I first started the Photo Dharma website after a trip to Indonesia, and specifically to Borobudur, in 2009, during which I collected more than 1,000 photographs of the monument.
Since then I have returned to Java another four times to improve the initial repository of photographs of what is in fact one of the most photogenic sites I have been to.
From that very first trip I had wanted to also go to Jakarta, and to the National Museum, which contains a great collection of statuary from all over Indonesia.
Only recently was I able to fulfil that wish, and more, when I stayed in Jakarta for a week following the Rains Retreat this year at the invitation of the very active Buddhist group Ehipassiko.
The Museum was originally set up by the Dutch Colonial government in the 19th century and has been a repository for the country’s artistic and cultural heritage ever since.
The museum has a good collection of statuary from the Buddhist and Hindu classical period, that saw great empires come and go: Śri Vijaya, the Maleyu Kingdom, Śailendra and Majapahit amongst others.
I managed to take over 150 publishable photographs from the Museum, which are now available on the National Museum album page, divided into various categories such as Buddhist, Hindu, Inscriptions and Brass Work, and with introductions to the Museum and the works.
I also managed to take collect a few other albums during my short trip, which I will introduce here in the coming weeks, for now I hope you will enjoy the photographs and finding out more about our Buddhist cultural history.