Mbah Warsinah
Mbah Warsinah
Mbah Warsinah
Mbah Warsinah
Mbah Warsinah
Mbah Warsinah
Mbah Warsinah

Mbah Warsinah

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Mbah Warsinah is a Javanese woman living in a small hamlet in Boyolali, Central Java. At 93 years old, Mbah Warsinah retains a vitality, strength, and energy that is rare to find among the elderlies of our time. That is what I noticed about this extraordinary woman the first time I had seen her. This nonagenarian with astonishing charisma takes exceptional care of her great-granddaughters. She always has a pair of rubber bands on her left wrist to tie their hair into a ponytail in case they need it before leaving for school.

Mbah Warsinah always feels happy and most alive when she is surrounded by nature. Despite her advanced age, she can regularly be found outside taking care of her rice field or her cow which she devotes special importance. On the day this image was made, I rode my motorcycle to her village and knocked on her door but got greeted by her daughter instead. My good mood did not measure up to the answer I got after my question. "But she is not at home; she is still working outside!", said the daughter with a tone that implied a normal thing for a woman of over 90 years old.

After her daughter gave me directions on where Mbah Warsinah was, I took a determined step to go back to my motorcycle and rode to the new location. Before I arrived at my destination, I immediately noticed her from afar. Her look was radiant, and her slim silhouette was still moving fairly fast through the tall grass. It seemed she instantly looked and felt twenty years younger. Luckily, my prompt arrival timely matched with her wanting to go back home as she had just finished her daily tasks. I had met Mbah Warsinah long ago and several times before I took this photograph, but despite this long absence, her memory remained sharp and when she saw me again, she instinctively recognized me. I offered her a lift back home on my motorcycle. She accepted. While heading back home, I shared with her my intention to take her portrait. She politely declined, retorting that she was tired, dirty, and ugly! I found myself replying: "It is okay for me. You can do your things first, Mbah. Take your time!"

Taking Mbah Warsinah back home from her field

Back home, I waited for her outside while getting my camera ready. After her quick shower, Mbah Warsinah proudly sported one of her favorite kebayas, which implicitly made me understand that she had agreed to be taken in photo. The kebaya is this traditional blouse originating from the Majapahit empire (one of the last major Hindu-Buddhist empires) and is usually worn by Indonesian women on various occasions along with a sarong, a rectangular piece of fabric wrapped and tied around the waist. But for Mbah Warsinah, it is not only seen as a fashionable daily outfit, it is a cultural symbol the old woman never misses wearing.

On Mbah Warsinah's sarong, we can see the parang pattern which has an important philosophical meaning and value. This batik pattern is one of the oldest in Indonesia. Parang gives us the advice to never give up, just like the ocean waves that never stop moving before they crash along the seashore. The parang also depicts a relationship that never breaks, both in terms of striving for self-improvement, struggling for prosperity, and forming genuine family bonds. Such an amazing meaning! There was no more suitable person than Mbah Warsinah who could have worn it on that day!

Mbah Warsinah decided to sit right in front of her house's doorstep. Even though we started to exchange some words, she did not seem to pay much attention to my presence. She was oddly busy untangling her very beautiful long white, still-wet hair, as if anxious to look perfectly presentable in front of the photographer who was going to take her picture. And then, at some point, something happened that almost felt unreal. Writing back those lines instantly takes me back to the moment and sends me again goosebumps down my spine right before I click this picture. She suddenly dropped her comb and slowly began to stare at me with the most penetrating gaze I had ever seen in my life. It was as if her soul could speak to mine by whispering "Tell me, what is it exactly that you want to tell me?". Her eyes were peeling the layers of my skin and absorbed me to the point that time became frozen for a few seconds, perhaps the longest seconds of my life. What a moment! The moment when this photo became unique and iconic.

I had always been attracted by this woman's essence and energy. Of course, her long white hair helped to give a stunning combination. But on that very day, the strength of her gaze and what her wrinkles could express were revealing so much. The way she was, the way she behaved, the way she sat, the way she stared all made it for a once-in-a-lifetime catch.

Giving Mbah Warsinah a little gift for Eid Mubarak (several months after her photo was taken)

It is this kind of interaction I had with Mbah Warsinah that takes photography beyond its initial objective. And it was this encounter that inspired me to make more impactful portraits. But the one of Mbah Warsinah truly stands out. And one cannot help but never feel bored looking at her.

Mbah Warsinah is one of the most iconic photographs that I have taken in my career.  The Javanese woman gave her last breath in September 2021. She may no longer be with us physically, but will still and forever incarnate her beloved country as a whole. She is a symbol, a strength on her own, and a unique character that depicts so well the resilience of this country’s elderlies.

Mbah Warsinah made the cover of my first coffee table book, BEYOND: Java. She has also been featured in numerous media and appeared in several press articles worldwide.

Thank you, Mbah Warsinah, to have let me take your photograph, and inspired me as a fine art photographer.

May you always rest in peace.

📍Boyolali, Central Java  🗓 2018

      ❏ Fine Art Print
      Printed on 210 gsm high-quality matte paper with 10-color digital inkjet technology. Can be matted and/or framed.

      Available in the following dimension:
      • 60 x 40 cm | 24 x 16”

      ❏ Aluminum Print
      Printed on a sleek 3-mm, triple-layered aluminum composite material for a matte, reflection-free result using state-of-the-art printing method. Water-resistant, durable UV read-to-hang print suitable for sheltered, outdoor areas. 

      Available in the following dimension:
      • 60 x 40 cm | 24 x 16”

      Collector's Limited Edition of 15 copies worldwide.

      Processed in Europe on one of the glossiest and most expensive photographic papers in the world—Fujiflex Crystal Archive.

      The Fujiflex Crystal Archive paper is a special chromogenic paper with an ultra-high-gloss surface producing the highest professional photographic substrate currently available in the world. The quality of this paper is incomparable with any other papers on the market today.

      This silver halide, true photographic printing material on a polyester base is produced to the highest gallery and competition standards. It is printed through a specialized process using laser exposure technology.

      Your photograph is not printed like other papers with ink. It is instead exposed into the silver halide base with lasers and is then chemically processed.

      The final result has to be seen to be believed as it leaves mica crystals on the paper that, when properly lit, produce a strikingly three-dimensional luxurious look and an appearance of being lit from behind.

      The artist proposes 15 copies each available in the following sizes:
      • 90 x 60 cm | 36 x 24”
      • 150 x 100 cm | 60 x 40” 

      Such paper must be mounted on appropriate substrate and/or framed correctly to guarantee the best results.

      Replica Edition
      • Free shipping worldwide;
      • Please allow up to 48 hours before your order is dispatched;
      • Delivery time is about two to three working weeks depending on your country;
      • Shipped in a sturdy mailing tube for the fine art prints and a protective cardboard box for the aluminum print;
      • Fine art prints are sent by the post office from Indonesia while aluminum prints are processed and sent from Europe;
      • A confirmation email is sent when the photo is shipped;
      • Any custom and duty fees are the responsibility of the customer;
      • Replica Edition prints come without white borders;
      • Frame not included for the fine art prints

      Original Edition
      • Free shipping worldwide;
      • Please allow up to 7 days before your order is dispatched;
      • Delivery time is about two working weeks;
      • Tracking available;
      • Shipped in secure packaging handled by art professionals;
      • Sent by UPS, FedEx, or DHL from Europe;
      • A confirmation email is sent when the photo is shipped along with a digital Certificate of Authenticity and a handling and framing manual;
      • Any custom and duty fees are the responsibility of the customer;
      • Original Edition photographs come without white borders;
      • Frame not included

      Original Edition

      Fujiflex Crystal Archive

      Collector's Limited Edition of 15 copies worldwide

      Processed in Europe on one of the glossiest and most expensive photographic papers in the world—Fujiflex Crystal Archive.

      Available in the following sizes:
      • 90 x 60 cm | 36 x 24”
      • 150 x 100 cm | 60 x 40”

      Key features:
      • Remarkable surface smoothness and flatness;
      • Exceptional gloss giving a mirror-like appearance;
      • Unique pearlescent effect with excellent clarity;
      • Very large color gamut with high saturation, fidelity, and depth;
      • True photographic printing material on a 100% polyester base;
      • Highest image stability ideal for display purposes;
      • Strong resistance to light fading;
      • No ripping or yellowing for 100 years

      High-quality prints

      Free shipping worldwide

      Packaged with care


      A shipping confirmation email is always sent to let you know when we shipped your photograph, along with a tracking number (only for our Aluminum prints and Original Edition photographs).

      We only sell the Replica Editions in one size: 60 x 40 cm.

      For bigger sizes, please see the Original Editions of the photo you would like to purchase.

      Upon ordering on the website, always double check your address to make sure it is accurate.

      In some rare cases, your package might be detained by customs for whatever reason (cf. Dubai). We strongly suggest you to contact your nearby post office/customs to check the shipping status of your photo.

      If your photo still hasn't arrived after the above timescales, stay patient and drop us an email to with your name and order number.

      We may ask customers to leave up to 30 days before we re-dispatch an order. You will just need to pay the fees needed to ship your photograph.

      If your photo has been seriously damaged in transit, then we are sorry for the inconvenience. Please drop us an email at with some photos of the damages. Only you will need to cover the shipping fees so we can ship you the same product again.

      For our Original Editions, you get a lifetime warranty, no matter what happens during transit or after. You will only be required to cover the fees needed to produce again your artwork and destroy the damaged old one.

      "La Joconde" for example was uniquely painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 16th century but ever since its creation, thousands of people have bought printed replicas of the painting to hang at their home. If you supposedly were the only one to own such a piece, the painting would have a worth estimation of over $800m in today's money!

      It works exactly the same in the fine art photography industry. While so many people buy from their favorite art photographers the same replicated photographs over and over again, owning a limited original edition will set you apart and make sure your artwork is authentic. Every original edition comes with a certificate of authenticity which is signed, numbered, and dated by the artist. We typically use the best photographic materials available in the world to produce your original photograph that will set a unique, timeless mood inside your space.

      As each copy is sold, the price of the next photograph of the series will increase as rarity increases and availability gets scarcer.

      Although people buy an original photograph simply because they love it, it can also be seen as your first stepping stone to fine art investment. Your numbered edition you purchased will retain value in the long term and increase in value. Once the edition is sold out and enters the secondary market, it is possible to sell the artwork at a much higher price.

      The earlier you buy your original edition photograph, the higher the increase of your fine art investment will be.

      While our matte paper is printed on a professional Epson's 10-color ink inject machine and looks beautiful, it simply cannot be compared with the Fujiflex because the substrate is totally different.

      The Fujiflex surpasses any other papers on the market today. Similar to the famous Cibachrome in feel, it has an ultra smooth, high-gloss surface. The depth and dimensional quality of the Fujiflex cannot really be described with words. Instead, it should be seen firsthand to be believed! At our art gallery in Bali, we display some Artist's Proof editions. We also have some smaller samples of other photographs in order to familiarize our customers with the Fujiflex and its difference with the Replica's matte paper.

      The depth of the substrate reflects more light which makes the Fujiflex more brilliant than any other papers, thus creating a deeper, wider, and richer color gamut than even Pearl or Metallic papers alike.

      Exclusively processed in Europe for collectors and traditionally developed on the lightjet printer from Océ, the paper guarantees extreme longevity and enrich your place with a museum-quality photograph for the decades to come.

      To run an efficient service for our customers, purchases of the photographs listed on our website will be posted out within 48 hours.

      If you wish to cancel your order, you may contact us as soon as possible before your order has been posted out. We will provide a full refund on your order.

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