Art:1 gallery, in collaboration with Brazilian photographer and curator Renato Negrao hosts an exhibition titled ‘Connections’.

Brazilian curator Renato Negrao. Photo courtesy of Art 1: Museum/NOW!JAKARTA

The exhibit features the work of 12 Brazilian photographers including Adriana Milani, Bernardo Borges, Carla Acacio, Gabriel Rizaffi, Isa Godoy, Ivana Panizzi, Liana Azevedo, Lu Lisboa, Malu Mesquita, Máximo Hernandez, Rosana Salvoni, Socorro Monteiro, and Vera Resende.

It aims to showcase the changes that has been happening in the world of photography in recent years with particular emphasis on digital photography. There is also a nod toward the role of social networks in our world today, which has opened up a new form of communication that brings people together.

How did you get into photography? I understand you were a journalist?
I graduated with a degree in journalism and left Brazil for Europe – two years in London and six months in Paris. My first photography course was in Westminster College in the UK, and I also studied Art History at Alliance Francaise in Paris. I returned to Brazil and began my career as an independent photographer and then became a curator after completing a masters in Curatorial Studies.

In 2015 I started a project to showcase the work of Brazilian photographers to international audiences. We started in Iraq, then we were invited to be part of the Image Festival of Amman, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. We also went to New York City, Montreal, Dubai, Paris, Moscow, London and to several cities in Brazil. Now we are in Asia. Jakarta is our first stop in this part of the world.

What would you say are the key elements of a good photograph? 
To me, the best photograph is when the photographer is honest, when they don't try to lie. Photography is the best way to express oneself. A good photo, for me, is when I see emotion, something greater than beauty.

With cell phone cameras being very popular these days, what are your thoughts on the quality of photography produced by phones?
I love it. In the last few years we've seen a revolution of the image. First was the digital photograph, then the DSLR camera and now the cell phone cameras. The devises are improving a lot and the quality of images is getting better. I love it because it helps more people love photography and taking good photos. I consider myself a progressive person and I respect others’ points of view.

In a world where we're all so aware of our differences, what are your thoughts on photography being a uniting factor?
Well, as a language, photography doesn’t need translation, so it can reach more people from different cultures. Photographers must remember this, and with social media it is a great way to this idea go further.

What are some of your memorable exhibits?
It was in my home town, São Paulo. We transformed an old train station into a huge art gallery. You can see a video about this event in my website.

Are there any Indonesian photographers whose work you enjoy?
One of the reasons for my visit here is to know more about Indonesian photographers. I love the work of Martha Suherman, at the moment. During the opening I met some young photographers who were very talented. I look forward to knowing more photographers here and connecting with them so that we can put together a special photography project connecting Brazilian and Indonesian photographers.

Renato Negrao invites visitors to see his work on this website

He can also be followed on his Instagram handle @renatonegrao

Art 1 New Gallery
Jl. Rajawali Selatan No. 3
Tel: + 62 21 647 00168

Ranjit Jose

Ranjit Jose

Ranjit is a previous Editor of NOW! Jakarta. A cultural journalist and anthropologist by training, he has reported on arts and culture for a variety of publications in the USA and Indonesia.