Chinese New Year Collaboration

January 31, 2017

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Project “Nonik Surabaya” is a visual satire of Chinese Indonesians living in Surabaya, typically aged 17 to 35 years old.

This project started off with the Nadia Nathania’s (art director and fashion stylist) hobby to occasionally look up about her hometown, Surabaya, as she spent her Bachelor’s and Master’s abroad - just simply missing home, she googled Surabaya. This led her to finding tweets years ago by food blogger Jiewa Vieri with the famous hashtag #TipeNonikSurabaya.

For someone who’s lived in 4 different countries, as Nathania has encountered different Indonesians from different cities. And most times, Indonesians abroad that she’s met will also make some “comments” about Chinese Surabaya girls. Either the fabulous hair, the very “unique” a.k.a. medok accent, the branded bags, etc. or simply just the culture that makes them bring themselves the way they do. 

Think about it, have you encountered people who want to buy things that look very expensive at a very, very cheap price? Not just that, they still negotiate to lower the price! Have you met anyone who’s posted fine-dining plates on Instagram but her real love is for street food, like cakwe udang or sioke and siobak? Have you met people who buy fake branded items and call it “original”?

So in order to welcome Chinese New Year 2017 (this photoshoot was done in 2017), Nathania collaborated with photographer Sonia Anggriawan, make up artist Ayu Limono and fashion model Tirzah Budiman and created these pictures at a place, no other than Surabaya’s very own Chinatown - Pasar Atom. 


Nathania herself is a Nonik Surabaya. Very proud of where she comes from and especially her “funny” accent which resulted in her struggling to fit in with other Indonesians during her first year abroad. But she wishes Chinese Surabayans (some, not all) to appreciate other things that are not too materialistic. 

Art Direction & Styling by Nadia Nathania.
Photography by Sonia Anggriawan.
Hair & Make-up by Ayu Limono.
Modeled by Tirzah Budiman from GNG Models.
Wardrobe supported by Boba Babe, Flomors, Gema Label.