Indonesian student designs a life in fashion-Xinhua

Yusuf Maulana Firdaus (Front R), an international student from Jakarta, Indonesia, poses for photos with his teacher Huang Yanbing (Front L) among fashion models in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, June 17, 2023. (Xinhua)

NANNING, April 27 (Xinhua) — At a graduation show in Guangxi Arts University in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, students stop in their tracks, enthralled by the beauty of five blue and white patchwork outfits that blend Indonesian batik patterns with traditional Chinese Peking Opera elements.

The collection was created by Yusuf Maulana Firdaus, an international student from Jakarta, Indonesia.

Yusuf says he dreams of a future in fashion and makeup artistry, but in reality, this life is already well within reach. Since he was a child, he has lived and breathed fashion, and his work has won many awards in Indonesia.

Yusuf’s journey in China began in 2020, when he started studying character design as an undergraduate student at Guangxi Arts University.

In recent years, Guangxi has been actively engaged in educational cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, making it one of the provincial level regions with the highest number of ASEAN students studying in China.

“I prefer designing unique or exaggerated costumes for stage performances. All designs will be handmade by myself,” said Yusuf over the hum of his sewing machine. While Yusuf initially learned costume design on his own in Indonesia, studying in China exposed him to new and exciting subjects and approaches, from makeup to clothing.

In his spare time, Yusuf can be found in his studio, deep in the creative process. With an ardent passion for creation, he has invested nearly all his scholarships and competition winnings into materials and cosmetics.

With his deft makeup skills and keen fashion sense, he quickly won admiration from his classmates. In various artistic performances and professional activities, he is often invited to help in the makeup or costume departments.

Combining Chinese and Indonesian culture, his unique fashion and makeup styles have made him famous in just a few years, and his activities have also moved from campus to the international stage, participating in many cultural exchange activities between China and the ASEAN.

“During my study abroad, many teachers helped me professionally, teaching me how to create good designs, match colors, and select materials. I have gained a lot from this experience,” said Yusuf, expressing his deep gratitude for the enriching experience of studying in China.

“In my 30 years of teaching, this is the first time I have had in-depth contact with international students from different cultural backgrounds. Yusuf’s diligence, eagerness to learn, and talent make me cherish this teacher-student relationship,” said Huang Yanbing, his teacher.

Apart from professional studies, his passion for Chinese culture also solidified his determination to study in China. “Coming to China for schooling, learning about fashion design and makeup-related professional knowledge, can greatly help me fulfill my dreams,” Yusuf revealed.

Yusuf hopes that after graduation, he will be accepted on a master’s program in character design in China. In the future, he will work hard to further his studies and create more excellent works.

Reflecting on what is yet to come, Yusuf gazed out the window, and said with determination, “I also want to use my actions to promote exchanges between China and Indonesia, and between China and ASEAN countries. I want to bring Indonesian culture to China, and when I return to Indonesia with achievements, I also want to bring more Chinese culture to Indonesia.”

Yusuf Maulana Firdaus, an international student from Jakarta, Indonesia, works on his graduation projects in a studio in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, March 7, 2024. (Xinhua)

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