Jalan Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin Uluwatu, Bali +62 361 3001000 or +62 361 8471000
In an epoch where velocity and technology pervade every aspect of daily life, there is a Czechoslovakian photographer who has decided to stop time, creating elegant and delicate portraits in a vintage style with his century-old mahogany wet plate camera. Stephan Kotas is a world-famous artist who spends his life travelling and practicing his beloved craft. Coming to Indonesia on a scholarship, he chose Bali as home and it is here that, in a dark room, he brings the past back to life in his artistic creations made with scientific methods. The photographic technique used by Kotas, the first to do so in all of Indonesia, is known as "tintype" and it consists of a complex process involving wet collodion which has its origins in the second half of the 1800s, allowing images to be transferred onto glass known as an ambrotype. “The results are so beautiful and totally different than any other photographic technique,” says the photographer. There’s no negative, a positive image is generated directly by the camera which, to be seen, needs to be dampened with a liquid solution for the entire development period (around 10 minutes). And that’s the magic of it. “What really struck me is that you can watch the image take shape right before your eyes.” Naturally, the subjects portrayed require lengthy exposure, depending on the light conditions, they may need to remain immobile for as long as a minute, but the developed image is like a painting and can last for hundreds of years.