Uncle John : Old but Gold
John collects stuff. They are mostly antiques; analog watches, analog lenses and film cameras, even dental chair from the 70s. But analog watches absorb him the most. According to John, analog watches are timeless and have impressive designs. Upon selecting watches for his collectibles, John really cares for small details; the size, the dial, and the hands. Currently, he’s wearing a Briston watch which has a black dial and rose gold frame; Although it is not fully analog, John still adores it as he finds its strap comfortable to wear. His most memorable collection is a vintage Garuda watch commissioned by Ex-President Soekarno as souvenirs in 1962 ASEAN Games. John unquestionably has a lot to share about analog watches, and also film cameras. When asked about why he likes analogue instruments so much, John answered that he likes things that are not simple. He has this affinity for things that take time, that are sophisticated, things that are not superficial.
Film cameras —especially polaroids, in the meantime, create surprising effects. They are admirable from their own imperfections. John adores the visual characters film cameras can make; the dreamy, glowing, soft focus, noisy looks that he can’t easily create with digital ones. It reminds him how everything doesn’t have to be perfect.
John’s fondness for analog instruments and complicated things could say something about his fascination to old people. He occasionally visits Glodok, Pasar Taman Duta Mas Jelambar, and Jembatan Lima Krendang to take pictures of old people whom he finds many in those places; Strolling, maintaining their stores, playing chess, sipping coffee, basically enjoying life after retirement. He recalled his experience wandering in Sugamo and Nishinari, Japan, where he stumbled upon many old people with such strong spirits. Many of them have difficulties walking and some even use electric wheelchairs; But despite all that they still manage to take a stroll outside and enjoy themselves for doing so. From them, John learned such a powerful independent spirit the Japanese have.
Up until now, John is still actively occupied with taking photographs and playing music with his band (White Shoes & The Couples Company) in and outside the city. He always has his favorite blue suitcase to accompany whenever he travels. John also frequently eats at Nasi Ulam Misjaya or Bihun Bebek 75 in Muara Karang, which are his favorite food vendors in Jakarta. When asked to give 4 words for Jakarta, he casually replied: “Ya tengs, ok bye.”