Okke Mahendrata (Art)
How long have you been studying at TUJ?
Four years. I'm graduating this summer.
Why did you choose to come to TUJ?
At first I thought that I was going to eventually transfer to the U.S. but then I got a little too comfortable living here in Japan. Temple offered a really good opportunity to study abroad, like Italy or the U.S. for example, but I still had the option of coming back to Japan. This is the city where I want to build my career.
Why are you interested in doing motion graphics work in Japan?
Because the motion graphics market is great here. It looks really good on my resume if I have experience in motion graphics in Japan when I go elsewhere.
What do you like most about studying here at TUJ?
That's a tough one — there is so much. You can get an international sense here at TUJ, while I feel like they are really “Japanese” at other schools. For example, in art classes at other schools, they don't do real commenting on / or critiquing other people's works mainly because of the Japanese culture. They usually keep silent in class. This is really what separates the TUJ experience. There is a real international culture here.
Why do you think Japan has kept you here so long? What makes it so comfortable and attractive?
Well, let's see, there are no haters in Japan. You can pretty much do anything and wear anything you want to. There is no judgment. You can show your passion and what you love and nobody can be like, “Why do you do this? Why do you do that?” You have so much freedom to express yourself. That is what I thought about this country.
Is that very different from how it is in Indonesia?
Yeah, people are always talking about others like, this guy wears this, this guy rides that, I don't know… after living here for five years I found myself not having to care about those things anymore.
Do you have any memorable experiences you can share?
I've been studying here for four years now and it's given me some great memories. Temple has offered me really good opportunities to not only study here in Japan, but also gain some great experience in Italy at Temple Rome and the United States at Main Campus. It has been really good for me personally and professionally.
Do you have any advice for new students?
Just enjoy living in Tokyo. Sometimes people say living in big cities is stressful, and yes, that could be a drawback. But there are so many great opportunities here. Tokyo and Japan just have so much to offer.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I plan on staying in the motion graphics business for one or two years, and then I don't know. Maybe I can start fresh after that. Building my own studio, maybe?