‘River of Hades’ is very intense and mysterious photo series of Indonesian photographer Aji Susanto Anom (b.1989). It’s eerie, intriguing, polysemic, and needs to be paraphrased along with the statement of the artist. It’s very original and memorable and it lingers as well as haunts the psyche of the viewers.
“Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark” - Dante Alighieri in Inferno
Statement : ‘River of Hades’ is a mythological approach to document reality and construct a fictional historical record of real life experience. Inspired and captivated by the magic of the river mythologies from my city and another riverside that I had chance to encounter. From that experience I try to create fictional narratives based on the myth of the river of Hades.
In Greek mythology, the Underworld, may be the land of the dead, but it has living botanical items, like meadows with asphodel flowers, and geographical features. Among the most famous are the river of the Underworld that connect the Earth and the Underworld. That river is called River of Hades (Hades is the Ruler of the Underworld).
The surreal wilderness of the night in the riverside has always fascinated me. The riverside I walked through during the day, completely transformed after sundown. There was a dark side in it: the ghost-like creatures that I imagined wandering around in the deepest shadows. Because of my fear, I could never bring myself to approach these mysterious beings directly. They partook in unknown activities and so they shall remain. Regardless, photography has given me the energy to enjoy the discomfort and experience of this nocturnal wild side. While confronting the darkness outside, I also redeemed the darkness within.
About : Aji Susanto Anom is a photographer based in Solo, Indonesia. His work explores all his personal inquiry about the darkness of his deeper life. He has published three photobooks independently called “Nothing Personal”, “Poison” and “Recollecting Dreams”. In 2015, he was selected as one of the participant of “Angkor Photography Workshop” under the mentors: Antoine D’Agata and Sohrab Hura. One of his work has been selected as finalist of ‘BURN Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund 2016’. His works can also be discovered through his featured publication on BURN Magazine, Lens Culture, The Invisible Photographer Asia, Top Photography Films, Monovisions, Dodho Magazines, Sidewalkers.Asia and more.