Photography The Unconscious Beauty Of Bali In Michael Dean Morgan’s Shots
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The Unconscious Beauty Of Bali In Michael Dean Morgan’s Shots

Giorgia Massari

With his series Praying in the Rain, Australian photographer Michael Dean Morgan explores the spirituality of the people of Bali. Particularly attracted to Asian culture in general and with his documentary approach, Michael wanders the streets of the countries he visits with the intention of discovering the true essence of a culture. This method is evident in his debut book titled Looking for Bali, published by Afterhours in Jakarta, where he offers a new perspective of the island and its inhabitants, far removed from the touristy and stereotypical view. With Praying in the Rain, Michael Dean Morgan performs the same operation again on the same Indonesian island. Balinese Hinduism is highlighted but with a contemporary gaze and a color that enhances the intensity, spirituality and authenticity of a people strongly attached to their traditions.

Praying in the Rain explores the delicate boundary between the visible and invisible realms in Bali. Michael Morgan captures ordinary Balinese people engaged in their daily devotions in various settings-homes, temples, stores, and fields-often unaware of the inherent beauty they embody. Ritual and everyday life intermingle, demonstrating beauty in unconscious simplicity.

The images traverse diverse locations, from mountaintops and sacred groves to urban streets, where people offer tributes to the divine. Morgan’s lens captures teenagers beautifully painted for ritual dances, a priest and his wife preparing offerings at the foot of a sacred tree, a man blessing his Volkswagen. Another shot shows a family praying in the ruins of a temple. In short, each photograph is able to evoke smells, mystical and aromatic sensations of Balinese reality, all to be discerned.

michael dean morgan

Courtesy and copyright Michael Dean Morgan

Photographystreet photography
Written by Giorgia Massari
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