words Zarah Cheng
All works are by The Taable.
We chat with the founders of multidisciplinary creative team, The Taable, Amanda Kusai and Axel Oswith. We learn more about their collaborative process and how they create their quirky, minimalistic images.
Where are you from?
AXEL: We are both from Indonesia. I was born and raised in Jakarta.
AMANDA: I was born in Surabaya but raised in Sydney, Australia. We are now both surviving in Jakarta.
What do you do?
Art direction and photography
How did you two meet?
We went to the same University and took the same degree and major in the same year, but only met towards the last few semesters and became friends thanks to our shared obsession with Mean Girls (the movie).
Can you tell us a bit more about your collaborative process?
We are always shooting each other ideas when we discover inspiration – this helps us to get the ball rolling when initially building a concept. We both collaboratively art direct and shoot.
What is the most difficult thing about translating your own personalities into the images you create?
Our main concern is probably putting our perspective in a way that will connect with the audience.
Celebrities are the central focus in your Celebs Alter Ego series . Aside from the puns you use to inspire the portraits, is there a deeper commentary here?
Not deep in particular –the pairings were made to create humour.
In your portraits, how do you work with the models to capture their individualities but also retain The Taable’s own personal, quirky style?
We like to take their unlikely characteristics and turn them into distinct qualities. We also like to get to know them briefly before we take their portraits.
Food is frequently featured in your still life images. What’s your favourite thing about working with this medium?
Obviously the part where we get to eat after we shoot this medium makes it one of our favourite things. But apart from that, we find this medium fun to explore with in ways unexpected to give it a different perspective.
All of your food images make my mouth water. Do you get to eat the food after they’re done being photographed?
Yes if they stay edible we normally eat it after, but most of the time we just lose our appetite after realizing we touched the food to style it.
What would your spirit animals be?
AXEL: My spirit animal would be Andy Warhol.
AMANDA: My spirit animal would be the Dalai Lama.
What are the top 5 songs played in The Taable studio?
1. Allie X - "Catch"
2. George Ezra - "Budapest"
3. Tom Misch & Carmody - "Paper Planes"
4. Des’ree - "Life"
5. Marina and the Diamonds - "Immortal"
What creeps you out the most?
AXEL: When my little toe hits something hard
AMANDA: Drowning in the middle of the ocean
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