Pour le 1er numéro de la revue YPN! Mag, nous avons décidé de publier l’interview de l’artiste présenté dans la Galerie, Asrul Dwi, dans un soucis de cohérence et afin de donner la parole à ces jeunes artistes qui ont trop peu souvent l’opportunité d’échanger sur leur travail à une large audience. //

For the First number of the journal online YPN! Magazine we have decided to publish the interview of the artist featured in the Gallery, Asrul Dwi, regarding to the harmony of this first edition and with the willing to give a place for express themself to young artists who have few opportunity to talk about their work to a wide audience.


Asrul Dwi Interview, photographer from Jakarta, Indonésia

Asrul Dwi Instagram and Facebook

– Why did you choose photography ?

– Pourquoi faites vous de la photographie ?

Actually, i jumped into photography a bit late. Way before, I used to do theater which also leads me into short film making, and I used to write stories. I have to stop all of those activities during my last year university, because I need to focus on my thesis at that time.

But why photography? I can’t remember who or what exactly triggers me to do photography that time. At that time, i need a way to express myself too, and photography is something that i can do own my own also it felt like more personal that time. That’s also why most of my earlier works are self portrait, all I need is myself, set the timer and using my bedroom as the background/set.

But, as far as i can remember i always love taking picture, especially if we’re on vacation. I used to have this point and shoot film camera, I also learn how to use analog SLR camera during my first year of university.


– Quels sont vos thèmes ou sujets de prédilection ?

– Which are your favorites themes or subjects ?

I started photography by using myself as the main subject. My subjects are mostly something or someone familiar, I take inspirations from Life, friends and my surroundings. I try to internalize them thenstart to build an idea from it, I need to feel something on what i do or photographs. I also try to unveil an unfamiliar realm that I don’t see on daily basis, which also my way to answer my curiousity about life

– What is a photography ? What are you looking for in a photography ?

– Qu’est-ce qu’une photographie, que cherchez vous dans une photographie ?

It might sounds cliché but I consider photography more like a diary, a documentation of a life or journeys that i experiences. Also, it can be a way to communicate the unspoken. I grew up as a very shy person and have a little confidence. So, I try to speak through my work, about my feeling, curiousity, strugle and maybe happiness.


– Which cameras do you use ? Reflex, smartphone, black room, polaroid ? Why and which one do you prefer ?

– Quelle cameras utilisez vous ? Relfex, smartphone, chambre noire, polaroid ? Laquelle préférez vous et pourquoi ?

At the moment, I use SLR and Point and Shoot Camera. I use film/analog camera because I don’t want to overly control on my works. That’s been my problem for using digital camera, I’ll spend hours and hours editing my works on photoshop. I like the rawness of film, it feels more honest to me.

– How do you choose you models ? Who are they and why this choice ? Do you direct them a lot ?

– Comment choisissez vous vos modèles ? Qui sont-ils et pourquoi ce choix ?

Most of my subject is my friends, and for most of the time, I didn’t direct them. I just want to document them. But, It depends on my project, sometimes I direct them a bit to stay in certain potition.


– How contemporary photography is considered in your country ? What would you like to do if you could to improve the knwoledge of art and photography ?

– Comment est prise en compte/considéré la photographie contemporaine dans votre pays ? Qu’est ce que vous aimeriez faire pour améliorer la situation de l’art et de la photographie ?

This is a hard question. I think it started to grow, people are getting more appreciative towards phothography as an art from. But yeah, there’s only small number of artist and collective which dedicated them self to explore the medium or focus on contemporary photography. I don’t know if i want to do something about it. It’s because everything is out there…up to them if they want to look it up or no.

– Which network do work well in your country for photography : galleries, museums, artfairs, festivals ? What do you think about social medias, plateforms and online magazines ? Thoses new networks help you to be more visible and known ?

– Quels sont les réseaux qui fonctionnent bien selon vous : les galeries, les musées, les foires, les festivals ? Que pensez vous des réseaux sociaux, plateformes et revues en ligne ? Ces nouveaux réseaux vous aident-ils à vous faire connaître ?

In my country, I think galleries and festivals is the best way to showcase an artwork and it’s the same for photography. But it isn’t easy thing to do. For me, social media and online platform help me to me more visible. In fact, I started by uploading my works on social media. It’s fascinanting to see how people are reacting to my works, and that’s the magic, I think. That’s just a way to put myself out there.


– What do you think about the place of emerging photographers and about the place of women photographers in your country and in the world ? What you would like to change if you could ?

– Que pensez vous de la place des photographes émergents et des femmes

photographes dans votre pays et dans le monde ? Qu’est ce que vous aimeriez changer si vous le pouviez ?

Just like the other part of the globe, any emerging photograpghers have to struggle to find their place in the scene. You have to know the right person and be at perfect time to be known. I don’t know, there’s few spot for young photographer. Maybe, I’m wrong. To be honest, I’m not really putting myself or involved in the local scene.

I think, we have a lot of female photographer here, in Indonesia. But, only few of them are know by art scene. Art scene should be more open for emerging or female photographer.

– What are your next projects ?

– Quels sont vos prochains projets ?

At the moment, I’m working on a project around the obsession of youth. In between, i’m also working on two personals project for the few years.


– Which is you best quotation ?

– Quelle est ta devise ?

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”  Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

In your serie « Circle, Square, Triangle » display here, why did you choose geographical symbol to emphasise identity ? In one of the pic we can see a person all dress in black with the face hidden, like a tchador, carring a white rectangle, is it a reference to religion in your country?  Why do you make this reference? 

I choose geographical symbol or geometric shape because it’s rigidity nature. I think the way, people describe and interpret idenity are pretty much very rigid, especially here in Indonesia. Also those three shape are the common shape that is being used in a symbol or even icon.

And about the pic that you mention, a person with a black clothes, I was trying to portrays the estrangement of a person from his or her identity, either forcefully or by choice.

And sometime, we use those shape in idioms to express personal or social relationship, such as we’re in same circle of friend or He lives in his own box.


You are inspire by everyday life, how do you create narration in your work? what is narration for you in your creation? 

Usually narration will find its way to form at the last phase of my project but i always develope my project with idea of narration. Because, it’ll help me to shoot and choose the images.

See his PORTFOLIO in YPN! Mag here // Voir son PORTFOLIO ici


Asrul Dwi Instagram and Facebook