Sen San Warung
Early morning, Pak Ketut San Di cleans floors of his warung in Dewisita, Ubud, Bali. This small restaurant is called Sen San Warung, named after his wife Ibuk Wayan Sen Li and him, and they have been running it for the past 10 years. The joint is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Before going to Foundry Photojournalism Workshop 2015, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted from my on-going personal project documenting the struggle and suffering of the Sewol ferry victims’ families. Due to the budget and time constraint, I didn’t want to be overly ambitious. Therefore I had set a few goals:
1. Photograph only with 35mm. Get closer. Work it.
2. Find a simple and positive story at a close location.
3. Don’t get caught up in the big picture. Narrow it down.
And when I came across Sen San Warung on the alleyway to my homestay, I thought it was a perfect location to challenge myself. The warung has 5 tables – three inside and two outside – and is maybe 16 m²(177 ft²) large. Food was tasty and affordable and something about the couple really captivated me. I come from a family that runs a restaurant and their diligence reminded me of my own mother. She was born into poverty right after the Korean War and worked her way up to owning a few businesses in Seoul. Thanks to her hard work and sacrifice, I was able to seize opportunities not available in her own generation.
While taking on a visually challenging project, I wanted to shed a positive light on this family and ultimately show the other side of tourism-ridden Bali.
Many thanks to John Stanmeyer for pushing me hard and being so generous and to my incredible classmates for inspiration and camaraderie.
Produced during Foundry Photojournalism Workshop 2015 in Ubud, Bali.