Man Surrounded By Portraits

Man painting in a small gallery
Shot at Sawah Besar district in Jakarta, Indonesia Tetsu Ozawa

The man was painting in a booth that looked like a small gallery-like workshop

As I walked towards a shop selling postcards in Jakarta, I came across a row of small galleries. There was an area where painters gathered on the sidewalk also on Hayam Wuruk Street, but here the place I found in Sawah Besar district was more authentic. On Hayam Wuruk Street, the painters were just laying out their works on the sidewalk, but here each painter had a small but gallery-like booth.

Each booth was like a portfolio of the artist's work. As I looked at them, I could see that each painter had a different specialty. I guessed that the painter in this photo was one of those who are good at painting portraits. There were a number of portraits on the narrow walls, including one of Fidel Castro's. As a viewer of the movie 'Act of Killing', I'm worried that it's okay to hold up a portrait that evoked communism.

The hunt for Indonesian Communists by right-wing forces, the subject of 'Act of Killing', happened in 1965. That was over 60 years ago. Nowadays, it may not be a problem to express sympathy for communism. But the key thing is that communism itself does not have the momentum it had in the past.


About The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing is a 2012 documentary film about individuals who participated in the Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66. The film is directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and co-directed by Christine Cynn and an anonymous Indonesian. It is a Danish-British-Norwegian co-production, presented by Final Cut for Real in Denmark and produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen. The executive producers were Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Joram ten Brink, and Andre Singer. It is a Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) project of the University of Westminster. The Act of Killing won the 2013 European Film Award for Best Documentary, the Asia Pacific Screen Award, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards. It also won best documentary at the 67th BAFTA awards.

Where is Sawah Besar district in Jakarta?




Shooting Date

Jan 2020

Posted On

July 21, 2020


Jakarta, Indonesia


Street Photography