Category Archives: Photoworks

On Finding Old Family Treasure

I know I am an old soul, and probably that’s one of the reasons why I am always drawn into anything vintage. Not to mention the fact that I can’t find the joy (yet) of reading books on my gadgets. I know it’s not that environmentally friendly, but I still love the real deal (would be better if it’s a second-hand book or a gift from someone): appreciating the cover, touching the edges, flipping the pages, reading the messages or underlined quotes someone had written inside… and don’t you think the smell of old books should have been bottled to be sold in supermarkets and sprayed in bookstores and libraries?

Thus, finding several old books from my grandfather’s collection was a bliss! A beautiful French dictionary (love that pocket-size thing and it’s vintage blue stained-cover!), a small Thai dictionary & phrase book, plus a Teach Yourself Chinese book! I know my grandfather (from my father’s side) loved books and that he spoke a little bit of Chinese and Dutch, but at the time he was still alive, I was still a little kid–and I didn’t know that he had this extensive interests towards learning foreign languages.

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I glanced at my bookshelf where my phrase books were stacked neatly on top of each other. French. Greek. Arabic. Spanish. Hindi and Urdu. Russian. Wow. Now I know where my fascination for foreign languages originated from!

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I also found this holy treasure, Highroads of Literature (1927), and let out an excited shriek every time I looked at the beautiful paintings inside the pages–accompanying Tennyson’s The Lady of Shallot and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

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Another amazing finding was this Robinson Crusoe’s book, because there’s a purple stamp from the bookstore where the book was bought… and it was a pure bliss to find the word Buitenzorg stamped on it! Buitenzorg was the name given to my hometown, Bogor, during the Dutch colonial era. It meant something close to “a worry-free town”, where the summer residence of the Dutch East Indies Governor-General was located. This city of rain, that was surrounded by mountains, became a ‘resort’ town where the Dutch escaped from the bustling (then, and still bustling until today) Batavia (the Dutch name for the country’s capital, Jakarta).

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From my grandmother’s side, I actually bumped into this amazing thing: Madame Wong’s Chinese Cookbook. And look at those hand-written chicken-feet recipes on a piece of paper tucked inside the pages!

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Not to mention that the book has these beautifully breathtaking hand-drawing illustrations to show you the final look of the meals and the cooking steps–instead of photographs that you usually find in modern cookbook!

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Have you ever found an old family ‘treasure’ lately?

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It’s Right.

I was running late for work. So I didn’t change my shirt. The evening’s drinks left a lingering taste in my mouth.*

You know it’s right because it’s light. You know it’s right because your heart is clear. You know it’s right because your mind is free from fear. You know it’s right because you stop worrying. You know it’s right because you can just take it all in or let it all out–and both feels equally satisfying. You know it’s right because you don’t really think about what can possibly go wrong: chances are, things can actually go right.

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And when I left. You were fast asleep. Tangled in the sheets. And on the bus I could have sworn it was all a dream. And it didn’t happen to me.*

You know it’s right because it’s bright. You know it’s right because it feels so damn good. You know it’s right because you’re happy. You know it’s right because you feel pretty. You know it’s right because when you’re standing in front of a mirror, you really like what you see. You know it’s right because wherever you go, whatever you do, and whomever you’re with, you keep on seeing the best in you and the best in them.

And then I felt the scrapes. From the slippery subway grate. Oh, how you laughed. At my complete lack of grace.*

You know it’s right because you can simply be–without the need to even try. You know it’s right because you always mean what you say. You know it’s right because you do not say the things you do not mean. You know it’s right because when you mean it, you feel it. You know it’s right because you are who you are. You know it’s right because you never need to question ‘what-did-I-do-wrong’. You know it’s right because the other person does not give you a reason to ever doubt yourself. You know it’s right because you live in the now.

But I could not recall. A more perfect fall. Cause when I looked up into your eyes. It didn’t hurt at all.*

You know it’s right because it doesn’t feel like a fight. You know it’s right because you don’t have to worry about winning or losing. You know it’s right because the two of you are equally bad at playing games. You know it’s right because you say and hear thank you. You know it’s right because you say and hear sorry. You know it’s right because each word carries the same weight, meaning, and importance for the both of you. You know it’s right because when the other person looks into your eyes, you let your feeling shows.

And I thought, be still my heart. This could be a brand new start, with you. And it will be clear. If I wake up and you’re still here with me in the morning.*

You know it’s right because the other person appreciates the great little things you do–when all the while, you only think of them as ‘little things’. You know it’s right because though the circumstances may not be ideal, that doesn’t bother you the least. You know it’s right because you can talk to the other person for hours and be silent with the other person for hours–and none feels even close to awkward. You know it’s right because it feels effortlessly nice. You know it’s right because it feels like gratitude.

——–
*the lyrics from The Postal Service’s Be Still My Heart–a wonderful song :)

{Our first rain of the season is here, he said. And it smells beautiful. And if you were here, I want to give you a kiss. Upside-down. Spiderman-style. She chuckled to that and the world continued to shower her with glittering pixy dust.}

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We Are Made of Memories.

Maybe it’s true, that our past doesn’t define us. But inevitably, our past will always be a part of our present; and our future. It’s something that will always stay within us, for the better or worse. And this is definitely alright–as long as we have no regret.

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We have made mistakes, or done things we are not proud of. We have been hurt badly. We failed many times. We thought we could not move on–that it was impossible to feel alright ever again. However, surprisingly, we always see ourselves eventually moving on, just because. For some it takes months, for some it takes years. Maybe we will be able to move on when we have stopped fighting the past and decided to make peace with it instead. Knowing that it’s alright to forgive without forgetting–as long as we can choose wisely the things we’d want to remember. We choose to remember the lessons instead of carrying around the pain. We choose to remember the feeling of recovering instead of the feeling of despair.

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In the end, we are made of memories. Good ones, bad ones, uplifting ones, embarrassing ones. And all our lives, we have also left pieces of memories inside those we’ve crossed path with–some of them might have long gone and forgotten, some will always feel close to our hearts. We will never be sure about how things will turn out, about whether we’re going to make a courageous bold move instead of another stupid mistakes. So, let’s just don’t think about it too much. For the time being, these are the only things we can do: being presence in the now, seizing the moments before they pass us by, and collecting memories. Loads and loads of memories worth remembering.

Because memories are what we all made of, and we are still going to carry them with us for many many years to come.

 

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Sunday & Sunflowers.

Hi, busy-bees! I know I haven’t been writing here as frequently as I intended to. To be honest, there are still some posts lining up at the back of my mind, including some from my recent trips to India, Flores, and Yogyakarta. However, there’s an exciting news that I’d like to share with you. Last month, together with my lovely girl Nadia, I launched Sunday & Sunflowers.

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Capturing moments has always been a dream of Nadia and me: either through pictures, movies, poetic scripts, writings, or music. Sunday & Sunflowers does exactly that. We were happy and excited to work together with some amazing clients; both individual and corporate clients, even before our official launch took place!

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The stories on how we ended up doing this can be read here, but today, I am going to share “The Ballerina”–the latest photo shoot that we’ve done for Fany Nasution, a talented dancer. I think the shots and the script from “The Ballerina” perfectly describes how Nadia and I had decided to follow our dreams and be where we are right now.

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Listen to the tunes of your heart–no matter how faint they are, and follow the path that lights up your each and every step with joy and gratitude. Move with the flow of life instead of going against it. Be at a certain moment of silence and feel the world shines through you. Absorb that feeling of having the brightest star inside, as for one to be a star, one must have the courage to shine. [Photo + make-up by Sunday/Nadia and script by Sunflowers/Hanny]

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What Life Gave.

I have not lived long in this world,
Yet I have learned to take account
Of what I got from life—not much,
But none the less, a fair amount.

It taught me to perceive the good,
Gave me a glimpse of learning’s wealth,
Put love for justice in my soul,
Gave me two Eands to work and health.
It gave me friendship, mutual love,
Although not always strong and deep.
It said: “Go sow thy seed, although
Thy hand may not the harvest reap.”
It also gave me enemies
Who cursed and persecuted me;
It gave me friends who yet were prone
First their own interests to see.
Yet over all I value most
The cup of unjust suffering
Life gave to me, that truth and light
I might perhaps to others bring.

~ What Life Gave, by Ivan Franko ~

Ukraine

Ukraine.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Ukraine

Ukraine

Ukraine

Ukraine

Models: Katya, Inna Buryakovska, Julia and her friend, Francois Bellemare, Fransisco Garcia, Kyryl Kurinniy, Ieugenia Petrikina. The people I stumbled upon in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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Through Windless Night The Glinting Moon.

Through windless night the glinting moon
Illuminates in flowing waves
The village nestled in the vale
Where crests the overflowing stream

The thick-trunked, bare-branched tree
speaks in whispers to itself–
don’t you see the bustling earth
Turning its face green again?

~ Through Windless Night The Glinting Moon, by Abai Kunanbaev ~


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Almaty

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AlmatyModels: Bota Iliyas, Ulan Scheff, Timur Azizov. My lovely friends in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

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{1920} Silent Movies

Silent movies are just wonderful. It’s a bit like love in a way, because words can’t describe everything that we feel. Most of the times, it’s more about the butterflies in your stomach when the the palm of his hands meet yours, the flickers in his eyes when he spots you in a crowd, the way he caresses your cheek with his fingers, the way your lips shape a U when you see something that reminds you of him. It’s more about the color of his eyes, the shape of his glasses, the food that he likes, the things that make him laugh, the serious look upon his face when he’s working, the way he treats you…

Models: The Mavericks and the Raconteurs.

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A Thing of Beauty.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

~ A Thing of Beauty, by John Keats ~

Afdita Sari

Afdita Sari

Afdita Sari

Afdita Sari

Afdita Sari

Model: Afdita Sari.

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Cinderella.

The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels, Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels Begin on tilted violins to span The whole revolving tall glass palace hall Where guests slide gliding into light like wine; Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall Reflecting in a million flagons’ shine, And glided couples all in whirling trance Follow holiday revel begun long since, Until near twelve the strange girl all at once Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.

~ Cinderella, by Sylvia Plath ~

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nanathnadia

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Model: Nadia Sabrina

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