Art

Packing up the Past with Mukti Echwantono

Images by: Mukti Echwantono Interview by: Teo J. Babini

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… Mukti Echwantono’s vision of beauty is much darker and deeper then the average eye. Stories told through shadows and smoke.

disharmony ©Mukti-Echwantono

disharmony ©Mukti-Echwantono

Tell us a little about yourself as a photographer?
I am a photographer who loves art photography.

dont stop dancing ©Mukti-Echwantono

dont stop dancing ©Mukti-Echwantono

Your images have an aesthetic quality reminiscent of Wong Kar-Wai’s collaborations with Christopher Doyle. Are you inspired by their films?
In fact, I am more inspired by Francesca Woodman, and I admire her work.

into the dark ©Mukti-Echwantono

into the dark ©Mukti-Echwantono

There is a recurring theme of classical music, from stringed instruments to ballet garments. What peaks your interest here?
Here I would like to convey a message in my images. I don’t want to show the times when they are playing a musical instrument or dancing. I’m trying to illustrate that it takes time and hard training to master an art form, be it a ballet dancer or a violinist, or any other kind of artist who wants to produce beautiful work.

my funeral bride ©Mukti-Echwantono

my funeral bride ©Mukti-Echwantono

The woman with the suitcase. Where is she going?
The suitcase symbolize the past, and she has packed her past to bring towards the future. She must choose life goals, as we were always make choices in life. So, in short, she headed toward a better life than before.

right where it belong ©Mukti-Echwantono

right where it belong ©Mukti-Echwantono

There is a persistent darkness present in much of your work. Is this the way you see the world? Or are you a fan of thrillers and horror imagery?
The way I see the world. I want to see the world from the other side.

the swan song ©Mukti-Echwantono

the swan song ©Mukti-Echwantono

Although I have always enjoyed the aesthetic value of cigarette smoking on film, many have shied away from it due to social pressure. Why do you choose to feature it?
I am not a smoker, but when I watch the smokers, in fact, it becomes clear they want to escape from the fatigue, even though they know it is bad for their health.

a song to forget ©Mukti-Echwantono

a song to forget ©Mukti-Echwantono

The women in your photos always appear in some state of duress. What are they going through in your mind?
In my mind, many women do things out of necessity, be it in love, work or in their general life.

Instagram: @muktiechwantono

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