Indonesian Splendour / Indische pracht
Four Centuries of Fascination for the Flora of Indonesia / Vier eeuwen fascinatie voor de flora van Indonesie
- PUBLISHED: April 2019
- SUBJECT LISTING: Art History / Asian Art, Art / Photography
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 128 Pages, 8.25 x 11 in, 120 color illus.
- ISBN: 9789460224935
Bilingual English / Dutch
Indonesia’s flora—with more than 45,000 plant varieties—is one of the most abundant in the world. Photographer Dennis A-Tjak has been making a name for himself as the portraitist of old flower varieties from countries that the Dutch East India Company traded with during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. What fascinates him most about these varieties is that some of them have been passed on from generation to generation. A-Tjak has developed his own style for photographing old flower varieties and his portraits stand out because of their technical perfection. The hyper-realistic photographs exude perfection, drama, and elegance. They are surprising, sometimes disconcertingly abstract, but every one of them is delightful to look at.
Bea Brommer’s historical introduction to A-Tjak’s photographs describes how the Dutchmen dove into the study of Indonesian flora and sometimes devoted their whole lives to botanical research. She also explains how many of those native plants and flowers were shipped to the Netherlands where they were cultivated in the heated greenhouses of the botanical gardens and estates of wealthy individuals and gradually took root in Dutch national flower culture.
Authors & Contributors
Photographer Dennis A-Tjak trained at the Rietveld School of Art and Design. Bea Brommer is the author of To My Dear Pieternelletje: Grandfather and Grandaughter in VOC Time, 1710-1720 and Johannes ten Klooster (1873–1940): A Man with Two Lives.