Sunday, January 4, 2009

the colors of Yogya

Blame it on the Dutch. The city of Yogyakarta hs schizophrenic spellings. One can spell it Jogjakarta or Jogyakarta. It can be referred as Yogya or Jogya. Whichever you choose, one thing is undeniable. Jogya is the epicenter of culture in Central Java. Think of the royal court of Keraton, the best batik tulis (handpainted batik), the dance drama of Ramayana and the wayang kulit shadow puppets. It goes natural then that the people, seeped with the heritage that dates back centuries, have an innate love for colors.

doors of Yogya
a collage of bright doors in Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia

I am not talking about soft pastels or cleverly coordinated complementary hues but solid blocks of bright, loud, clashing and screaming colors. The Central Javanese certainly don't want their buildings dark and somber.

even windows of Keraton Palace of Yogya are not spared with neon splashes
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/80s, f/5, 10.3mm

street scene at Jln Brig Jen Katamso, Yogyakarta
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/250s, f/4.5, 12.3mm

In one visit there in 2005, I took numerous pictures of nearly 20 attention-grabbing doors from just a 50 meter strip in downtown Jogya with my old point and shoot. Soon enough, I had to stop myself or else I would run out of batteries.

a becak at Jln Brig Jen Katamso, Yogyakarta
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/500s, f/5, 7.1mm

Colors are there to entertain. So I was just there to enjoy.

Dua becak di Jalan Malioboro
night rush in Jalan Malioboro, Yogyakarta
Canon PowerShot S40, 8s, f/8, 7.1mm

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Anonymous said...

beautiful capture, nice colors.
Jogja is a beautiful place. lovely handicrafts and batik to purchase, have visited this place three times.

Farl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Farl said...

3 times? luck you! I wouldn't mind going there for the 3rd time. thanks.

Anonymous said...

hehehe - Jogya is very wacky! The young today are very fond of saying the opposite of what they mean and expect it to be interpreted in the reverse. It's a hip , sarcastic and ironic dialect ??? There is a term for it but it escapes me. Yes, love the colors , wonderful description as usual! :) ~Michael

Farl said...

michael- hmm, reverse psychology?
it's true about the delightful wackiness of the colors though!

Dila said...

I came across your blog and enjoyed looking at all photos. Beautiful! I'm Indonesian and feel very happy knowing that such a nice post of Yogyakarta was written by a foreigner. Thanks for sharing it.