Diego Zapatero (1982) lives in the city of Yogyakarta, the cultural cradle of Indonesia. In his work he travels Southeast Asia to seek out the deepest and most genuine stories to substantiate his photo documentary projects. While still in Spain, at the age of 25, he migrated into photographic work from a background as a pianist and composer after a career in marketing and business administration. He was led progressively towards his passion for cultural exploration; something inherited in his veins, at the same time pushed by a keen interest in Indonesian culture.
In 2010 he was sent from Spain on a two month mission to cover the eruption of the 9.600 feet tall Merapi Volcano on the island Java in Indonesia, one of the world’s most active vol- canoes. He found an ideal base in the city of Yogyakarta where he was fortunate enough to be offered a scholarship for three years at the Indonesian Institute of Arts in photojournalism and documentary photography, focusing on visualization of human stories and Indonesian culture.
Zapatero has since taken an interest in the intangible about cultures in Asia. Whether, through his projects, capturing a tattoo on a tribal body in remote parts of Borneo or a traditional dance character in full paraphernalia in densely populated Java, there is more to his photos than meets the eye at first glimpse.
Many manifestations of cultural heritage needs to be put and seen in the light of sometimes thousands of years of continuous evolution, interpretation and re-interpretation, as to even remotely fathom the depth of the characters and their current appearance.