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The Magic, Myth and Legend of Borneo

A Platinum and Palladium Photographic Portfolio 

September 25 - November 10, 1995


Accompanied by Sounds and Artifacts


The C.E. Smith Museum is pleased to be part of the first public presentation of Scott Adamson's and John McJunkin's Portfolio #1, which is exclusively comprised of work produced in Sarawak, Borneo between 1992 and 1995. We believe our students, as well as the general public, will be well served by this exhibit. The reception for the artists will be held Friday, October 6, from 6 PM to 9 PM. We hope you will attend.

The C. E. Smith Museum of Anthropology is located on the 4th floor of Meiklejohn Hall at the southwest corner of the Cal State East Bay campus. The Museum is open Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM. For information call (510) 885-3104.

Artist's Statement

"I am neither an anthropologist by training nor a photographer by vocation, but I do have a deep and abiding interest in both... It is the parallel between the circumstances facing the indigenous peoples of Borneo, and those of the native nations of America 100 years ago, that is the real magnet for my decision to return to Borneo time and time again"
-Scott Adamson 1994

A Selection of Photographs from the Exhibit

Forty Foot Joss Sticks

"The joss sticks offered during the Chinese New Year can reach an astounding forty feet in height. Each stick is presented to the Temple by a family. The more your donation costs and the more dramatic its presence, the greater the likelihood that money and good fortune will come your way in the following year."

Mark of the Warrior

"After I developed this photo, I noticed the tattooing. A year later I discovered, to be tatooed along the throat like this man, the Iban warrior had to take many heads. The Dyaks of Borneo no longer take heads, but you still have to earn the right to tattoo the throat.

Buttressing Roots

tree roots

"I think this photograph captures the spirit of what it is like to be in the jungle in Borneo. Every time I look at it I feel a sense of serenity and oneness with the world. It breaks my heart when I come across one cut down. Only the bleeding orange stump of a tree that probably reached one hundred fifty feet in the sky remains."

New Year's at Temple

"I took this photograph during the three days long Chinese New Year celebration in Sarawak's capital city, Kuching. The night before, people lined up shoulder to shoulder as a seemingly endless parade of candlelight and dragons, choked the narrow streets of the city as the joss sticks burned."

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