Positively engaging art of negatives

Indonesian-born artist Boedi Widjaja cleverly bridges the past and the present through the use of old photography techniques.

LOOKING at history through the lens of a camera takes on new meaning in the hands of Indonesian-born artist Boedi Widjaja, who blends traditional drawing skills with smartphone technology for his current exhibition Imaginary Homeland.

The 10 drawings feature the hand-drawn likenesses of Indonesia's historical leaders that look like film negatives, with their black backgrounds and white strokes. To achieve that negative drawing effect, Widjaja had to look at his strokes through the viewfinder of his iPad while he was drawing, to get the "negative" more detailed so that it looks like a proper positive picture. "Without this camera-aided process, I wasn't able to differentiate the subtle tonal shifts...

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