Exhausted by the corporate rat race, Jonah Meyers left behind a 20-year long career to pursue his longstanding passion for photography. Originally, the Singapore-based photographer was interested with traditional documentary photography, but later felt frustrated by the lack of control; this led to a revised approach for his Wallflowers: Lombok Island photo series. “I would say that I’m not striving to reveal the essence of each individual as a documentary subject,” he explains. “Rather, my goal is to present a more abstract representation of each person while still maintaining their cultural identity.”
厌倦了大企业里的尔虞我诈，Jonah Meyers离开了自己长达20年的工作，追寻自己长期以来所热爱的摄影。Meyers 目前生活在新加坡。最初，让他感兴趣的是传统的纪实摄影，但这种没有掌控力的摄影却让他感到十分挫败。从此，他改变了自己的摄影方式，并由此创作出《Wallflower：Lombok Islands》系列摄影作品。 他这样解释自己的作品：“我没有试图将我的摄影对象当作纪录片的主角来揭示其本质。相反，我的目标是通过一种抽象的方式对展现每个人，同时保留其文化身份。”
Meyers’s first visit to Lombok, an island east of Bali, was six years ago. Blown away by the local hospitality, sense of community, and vibrant colors of the island, he returned in 2016. He ended up spending several months on the island, on and off over the course of the year. “I would spend weeks at a time walking the remote villages of the island, meeting people and talking to them about the project,” he recalls. “Half the work is looking for subjects and convincing them to work with me.” With the assistance of a local Indonesian translator, he photographed the willing locals of Lombok against a variety of vibrant backdrops, and per the intent of Meyers, it’s difficult to ascertain the line between fiction and reality when viewing these portraits.
“As a traveller, when I visit a very foreign place like Lombok, which is so far removed from what I know, the experience can feel surreal – as if you’re attending an extravagant theatrical production with elaborate set pieces and costumed performers,” says Meyers. “I think, subconsciously, I was attempting to capture the sense of magical realism one experiences when they are exposed to such a foreign place. With that being said, for me, it’s very important not to impress the viewer with a distinct message, but rather allow viewers to approach the material with their own interpretations. I think the work is most effective when the images invoke questions rather than answers.”