Photo Gallery: Jenya Ivkov and his Balinese portfolio
Introduction by Matt George
Photos and captions by Jenya Ivkov
Imagine being a stoked surfer but living 10,000 kilometres from your favorite waves. A one-time Moscow interior design photographer named Jenya Ivkov knows the feeling well. On assignment to Bali in 2009 to photograph the interior of tropical villas, he took a surf lesson on Kuta Beach.
He was hooked for life.
Ivkov knew then and there that the future of his photography would switch to the interior of Bali’s best waves. So back in freezing cold Moscow, 10,000 kilometres from Bali and the waves he loved, Ivkov worked five long years to get back. He had always dabbled in sports photography, BMX, skateboarding, snowboarding, but since his visit to Bali he always dreamed of fisheye images of the expansive “blue barrels” he had seen from the cliff at Padang Padang.
In 2014, the challenge became a reality when he moved to the island to chase his dreams. His learning curve astonished everyone. With his intimate water work and his sublime land shots, he soon became one of the most sought after surf photographers in Bali. A master of the foreground, from shore Ivkov often manages to meld both Bali’s rich culture and Bali’s surf culture at once.
Preferring to keep his photos on the darker spectrum is something he admits to saying is “very Russian”. Yet the results are unique and fresh in photo saturated Bali.
“I am not interested in postcards,” he says. “I am interested in the ambient drama of the moment and sometimes that takes manipulation of the image, like composing music with fanfare”.
Now splitting his time between his commercial work and the sea, just as he had once dreamed, Ivkov has found a warm home in the blue barrels of Bali.
In a cliff-side warung at Uluwatu, Jenya Ivkov and I had a chance to open his computer and discuss a few of his favorite shots from the incredible run of swell that has been bombarding the island.