Image Stories: Jakarta Modest Interventions and Minor Improvisations

April 27, 2017 0 Comments

Image Stories: Jakarta Modest Interventions and Minor Improvisations

In this week's post Isidro Ramirez takes us behind the scenes on one of our most memorable books of 2016. Ramirez shares the stories behind five images from his book: Jakarta: Modest Interventions and Minor Improvisations.

Meeting Place

"Walking in Jakarta can be surprising. Hardly anyone really walks there unless they have no other choice. Jakarta’s roads are full of holes and obstacles and it's hot and dusty. Also, there is a severe lack of recreational areas such as parks. Despite this, streets are not empty and there are many people that seem to utilise the streets as if they were in fact recreational areas."

Cafe #1

"One afternoon walking in Kuningan in the southern area of Jakarta, as I have done on many occasions, I noticed two precast concrete structures had been left by the road. God knows how long they had been left there for but there were indications that it had been a long time - they had some graphites and the elements had caused discolouration. Now, they were being used by a cafe as a seating area. It makes me wonder, how did they get there? There were no signs of any construction going on nearby. I photographed them and walked away. I kept thinking how peculiar this city is."


"One morning I was walking in Jalan Cider Timur when I came across this little young tree. It seemed to be held upright by concrete bricks. A handwritten sign read ‘No Parking’ hung from its young branches."


"I don’t usually photograph people. I have intentionally waited for people to walk out of the frame when taking photograph for many of my previous projects. But for Jakarta it would have been conceptually wrong to do so, as I felt I needed to show how people act in the public spaces. This photo is a good example that shows everyday routine activities in Kebayoran in South Jakarta." 

Clothes Shop Display #1

"This was one of the first images I took in this series and probably the image that gave me the idea behind the concept and title of the book. After photographing during the morning (I usually wake up at 4 am to be out still at night and have plenty of time to catch the sunrise), I went back to my hotel near Sarinah for a rest. Bored and with nothing to do, I went out for a walk around the hotel at midday. Jakarta’s light at midday (as it is near the equator) is very vertical and usually very hard to photograph. Still, I am glad I did go out as I found some street vendors setting up their stores for the afternoon and evening."


Jakarta: Modest Interventions and Minor Improvisations is our third book with Isidro Ramirez after Closed for Winter (2013) and Common Love (2014).