Just me; I’m Sutopo.

Sutopo is my friend of 15 years. We met for the first time at our class orientation when we were starting our first year in Product Design. When he told me his name as we shook hands, I couldn’t quite make it out as it sounded quite foreign so I asked, “Where are you from?” in which he answered, “Singapore,” to my embarrassment.

Out of the 15 years that we have known each other, there were two that we did not meet or speak due to a misunderstanding. It wasn’t one thing alone that led to it, but I guessed it happened for a reason, and that I think was to let us grow. We shared common interests but we have different goals. At times we depended on each other while other times we were so busy we couldn’t help one another. The point is that even as close friends, our paths do divert. It took me quite awhile to gain that wisdom of letting each other live our own lives for our own good. The mistake was to force our beliefs onto each other. But friends however are reflections of each other.

For this picture, we were on our way to a friend’s car at a basement carpark when I spotted this textured wall that was lit by a fluorescent lamp. I thought that would make a good backdrop as Sutopo wanted me to take a portrait for him so my mind went searching for ideas to resemble him personally. He is a craftsman who prefers to create with his hands. All our friends know him as the guy who would never fail to come out with the best working product prototype. I’m happy to see him using his talents in his career.

One of his bosses, a Korean installation artist, describes him as her talented right-hand man who provides the solutions to her inspirations.

In this shot, I simply told Sutopo to sit with his back leaning against the wall and act as if he owns the place. He provided the rest and my job is to look through the viewfinder and click the shutter, and that’s him right there, captured in true nature at the first frame.

Photography Andy Post-Process Andy Words Andy