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tanah air

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Indonesia: A Synergy of the Senses

“With its incredible topographic and cultural diversity, Indonesia remains a puzzle to many outsiders. Historians, anthropologists, and politicians have struggled to define the precise contours and identity of this sprawling archipelago. Having lived and traveled in this wondrous land for 16 years, I would suggest that the unity of Indonesia is in fact aesthetic. Each of its multiple strands contributes to a delightful opening up of the senses and to a saturation of pleasurable feelings. Indonesians intuitively understood this in naming their country Tanah Air, a fusion of soil and sea. The dramatic setting underlies the unfolding beauty of practices and beliefs that touch every nerve of human existence. Indeed, Indonesia awakens a synergy of the senses; we move from the obvious stirring of the eyes and ears to the more intangible, but equally thrilling, arousal of smells, taste, and touch. With the photographs I’ve chosen, I hope to open your pores and touch the deepest chords of your being, in imitation of my own fragrant journey across the enchanted isles.” Vivek Bammi

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