A portrait project;
brief moment to connect with strangers

Ucok - Caver at Buniayu Cave, Sukabumi.

Ucok is one of the cave guides at Buniayu Caving & Adventures. He joined in Indonesia Caver Society and he’s been doing this since long time ago.

He said that there are about 80 caves around there. But only 4 caves that have been explored.

"Every cave that has been explored by humans, the growth and life within it will be inhibited. We have to keep the balance of nature."

The darkness in the cave exceeds when we close our eyes. It is an absolute eternal darkness. But he had to familiarize himself to it.

"Know your earth well before you are interred into it"

Suhadi - Street’s Coffee Seller at Pancoran Fly Over, Jakarta
It was raining when Suhadi parked his bike under Pancoran flyover. Turns out that the rain benefits him, a few people bought Suhadi’s coffee while waiting for the rain to stop.
"Selling coffee with just a simple cart-bike is more efficient without having to change the function of our sidewalk. If a police officer scolded me, I would just be friendly to him."

Pak Sukaimi - Head Chef at Kereta Api Indonesia

He has been working for the past 23 years at Kereta Api Indonesia. It all started by following his Dad’s path. Now, his daughter also works as a stewardess on the same train as him.

"I’m responsible for the food that being delivered to every passenger on the train. I love my job, to serve people. I get to meet a lot of different people every day and it makes me happy."

Baong - Tarot Reader at Kota Tua, Jakarta.

Baong was from Sampit’s tribe, Central Kalimantan. He migrated to Jakarta because of Sampit conflict in February 2001. It was an outbreak of inter-ethnic violence, between the indigenous Dayak people and the migrant Madurese from the island of Madura.

He brought his 5 wives and also sorcery gift from anchestor in his tribe. Besides tarot reader, he could tell fortunes as well. Next week he will go to Singapore and Bali for helping his relation there for their fortune in business.

"Making money is an easy thing. But helping people, that’s the difficult one."

Bu Bowon - Housewife at Pemalang

There is a small village in Pemalang which surrounded by farmers family. One of them is Bu Bowon’s family.

Unlike most of other families, Ibu Bowon’s husband currenty work in Jakarta.

"I’ve been to Jakarta before but I think the city is too noisy. I love being here because I can just simply live in peace."

Pak Eman - Farmer at Telaga Warna, Dieng

Along with his two children, he plants vegetables daily. On weekend, he cathces fishes near the lake so he could either sell it to the locals or simply feed the whole family with extra meals.

"I live within nature. People nowadays couldn’t care less about the importance of being around nature. Or maybe because simply they choose not to care at all."

Pak Kompi, Water Castle Cafe Owner at Taman Sari, Yogyakarta.

Pak Kompi already manage the cafe, which is also his house, since 25 years ago.

Before that, he runs Batik Tulis business, just like his neighbours. After worked in the restaurant for several years in Bali, he decided to return to his hometown and run his own cafe.

“From the time that tourism hasn’t been recognize by the government, I’ve been friends with a lot of foreigner. And the most important thing wasn’t their money.”

Bu Kokom - Housewife live at Jakarta Suburbs

She was smoking her last ciggarate while I stopped by at her house. She invited me to join her for a short conversation.

Bu Kokom live in a small wooden house around the suburb area.

"Since my husband passed away, I just live by myself but it doesn’t make me feel so lonely. I still have a vegetable garden and 3 cats to be taken care of."

Jerry & Ade - Punk Community at Kota Tua, Jakarta

Jerry said that live in Jakarta is more equal than outside of Java Island. He was sent to State Apparatus School for community service because back then he supported punk community when there’s a conflict in Aceh.

"Many thugs style like punk, but there’s no punk in their heart."

Ade confessed that he was only 15 years old. He ran away from his home when he was younger.

They take care each other just like brothers. Ade prayed for Jerry’s succeed. And Jerry said to him, 

"You better cuss me rather than pray for me. Because God is listening your curse more than your pray."

Icha - Temporary Tattoo Artist at Kota Tua, Jakarta

Icha got her bachelor’s degrees in accounting, cinematography, criminology, and her master in finance.

"It was my indigo, to not stop studying."

She was taking her days off for 5 months from Unilever. And she was very excited because next week she will meet her friend.

"Next week I’ll be rich. My friend’s father, one of member of ACDC band, will give me and my brother 1 million $. But I’m just gonna ask for 100.000 $, to buy laptop, apartment, handphone, land rover, and also I’ll open my own boutique."