Jakarta. Institut Francais d'Indonésie held an exhibition titled "Mengintip Bromo Lewat Mata Lensa" or "A Glimpse of Bromo Through the Lens" at IFI Wijaya in South Jakarta on Wednesday (15/11) and Thursday.
The two-day exhibition presents the results of a unique collaboration of Indonesian photographers Hasiholan Siahaan, Ali Masduki and Sabki, and French photographer Jean-Jacques Kelner.
Landscapes from Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java are presented in 63 photographs.
"The call to preserve Mount Bromo's unique landscapes in photographs started four years ago, when I visited the area. Other than photography, I also love to travel, and that passion has turned into a personal urge to immortalize the landscape and show it to the world," said Jakarta-based Hasiholan at a press conference in South Jakarta on Thursday.
The 2,329-meter high mountain, which is part of Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, is one of the most active volcanoes in East Java.
Mount Bromo is also a sacred mountain for the Tengger tribe that inhabits the area.
The name Tengger derives from legendary Princess Rara Ateng, daughter of King Brawijaya, and son of a priest Joko Seger, who were tied in forbidden love.
"When we talk about Bromo, it will be a neverending story for me. I visited the site six times, but never felt satisfied with my photographs. Bromo has so many things to offer," said Masduki.
Besides the Bromo collaboration, Kelner also showcased 50 photos taken in other regions of Indonesia — Bali, South Sulawesi and Central Java.
The exhibition is also held in conjunction with the launching of a photo book titled "Foto Bromo, Negeri di Atas Awan" ("Pictures of Bromo, a Heaven Above the Clouds") by Hasiholan, Masduki and Sabki.
The 96-page book features more than 100 panoramic photographs of Bromo and its indigenous communities captured with the 16-to-35 millimeter lens 16Canon 1 DX and 70-to-20-millimeter lens Canon D70 cameras.
Hasiholan said the album was made to raise funds to preserve the traditions of Tengger people.
"Nowadays, many young Tenggerese prefer to work in cities. When the volcano erupted not long ago, the number of tourists declined and the community is struggling to make ends meet. ... We hope this exhibition and the book will help to attract more tourists to visit the area as well as to teach young Tenggerese about the importance of preserving their beautiful culture."
Sabki said the collaboration with his two friends (Hasiholan and Masduki) will not end with the exhibition.
He said they are planning to explore Sulawesi Island next year.
"We are planning to have a similar exhibition and, hopefully, we'll launch another photo book. Our next year's goal is to explore Sulawesi and research an almost extinct tribe of Farmalin."