JxUxNxO : Your Iconic Strangers

Few days ago, I was finally able to come to Yogyakarta city, and meet Juno in real life. It didn’t take much time to recognize him, since he has that signature fluffy hairstyle of his own. After having some fun chats together, we did an afternoon walk around Taman Sari Historical Site, and decided to sit at a warung (common resting corner in Indonesia). Between those interesting conversations, we ordered some glasses of iced tea since the weather was burning hot at that time.

Herjuna Margana Putra (a.k.a JxUxNxO) is a friend that I met four years ago from cardtopost.com. We sent postcards to each other, and became friends via social media. His nickname reminds me of a movie about pregnant teenagers, and it’s kinda funny to think about it :), “When I attended college for the first time, many friends asking me if I was also pregnant! (laugh),” he said.

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In fact, Juno’s first name was taken from a famous wayang (Indonesian traditional puppet) character named Arjuna, while his middle and last name was taken from his dad’s name. He also creates unique username for his social media platforms, which was invented for the first time on Twitter. It is called “JxUxNxO”.

It’s not just his nickname or username that make him an unique person. As I mentioned before, his hair is also another part of him that makes him easily recognized. Few years ago, Juno captured a portrait of himself, and uses it as an iconic identity on his social media platforms,

“I got this hairstyle from my father, and it’s actually an effective way to be recognized by people. That iconic portrait was taken in 2011, and I want to put it all over my social media accounts, as long as possible.”

(above: few version of Juno’s icon. The left-bottom one was inspired by an Indonesian President Election Campaign in 2014)

Now, Juno is working as a freelance graphic designer, and having a lot of personal project plans to do, “There are so many projects that I want to do since a long time ago. Many of them are undone, and some are forgotten (laugh). Now, I have an interest in architecture. I love to make architectural drawings, although I don’t know much about it. I hope to make a collaboration with an architect someday.”

“Sometimes, it’s hard to maintain our mood in doing a project, so I think it’s important for us to make daily schedules. Lately, I’ve been making to-do-list on my phone reminder, and tried to do each one of them. If I can’t do it today, then I will put them on tomorrow’s schedule. I realize that this world is spinning so fast, so we have to be brave enough to take the risk.”

Images above were part of Juno’s personal Project when he visited a beach.

“It was on 2 February 2014 when I went to Parangtritis Beach by myself. It was a crowded beach which length is beyond one kilometer long. I randomly drew things on the sand, starting from the west until the east side of the beach. I was drawing on the plain sand, and even responded to the hoof prints, and the unfloated flower petals which were left from a traditional ritual. I drew simple things such as flower, dragonfly, butterfly, and jellyfish. There were dozens of flowers that I drew that day. I was curious about how other people would respond to my drawings.

Then I finally arrived at the east end of the beach, and walked back to see the flowers that I drew. Some of them were washed by the waves, and I didn’t find anyone who was brave enough to respond my drawings in an epic way. I even found that some of my drawings were erased by somebody else. It was an absurd experience, right? But it makes me happy.”

My experience in sending postcards with Juno was very memorable. He always sent me beautiful postcards from his personal project, called “Mail-A-Roid”. Those polaroid-shaped-hand-written-postcards became the center of attraction, and everybody on Cardtopost was dying to have them!

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source: https://twitter.com/mailaroid

He’s also making his own signature photography style called “Ungu x Klise” (Purple x Cliché), “I saw many people post black and white pictures on their Instagram, and I watched a Discovery Planet’s episode where they said that animals only see some particular colors through their eyes. I also learned that in color theory, purple is a mysterious, yet cliché color at the same time. So, I create those purple-tinted photos (Ungu x Klise) because I want to see something from different angle. For example, we don’t always have to put only black and white filter on our photos, just because everybody’s doing it.”

uxk-1
“The First Edit: my first Ungu x Klise photo. It was a picture of an irrigation drain on the side of the street which I took while riding a motorbike (please don’t try this at home :D)”
uxk-2
“New Beginning: a wedding of my friend. I was glad to be able to capture this kind of life moment.”
uxk-3
“Dinobot: an example of interesting moment that doesn’t happen in everyday life. This is a picture of tourist riding a dinosaur-shaped

Juno also loves to do hand-lettering. He has been doing it since years ago, “I’m still doing hand-lettering, but I found out that many people have the same hand-lettering style like I do. So now, I’m trying to find my own style.”

hl1
“Hello”: A stencil hand-lettering artwork which was applied to wheat-pasted plywood panel of srpndryk pattern. This was part ow sarapandorayaki project.
ambigramjx
“Ambigram 2.0 version , modified with filter.”
hl2
“The Name: a stencil hand-lettering which I brought in a mountain-climbing. I used it to mask the sunrise view from Savana I Merbabu Mountaint. This was a twist of many people’s habit to bring a paper note for someone (marker on paper) when they do mountain-climbing.”

Long before making an artwork, Juno started to discover art since he was in a very young age. It was in 1999 when the first time he heard about graffiti art. Back in that time, he was still in primary school. Then, in his junior high school years, Juno started to become part of the first; or second generation of writer (graffiti artist) in Yogyakarta. He made his graffiti near Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, and became one of the pioneers of the graffiti art movement on that place. Unfortunately, Juno didn’t take any photo of those graffiti artworks, “I never thought about documenting my artworks. Trust me, I rarely organize my works (laugh). Now I’m still evaluating my works, and planning to archive them.”

stencil-archive-from-2006
“Stencil Archive : A modification of Fort Minor [FM] logo. I changed it to [MT] as a nickname. This is what’s left from my years of graffiti art.”

“Since I was in junior high school, I prefer art than exact subjects. I took science major in high school, but I remember that I never wrote anything on my biology notebook. I just put my name and wrote the syllabus, and the rest of the book was empty (laugh).”

Juno also told me about his challenging years of college, where he took Visual Communication Design as his major, “Sometimes, I paid my own tuition fee by doing some design or drawing works. Besides that, can you imagine that I had to do my assignments, without having my own PC? I did it by going to the warnet (public PC rental place), or use my friend’s PC. That habit of using different PCs for the assignments made me discover things like Dropbox before anyone else around me did. In that time, I found cloud computing technology as a really amazing thing, and I never thought that we’ve finally arrived in this era.”

He often finds so many interesting things in internet, and categorizes some of them as anomalies, “I usually look at the popular things on YouTube, then decide which one doesn’t really matter, and which one does. I also love to read and watch news report, especially from Rebel Media. It’s interesting since the news aren’t published in Indonesia, and It also helps me to improve my knowledge and thinking process.”

In the diversity of information that he finds on internet, Juno always tries to be open-minded, “My father is my role-model. He teaches me to be open-minded, and often gives me good advices. He makes me learn that no matter how much knowledge that we have, there will always be someone who knows things more than we do. We should try to have more conversations with the other people around us, and sometimes we will surprisingly find the ‘puzzle’ that we’ve been looking for all this time. I think it’s like a magic that randomly happens in our lives.”

After being graduated from college, Juno often comes to many art events in Yogyakarta, meet the artist, and even comes to the artist’s house, “Yogyakarta is a meeting place for everyone from different cultures. And at the same time, Yogyakarta is still able to keep its own authenticity. For me, it’s a fun thing to experience; yet a dangerous thing at the same time. In facing those differences, we have to think more carefully, and consider more about its morality.”

Juno said that sometimes many troubles come from a misunderstanding, or a minor difference, “As a person, we don’t always have to be the right one. All we have to do is doing our best, and try to maintain the harmony in this living.”

In maintaining a relationship with other people, sometimes we can get too carried away by their presence, and Juno admits that it’s not a really good thing to experience, “We have to be careful not to be too clingy. But I believe that in the end, everybody will have someone to be clingy to.”

Talking about that particular person that we can be clingy to, Juno told me that he has a plan to move to Bandung City in the end of this year, “I want to live more independent, and I want to be closer to my partner in rhyme :),” he said.

I finally feel curious enough to asked Juno about his dreams, then he simply replied, “The most important thing is, I want to be happy.”

“I also realize that to chase my happiness, I have to chase my career first. Sometimes, the border between both of them is paper thin. I think it will be wonderful if I have a job that will let me to express myself and pay me for it,” he added.

After having a pretty long and interesting conversation with Juno, the warung owner started to close her place, and we decided to get going. We moved to another place near there, called angkringan. Angkringan is a traditional and simple mobile restaurant which serves many kind of cheap street foods. We talked about much more things, while gulping the food happily to our stomach.

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My unforgettable meeting with Juno didn’t just stop there. We walked along the street near the angkringan place, and in the middle of our conversation, the rain suddenly fell. We waited for the rain to stop, and I swear that it was one of the warmest rain I’ve ever felt. The strangers who stood around us during the rain are really kind people. The young people from the crowd offered each of us a glass of hot tea, and it brought smiles to other people’s faces.

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Then the rain stopped, and we decided to go home.

Thank you so much Juno, for showing me how a harmony in living should feel like. I really hope that every time I see rain in my life, I can always remember that those drops of water are actually able to bring out beautiful harmony into this world.

Let’s keep the harmony going, shall we? 🙂

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