Photography of Arif Furqan from Indonesia

About : My name is Arif Furqan. I was born and raised in a small city named Malang, eastern part of Java. I am temporary residing in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. My works are mostly exploring the question of self as a human being. Right now, I am currently working on long term project about memory and mobility. I always think that mobility is the vital to human as an act of survival and existence. Together with my two colleagues, I founded Flock Project in 2016, a collaborative project exploring the various creation, presentation, and publication possibilities of photographic works through printed matters.

Statement : Back in 2011, I was really close with documentary photography. Then several years ago when I move to Yogyakarta, I came into something else. The communities and dialog allows me to explore things beyond that. I started to look for something inside myself, then I began to make it out. I have never done that before because I think that personal experiences are a local body of work. I found out that the personal issues is also universal, people feel the same but they express it in a different way. I found myself along my camera always in my hand. Then I make it a medium to make notes of everything I see. It is my second eyes and note.

There is no complicated preparation for this. The last project I published in Flock Project Vol. 01 entitled “Effusion” is actually a visual notes from the spiritual journey I had when I was living in foreign land. The atmosphere had already set my mood and my way of seeing things, then I just photograph everything. How we think about something is what filter our eyes, it determines how we approach things. I had my camera always in hand then I just shoot, making notes of every things I consider worth noting. The mood already set my mind and filters what I consider as a things worth remembering and worth photographing. Then I came to this project, “Things that we LEFT” as a tribute to the visual memories I had when I felt lost between the strange and familiar, I feel like I don’t belong to both of it. It is uncanny. I feel like I belong to a home I have not found yet.

Projects : This project is entitled “Things that we Left”, it is about a record of visual exposure caught on my very eyes before and after I experience the most important spiritual turning point of my life. I experienced death about one year ago. I was finding my place on earth, cities, communities. I do not realized that my journey has taken me to it, but then I was granted with some other beauty equal as death. It is a chance to live, to re-witness everything again on living world and to learn again of what I have not comprehend, to see everything again.

The journey to it was so overwhelming and torturing at first, but once you saw how quiet and peaceful it is, you cannot just forget it. Unless, time and memories cheat you up and replace it with something else. This might be the something else.

Influences and favorite stuff : Everything about human nature and thought always fascinates me. It is always good whether it is written, photographed, painted, or represented in anything. I spent my time reading them not only in books, but in everyday life. It is always exciting to know about to see strangeness, new places, the feeling of newness. I have no absolute favorite photographer or specific style because the process of finding it is also interesting. I read a lot and changed my favorite stuff on certain things all the time based on what I am working on concern on.

I might say that I like Araki for his sentimental works, also Daido Moriyama’s Tales of Tono on his concept of Furusato. Different than that, I have to say I like Diane Arbus, and William Eggleston for his excellent eyes on things. I love Nan Goldin’s work even I cannot ignore Roger Ballen on my favorite list, and the last might be Trent Parke for his amazing experiment on light and timing. Other than photography, I consume amount of books, I really like Robert Frost, the American poets. I like how he sees and portrays the world he witnessed, and maybe Murakami with his complex psychological character. Other than that, philosophical reading might be good, the project I am working on is actually inspired by the concept of memories and mobility as a human method of survival.

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