Youth has never had just one face. Indonesian photographer Faisal Y. Djaja points his camera at youth from different backgrounds in his country, giving snapshots of their lives in one beautiful instant.
Djaja was born in the small seaside city of Manado, in northern Indonesia, not far from the Philippines. His hometown boasts a clear blue sea, an unbroken mountain chain, and streetscapes that combine old and new. Now in his twenties, Djaja isn’t a full-time photographer: he previously taught English and now works at the mayor’s office in the firefighting division and emergency call center. Only in his spare time can he pick up a camera and capture these subjects in the flower of their youth.
青春从来都不只有一种样貌，来自印尼的摄影师 Faisal Y. Djaja 将镜头对准了当地来自不同背景的年轻人，将他们的生命定格在这美好的一瞬。
90 后的 Faisal Y. Djaja 出生并成长在印尼北边、靠近菲律宾的一座海滨城市美娜多，这里有清澈的海、绵延的山，还有新旧文化共存的街景。这里丰富的自然人文景色，提供了他许多创作的灵感。但事实上，平常的 Faisal 并不是一位全职摄影师。之前曾经当过英文补教老师，目前在市政厅的消防与紧急事件部门工作。空闲时间，他才拿起相机，捕捉下这些正值青春年华的人们。
Why does he take photos of these youths? “They’re the people I can most relate to,” he says. “I started doing portraits when I was younger myself, and we have a lot of things in common—for example, the struggles of being a young citizen in a fast-growing city and trying to figure out our identity.”
When we’re young, we all want to stand out from the crowd. But Djaja thinks that this should be something that occurs naturally—you can’t force yourself to be unique. Perhaps that’s because each of us comes from a different cultural background, or possesses a talent that sets us apart from others. Such inherent distinctive traits are one of the things Djaja pays most attention to when selecting subjects. He’s grateful to have encountered so many unique personalities in his work. “I’m lucky I met my model friends, because I’ve experienced a lot of unexpected things working with them. Without them, my art is nothing,” he says.
作为一个年轻人，每个人都想要独一无二。但 Faisal 认为这应该是一件自然而然发生的事，而不是刻意强迫自己去产出某种独特性。也许是因为来自于不同的文化背景、或是拥有一项异于常人的才能。这种与生具来的独特性，是他在挑选拍摄对象时，最重视的特质之一。因此在他的照片中，处处可见到那些散发独特气质的人的踪影，“我很幸运能认识到一些模特儿朋友，目前为止我经历了很多意想不到的事情。没有他们，就没有我的艺术。”
Aside from his photography projects, Djaja has worked with his model friends in setting up an online community called imagi.native. The goal is to bring young local models together and let them forge closer ties. “We want to be the medium, and to show that our hometown has great models with potential,” he says. He hopes his own photography can be an inspiration and encourage other young artists to start creating, and not to hesitate. “Step out and start fresh, chase the sunrise or the sunset and see the extraordinary in little things.”
除了常在拍摄项目中与年轻模特儿合作，Faisal 还进一步与朋友共同创办了一个平台 imagi.native，旨在聚集当地的年轻模特儿，为他们提供一个更紧密的联系网络。“我们希望能成为中间的媒介，让大家看到我们的家乡也有这么多极具潜力的年轻人。” 总有一天，他希望自己的照片能作为一种启发，鼓励其他年轻的艺术家毫不犹豫地投入创作。“踏出去，重新开始，发现美好的日出日落，和那些生活中非比寻常的小事。”