Earlier this year I went to Semarang, a city rather surprising. I stayed in the Simpang Lima area, got on a Becak and started my adventure in the (extremely) sunny Semarang!
I first visited a beautiful Vihara around Jl. Lombok. It made me feel like I was transported to China! The building was very intricate and beautiful.
Afterwards, I had lunch at Spiegel. A stunning café with an industrial style interior and a view of the Old Town, including the famous Gereja Blenduk! Next, I visited the Semarang Contemporary Art Gallery, only a 2 minute walk from where I had yummy gelato.
And this is the fun part, another 2 minute walk: flea markets! There are two flea markets, one was near Gereja Blenduk and one was near Tekodeko Koffiehuis. I got a great vintage bag that was made in Denmark! Something I didn’t expect to find in Semarang.
To end the day, I visited the iconic Lawang Sewu. Besides the spooky things that it’s mostly known for, Lawang Sewu has a very long history behind it. Though some of the memories of Lawang Sewu aren’t good ones, the place is phenomenal. I was in such awe because of how remarkable it is. I also advise you to get a tour guide if you actually want to know the history behind Lawang Sewu, the visit would be much more worth it too. At night I had a meal at GOODFELLAS, a restaurant in a beautiful art deco house near Hotel Candi Baru.
Great food, great atmosphere, and great places to see. That is what you will get in Semarang. Also to take note, traffic jam is something that you can’t find in Semarang, get a Becak, go around Semarang, be happy!
It’s a bit too late, I know, but a few months back in October, there was a very special exhibition titled “Jalur Rempah”, held at the Museum Nasional and supported by the Jakarta Post. I had the opportunity to join in, I was excited! Especially knowing that the exhibition intends to tell how Indonesia used to capture the world’s attention due to its beauty and its variety of herbs and spices.
How do I take something so important, something so significant in Indonesia’s history and make it into something that we can look back not in anger, not in sadness, but in a delightful way.
From that I decided to combine everything and put something that still shows the beauty of Indonesia and still me. Colorful, bold, vintage, and of course still represents the “Jalur Rempah” of Indonesia. I finally came up with a print, something that I decided to be put on a chair.
With that print and the chair that I created, I am hoping that people can remember Indonesia’s history as not something sad and pitiful, but something beautiful. That’s the message that I hope I delivered.
The exhibition ran from 18 October until 25 October 2015. However, it got extended until the 30th! If you haven’t had the chance to see the chair and the prints, just drop by the Jakarta Vintage showroom. Tell me how you like the artwork!
Perhaps the first thing that pops in mind when you hear the name “Jalan Prawirotaman” in Yogya is backpackers, but did you know that it’s also home to antique stores?
The thing about vintage hunting in Prawirotaman is that you’ll need strong legs that can take you from corner to corner since the stores are scattered between houses, cafes, restaurants, and hotels along the street. Well, of course to put it into a positive light, whenever you’re tired from all those walking you can always drop by, sit back and have some coffee in one of the cafes!
Anyway, you can expect to find statuettes and sculptures made of wood, stones, copper and Javanese/Madurese/ethnic furniture. You can also find useful remnants from old houses such as window sills, door frames, doors, windows, credenzas, and pillars – if you’re building a house and in need of some vintage, ethnic touch, then I’d highly recommend you to hunt in this area.
Yogyakarta’s Jalan Prawirotaman is home to lots of vintage treasures, but I hope one day they can be more organised just like Solo’s Pasar Triwindu and Jakarta’s Jalan Surabaya.
Having claimed myself as a maximalist when it comes to designing and living, it’s only logical for me to say “YES!” when I was asked if I’d like to write a book. I had heard from friends that writing a book is one of the most rewarding experiences and I couldn’t wait to try it.
Like so many first experiences in life, it was daunting to start working on the book. But thankfully, with supportive friends and ceaseless passion, I can now confirm that writing a book is indeed a very satisfying experience!
So allow me to proudly and happily present my first book, Happy Vintage.
(Watch this short clip from the Happy Vintage Launch Party!)
It’s a book about interior and design, but mind you, it’s neither about the technical nor the historical aspect of interior design. As the title suggests, it’s about happiness and vintage. Happy Vintage is about making a happy space that suits your personality – and how vintage can give you this personal edge.
Well, I can go on with it but that would be defeat the purpose of the book, right?! Get your copy of Happy Vintage in Gramedia and stay happy, stay vintage!
It’s really been an honour for me to participate in not one, but two (!) exhibitions featuring the 19th century Javanese prince and Indonesian hero, Prince Diponegoro.
Taking the title Diponegoro Reclaimed, my aim is to reignite the legacy of Prince Diponegoro with a modern, artistic, pop-culture twist. In a series of mix-media installation, collage, poster and postcards, I incorporate pre-used items and recycled materials. This is not only to maintain my own green-livin concern, but also to symbolize the passion of Prince Diponegoro in reclaiming and guarding his environment – best of both worlds, no?
But perhaps more importantly, what I’d like to convey in these two exhibitions is the heroic legacy from the late Prince. His principles: conviction, bravery, determination, and loyalty are values that I believe are still relevant today. And it’s important for people of every age, gender, profession, and nationality to be able to strive for these values. Diponegoro doesn’t only belong to the Javanese or to us Indonesians. He is a universal icon!
Do come visit Aku Diponegoro exhibition at Galeri Nasional, from February 6 – March 8!
And if you’re still hungry for more Diponegoro, do come to its parallel event, Prince Diponegoro in Dutch Perspectives from 1800 until Now at Erasmus Huis, from February 12 – March 11!
Even after countless visits, this special region is one of the places that never cease to inspire me. During my last trip, I decided to explore the hidden treasures of Yogyakarta and I found it in Pakualaman, at the residence of a friend. Since he is an antique collector as well as an art director, it shouldn’t be a surprise that his home will possess a very personal, unique aesthetic. Nevertheless, I was very impressed by this house, even before I stepped a foot inside! It’s actually a newly built house but all the materials are antiques and/or vintage:the door and window frames, even the pillars! And when “advance technology” is added, like the Cap Kunci floor tiles, the vintage-ness of its design is ensured. It’s hard to choose which piece of furniture is my favourite, … because I like everything!
I was in the mood for some cultural trip and an authentic lontong Cap Go Meh last weekend. So, naturally a trip to Glodok was taken. I went to the old Klenteng Dharma Bakti (a must-visit when in the area!) and on the way to the Klenteng I passed through Pasar Petak Sembilan. There I saw and got amused by all the crabs, scallops, and frogs being sold… alive! They even put every four-five frogs together and amazingly these little amphibians stayed still – they didn’t even attempt to jump and escape!
Anyway, after I finished my visit to the Klenteng, I popped into the oldest barbershop in Glodok: Ko Tang, whose charm brought my vintage soul right at home.
And whilst it was bustling and business went on as usual, I was at peace here. It seemed that at Glodok, time stood still and it felt good.
When it comes to art and culture, we all know that Bali is always one step ahead or two from Jakarta. So when I stepped into La Favela in Seminyak – whose name is already an effort for my Sundanese tongue to pronounce – I instantly fell in love! Obviously, the hardcore vintage décor caught my eyes. With such dark, shabby interior and whimsical furbishing, it was almost as if you entered the house of The Addams Family after they’d adopted Alice from Wonderland. And I meant it to be a compliment.
Every corner and inch in La Favela is occupied – even the ceilings! Moreover, you can tell that they’re using 100% reused, recycled, and repurposed materials in the entire two-storey restaurant. In addition, there’s a strong Hispano-American Catholicism vibe through the installation of altars, candles, and Saint figurines. La Favela is definitely the place to go for a quick escape or a nice rendezvous!
Independence Day is just one day to go – and this is how 12 top Indonesian interior designers at ID12 show their pride and love for the country: by creating 12 interior design inspirations. And they all do it in impeccable, tasteful style. Who would have thought –or rather: aren’t you glad to know that– all their works are inspired by the colours of Indonesia, hence the name of the event. Opened last night and attended by media and design enthusiasts, the event will be held until Aug 24 at Senayan City, Jakarta. For those who doesn’t know that local talents can actually rock and rule, here are the names to watch: Agam Riadi, Ary Juwono, Roland Adam, Eko Priharseno, Hendramianto Syamsulhadi, Reza Wahyudi, Anita Boentarman, Fifi Fimandjaja, Prasetio Budhi, Yuni Jie, Shirley Gouw. Bravo ID12 for the initiative and awesome works!