Marius Moragues is an adventurer and fine art photographer currently based in Indonesia, but is originally from France. His hometown is Carcassonne, a picturesque town with a rich history, famous for its medieval fortress, La Cité de Carcassonne.
One may think that growing up with a such a captivating structure as a daily backdrop would provide all the inspiration a photographer would need—but Marius became intrigued by the places and stories that could be seen in the faces of Asia.
The very first day at Batam airport with Shuichi, a Lion Air officer, ready for boarding to Sumatra island – Sept. 2015
It is on September 1st, 2015 that Marius Moragues touched down Indonesia for the first time. He got welcomed and introduced to the Indonesian culture by one of his now best friends, Lukman Tanjung, whom he met through the social website workaway.info as part of a cultural exchange and volunteering experience in Jambi, South Sumatra.
Tasting the first homemade fried rice—nasi goreng in Indonesian—in Palembang, Sumatra – Sept. 2015
Beginning of the day in a junior high school, surrounded by other teachers in Jambi, Sumatra – Sept. 2015
Then backpacker, it was in his friend’s city, during the course of an initially planned one-month stay, that French photographer Marius would fall in love with the people and the culture of Indonesia. The serendipitous encounter of the young French man with these island peoples—particularly endowed with an endearing and hospitable personality—would create very strong bonds and make the artist’s soul vibrate. He immediately felt a strong connection with the locals, a special affinity, and a human energy different from previously visited Southeast Asian countries. He kept delaying the return to his home country, France, indefinitely, and decided to settle in Jakarta by the end of 2015.
It is during the eve of 2017 that the young French man brought a unusual attention to his existence, giving him an opportunity to deeply ponder on his life’s purpose. The cliché thoughts—“If others can do it, then I can, too”; “What would you do if you knew you would not fail?”—were enough for Marius to have his breakthrough in photography.
Self-taught, it is over the course of his travels that Marius has begun developing a following and a reputation for his portraits, which is growing. Absolutely passionate about human beings, his work is strongly driven by the relationships of his encounters. Unlike most photographers, Marius loves to spend time with the people he meets, and build a special bond with them before capturing their expression through his camera.
Marius with Murarti, 5 years old, from the Baduy tribe, in Banten – Aug. 2021
The accumulation of his portraits and travel experiences made him want to pay tribute to Indonesia through its people with a very special photographic vision, Imperfect Frame. His aim is to show the uniqueness of the nation’s hospitality and warmth while introducing to Western countries his own dimension of true happiness that he had found among the people who had the least.
As of today, he has traveled extensively in the archipelago and spent the last four years documenting Java island, traveling more than 10,000 km by motorbike before releasing in 2020 his first photo book: Beyond Java. He is set to continue his project by exploring Bali and Nusa Tenggara in 2022.