Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eastern Approaches

Eastern Approaches

By David Tse

An upcoming photo exhibition in Jakarta presents a portfolio evocative Asian images, executive summary by darmansjah

Spire Calling a pith  print of a longtai boat on the Chao Praya River in Bangkok passing Wat Arun the Thai capitals’s 19th-century Temple of Down

Since 1991, British photographer Martin Westlake, a long-standing contributor to the pages of Destin Magazine, has traveled throughout Asia  on magazine assignments and personal projects. To celebrate 20 years of his work in the region, Jakarta’s Dialogue Artspace is hosting a retrospective of his image entitled :east ward Photographs 1991-2011 (

From Beijing’s Forbidden City to the volcanic terrain of Westlake’s home base of Java, the selected photographs document people and places in a part of the world that has changed rapidly over the last two-decades. Rendered in muted, painterly tones, many of the pictures have a strong hint of nostalgia to them-a yearning for an Asia that is fast disappearing, and a longing for a return to the photographic techniques of the past. The use of black-and-white Polaroid film and lith-printing darkroom processes is reminiscent of an earlier era of image-making , recalling the craft and aesthetic of the Victorian pioneers of travel photography.

Similar to those 19th-century lensmen, Westake opted to carry a large-format plate

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