Jakarta Vintage

Kebayoran Lama: In Video

My friend Kariim just sent me another video which he shot, developed and edited all by himself. I watched it right away and thought I should share it with you again here. The video is a clip of our vintage hunting session to Kebayoran Lama a month ago. For someone who is new to vintage and flea market ideas, Kariim –he is fifteen years old, an intern in my office– has really good eyes in spotting good stuff. Three minutes and two shops, he already managed to secure a cool polaroid camera for himself. A quick learner. Watch and enjoy the video. The soundtrack is “The Pretender” by Datarock. Happy fasting Sunday!

Romancing Vintage Jakarta: In Video

I got many positive feedback on the photos on Jakarta tempo doeloe I posted last week. Many wish that the modern and orderly old Jakarta in 1920-1950’s was kept that way, especially that cool trem (streetcar). Well, there is really nothing we can do about it now, no? But I think we all should thank Scott Merrillees for collecting those picture postcards and documenting them in a book for us to appreciate and learn. Those photos made me look for more about Jakarta in its heyday and look what I found in youtube: videos on Jakarta tempo doeloe! And surprisingly there are many of them. Herewith I share with you my favourite, uploaded by dovijov, and viewed by over 170,000 people. When watching it, you may want to pay attention to the trem, the vintage cars, and the hectic Jalan Sabang and Pasar Baru. You wont believe it’s Jakarta. I love the song too, sung by Indonesian born Dutch artist Wieteke Van Dort or Tante Lien: Geef Mij Maar Nasi Goreng. Happy Tuesday!

Taman Puring: In Video

You have known what Taman Puring has to offer–well practically anything and everything, vintage and not so vintage– but you may be clueless on what the place looks like. So three weeks ago my friend Kariim and I cruised the place and shoot it with his 60D camera. The four minute video was shot, developed, edited by Abdul Kariim Risyad–15 years old– and is now ready for you here. O, the cool music in the video — A Certain Romance by Arctic Monkeys– is his choice too. Hope you like it, I do. Thanks Kariim!

Guess Who’s On The Cover

When my friend Ika and I found these magazines at Toko Buku Tera, the game has just begun between us: who is that funny looking guy and who is that sexy model kind of game. Hey I like vintage and antique but it doesn’t mean i can recognize Hollywood celebrities from the 50’s you know. Well, not quite true, as I must admit I know some because they are just too famous, not my fault. Let me mention some: Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Rock Hudson, James Dean. The rest I have no clue and I am too lazy to do a little research. So if you know who they are, please let me know so I can get back to Ika and win the guessing game. O by the way, for those who care, Varia was a local entertainment magazine that was popular in 50-70’s. Ciao

10 Pieces of Art I Would Bring Home 3

Big. Bold. Beautiful. That is my impression when I saw these paintings two days ago at Philo Art Space, Kemang Timur. I love the color composition too, like it’s meant to match with modern space. This is the kind of painting that would turn any space –vintage or not– into a beautiful art gallery. The kind of painting that “owns” any space with confidence and presence. Paintings that “demand” attention and stay in your photographic memory even after you don’t see them anymore. I definitely want them all for my home and my office. Not just ten. Congratulations to Tommy F Awuy the curator and Amalia Ahmad for exhibiting such iconic paintings. And bravo of course to Erizal As the artist for the great works.

Romancing Vintage Jakarta: When The Sky Was Blue…

Yes, this is Jakarta in the 50’s. Amazingly modern and clean.

That book that I found at a secondhand book shop –Tanah Air Kita by N.A. Douwes Dekker– I can’t seem  to get enough of it. It has so many really great photos of Indonesia in the 50’s. For today’s post, however, I only pick photos of Jakarta –or Jacarta according to the book– because based on the photos I think Jakarta as a city looked very modern, and very cultured too, just fantastic. I am not trying to be political but I think whoever wins the governor election today, he better looks at these photos. They are the reminder to all of us that Jakarta was once and can be  a fine city.

Kemayoran, the first international airport. When the sky was blue.


Street hawkers in Glodok. For a second, I thought it was Penang or Singapore.

“A philharmonic orchestra further enriches the city’s cultural life”, says the book. Cant believe it’s Jakarta.

Tanjung Priok. “Real ocean greyhounds like the “Orange” (left) and the “Willem Ruys” (right) find excellent berths in this harbor”. Beautiful and it was not a movie set. 

A modern well-to-do family having dinner. Quality family time. There was no traffic jam back then, of course.

The groom and the bride in western outfit, the rest are comfortable in kebaya.

A white student among locals at the medical college of the University of Indonesia.

A city woman in kebaya at work. Smooth operator.

Vintage Fair At Kemang

Yesterday was a fun day for vintage passionistas especially for those who had a chance to visit Vintage Fair held by tokove in Kemang Selatan, and I was lucky I was one of them. I got there around 4.30 when the weather was just nice. It was also nice to see some familiar faces especially among the sellers, who own shops in Taman Puring, Kebayoran Lama and Blok M Square. As for the items being offered, which includes vinyls, books, comics, posters, CD and cassettes, I saw some other interesting pieces which I don’t see that often: toys, calendar and ads. What amazed me though is how these passionista fellows get and gather that old pieces and keep them so neatly almost in original condition. I guess it’s passion, no? Here are the photos of yesterday event. Happy Monday!


Koes Plus, Guruh Gipsy and Badai Pasti Berlalu are among legends in Indonesia music industry, and the most sought after in the vintage community.

You can touch, read, try and it’s OK if you don’t buy, Cool.


I like those two vintage clocks i the left. Very stylish.

Again, nice clock and that portable radio. Oh that white sliding bag, did it once belong to Garuda Indonesia’s stewardess? Don’t know.

These cameras I am sure are from the 80’s. I think I had one… though I never –not in a million years– thought that they would be cool looking like this three decades later.

Old calendars. Someone has been very clever to keep them then and sell them now as vintage items. They make a quirky touch in the interior.

Vintage ads. Look at that Kijang ad. I know Kijang is the most popular vehicle of all time here, but …what were we really thinking?

Famous names and faces from the 70’s: Bob Tutupoli, Tetty kadi, and Pattie Bersaudara. Forty years later they are still kicking and singing. That is cool vintage!

Wow, rare movie poster of Indonesia’s famous hero, Si Buta Dari Gua Hantu. 70’s and 80’s were the most productive era in Indonesia’s movie industry.

Vintage toys on a vintage tin plate. Cool!

Poster of a local cigar brand. The head line literally says: smoked by all nations. Humble or over-claimed, i don’t know. Oh, the photo underneath is Michael Jackson’s, not Diana Ross.

Beautiful Heads in Darmawangsa

The good thing about having an office space in a mall is every need is only one minute away. Darmawangsa Square –where my office is based– has three art galleries, one auction house and one museum. So today –after I was released from a tiring, long meeting outside– I visited an art exhibition at Yuz Museum which was presenting the artworks of an international contemporary artist Dadang Christanto.  The painting and installation works are curated by Agung Hujatnikajennong.

Through this exhibition the artist “wishes to invite us to reflect upon…history and memory” that’s why you will see plenty of heads in the museum in the next three months– painted with wayang, dogs, buffalo and other javanese objects. Just beautiful. So beautiful that I felt fresh, inspired, almost forgot about that long meeting.


My Hunting Field 7: Ciputat

Ciputat has for a long time been most famous for furniture shops –there are hundreds of them– specializing in teak and mostly ethnic style. In the past years, however, I have seen more and more mid century furniture being displayed in many shops. One shop owner says that the demand for mod pieces started ten years ago and is getting more popular in the past five years. Anyway, now that i am more experienced and exposed to the process and finishing of furniture, I can tell the replica from the authentic ones, though some pieces are so good that i still have to ask the shop owner to make sure. Here are some photos of the mid century pieces in three shops in Ciputat which I visited yesterday. Have a good Sunday!

I like this style, I say: cool mod.

This mini credenza is so stylish you dont have to put anything on it.

Two lounge chairs, in different style, both from the 50’s and 60’s.

Another credenza, only bigger, same style. Just add TV, and you got style.

Elegant stool with sexy legs and rattan top. You can put it anywhere and mix it with anything. This brings style to any room.

Vintage Home 1: House of Paintings

Our very first vintage home belongs to Handoko, located in Bintaro, Jakarta. The house is not exactly vintage but the owner gave some vintage touches on the house. In his past time Handoko –an author, photographer, film director, advertising creative director, story teller, host of a radio program…gosh!–

likes to paint with her daughter Masya (o it’s her 8th birthday today, enjoy the day Masya!) that explains why everywhere you go in the house you will see lots of paintings, making it like a gallery. Almost all furniture in the house are vintage or mid century inspired. Cool!


Photos by Handoko