Based in New York and Indonesia.
q: I found your “Asing” project enlightening, particularly from my perspective as a Singaporean with Indon friends. Which brings me to my question: do you consider yourself to be an Indonesian?
a: Off the top of my head, yes, I do consider myself an Indonesian. My passport is Indonesian, and a lot of my upbringing took place in Indonesia. But at the same time, my values and interests might be slightly different from what might be generally considered Indonesian? Maybe a little. I feel a little detached, and it gets worse every year as the distance between Indonesia and myself grows further. I really don’t know much about Indonesia, especially things that are more current. Legally I am an Indonesian, but philosophically or culturally, it gets a little complicated.
q: Do you think it’s even necessary to identify with a national/cultural/ethnic identity in this day and age?
a: I think so, more than ever. Nothing can exist independently, devoid of cultural, historical, national baggage. Maybe the idea of individual identity has evolved as boundaries blur together, but it doesn’t mean that they are not there. There are more varieties of individual identities since different ideologies blend together. As the global culture becomes more fluid, I think it is very important to know where your personal identity comes from. Personally for me, it is very important to be aware of where things come from because when things exist without a certain historical context they become meaningless, shallow.
q: You seem pretty into making GIFs, why?
a: I went to Vancouver Film School before I started attending Parsons for Photography. I’ve always been interested in film, storytelling and narratives. My photography is an extension of that interest. In my sophomore year of college, I befriended Peter Marquez and Michael Fivis who made GIFs. Michael, or MiFi as he prefers it, taught me how to and I’ve been hooked since. I think GIF is a very interesting format, because it blends ideas from both motion pictures and stills. Not to mention that GIF is a format that is ideologically embedded within the context of the Internet. It just made sense as a format to explore, as its qualities seem to align with ideas and concepts that I’m interested in.
q: Upcoming projects or ideas?
a: I am working on a few things. Currently I’m trying to figure out the whole being a photographer for a living thing since I graduated recently. I love collaborating with others, so I’ve been really pushing that a lot lately. I’m collaborating with Elizabeth Renstrom, a dear friend who is amazing on an upcoming publication project called Tag Tag Tag and organizing my friends into a collective through FEARTHEBIRDS and GIFRIENDS. I also plan to shoot a new body of work combining GIFs and stills in a more consistent way.
q: Any music to recommend?
a: I like Future Islands a lot. Night Panther is great too. I’ve also been listening to Youth Lagoon a lot too lately.
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