These images were shot on a old '75 Fujica GM670 6x7 rangefinder from Japan during a four week span I spent in Bali. Images of pristine beaches and palm trees immediately come to mind when thinking of a beach and surfing paradise. While this may be true I was greeted with a more diverse and gritty reality. Bali is a beautiful Indonesian island rich in culture and tradition, but I felt that traditional way of life slipping away as development and tourism begins to replace the old. Almost immediately the stark contrast of ancient architecture to modern high-rises, malls, and resorts was a constant tangible reminder of a developing country straining to hold onto its unique history and way of life while trying to fill the shoes of an international tourist destination. The lack of modern sanitation systems and infrastructure is exacerbated by the rapid growth of urban and tourist centers. The simple ancestral way of Balinese life is continuously being impinged upon by “Westernization”. Outside of the modern havens for mainly white tourists, most Balinese are living the way they have for centuries, and it is the rapid change that is affecting them the most. I found it to be at odds with itself, struggling to come to terms with it’s own identity on both a local and global scheme. Although my time spent there was short, I could see change occurring so rapidly that the tension between the traditional way of life and the creep of “modernity” was palpable. So much so that Bali’s true nature is still being defined. I hope this special place and it's people can retain it's roots and innocence while keeping up with the developing world. It will always have my heart.
Using Format