In 1930 Hoppé traveled throughout the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). When he arrived on the island of Bali, he paused in awe. “Bali is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It is a kind of dolce far niente, a paradise on earth. [It] is a land of women, naked above the waist, moving statuesquely along with vast loads on their heads, amazing examples of balance, strength and sheer natural beauty. Their faces are very expressive, frank and open, quick to smile; they are happy and unfrightened, unsuspicious.” So wrote Hoppé for a book he planned but never published. Some twenty years later photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson visited Bali to be captivated by the same idea, but it had all changed by then as the burgeoning tourist trade eroded the idyll culture that Hoppé saw and so exquisitely documented.

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Sisters, Bali, 1930

Dancing Girls, Bali, 1930

Hair Wreath, Bali, 1930

Dancing Girl, Bali, 1930

Bathing, Bali, 1930

Girls, Sumatra, 1930

Dancing Girls, Bali, 1930

Dancing Girls, Bali, 1930

Sulawesi, 1930

Bali, 1930

Seller, Bali, 1930

Sumatra, 1930

Solo, Java, 1930

Java, 1930

Ricefields, Bali, 1930

Temple, Bali, 1930

Bali, 1930

Java, 1930

Java, 1930

Java, 1930