- Place where the work was made
- Media category
- Materials used
- gelatin silver photograph
- 23.1 x 17.0 cm
- Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
- Gift of Robert Dein 2021
- Lower Asian gallery
- Accession number
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Ohannes Kurkdjian, was born in a small Armenian town in the Ottoman Empire and was a photographer in the Russian army before moving to Indonesia in 1886. In 1890 he established a studio in Surabaya from where he produced portraits, landscapes and ethnographic studies. His most memorable works reveal a profound engagement with the precarious peaks of Java’s fiery volcanoes. Kurkdjian’s photographs of the Mount Kelud eruption of May 1901 are imbued with an awe for nature’s sublime power to both inspire and wreak havoc. Within Javanese culture of the time the fiery eruption was seen as a symbol of a new dawn also marked by the birth, just a month later of Sukarno, who was to become Indonesia’s first president. For many, these events were prophetic of great change that would free Indonesia from its Dutch colonisers and return it to a state of cosmic order.
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Elemental, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Jul 2022–2024
Robert Dein, 1990s-Dec 2021, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased from a London based dealer in the 1990s. Donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Dec 2021.
Other works by Ohannes Kurkdjian
Kelud volcano eruption no.1 (Eruption of Kaloet. Island of Java. Half this mountain fell into crater and caused the eruption) Ohannes Kurkdjian 1901 273.2021 On display – Lower Asian gallery
Kelud volcano eruption no.2 ( The crater nearly ½ mile across with mountain in background that caused eruption. This photo was taken 14 days after the outbreak, the mud and ... Ohannes Kurkdjian 1901 274.2021
Kelud volcano eruption no.3 (A closer view of crater) Ohannes Kurkdjian 1901 275.2021 On display – Lower Asian gallery
See all 12 works