I am a fashion and portrait photographer currently based in New York City.
Born in Indonesia in 1998, far from the worlds of fashion and art, my mother and I moved to California at the start of the new millennium to find ourselves a brighter future. I didn't foresee that at the age of 14, I would find myself alone on the streets with only $200 to my name and a backpack full of clothes.
Facing the harsh reality of survival, of not knowing where to sleep any given night, of having to carry a knife with me as I struggled to find myself and keep my dreams of a future afloat, it was then that I discovered my love for taking photos. It saved my life. I took the momentum that I built and ran full-force with it into the hurricane that is the fashion industry.
Growing up in proximity to Los Angeles showed me early on a world of commercialism and sellouts. Art has become about pleasing the consumers and garnering temporary fame. Superficiality runs rampant in the avenues of Hollywood. I promised myself that I would never fall prey to this shallowness. I would be somebody of substance.
My work is a language of emotions, of heartbreak and reclamation, of finding beauty in this vast world of ours. It tells stories, written between me and my subjects as I capture their energy, their true selves, the side of them that only spontaneity and a certain level of intimate openness can show. I do not simply photograph people, I photograph their essence.
In many ways, my photos are a reflection of my own journey as both an artist and a person trying to find his place in the world.