Catching up with Rio Helmi

Attentive students of the Villa St Jean diaspora know about Rio Helmi, professional photographer. A note from Helmi was recently forwarded to our world headquarters, which led us to explore his web site and search for information on the artist.
 Rio reported that he was headed to Bali and that his oldest daughter, a lawyer in London, is about to have her first baby. Astonishing!

Below is a article cribbed from an Indonesia site:

Rio Helmi has been capturing images of Asia since 1978, constantly adding to a richly textured portolio that celebrates the region’s people and places, contemporary lifestyles and Mahayana Buddhism. His work is often seen in books, magazines and documentaries. He has exhibited in Bali, Jakarta, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Sydney.
This brilliant artist now resides in Bali and as Michele Cempaka explained in her article in the Jakarta Post, Rio Helmi is also an accomplished publisher and writer:
Born in Switzerland to an Indonesian father from Sumatra and a Turkish mother, Rio Helmi spent most of his life traveling the world due to his father’s role as a diplomat.
He is now based in Bali and has two galleries: one in Ubud and the other in Seminyak.
He began working as a professional photographer in 1978 and spent five years as a photographer and associate editor in the Indonesian media.
In 1988 he established his own visual media company, Image Network Indonesia (INI), which was responsible for setting up various media projects as well as an extensive photo library.
Through INI he became involved in book publishing, which led Helmi to projects that spanned Asia, including in Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Japan and India.
Although INI ceased operation in 2004, Helmi’s success continued to grow. He has also worked on several documentary films, including Lempad of Bali, and various TV documentaries.
The most recent of these was Bumiku Satu, which was produced by Indonesian television. Helmi acted as a presenter on this environmental series.
Helmi has also been involved with various social projects in Asia. In 2003 he participated in a traveling exhibition to support HIV/AIDS awareness in conjunction with an anti-discrimination campaign in Indonesia.
This took place at the Parliament building in Jakarta and received very positive responses by several ministers and ambassadors, leading to increased funding for people with HIV.
Helmi’s book of photographs Made in Indonesia was published in 2005, followed by Modern Malaysia which was published in 2006.
He is currently working on a book about Thailand with several other photographers, which was commissioned to celebrate the king’s 80th birthday.
It is scheduled to be released at the end of this year. Helmi continues to exhibit his work internationally as well as throughout Indonesia.
For more information about Rio Helmi’s photography, please visit

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About villastjean

Villa St. Jean was a Marianist school in Fribourg, Switzerland, from 1903-1970. This blog site is intended as a forum for Villa alumni to share memories, pictures and connections.
This entry was posted in 170.00 Villa, 170.10 Alumni/Ancien, 170.30 Where are/Catch up and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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