Tapestry, there was time –perhaps between 70’s and 80’s– when every home in Indonesia had it. Framed as hanging decoration, or used as tablecloth, or even as dress. Yes, that was the time when every mother, grand mother, auntie and sister make tapestry as a hobby. And funnily they make almost the same patterns — lady by the window, gentlemen riding horse, lady weaving, and so on. How uniformed! Here are some tapestry decoration which I found randomly in Kebayoran Lama, Taman Puring, and Jalan Riau Bandung. Even more beautiful now that we hardly see it anymore, no?
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 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.
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 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!
Aside from Jakarta, Bandung, Yogja and Solo, Bogor is the place to go for vintage hunting. The most famous one is Ciawi, where a shopping complex of antiques and antique-likes is located, pretty much like Jalan Surabaya. But for those who feel demotivated already by the idea of going to Puncak area –like me–, fortunately there are other options. Right in the middle of this chaotic city –between Taman Topi and Pasar Anyar, there are two or three small thrifty shops offering anything from vintage type writers to antique Chinese ceramics. To my surprise, the ceramic collection of one shop is quite good. There are also other places to go in Bogor for those who fancy mid century furniture pieces, all scattered between Jalan Semeru, Cilendek, Semplak and Parung. So when you are in Bogor –the city of angkots–, you can actually stay positive by visiting those places. And stay vintage, of course.
I had no idea Pasar Beringharjo Yogjakarta has a flea market inside, until recently. What I know of, the market is known more for the batiks, so it’s good that I asked around and insisted that for an old pasar such as this –and it’s in Yogja for good sake– there had to be vendors selling vintage and antique. My conviction paid off. The flea market wing is on the left side of the market, along a narrow alley. There are around ten vendors selling enamels, cookie jars, glasses, tea sets, and –this you can hardly find outside Yogja and Solo– cap batik (= a copper stamp to make printed batik). Like in any flea market, most of the sellers are friendly and eager, especially to a visitor like me. Here are some photos. Stay vintage!
In Solo, the question on which places to visit for a vintage passionista like me is a predictable matter. Pasar Triwindu, Kraton Surakarta and Mangkunegaran, Pasar Klewer, and Kampung Batik Laweyan. That’s where I went to the last time I was there four years ago. And last week too. At both time I had a good time. At Laweyan I was supposed to hunt for batiks, but these doors stole my attention. I had no choice, I had to take pictures and blog about them here. Laweyan batiks, they are too famous already. But these doors and the vintage houses where they belong to, are worth a look. Just look.
I love Yogjakarta for so many things. The batiks, the gudeg, the lesehan, the sense of humor. And now these tiles. I am sure it’s not just me. I saw them in Kraton, in some coffee houses, hotels and restaurants…and in this Diamond Baru tile shop, well of course. I went there last week to check what they have to offer. Knowing Diamond is a lesser known tile brand compared to the legendary Cap Kunci who practically owns the category and the buzz, I was surprised to see how beautiful the tiles are. The tiles featured here are mostly from this shop, and some belong to the Kraton. Dont you love them too?
Jakarta Vintage is in the press again. This time around it’s in Home & Decor Indonesia. In its December edition, the stylish magazine covered our first event that is the Retro & Beyond Vintage Auction held in Kemang Village last November under “What’s Hot” page. With the headline “Vintage Goes Hip”, the overall article sounds very kind and supportive. Of course, who wouldn’t? As quoted there: not only vintage is cool, it’s good to the earth too. So go get it for a good read.