Monday, December 11, 2006

Our first post: A weekend in Jakarta, Indonesia


We started the weekend at TOIMOI shop in Kemang for a group art show. Toimoi is an interesting little store that focuses on trendy local and international product design. They recently extended their shop to include a nice gallery that features several young artists.
We really liked the unpretentious feeling of the space (a rarity in Jakarta), with its high walls, loft for storage, and modest office tucked away in the back.

The group show “Fringes, vol. 1” is a collection of paintings and drawings from various artists that will be showing here regularly in the future. Overall, the show had a lot of eye-candy and was really fun to look at. The works were very playful, and it was obvious that there was a lot of creative energy surrounding the show. This type of event needs to happen way more often in Jakarta. It seems that youth culture here is hungry for creative outlets and eager to express themselves.

We moved on to a weekly party run by my brothers (in law) called TURN ON PLASTIC at Centro. Hard to believe their 11 years anniversary is coming up soon. Hope to see old friends at the anniversary party.


Our day was suppose to revolve around the Jakarta Intl Film Festival, but we wasted movie tickets and did other things instead.

We tried Blenger Burger in our neighborhood. It’s a successful local burger joint created by a group of young guys. I’m pretty sure they got the idea for their special sauce from In & Out Burger in California. Strawberry juice was a delight for the hot afternoon. My Blenger experience was spoiled while I was waiting for our food when my friend told me on the phone that they microwave the burgers inside Styrofoam boxes. Sure enough, I saw them do it. She kept telling me “Microwaving Styrofoam causes cancer. Don’t eat there. Be careful!” Who knows? I guess one time won’t hurt.

In the afternoon, we caught a brief fashion show for the launch of EDWARD HUTABARAT’s fashion photo book. The event took place in a very odd location. It was in a Kinokuniya bookstore inside a mall. My sister, Amalia, took us there because she’s been a fan of his work. Hutabarat uses Javanese batik prints applied to contemporary dress silhouettes that are just great. I was excited to see well-designed outfits that are not all fancy and embellished. It’s just about good design. The book is beautiful but over-designed, so I decided to not buy it. I’d rather save my money for Edward’s dresses. Can’t wait to see his new boutique in Kemang Icon.

After the event we met up with well-known furniture designer, Leonard Theosabrata He’s probably one of the most successful product/ furniture designer in Indonesia right now. Everybody here knows his “Accuputo” chairs ( Cool guy and smart, too. He gave us the 411 of design in Indonesia. Hopefully we’ll be working with him in the future.

We asked about cataloging artists and designers in Indonesia. Who’s doing it or is it even happening? Both my sister and Leo answered passionately, “ Nobody!” They said maybe the British Council but they don’t really have the capability to handle the scale of work. But why are they doing this job? Shouldn’t the Indonesian government do it?

Around 8 or 9 pm Burger Blenger took revenge on Chris’s stomach. Oops! We had to rush home.


Chris woke up tired and pale. I am waiting for my turn, but so far I’m fine.

We wanted to go shopping for old furniture pieces like legs or just a tabletop, so we headed to Ciputat area. There are rows and rows of shops selling reconditioned antique furniture and various parts (if you ask). We checked out the first row and found a big bowl made from one piece of wood for $9 US. You can also find furniture from the Dutch colony era, Art Deco to Mid-century modern.

In the evening, we caught a Japanese movie called “ A Stranger Of Mine” at JIFFEST ( It’s a simple, well-written comedy that tells the story of one day from the perspective of several intertwining characters. This movie definitely makes me think of others like Pulp Fiction or Memento, but much lighter though.

So… That was our eventful weekend in Jakarta. Our future posts probably won’t be as long. We’ll be sharing stories of our other travels and miscellaneous things that interest us.
Thanks for reading,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for information about Centro... No idea if it will reopen soon? I'm looking forward to spend some time there during my next Weekend In Jakarta