Travel Spotlight: Erman “Ini Jalan Bapak Aku”


How I Met Erman. 

Erman and I go way back when we were both starting out in a local advertising company. This was 8 years ago. Our friendship has grown leaps and bounds to the point that we have become like a family unit in this crazy advertising world with other creative friends. Although we come from different background; him being an Art Director and me being a Suit (Account Servicing person), we both have the javanese blood in us hence the nickname jawa or jawe that we fondly call each other.

For this month, I am proud to feature my fellow Malaysian brother Erman; who will have his photographs on display at the person(a): an investigation into self art exhibition from 31 October to 8 November 2015 in Black Box, MAP Publika, Kuala Lumpur. Here he talks about his project titled “Ini Jalan Bapak Aku” (This is my fathers’ road) and his love for motorbikes. P/S: I hope I got his words (which were written in Malay language) translated with similar meaning.

Could you tell us more about how you came up with the concept “Ini Jalan Bapak Aku” (This is My Fathers’ Road)? 

The inspiration of this project came from observing our societies’ perception that motorbike riders are bad people who rob or mug others. If you look at it from the riders (motorbike) point of view; there are those who have a good heart, polite, in search of good income, indifferent and crazy. The term “Ini Jalan Bapak Aku” is synonym with the societies need to own something that is usually beyond their own ability; in order to achieve a goal in life.I feel that this obsession with riding on the road is no different from this internal struggle that we see in todays’ world.

Travel Spotlight speaks to Erman (right) on his first photography exhibition called "Ini Jalan Bapak Aku".

Travel Spotlight speaks to Erman (right) on his first photography exhibition called “Ini Jalan Bapak Aku”.


How does the concept “Ini Jalan Bapak Aku” (This is My Fathers’ Road) relate to our daily lives? 

The concept emphasizes about a persons’ need to own something and this means pushing back or fighting our fears in order to achieve them. If we feel afraid, it will be hard for us to make mistakes. If we are afraid to make mistakes, we will not want to try something new. This is something we all face each day in order to survive in life.

Some people imagine themselves as racers when they drive on the road. What did you imagine yourself to be; when you were a motorcycle despatch on the roads? 

I kept the imagination aside because it can be dangerous you know; as I need to focus on riding on the road. When I’m riding, I feel a sense of happiness which throws all the troubles away. Nobody knows what I’m thinking at that moment, except for me.

Have you ever taken your motorbike out for traveling or road trip purposes? Where is your favorite spot to go with your motorbike?

It’s every riders dream to go on a convoy ride with like-minded people. My favorite spot to ride is Penang Island.

Behind the scenes photo of Erman & Farid Aljans' work for person(a)

Behind the scenes photo of Erman & Farid Aljans’ collaboration with photographer Ong Sue Yin for Person(a) Exhibition – An Investigation Into Self.


What advice would you give to people who love to ‘ride’ than drive?

Please wear your helmet on the road because this is not “your fathers road”.

Who’s your favorite professional motorcycle racer? 

Valentino Rossi.

You then transitioned from a ‘rider’ to someone who loves typography. What’s your favorite typeface and why? 

I don’t have a specific font in mind  because I love the fonts that are handwritten. For me, these are sincere and reflects who we are as a person. With each alphabet, different strokes and feelings are applied by the writer.

Typography is one of Erman's love besides riding his motorbike.

Typography is one of Erman’s love besides riding his motorbike.


Have you ever done anything out-of-the-ordinary, to achieve your goals? Tell us a story about it. 

I have failed before and now I try my best no to repeat them again. I believe that loving what we do in life is the essence of success. This is because I know that this will one day be “my fathers road”.

What’s the best advice someone once gave to you in life? 

“Rasa datang dari hati dan bukan otak” (What you feel comes from the heart and not from the brain).

What would you say to people who want to achieve their dream; but afraid to do so for some reason? 

“Mesti ingat Jalan itu lurus, Hidup mesti terus.” (Must remember that the roads are straight and for that life must go on.)

The best advice for riding is wearing your helmet.

The best advice for riding is wearing your helmet.


Head down to Black Box, Map KL Publika tomorrow to meet the artist and his friends in person. Show him some love will ya? 



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