“ l ov e f or huma ni ty, l ove f or one a n ot h e r w i th no hi dden i ntenti ons.”
INTERVIEW BY KARINA DIEZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY RACHEL KOBER I see that you’re originally from Indonesia. What was it like growing up there? EW: It was interesting. It’s a completely different world than out here, it is a city of duality in a sense that it is a metropolis but yet sort of still suburbia. Everyone else loves to spend time at the mall. I remember growing up either being indoors a lot or playing games with my brother in the front yard. When indoors, I was heavily into reading books/mangas, being immersed in video games or drawing. That early exposure to vibrant colors and intense storylines facilitated my wild imagination. However, Indonesia is still a third world country. Early on, I was already exposed to the physical suffering of the poor and noticed the disparity between the socio-economic classes. What made you decide to move across the globe from Indonesia to New York? EW: I moved to New York to pursue art school, specifically graphic design. I wanted to experience the other extreme, although I observe some parallels when it comes to my hometown and New York. What made you decide that you wanted to be a graphic designer/photographer? EW: I don’t think art is something you decide. It’s something that is within you. Since I was a kid, I was always drawn to that feeling that is initiated from multiple mediums of creativity. I relied on my eyes to decipher the outside world, I observed to make sense of everything. So when I got my hands on the tools that allowed to express what was already within me, I was absolutely absorbed. First, coloring pencils to cameras to computers. I wanted to create worlds for others to experience in, somewhere that is the border between fantasy and reality. I desire to make people feel deeply, emotions that sometimes can’t be translated into words.
What has been your favorite photo series to shoot? EW: I have no favorites; every single thing I create affected me differently and allowed me to channel a completely different portal to my imagination. It’s hard to pick favorites when all of them matter so much and they have to exist for a specific reason. What do you feel makes a good photograph? EW: Something that makes you feel. A piece that consists of strong intentions. One that stands on its own regardless of various projected interpretations. It also needs a powerful visual concept that supports the wholeness of it all. I have encountered multiple beautiful photographs that are empty, so I did not stay longer than needed. The vice versa also does not captivate when it has a wonderful concept but weak physical execution. A beautiful balance of both aesthetics and substance is required. A great photograph constantly challenges and also provides a new understanding after several visits. I want to observe a new detail every single time. It forces the viewer to pay attention and be in the present. Tell me a little bit more about your focuses and why you gear your creativity toward them. EW: My focus changes everyday or at least my medium morphs. I never want to limit myself; I try to experiment with all avenues. I mostly focus on visual because that is the stimuli I work with the most. However, I have immense appreciation for other stimulus that impact other senses like music and cooking. I eventually want to create multi-sensory experiences like an immersive film that may be achievable by virtual reality. Creativity is infinite just like our spirit therefore it can be summoned in different ways. That’s how I like to see it. I read somewhere that in this dimension, we can only translate beauty as sights and sounds. Therefore to hold the power to influence someone through that is so important.
local wolves — 99
On the cover, Brandon Woelfel // Featuring: Cary Fagan, Kiele Twarowski, Lloyd Pursall, Parker Woods and loads more.