Garrett O. Hansen
While living in Indonesia in 2012-13, I would set out from my home and walk the streets of Salatiga, the medium-sized town in Central Java where I lived. I would meet countless people on my walks—tyre repairmen, students, minibus drivers, small business owners—some of the individuals who define and bring life to the streets of towns across Indonesia, where lines between private and public spaces are often blurred. Men would ask where I was from, where I was going, and where I lived. After chatting for a while, I would go on my way. In an effort to capture the openness and curiosity of the culture that I lived in, I began to photograph these men.
I recently travelled back to Salatiga to return these images to the people who I photographed and to present the work to the larger community. Working with a historical society, Kampoeng Salatiga, I showed the collection of 180 portraits publicly at the Notohamidjojo House, giving the community a chance to respond to the work. As an organisation, Kampoeng Salatiga is committed to exploring the history of the town from a variety of disciplines, and I saw partnering with them as an ideal way to share this work with a broad, local audience. I also gave Kampoeng Salatiga a full set of the images for their archive to use as they construct new histories of the town.
Garrett O. Hansen (www.garrettohansen.com) graduated from Grinnell College, where he studied economics and political science. He completed his MFA in photography at Indiana University and has taught at several universities in the United States and in Asia; he is now an Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Kentucky.