Unity Takes Courage, 2007


At FGD Expo 2007, the biggest digital expo in Indonesia, 40 designers from all over the world participated in a poster exhibition that was held during the event. The theme was: One Globe One Flag.

When the commitee asked me to join, I felt very honored. And I loved the theme. Being raised as a Indonesia-born Chinese, life wasn’t very easy during my childhood in Medan. Racism was part of the struggle that I had to face everyday: at school, on the street, at malls. Luckily, I never categorize myself as ‘anyone’.

My mom grew up and spent a lot of her time in Holland (her Indonesia language still sounds very funny today) and my dad was also influenced a lot by the Dutch culture. So we, I and 2 siblings, had adopted a lot of mixed Western and Eastern cultures, which made us quite ‘in between’ of everything.

That made us belong to no races. Not to the native Indonesians, nor the Chinese. We all saw human beings as human beings, nothing more. I am glad that we did. That’s why I grew up in Catholic elementary and junior high school; and native-Indonesian-majority public high school; and another public university (the best in the country, Institut Teknologi Bandung ;). We didn’t speak Chinese, and still don’t. Most of the Chinese in Medan couldn’t believe it hahaha!

This little story of my life became the inspiration for my poster. It takes courage to step out of our comfort zones, visit others’ domains, explore their cultures and be part of them. Let the walls down, open our hearts and welcome new breeze of differences in our lifes.

I am telling you, it’s worth it. Let the differences become the supplement of our creativity.


PS. When Stefan Sagmeister saw the poster, he was looking for the designer, and then shook my hand saying, “Well done Jerry.” That made my day.

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