Then and Now

The Indonesian Islands, where Sandrow traveled in 1998 and returned to 2016, of Bali (map pins 1,5,4) Flores (map pin 2) and Komodo (map pin 3) are Pacific Islands included in the Coral Triangle and biosphere reserve under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme. An area recognized with the highest biodiversity of marine and terrestrial species, including Kekers (Green Jungle Fowl). And Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis), that exist nowhere else in the world, are of significant interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution. Harboring more than 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of reef-building coral and 70 species of sponges. Dugong, sharks, manta rays, at least 14 species of whales, dolphins, and sea turtles. Reasons Komodo and Flores recognized as a national park (1984); a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1991).

The Island of Bali was inhabited around 2000 BCE by Austronesian peoples who migrated originally from Southeast Asia and Oceania. The “Flores Man” or Homo floresiensis is thought to have lived alongside “modern humans” as far back as 190,000 years ago. Descendants of the original Komodo peoples Ata Modo (Mr. Nuhan: The Legend of Komodo, map pin 3) live on the island amongst recent immigrants, primarily Mangarriai from Flores. Bali was “discovered”  by the Portugese in 1452; Flores and Komodo in 1511.They relinquished all control to the Netherlands, and by the early 1900’s, the Dutch colonized the Island of Bali ... one of many, including Flores and Komodo, known as the Dutch East Indies that now (1945, war of of independence) constitute the Republic of Indonesia.

(1998) The commissioned installation (time)space, for the exhibit In Response to Place: Place Matters (2001) curated by Andy Grundberg, included three large scale panoramas; thirty-six boxes in the proportion of a Golden Rectangle containing chalk (dead coral;) a computer monitor displaying the interactive TIME(space) online (a chronological composition of forty-six movies; four virtual reality panoramas, three still images.) The national tour of the exhibit - when Sandrow was present - opened September 11, 2001 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, across from the White House, in Washington DC.

The Indonesian Park Authority manages Komodo National Park: their partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and now World Wildlife Fund addresses increasing challenges for preservation due to the impact of overfishing and tourism.

(October 2019) Minister of Tourism Welcomed The Decision To Keep Komodo Island National Park Open for Tourists





“Bridging the space of a cultural divide between nations, across a world separated into time zones as well as time frames.The digital still and video images were produced on a PowerBook computer. Generators provided the power that enabled internet transmission from remote villages and islands otherwise untouched by technology or industry. The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, comprised of 13,677 islands bound together by the sea.

The life-world of the Indonesian comprises the land and the sea. A landscape not shaped by human hand - but by the primordial forces of wind, fire, water and sun. Flux is inherent to all within the cosmos, a sacred time-space continuum. Existence is relative to the cyclical nature of the universe, balancing in the harmonious equilibrium between people and nature.

Boundaries are not drawn between the forces of good and evil: one flows into the other as symbolized by life giving water. Good flowing downstream from the mountains, evil emanating upstream from the direction of the ocean. Food and water gathering intertwine with animistic rituals and dances, seeking to penetrate the invisible world of the supernatural.Villagers struggle day to day growing rice and fishing in hand carved sailboats in treacherous swirling spiral whirlpools. In stark contrast to the barren landscape where Dragons still roam, life flourishes amidst the wonderland of coral reefs. Over 1000 species of vibrantly hued fish live amidst 250 distinctive corals in a harmony now threatened by humankind. Flying fish, Dolphins and Manta Ray leap in the air. Phosphorescent Giant clams measuring as much as a yard across lay embedded in coral beds along pink coral beaches framing the deep blue-green hued sea.

Komodo National Park, preserve of the Komodo Dragon, is administered through programs of The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Indonesian government.”
Hope Sandrow, 2001 Artist Statement TIME(space)