Born in Europe in 1954 to an Indonesian diplomat father and a Turkish mother, Rio Helmi has been capturing images of Asia and writing since 1978. His work can be seen in magazines, documentaries and more than 20 large format photographic books. Shows of Rio’s still photography have been held in Bali, Jakarta, Madrid, Miyazaki, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Sydney.
From the late Seventies to the early Eighties, Rio worked as a photographer/writer and associate editor in the Indonesian media (Bali Post, Mutiara, Sinar Harapan,). Since 1983, Rio has freelanced for many regional and international magazines (Asiaweek, Geo, Harper’s Bazaar, New York Times, Tempo, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue etc).
Rio has been based in Bali for more than three decades, and speaks five languages fluently: Indonesian, Balinese, English, French, and German - as well as what he describes as a “pretty light smattering of Tibetan”. He writes in Indonesian and English, and also blogs sporadically about a wide range of topics. He has also moderated panel sessions and conducted public interviews at the Ubud Writer’s and Reader’s Festival which is now an annual event of international repute.
His latest book is a retrospective portfolio of Bali over the last 30 years called “Memories of the Sacred” launched early October 2010.
His work can be seen on (website hidden) - Rio also blogs sporadically for the Huffington Post.
Rio has a gallery in Ubud showcasing his work, with a small cafe attached with the best coffee in town (our clients say so!).
(website hidden) - Rio has also recently launched a new website dedicated to Ubud whose title "Ubud Now and Then" says it all, given that Rio has lived in Ubud nearly 40 years. The site naturally has events, dining, and other listings but also has an interesting blog roll written by various locals and long term residents associated with Ubud. You will find updated videos and photos . Rio describes the site as "a cosmopolitan small town newspaper". You can also find it on (website hidden) for more chatty and interactive updates. One or two nights is not enough for Ubud!