Jakarta Vintage

Jakarta Vintage At Martha Stewart’s Rumah Inspirasi (Part 2)

The sharing and meeting session with around 50 vintage enthusiasts  at Rumah Inspirasi finally took place, on a pouring Saturday. I got many interesting questions from the audience such as: how to decor a small apartment with vintage items? how to take care of old vinyls?who is your favorite vintage singer? and: what is the cheapest vintage item that I ever bought? The last one is a bit tough because … I have plenty of answers. That Vietnamese lady ceramic doll…I got it at USD 1. The handsome Samsonite briefcase in camel was only Rp 35K –now the similar item can hardly be found and if any at all, it would cost seven times the price. Well, putting that aside, I am glad that through this talk show I can share what vintage can do to us all –and trust me it’s all good: it’s stylish and unique, it’s affordable (o yes, compared to antiques, that is), it’s environment friendly (because no new energy produced), it makes you creative (mixing it with current items can be a challenge for many people), and did I say it’s cool too? Now I want to thank the team at Martha Stewart Living Indonesia who gave me the chance to share those messages and to the participants who came to get inspired, to inspire and stayed till the end. Have a fun week ahead!

10 Pieces of Art I Would Bring Home

Nowadays everyone seems to be obsessed with going global and the whole globalization thing….except Ika Vantiani, Muhammad Taufiq (Emte), and Rukmunal Hakim. The three artists are proofing that local is the way to go. And it can be cool too. Or dark. Or playful and beautiful. I am talking here about their art works which are now being exhibited at Eastern Promise Pub & Restaurant in Kemang under the theme: LOKALISASI. Ika is known for her vintage styled, paper-based collage, while Emte and Rukmunal are illustrators with strong local flavor in their works. Through their works dare I say that local is the new global, perhaps? I dont know, but now with over 30 pieces of arts that they are exhibiting, I wonder which one I would bring home to fill my vintage space. Maybe the ones I feature here?:


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!


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.

My Hunting Field 5: Semarang

Semarang may not be as culturally rich as Solo and Yogja, but as a hunting ground for antiques and vintage this is the place to go. Aside from some antique shops, the city has this famous Lawang Sewu, a former train station next to old town area where some more colonial buildings tried to survive in modern Semarang. So my stay in Semarang was always extended from one day to two or three days as there are too many things and places to see. Here are the photos I took during my trip to Semarang for a TV shooting in the old town. Hope you enjoy the photos and happy Monday!


Look What I Found At The Flea!

It happens all the time: you go to a flea market without knowing what you really look for, and voila– you find something that you really like.

Last week i found this amazing book by Neils A. Douwes Dekker in an old book shop in Blok M, Jakarta. This book is titled TANAH AIR KITA – The Country and People of indonesia, containing over 350 photos –16 photos are color– of once and always beautiful Indonesia. Here are some photos from the book.

The photos are amazing –each and every photo is carefully selected and curated. Many are “never been published and which is not likely to be surpassed in the near future” as it says in the cover. This book is for “those who already know something about INDONESIA will immediately want to possess. For those whom Indonesia is merely a name…it will come as a revelation” .


Neils A is the great grandnephew of the famous Multatuli Edward Douwes Dekker, the author of Max Havelaar — a familiar name for those who fancy history in high school.

Throughout the book the writer praises and only praises the country devotedly — here is a quote: INDONESIA, an equatorial paradise of thousands of tropical islands, great and small, displaying a wealth arts and customs, a land in which age-old traditions exist side by side with up-to-date industries. A land with a past– and a land with a future.