the musicians, the workers at new Jakarta underground system. When I was walking pass Halte Senayan without my camera I missed most of that. I did not notice it. I was thinking about the day ahead, the meetings, the emails, etc. The pedestrian bridge and Halte Senayan was unremarkable, because I did not noticed all what is there. Having the camera with me was like opening my eyes to a place I am go through everyday, twice a day. Discovering it in a new way. Here some of the photos I have taken so far.

In the morning …

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In the morning the rush to the office towers where they work. They spent maybe an hour, an hour and half, maybe two hours on the road to commute and to get here. They now rush to be on time at their workplaces.

Kopaja P 19

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Kopaja P 19 on Jl Sudirman, Jakarta

For the last three years I have been cycling to work here in Jakarta. On my way to the office I have to walk across a pedestrian bridge over one of the stations of the Transjakarta bus line, Halte Senayan. A year or so ago I started to carry my camera and take photos from the bridge as well as under the bridge. Having the camera with me and taking photos every day has made me discover all what is going on here every day: the people commuting to work, the food sellers, the crowded minibuses Kopaja, the motorbikes drivers, the musicians, the workers at new Jakarta underground system. When I was walking pass Halte Senayan without my camera I missed most of that. I did not notice it. I was thinking about the day ahead, the meetings, the emails, etc. The pedestrian bridge and Halte Senayan was unremarkable, because I did not noticed all what is there. Having the camera with me was like opening my eyes to a place I am go through everyday, twice a day. Discovering it in a new way. Here some of the photos I have taken so far.

 

The day after the flood

I took these photos on a Sunday morning, the day after a very heavy downpour that hit Jakarta. It rained very heavily and for a few hours. The lower parts of the city, like this kampung (urban village) in the Kemang area got flooded. It does get flooded at every strong rain, but the one that hit Jakarta a couple of weekends ago was particularly strong. The day after I found people who were tired after a long night spent drying the lower floors of the their houses and rescuing furnitures. I talked with them about the challenge of living with frequent flooding in this area and how things have changed little during the last few years.

Dreaming the future 35/35 -35 days 35 photos 35mm

35 days 35 photos 35mm

Dreaming the future

Dreaming the future and making it happen. Jakarta is building the Mass Transport System. There will be tube stations like this one. Will there be more people and passangers that this photo? I hope so, otherwise the project will go broke pretty soon. Some people say that this massive project is too little too late and that the traffic congestion in Jakarta is so severe that it is beyond rescue. There is one way: how about giving more space to bicycle commuters? Create incentives like tax deductions, or pay back for spare parts or simply showers in office towers.

I set out to take one photo per day for 35 days using my Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens which produces an equivalent field of view of approximately 35mm. It was a project like many others. What I wanted to do was to force myself to see things I see (or better I do not see) on my way to office. I also wanted to walk in the kampung near my home in Jakarta and see what is there and how people live through  the lens of my camera. I wanted to put a target. A project with a beginning and an end. And now it has reached its end. I saw that the streets of this city are chocked by traffic. It cannot go on like this. This is paralisis. This is health hazard. This is pollution. This is not sustainable. I very few cyclists using their bicycle to go to work. Too few of them. I am one of them. There are no bicycle lanes or any other protetcion for cyclists in this crazy traffic. I saw ojek drivers whom I see every days who said: ‘Ok, you can take a photo of me.’

Thsi project forced me to look for something interesting every day for 35 days and not taking for granted the spots and people I was passing by every day. I am happy I did it. Thanks for following me!

 

Floods 33/35 – 35 days 35 photos 35mm

35 days 35 photos 35mm

Floods

I went for a walk in a kampung near Kemang Timur, here in Jakarta. After few minutes it started to rain quite hard. I sat under the roof of a school and waited for the rain to stop. It rained for about 15-20 minutes. There were thunders and lightening. The thunderstorm then moved on to other areas of Jakarta and where I was it stopped to rain. I left the school to walk back home along the alley of the kampung. Few meters from the school I was walking in water that was almost at knee level. Black sewage water. People were trying to protect their houses with wooden planks. I stopped to chat with some of the people  living in this area. Every time there is a strong rain the area gets flooded, they said. It does not have to be a long rain, a strong short downpour is sufficient to flood these narrow alleys and houses. It gets flooded every time there is a strong downpour, not every six months or every year. Every time.  Which can mean anything between three to five to six times every month depending of the season. While I was talking to them I thought how can this happen in a mega-city like Jakarta which has 173 malls and is the capital of the 16th economy in the world ? Why does this happen?  Is it because people have built houses where they should not? If so, why have they been allowed to build their houses in this dangerous area and what alternatives do they have? Is it because the flood mitigation system is insufficient for the needs of the city? If so, what are the plans and investments to improve flood reparedness and mitigate the impact of floods on the livelihood of the citizen of this city, particularly the ones living in poorer areas? In the meantime, we all can do something about these problems. Report them. Document them. Share flooding information to Peta Jakarta.

My ‘car’ 32/35 – 35 days 35 photos 35mm

35 days 35 photos 35mm

My ‘car’

This is the ‘car’ I use to commute to the office in Jakarta. It is called bicycle. There are too few of tehse in the streets of this city. Why?

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