An exhibition by Manolo Ty in collaboration with Gudskul and Friends

Manolo Ty (Hagen, Germany) is a photographer with a special interest in the diversity of cultures, traditions and intercultural understanding around the world. For his photographs he has travelled to more than 100 countries to date. His work has been shown in more than 70 international exhibitions. He is the author and photographer of two coffee-table books on contemporary Pakistan as well as the director and producer of the documentary film "Gender X". With his works Ty wants to raise awareness of traditions and environments that are under threat as well as create a global forum for promoting an understanding of different cultures.

Every photograph captures a specific moment of light in time and depicts a concept that the photographer wants to share. But its visual aesthetics are seen by every viewer in a different way. The background of each and every spectator leads to their very own perspective and interpretation of the same image. On his visit to Jakarta, precisely to the Gudskul Ecosystem, Manolo wanted to conduct an experiment. He asked that several artists and friends of Gudskul would respond to his work without restrictions of any kind. Each of Manolo's photographic prints are boldly reinterpretated, composed, and connected with other visual elements into a collaborative work of art. All in accordance with the the personal interpretation of observing Manolo's work for the first time.

As a member of GUDSKUL, I was invited to join this group exhibition by responding to Manolo Ty's printed photographs however I wanted. I picked 3 different photographs to which I responded with embroidery and permanent marker.

Scroll down to view my works


I chose Manolo's photograph which depicts a figure bowing down as they go through a praying ritual. I embroidered the piece with a white string and golden beads to give it a feel of a carpet.

I displayed the artwork on a low pedestal so that visitors need to bend down to look at it. Hence, the visitors unintentionally replicates the posture of the figure in the picture when looking at the work.

Embroidered photograph

Display of the work in the exhibition

Illustration of what the audience had to do to view my work

Close-up detail of the embroidery


I responded to Manolo's photograph of several fishes swimming together to look like one bigger fish.

I embroidered rainbow flat circular beads to emphasize the scaly texture of the fish. I sewed them in a way that the colours are reversible by touch.

Side 1: Bottom fish's scale is purple

Side 2: Bottom fish's scale is green


The last picture I chose was one which brought nostalgic emotions of flying in a plane. I connected the nostalgic emotions associated with travelling to the nostalgia of playing hopscotch as a child, travelling from one box to another and back.