Jakarta Vintage

Antiques and Vintage Behind The Palace

Have you visited a palace to enjoy the beauty of it and then seen the not-so-pretty picture behind it? I have, in my latest visit to Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat or Keraton Yogyakarta. After two hours and so enjoying and admiring the Keraton collections, I had a chance to see “the un-palace”. I was referring to the houses behind the palace which belonged to the relatives of the Sultan. During two hour “unauthorized” tour in and out some houses in the palace complex, I had mixed feelings and plenty of questions, I trust you might have too, just by looking at those pictures.  Putting that aside though, I must say it was actually as fun and inspiring inspecting authentic and historical antiques and vintages in spite of their poor condition. Have a nice weekend everyone!


Finding Flea Markets in Beijing

Finding flea markets has been my #1 thing to do in almost every city I visit. Including and especially in Beijing where the biggest flea market in Asia is located, that is Panjiayuan flea market. Here there are about 3,000 registered sellers waiting for you every weekend, offering anything and everything. From opium scales, old pipes, Mao and Buddha statues, paper lanterns, jades, ceramics, calligraphy, to painting and… oh the list is so long that I wonder: is there anything that they don’t sell. The big number of sellers and categories of stuff sold in Panjiayuan represents and reminds me of China as a country of many wonders. Yup, everything in this country deserves to be put in the record book. Time.com puts this flea market at #7 of things to do in Beijing, and tripadvisor.com ranks it at #18 as a shopping destination. For Jakarta Vintage, it’s obviously #1…well, no, maybe #2, after the Great Wall of China which is also a must visit. By the way, from this place I took home with me some Cultural Revolution memorabilia like plates and statues of Mao. So predictable, I know, but in my defense those items can hardly be found here in Jakarta or anywhere else outside China.


Tanah Teduh: 100% Local, 100% Cool

Last week I went to Tanah Teduh, in Jati Padang, Pejaten, and felt so proud to be an Indonesian. How can I not? Tanah Teduh is a complex of 20 houses built by leading Indonesian architects with a strong commitment to environment and local materials. So in two hectares of land, no tree-felling was allowed, ponds retained for water processing and catchment and, natural light and air flow optimized to reduce electricity consumption. Cool. And all Indonesian-made materials are taking a center stage here, indoor and outdoor. The interior of the show unit for example, is an exhibition of fine Indonesian furniture — all vintage from the 60’s and 70’s. This is where my vintage-obsessed mind goes ecstatic, naturally.  I totally agree with Ronald Akili, the founder of this project who says: “I hope Tanah Teduh will be a source of inspiration and a project that Indonesia could be proud of.”  Bravo architects Andra Matin, Wendy Djuhara, Anthony Liu, Yori Antar, Adi Purnomo, Ahmad Djuhara, Eko Prawoto, Ferry Ridwan, Tan Tik Lam, and Zenin Adrian who made it happen. So last week I was proud and impressed by my fellow Indonesians. I am sure you would be too.  Sources: tanahteduh.com and doinc.org

Finding Flea Markets in Tokyo

Finding flea markets in Tokyo is surprisingly not as difficult. All the info about it is humongous and just a google away. Keeping up with the schedule is however a different matter. Most of them open every weekend, some others open on the 2nd or 3rd Sunday of every month, one opens only on the 18th and 28th of every month, and so on. The good thing about it though is practically every weekend you have one or two flea markets to go. So during my brief visit last month I managed to visit two of them. The first one was right in Shinjuku, about 7 minute walk from the station. Just like most flea markets in Japan, Hana Zuno flea market is also located in a temple called …Hana-Zuno. Kimono, old coins and dolls are a common view in this flea market. The old glass painting of a Japanese lady in her kimono that you see below, I got it from here. The second flea market is at Arai Yakushi, a little more difficult to find, but it is worth the hassle because in terms of quantity and quality, this place is obviously better. Here antique martavans, imari plates, china and ceramics make me go gaga. Unfortunately they are not the kind of items I would buy in a flea market, besides it’s a bit risky carrying those fragile ceramics in a long flight. So I ended up getting nothing except those photos and a good impression how well the Japanese preserves, manages, and organizes these flea markets, they become not only a tourist destination but also a tradition. Have a good week ahead everyone!