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Joker masks

joker masks - still life picture of masks

be different by richard seah

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thaipusam 2008

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ABSTRACTS
fine art photograph - abstract

ABSTRACT
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THE NATURAL WORLD
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buddha image

PICTURE OF BUDDHA

OLD MEDICINE BOTTLES

JOKER MASKS

CANDID STILL LIFE

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These joker masks were photographed in a village in Bali, I cannot remember the name of the village, but it was the “mask making” village.

In Bali, all the arts and crafts are neatly divided into villages. So you have a painters‘ village, a village of goldsmiths, a village of silversmiths, a village of wood carvers... and a village of mask makers.

If I were to call these Balinese masks, you would probably expect fearsome-looking masks of demons that are traditionally used in Balinese dances and temple rituals. So I thought it would be more accurate to call them joker masks, even though they are not the usual type of such masks found in European culture.


This picture looks posed, as if I purposely placed a fully painted joker mask alongside several unpainted ones, and that I even purposely arrange the painted mask horizontal to the rest. Trust me, I did not touch anything. How dare I? I was only a tourist in Bali. The masks were placed there, in that way, by the workers.

This picture is thus another example of what I call candid still life whereby still life objects are photographed as they are, without any attempt to re-arrange them, and using natural lighting instead of studio lighting equipment.

This picture of masks was taken on my first trip to Bali in the early 1980s. During the 1990s, Bali became a favourite holiday destination for my (ex)wife and I and we visited the island close to 10 times. I was so familiar with Bali, I could drive around the island with a road map.

However, we stopped visiting the tourist places, such as the village of mask makers, during subsequent trips.

The original version of this picture of masks was in color, taken on Kodachrome 64 slides.


joker masks - picture of masks, Bali

It's not bad too. It looks almost like a black and white photograph with just one mask in color. Some may prefer the stronger contrast between the painted joker mask and the unpainted ones, but personally, I prefer the subtler contrast in the black and white version.

This picture of joker masks is available for sale. Larger prints come in very limited editions, but smaller 5R and 8R prints are made very affordable to encourage the collection of fine art photographs by those with limited budgets.

All prints, including the affordable 5R and 8R prints, are signed by me, Richard Seah.
Click here to view other fine art photographs for sale.

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