Q&A with Naztia Haryanti on her photobook “Kuning”

Kuning is a word in Bahasa Indonesia that means yellow in English. It is also the title of one of the most interesting photobook being published this year from Indonesia. In this book “Kuning”, Naztia Haryanti told the story about her father, a drug addict from her point of view. I found that, in a glance, the book is literally colorful but further reading the book reveal to be a poignant read. The fact that Naztia is still very young came through the book from the text that felt naive, which turns out to be a good thing!   

Naztia, your book “Kuning” told a story about a father, another side of a drug addict from his daughter point of view. Drug addicts always have this bad stigma from the general society. Is there any thought from you to change this perception through your book?

Yes there is, because in my opinion not all drug users have a bad background story, for me a users is a regular human being who has their own stories.

Every children has their own impression when they see their relationship with their parents. What is your mother opinion regarding this book? Do the book has any effect with your relationship with your parent?

In the beginning mama doesn’t repond it well, she tend to be ignorant to the book project which, at that time, is being made. But after attending the exhibition she realised what I made, with the presence of the book “Kuning”, in a way considerably improved my relationship with her. 

This book is covered with yellow duct tape all over its cover. What is the meaning of the color yellow in your relationship with your father? Is it true that the ones whose sticking the duct tape to the books is your friends at school?

The meaning of the color yellow itself are both the color of death and joy, so I gave the freedom to the readers to conclude the meaning of the book itself because for me the meaning of yellow is broad. 

Yes many of my friends took part on the process of post production of the book, because the schedule is very tight at the time, so I brought the books and all of its knick knacks to school.

What do you found to be a challenge to publish this book? I know you are currently opening a pre order to produce this book again. But, in my experience, pre order usually only reach peoples that you already knew before. Are you satisfied with the spread of the book reader?

The challenge is how the responses from people around me, escpecially the potential readers, because it is not easy to express my feelings that I have buried a long time ago. 

Regarding the spread, so far it is satisfying, I don’t expect that people from outside Jakarta will be enthusiastic too about the book, there are few people from out of town and also abroad.

After publishing a book in a relatively tender age, what do you plan to do after this, photographically of course?

Honestly I don’t have plan for the future, but in the meantimeI probably will continue to work on my second photobook.

Naztia Haryanti, her nickname is Nanas (it means Pineapple), 18 years old. Her hobby is singing in the bathroom. Now a college student, she lived in Pasar Minggu, Jakarta. 

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Hi Naztia, Buku “Kuning” ini bercerita tentang ayah, sisi lain seorang pemakai narkoba dimata anaknya. Pemakai narkoba selalu mendapat stigma buruk dimata masyarakat pada umumnya. Apakah ada pikiran dari kamu untuk mengubah persepsi ini melalui buku kamu ini?

Iya ada, karena menurut saya ga semua pemakai ceritanya buruk, buat saya seorang pemakai adalah manusia biasa yang punya ceritanya masing-masing.

Setiap anak memiliki kesan – kesan sendiri dalam memandang hubungannya dengan orang tuanya masing-masing. Apa pendapat ibumu sendiri mengenai buku ini? Apakah kehadiran buku ini berpengaruh terhadap hubungan kamu dengan orang tuamu?

Awalnya mama ga punya respon yang baik, cenderung ga peduli sama project buku yang lagi dibuat tapi setelah datang ke pameran dia baru sadar apa yang saya bikin, dengan adanya buku kuning, lumayan memperbaiki hubungan dengan orang tua.

Buku ini tertutup lakban kuning pada sampulnya. Apa makna warna kuning dalam hubunganmu dengan ayahmu? Benarkah yang menempelkan lakban pada buku ini adalah teman-teman sekolahmu?

Makna warna kuning sendiri merupakan arti dari warna kematian dan kebahagiaan, jadi saya menyerahkan kepada pembaca tentang bagaimana menyimpulkan makna dari buku kuning tersebut karena arti dari kuning sebenarnya bisa luas, Iya temen-temen satu angkatan banyak ikut bagian dalam proses post produksi buku kuning, karena waktunya mepet pada saat itu. jadi saya bawa semua bukunya kesekolah dan pernak-perniknya.

Apa tantangannya dalam menerbitkan buku ini? Saya tahu kamu membuka pre-order untuk memproduksi buku ini. Tapi, pengalaman saya, pre order biasanya hanya akan sampai pada orang-orang yang sudah dikenal sebelumnya saja. Apa kamu puas dengan jangkauan pembaca buku ini?

Tantangannya adalah bagaimana respon dari orang orang sekitar terutama buat calon pembaca, karena ga gampang ngungkapin perasaan yang emang udah dipendem dari lama banget. Sampai saat ini cukup memuaskan, karena saya juga ga nyangka kalo peminat buku kuning ga cuma dari jakarta aja, tapi ada juga beberapa luar kota sama luar negeri.

Setelah merilis buku foto pada usia yang masih relatif sangat muda. Apa selanjutnya yang ingin kamu lakukan setelah ini, secara fotografis tentunya?

Jujur, sebenernya saya masih belom ada rencana untuk kedepannya, tapi dalam waktu dekat kemungkinan saya akan melanjutkan buku foto yang kedua.

Naztia Haryanti, panggilannya Nanas, 18 tahun. Hobinya nyanyi di kamar mandi. Sekarang udah jadi mahasiswa, tinggal di daerah Pasar Minggu.



(This Q+A, which I conducted via email, I don’t make many change to her answers in Bahasa Indonesia which is a bit chaotic gramatically and have that short to the point answers. For me it sounds honest and I don’t want to edit it too much. The English version are translated by myself.)

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