About the Book
“Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.” -Edward Steichen Imagining Indonesia, most of us picture the beaches of Bali, the coffee plantations of Java - perhaps surfing Kuta Beach or climbing world famous volcanic peaks, like Krakatau. For the sixteen Solano College students who traveled to Indonesia to study travel photography with Ron Zak in December of 2008, we found that all of these things - and many more - are Indonesia. Comprised of more than 17,000 islands and over 245.5 million inhabitants, Indonesia would become our home for two weeks of intense study; during this time we would travel from island to island, seeking the experiences, people and places that would afford us glimpses of the “real” Indonesia, collectively searching for the soul of this fascinating island nation. We were welcomed as friends everywhere we traveled, from the inner courtyards of metropolitan Jakarta ’s massive mosque to a 17th century private family temple in rural Bali. We traversed the mazes and stalls of Bali’s Denpasar market and the back alleys of Jogjakarta ’s renowned Bird Market; we climbed to Nirvana at the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur and wandered the site of the Hindu temple compound at Prambanan. As we traversed the islands, we were struck by their natural beauty: Breathtaking mountain vistas, lush rice paddies, black and white sand beaches, and awe-inspiring volcanoes. Watching the ancient Wuyit Kulang (famed Indonesian shadow puppets), performances of the Bali Barong and Ramayana Ballet, and the master craftsmanship and artistry of the silver workers of Celuk and double-ikat weavers of Tenganan village, we marveled at the rich history and cultural wealth of Indonesia. In these places, as well as countless others, the people of Indonesia graciously invited us into their world. It is a world whose essence cannot be captured by postcards and trinkets; words do not do it justice…so we offer you what Indonesia presented to us: Tanda Mata. An Indonesian phrase meaning “a souvenir of the heart”- courtesy of the people of Indonesia - from their hearts and our cameras, we bring you Tanda Mata.