Vol. I No. 1
Exploring World of Museums WELCOMING THE MUSEUM WEEK 2013
TIME TO EXPLORE I
mulled over several cover lines in trying to convey the theme of this special magazine edition: the effort to help museums change with the times and foster greater public awareness of what they have to offer. “Exploring” and “discovering” were two words that came to mind – and very apt words they were too, it turned out. Putting together this edition opened my eyes to the beauty and diversity of the museums in Jakarta, something I confess to have overlooked during 22 years of calling the city home. Case in point is the Textile Museum, which I have passed on many occasions. I was always impressed by the grand architecture of the mansion, standing incongruously in the rough-andready Tanah Abang neighborhood (recently cleared of illegal vendors). When I stepped inside its tranquil grounds for the cover and fashion shoots, I was taken aback by the beauty of the complex, its impressive collection of textiles and its thriving range of activities. During the shoot, we combined modern fashions with several textiles I have collected over the years, from Cirebon and Sumbawa. This sartorial mix-and-match may be reflected by today’s museums as they showcase their rich offerings for the 21st century visitor. A good start is The Museum Week this week, when several major museums are presenting their collections in Jakarta’s major malls. Mall-goers who spy these collections may well find their interest piqued, and head out to visit the institutions themselves. Let’s all get out and explore Jakarta’s wealth of museums. Who knows what discoveries we may make in the process?
On The Cover
Happy Salma Wardrobe MaxMara Accessories Mata-Mata Photographed by Meutia Ananda Stylist Willy Wilson Make-up stylist Tania Ledezma Assistant stylist Theresia Aprilia Location The Textile Museum, Jakarta
CORPORATIONS ARE GIVING A HELPING HAND TO CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS THROUGH CSR EFFORTS.
TRADITIONAL TEXTILES COME OF AGE PAIRED WITH CONTEMPORARY DESIGNS.
6 8 10 12
Raising the quality of Jakarta’s museums should be all our concern. Taking in the archipelago’s splendors without leaving Jakarta. Money makes the world go around at two impressive museums. A respectful celebration of the beauty of shadow puppets.
20 It’s time to put polish and pizzazz into museum attractions.
22 A quintet of institutions displaying culture, curiosities and kitsch.
24 Entertainer Happy Salma shows her commitment to the arts.
34 HAUTE COUTURE DESIGNER HARRY DARSONO’S PRIVATE MUSEUM OF DREAMS AND DELIGHTS.
38 Kids can find stimulating points of
interest beyond weekend mall-hopping.
40 Entertain and educate museum visitors to keep them coming back for more.
Museums should be an investment for the city’s future.
44 Jakarta’s arts scene is beginning to make its mark with exciting new spaces.
Editor Bruce Emond I Deputy Editor Willy Wilson I Layout & Design Budhi Hartono I Copy Editor Imogen Badgery-Parker I Writers Kindra Cooper, Nico Haryono, Kestity Pringgoharjono, Lutfi Rakhmawati, Sondang Grace Sirait, Edna Tarigan, Andrew Whitmarsh I Photographers Wendra Ajistyatama, PJ Leo, Nurhayati, Arief Suhardiman, R. Berto Wedhatama, Melanie Wood, Ricky Yudhistira
The Jakarta Post Editor in Chief Meidyatama Suryodiningrat I Board of Directors Jusuf Wanandi, Cherly P. Santoso, Meidyatama Suryodiningrat and Riyadi Suparno I Executive Director Riyadi Suparno I Senior Managing Editor Kornelius Purba I Managing Editors Primastuti Handayani, Rendi A. Witular MAGAZINE, 2013
OUR CAUSE FOR CONCERN J
akarta’s museums are as diverse as the city they occupy. They cover such a wide range of subjects and themes – textiles, history, fine arts, maritime tradition, puppetry, banking, tribal arts, to name but a very few – that I think we could all find something of interest. Unfortunately, sometimes the facilities housing the collections leave something to be desired. The artworks or objects may be poorly showcased, the museum in a state of disrepair or other aspects fail to live up to our expectations. If you, like me, have a love of art and have had the good fortune to visit museums abroad, you will inevitably compare the experiences and, in most cases, our museums will come off second best. Overseas, at the great museums of London, Paris, New York, Rome, Florence and many other cities, including our neighbor of Singapore, visitors enjoy a complete and enjoyable experience. We still have ground to make up in achieving world-class museums. For much of our history, it may have been because we had bigger concerns in this developing nation. Today, however, with the booming economy of Indonesia in 2013, museums and other cultural attractions are starting to draw more attention and recognition. Patrons and benefactors understand that preserving our history for future generations is essential for us to understand who we are as a nation. We must be able to reflect on the historical and sociocultural components of our story, including the long-gone and perhaps painful aspects of the past. Museums are the ideal place to capture that story. In making them more appealing and welcoming, especially for our internationally savvy and
progressive urban youth, it falls to all of us to take responsibility. We cannot simply blame the museum administrators or government for lacking the initiative to improve their facilities; we, as members of the public, must be ready to support museums and their activities by going out to see what they have to offer. The private sector must also be cognizant of the value of including museums and other cultural institutions in their corporate social responsibility programs. Likewise, the media must find ways to turn the spotlight on museums – even critical at times, for their own good – to bring them to greater public attention. And, yes, the much-maligned museum administrators must be prepared to find new and innovative ways to promote their institutions, including learning from the examples of others. But I do believe we are heading in the right direction, and a useful step is holding The Museum Week in Jakarta. It is a joint initiative to bring museums out of their dusty corners, by taking them to the bright, comfortable space of malls, and getting people interested in seeing the collections in their original homes. We trust The Museum Week will be the start of something special in establishing Jakarta’s museums as world-class institutions. Take the time to have a look at an exhibit – you may be surprised at what you find. Jusuf Wanandi Director, The Jakarta Post August 20, 2013
A Great Nation Learns From Its History
Contributing to the Nationâ€™s Competitive Edge
TAMAN MINI INDONESIA INDAH
EXPLORE ALL OF INDONESIA WITHOUT LEAVING JAKARTA.
ndonesia is so big and diverse that you might never hope to see it all – except perhaps in miniature, at the 250-acre park in East Jakarta that displays the whole country, from Aceh to Papua. The journey starts with a 15-minute ride in the Skylift cable car, which has two tracks, at the west and east sides of the main gate. The trip gives a panoramic overview of the lake and its mini “islands” – the archipelago. “This is the Indonesian version of the movie Around the World in Eighty Days,” said visitor Frances Jodie, referring to the screen adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel. Among the transport options for exploring Taman Mini are bicycles. Visitors can rent single, two-, three- or even four-seater bicycles. Pedaling along the park’s tracks is a popular weekend pastime for Jakartans. A good way to see the park is to explore the province pavilions: a pavilion is dedicated to each of Indonesia’s provinces, with cultural and art exhibitions, traditional houses and displays of items such as
weapons and traditional costumes. Pavilions also feature performances. In the West Sumatra pavilion, for example, a dance troupe performs the traditional piring, or plate, dance. Also in the park are 14 museums, with themes including technology, transportation, telecommunications and culture. There are also 10 gardens, among which are an aviary, orchid garden, cactus garden, freshwater aquarium and a reptile park. A huge aquatic park called Snow Bay is located outside the park entrance, and Istana Anak-anak Indonesia playground is just north of it. Those not interested in splashing about or riding a bicycle can watch a movie at Keong Mas, the oldest IMAX theater in Indonesia, where movies focus on local culture, the arts and wildlife. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah Jl. Raya Taman Mini East Jakarta Originally published on jakpost.com
R Banking On It BANK INDONESIA AND BANK MANDIRI MUSEUMS
TWO OF JAKARTA’S BEST-KEPT MUSEUMS GIVE INTERESTING INSIGHT INTO THE NATION’S BANKING HISTORY.
ight outside Kota Railway Station are two museums dedicated to banking – standing side by side and free of charge, both are worth a visit. Bank Mandiri Museum, named for Indonesia’s largest bank in terms of assets, loans and deposits, occupies a building constructed in 1929 by a Dutch trading company. This museum is interesting not just for its abundance of banking-related collections from the old days – money counters, huge safes, safe deposit boxes, calculators and typewriters, to name a few – but also for the historic building itself, which has retained its original interior and is a seemingly endless maze of rooms. Right next to the Bank Mandiri Museum is the Bank Indonesia Museum, housed in a neo-classical building constructed in 1828 as De Javasche Bank. This museum will take you on a journey through the history of the country’s central bank, starting from the original De Javasche Bank period up to the Bank Indonesia era, describing its policies and what happened with the nation’s monetary supply up to 2005. The museum’s creative displays use a range of multimedia, and air conditioning makes the visit pleasant. If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty afterward, stop by the classic Cafe Batavia at Taman Fatahillah (Fatahillah Square), only a stone’s throw from the museums. Formerly a warehouse, this café is decorated with art, antique furniture and framed photographs of famous people from days past. The bar downstairs has a stage for live bands, but head straight upstairs and pick a seat near the long and open windows to watch the world go by. Originally published on jakpost.com
Jakarta’s Own Puppet Kingdom STROLL THROUGH THE RICH WORLD OF PUPPETS. WORDS EDNA TARIGAN
ayang, or puppet, theater is without a doubt one of the most celebrated icons of Indonesian culture. It even has the official stamp of a UNESCO designation as a “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. The original art is believed to have been brought from India to Indonesia with Hinduism, which spread through Southeast Asia some 2,000 years ago. During those two millennia, the art of puppetry fused with indigenous cultures, evolving into something with a distinct Indonesian identity. Although most commonly associated with Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese heritage, wayang flourishes across much of the country, including South Sumatra, South Kalimantan and even West Nusa Tenggara.
Museum Wayang, in the heart of Jakarta’s culturally rich Old Town, takes visitors through the long history of the art in Indonesia, with a vast collection of more than 4,000 puppets from across the country and from nations such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, France and Suriname. The small building, which sits on famous Fatahillah Square across from the Jakarta History Museum, has an interesting history in itself: it was originally a church, built by the Dutch in 1640. Over the next 300 years, it was renovated several times, including following its near destruction in a huge earthquake in 1808. In 1939, the Dutch turned the building into
a museum, and in 1975 the Jakarta administration opened the wayang museum there. Yet remnants of the old church remain, as does the grave in the front yard of former Dutch governor general Jan Pieterszoon Coen, who died in the city in 1629. On entering the museum, the visitor is greeted by two giant wayang golek (wooden puppets) from the Sundanese culture of West Java. These puppets are Rahwana and Ramawijaya, the two main characters from the Indian epic Ramayana, which is the source of many local wayang stories. Behind these two towering effigies are other wayang golek portraying other characters from the Ramayana. Indeed, characters from the Ramayana make up the bulk of the collection, a testament to the art’s Hindu origins. Yet also present are the four beloved punokawan (clowns), namely Semar, Gareng, Petruk and Bagong, which are wayang characters that originated in Indonesia and do not appear in the original Ramayana epic. The exhibition features an array of wayang kulit (shadow puppets), wayang golek, wayang klithik (flat wooden puppets) and wayang mainan (toy puppets). The museum also houses a special collection called wayang revolusi (revolutionary puppets), from Indonesia’s struggle for independence during the 1940s, and one of female characters of various origins and eras. Those wishing to take a puppet or other memorabilia home can stop by the museum’s souvenir shop, and those wanting to watch puppetmakers at work can do so, by appointment. Museum Wayang Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No. 27, West Jakarta Telp. 021-6292-9560 Opening hours Tuesday–Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Originally published on jakpost.com
Indonesiaâ€™s cultural treasures blanket the archipelago with color and creativity, as artisans continue the timehonored traditions of their ancestors. The Jakarta Post is proud to share these same values and qualities. In celebrating our 30th anniversary as the nationâ€™s most influential English-language media, we uphold our unwavering tradition of honest and insightful reporting on Indonesia, past and present. And we also reaffirm our pledge to continue these principles amid a new and exciting era of challenges.
Always bold. Always independent
Skk Migas & Total E&P Indonesie
Safeguarding Indonesian Culture
M Total E&P Indonesie, with the support of the Special Task Force for Upstream Oil & Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas), embarks on continuous efforts to conduct partnerships with stakeholders, including for the preservation of local and national cultural heritage. 14
any corporations increasingly realize the importance of executing programs that uphold the formation of mutually beneficial partnerships between their institution and shareholders. Programs are conducted in various related fields, including education, health, economic empowerment, the environment and culture. Total E&P Indonesie, as a major oil and gas company, recognizes the value of such partnerships. With the support of SKK Migas in a number of programs, Total E&P Indonesie is proceeding with four main focuses in its Support to Operation Programs: Education, Research, and Capacity Building; Health and Nutrition; Community Economic Empowerment and Capacity Building; Environment and Alternative Energy Sources. Other partnerships of Total E&P Indonesie and SKK Migas are conducted through sponsorship programs for diverse activities, with five main focused activities
related to stakeholder relations, local culture, sport, education and the environment. For cultural preservation programs, Total E&P Indonesie has been involved in many activities, both conducted with SKK Migas and also independently. Its sponsorships conducted with SKK Migas in 2013 include Wayang Orang Erang Boyo performances, in cooperation with Yayasan Satya Budaya, cultural performances conducted with Krida Budaya cultural group of the University of Indonesia as well as the ongoing The Museum Week conducted with The Jakarta Post English-language daily. In 2013, Total E&P Indonesieâ€™s independently conducted programs include the Festival of Plaited Art â€“ Kalimantan Masterpiece and Wayang Educational Package Program, in cooperation with Yayasan Lontar, and Wayang World Puppet Carnival, working with the Indonesian Puppeteers Association (Pepadi) and Yayasan Arsari Djojohadikusumo. In addition to these programs, Total E&P Indonesie
also established the Total Indonesia Foundation (TIF) in 2008 which is focused exclusively on cultural preservation efforts. Chairman of Total Indonesia Foundation (TIF) Eddy Mulyadi believes it is imperative to preserve and promote Indonesian culture to the young generation. “Indonesia is a big country with a wide variety of ethnicities, made rich by a diverse range of customs and art forms. Therefore maintaining the integrity of our rich cultural heritage in the face of globalization is indeed our shared responsibility,” he says. Eddy believes that if we want our grandchildren to retain their cultural identity, we must somehow find a way to get our children interested in local arts. With this in mind, TIF initiated Wayang Program, a structural plan designed to maintain, develop and promote Indonesian puppetry performances. TIF has signed an MOU with the Indonesian Wayang National Secretariate, Indonesian Puppeteers Association and Museum Wayang Jakarta to revive the popularity of the art of shadow puppetry among young Indonesians. “In 2011, we launched Indonesian Wayang Festival (FWI). The third festival was held from July 4 to July 7 this year, in which we held several Wayang performances and a national competition intended for young puppeteers. There were 12 finalists from 12 different provinces in Indonesia,” explains Eddy. “Wayang isn’t the only cultural asset that we’re trying to preserve. TIF is currently doing similar conservation efforts for Jepen dance (a Melayu Kutai ethnic dance) and traditional East Kalimantan handicrafts,” Eddy shares. For more than 1,000 years, Javanese puppetry has fascinated the world. As with the puppetry performances in India and China, Javanese puppetry, better known as wayang (Javanese for shadow), was used for as a cultural ritual and public entertainment. The plays are invariably based on romantic tales, especially adaptations of the epic
“SINCE THE FOUNDATION HAS BEEN WORKING WITH WAYANG, IT IS ONLY APPROPRIATE THAT WE START OUR MUSEUM PROGRAM WITH MUSEUM WAYANG”
museum, which frankly is neither big nor impressive in terms of collections?” After careful observations, he came to the conclusion that there are several aspects that make even small-sized museums in Singapore popular. “I notice that there are at least three aspects the are crucial in running a museum. First is the people who manage the museums. Second is public awareness about the function of museums. And third is the effective promotions the museums do by means of regular events,” he points out. In order to fulfill the TIF’s vision to actively preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Indonesia, Eddy says the foundation is seriously mapping out plans to support local museums. This effort includes its participation in the ongoing Museum Week at Senayan City; its booth will include wickerwork handicrafts from the Dayak people of Kalimantan. Eddy emphasizes TIF’s unwavering commitment to its cause through working with partners. “We do not simply give out money to an institution, because that ultimately may not be worthwhile. Instead, we ask them what they need, whether it is training or the services of a consultant, to see how we can help,” he said.
Hindu classics the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Wayang comes in different forms, with Wayang Kulit (shadow puppets) being the most famous. Made of leather, the puppets are carefully chiseled with and supported with shaped buffalo horn handles and control rods. “Since the foundation has been working with wayang, it is only appropriate that we start our museum program with Museum Wayang. We also noted the innovative efforts from the management in promoting its museum, namely through a series of school visits that proved to be effective in attracting students to visit the museum,” he says.
Museum moves While TIF remains committed to preserving traditional art forms like wayang, Eddy says that plans to promote and revitalize museums in Indonesia are underway. “I always wonder why museums in Paris are so popular among tourists and locals alike. One may argue that it is the vast collections of artifacts and art works that draw people to these museums,” Eddy pauses, before adding, “But then how do you explain the popularity of Singapore’s Peranakan MAGAZINE, 2013
GOOD WILL FUNDING
TRADITIONAL ARTS AND CULTURE ARE FINDING THEIR WAY INTO CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAMS THAT AIM TO CELEBRATE INDONESIAN HERITAGE AND EMPOWER COMMUNITIES. WORDS SONDANG GRACE SIRAIT
The acclaimed production of Matah Ati, shown on facing page and below, was made possible through corporate sponsorship.
PHOTOS THE JAKARTA POST, ANTARA, COURTESY OF SAHABAT MUSEUM
uppeteer Asman Budi Prayitno captured the imaginations of some when he compared Western comic book heroes with the protagonists of traditional Indonesian shadow puppet theater, or wayang. Brave and strong Gatotkaca, born of Bimasena and Arimbi, died defending his country and family in the Bharatayudha war; his uncle Arjuna was known for his power and wisdom; even the complex character of Adipati Karna displayed integrity and honor. “These are people we can all look up to, especially when we talk about building the character of our nation’s youth,” says Asman, who chaired this year’s Indonesian Puppet Festival, held at Jakarta’s Fatahillah Museum in July. One decade after UNESCO listed wayang as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and amid a new cultural revival nurtured by the nation’s booming economy, Indonesians of all ages can learn more about their heritage – and discover just how much there is to be proud of. Aiding the mission is a flourishing trend in corporate social responsibility, or CSR, of supporting the arts. “It isn’t easy to preserve our nation’s culture, but someone needs to do that work,” says Eddy Mulyadi, chairman of Total Indonesia Foundation, which has funded the puppet festival for the past three years. “Every nation has its own strength; some are in economy, technology or military. Indonesia’s strength lies in its rich culture, which we should be proud of. Shouldn’t it be our job to preserve it?” His foundation was established in 2008 by the French-based energy company Total E&P Indonesie,
The National Monument beckoned to thousands of Jakartans who turned out to watch several performances of Ariah.
EVERY NATION HAS ITS OWN STRENGTH ... INDONESIA’S STRENGTH LIES IN ITS RICH CULTURE, WHICH WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF. SHOULDN’T IT BE OUR JOB TO PRESERVE IT?
which has had a presence in Indonesia for 44 years. “Arts and culture programs consist of 30 percent of total sole cost or non-cost recovery of our CSR programs. They account for half of our economic empowerment programs,” says Eddy. The foundation’s activities include efforts to revitalize the vanishing art of puppetry in Palembang, South Sumatra, offering aid to contemporary puppet artists and assisting Dayak artisans in East Kalimantan.
Culturally concerned Corporations across many sectors are increasingly looking to support cultural projects in Indonesia. Djarum Foundation has been a pioneer in sponsoring cultural performances, especially high-quality theatrical productions. Last year, Bank Central Asia supported Matah Ati, the production of an epic Javanese drama. It also supports many wayang performances and concerts. Ortus Group, an asset management and investment company owned by businessman Edward Soeryadjaya, was the major sponsor behind the acclaimed musical Ariah, which, like Matah Ati, was written and directed by Edward’s wife Atilah. Bottled water giant Danone Aqua was behind UNESCO award-winning community efforts in Wae Rebo Village in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, to restore and conserve their traditional houses. From a CSR perspective, such efforts go beyond the arts to society more broadly. “It may not be our main focus, but in principle thesecontribute to our efforts to involve and empower society in order to achieve sustainable business and welfare,” says Troy Pantouw, corporate MAGAZINE, 2013
“THE PRIVATE SECTOR COULD HELP, ESPECIALLY THROUGH CSR FUNDING. FOR EXAMPLE, BANKS COULD ACT AS PATRONS FOR EXHIBITS ON CURRENCIES AND COINS; PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES COULD DO SO FOR EXHIBITS RELATED TO HEALTH”
communications director at Danone Aqua. Freeport Indonesia is attempting something similar through the preservation and exhibition of handicrafts made by the Kamoro tribe of East Papua, with the Papuan Center at the University of Indonesia among its partners. “In addition to preserving arts and culture, we believe it is essential for the company to play a role in empowering communities so that they can become economically independent,” says Daisy Primayanti, vice president of corporate communications of the mining giant. And it’s good for PR too. “There is always a ‘feel good’ element when we talk about culture and arts,” says Nur Shilla Christianto, vice president of communications consultant Maverick Indonesia. “I wouldn’t call this a new wave in CSR but I think companies have a better understanding of how it is imperative to be relevant and to create shared values with their stakeholders, if they are looking for longterm sustainability. So for these companies, it really comes down to identifying focus areas where they can either help address societal issues or add the most value to the communities in which they operate.”
Private practice Now the Indonesian arts and culture community and officials at the Ministry of Education and Culture are hoping corporations will turn their attention to the nation’s ailing museums. “The private sector could help, especially through CSR funding,” says Djulianto Susantio, an advisor to the Indonesian Museum Lovers Community. “For example, banks could act as patrons for exhibits on currencies and coins; pharmaceutical companies could do so for exhibits related to health, and so on. In return, museums can put up signs that say such exhibit is sponsored by the company.”
Djulianto, an archaeologist who studied at the University of Indonesia, lives and breathes museums. On a single day in July, he and some other museum devotees visited three institutions in Central Jakarta — only to walk away disappointed. “There are many museums out there that do not deserve to be called museums. They’re more like showcases of certain collections,” says Djulianto, who blogs and writes regularly on the issue. “You can see how some collections are not well taken care of and notes on the exhibits are starting to turn yellow. This is the responsibility of a museum’s conservation team, but most complain of lack of funding.” And if they don’t have the funding, it’s generally because they don’t have visitors, with Indonesians showing little interest in visiting the country’s museums – which now number 60 in Jakarta and 300 nationwide, according to history buffs in Komunitas Jelajah. This indifference has persisted despite a campaign to revitalize museums launched in 2010 by then culture and tourism minister Jero Wacik. Ade Purnama, founder of a community of museum lovers called Sahabat Museum, says the recent media attention on museums has helped a great deal, but has nevertheless failed to overcome a major barrier: instilling a sense of ownership among the Indonesian public. “To fix this problem, local governments and youth groups need to work together,” Ade says. “And the government needs to create long-term programs that include extensive research on each region’s history.” He also welcomes the engagement of private partners in managing museums, especially those that know how to create fun and educational experiences. Ade, at least, is optimistic: “There is so much that can be done as long as there is good will and funds.”
MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM metal stamp pattern or a replica of Majapahit’s terracotta piggybank? Memorable events Our museums’ great architecture and outstanding artifacts would make a splendid backdrop for events. Think gala dinner, a launch for a luxury product or even a wedding reception – the list is endless. With some great organizers and caterers,we could create an extraordinary experience.
IT’S TIME TO PUT SOME POLISH AND PIZZAZZ INTO OUR MUSEUM ATTRACTIONS. WORDS KESTITY PRINGGOHARJONO PHOTO R. BERTO WEDHATAMA
useums were a regular meeting place when I was living abroad, whether it was the Singapore Art Museum or the canteen at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. They were comfortable locations for meetings, with the discussion often branching off onto the exhibitions and a quick tour. It was a great way to combine meetings and culture. Back in Jakarta, I often have to resort to having meetings at malls. Still, I believe that the museum meeting option – which really is much more inviting – can work in Indonesia. I would love to be able to show my visitors around local museums and leave them impressed by Indonesia’s cultural riches. The basics are in place. Museums in Jakarta are mostly centrally located or in areas of historical significance, often in beautiful heritage buildings. All we need is to throw in a few extra details to enhance their appeal for Indonesians and foreigners alike.
Classy cafés and restaurants I have been a volunteer guide at the National Museum for the last three years. Visitors often ask me where they can take a break or get refreshments. To their disappointment, I can only refer them to malls and restaurants located some distance away. Our museums have ambience – it would be wonderful if visitors could savor it over a coffee and cake, or even a more substantial menu offering dishes from across the archipelago. It would make the experience that much more memorable for them. Fascinating museum shops I often end up helping museum visitors when they bargain for mediocre replicas of the National Monument (Monas) sold by vendors at the entrance. People love to have objects that evoke a sense not only of place, but also of time. On museum trips with my kids abroad, we have walked out with a book, a fun poster or even a toy to remember the visit by. Surely here we can do better than those shoddy replicas. And how about some delightful “Indonesiana”, such as serving utensils with a batik
Exciting public lectures A great way to attract regular visitors and broaden a museum’s appeal is to invite experts with the ability to bring the knowledge to life. There is no better way to learn about Indonesian textiles than to hear an expert demonstrate the difference between Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi ikat, or explain how Indonesian traditional houses developed. The possible topics are endless. The talks could be followed by a reception in the galleries, a wonderful way to meet people, learn and relax. Savvy use of technology The judicious use of technology could help get children to pay attention and absorb a museum’s displays. Consider, for example, how an interactive touch screen could make an experience more playful. Multimedia can enrich our understanding of the exhibit – such as a video demonstrating the use of a kris in ceremonies. Or use Google maps to mark the object’s origin or the location of archaeological sites. Technology can also assist the nonIndonesian by making explanations available in other languages, so they don’t have to rely on the presence of an English-speaking tour guide. Indonesia has all the elements for great museum experiences. Bring them all together, and I am confident people will be knocking down the doors. The writer is executive director of the Lontar Foundation.
WHERE IN JAKARTA CAN YOU CLIMB ON A PLANE, WATCH A SNAKE EAT A CHICK AND SEE SPY TOOLS LIKE CIGARETTE LIGHTERS WITH HIDDEN CAMERAS? ALL IN ITS QUIRKY MUSEUMS. HERE ARE SOME FAVORITES. WORDS ANDREW WHITMARSH PHOTOS MELANIE WOOD
HIGH TIME FOR MARITIME
One of Jakarta’s best-kept museum secrets is the Police Museum. Covering three stories, the museum includes spy toys such as calculators with embedded radio transmitters, cigarette-lighter cameras, and lock-picking equipment. There are old-school police bicycles and motorcycles, and defensive weapons through the ages: swords, shields, guns and riot gear. The interactive Kids Corner includes child-sized police uniforms and a forensics lab-themed play area. Police videos loops on flat-screen TVs, and wall murals and cartoons show the different aspects of police work. Museum Polri is located on the corner of Jl. Trunojoyo and Jl. Sultan Hasanuddin in Blok M; the police helicopter out front makes the museum easy to spot. Closed on Mondays.
Jakarta’s history begins in north Jakarta and there are a number of museums in this area. Fatahillah Square is popular with weekend visitors and is the location of the Jakarta History Museum, the Wayang Puppet Museum and the Fine Arts and Ceramics Museum, but a little further north is picturesque Museum Bahari – the maritime museum – one of the better museums in the city. Visually, the museum has lovely exteriors: rows of bright turquoise shutters in damp-blotched beige walls beneath steep red-tiled roofs. The central flagstone courtyards are potted with plants, and palm trees give shade. The wall at the front of the museum is one of the few remaining sections of the original seventeenth-century city wall. For photographers, the
exteriors alone are worth the visit. The museum is housed in a complex of former Dutch warehouses, some dating back to 1652. Once these low, cool warehouses stored nutmeg, pepper, coffee, tea, cloth, and timber– before the goods were shipped to Europe. The museum displays full-size replicas of boats and canoes, lighthouse equipment, and fishing gear, as well as dioramas of north Jakarta’s history. Museum Bahari is located behind the Menara Syahbandar watchtower, built in 1839, on Jl.Pakin. Closed on Mondays.
INDIGENOUS INSIGHT Nestled deep in leafy Kemang is the most architecturally modern of the city’s museums. GedungDua8, a private museum, houses five floors of indigenous artifacts and history from around 20 indigenous groups. Art, exhibits, and home-hewn tools come from as far east as Timor and Papua. Unlike other museums in the city, Gedung Dua8 is well-lit and well-stocked. There are masks, drums, frightening head dresses, tribal costumes, textiles, pottery, wood carvings, baskets, shields, spears, knives and jewelry. On the ground floor is a
library with over 1,500 books in five languages on Indonesian art and culture. The museum is located at Jl. Kemang Utara 28.
MILITARY MIGHT It is likely that you have passed Museum Satria Mandala dozens of times on your way to the airport, but the Armed Forces Museum is worth a visit in its own right. Run by the Indonesian Military (TNI), the museum showcases the country’s bloody history through weapons, military hardware, guns, swords, uniforms and dioramas (Indonesian museums love their dioramas ) – particularly depicting the dramas of 1945 and 1946, when Indonesia fought for freedom from Japanese control. In the garden area outside are airplanes for visitors to play on and further examples of military vehicles and weapons. Museum Satria Mandala is located at Jl. Gatot Subroto. Closed on Mondays.
ELEPHANTS DON’T FORGET For Indonesian history and crafts, the best museum in town is Museum Nasional – the national museum, nicknamed Museum Gajah after the statue
of the elephant out front. It was a gift from the king of Siam (now Thailand) in 1871. The museum opened in 1868 and includes a treasury of gold and precious items, as well as sections showing the evolution of Indonesian language and lifestyle. An exhibition hall hosts temporary exhibits, including international collections.The museum can be self-navigated, but the Indonesian Heritage Society offers highly recommended guided tours in multiple languages at least three times a week. It is located on Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta. Closed on Mondays.
DEAD CERTAINTY One of the most gravely picturesque spots in Jakarta is the cemetery at Museum Taman Prasasti – the memorial park museum. The graves date back to the early 1700s. One celebrity buried here is Olivia Marianne, the first wife of Sir Stamford Raffles. In several cases, the headstones are quite elaborate, with weeping women, angels in prayer, and small kneeling children. The cemetery is a popular haunt for local photographers trailed by models in gothic garb. –Andrew Whitmarsh is the author of Jakarta Guidebook
ACTRESS AND WRITER HAPPY SALMA HAS HER HAND IN MANY POTS, AND NOT JUST THE HOMEWARES SHE EXHIBITS ON A TELEVISION SHOPPING PROGRAM.
WARDROBE MAXMARA LOCATION TEXTILE MUSEUM (additional credits page 4)
appy Salma’s distinct beauty certainly turned heads on the red carpet at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. But the 33-year-old is also intelligent and inquisitive – how many other entertainers would name eccentric British singer Morrissey as the man whose brain they would like to pick over dinner? A frequent performer in theater productions, including playing Inggita, one of founding president Sukarno’s wives, she is also producing a documentary on Indonesia during the turbulent mid-1960s; she tells of sourcing rare archival footage of mass killings during the Communist purge. Also in the works is a book on the legal threat that overseas patenting of traditional motifs poses to Balinese artisans. Not someone to fawn or flatter, Happy gives her opinion frankly, whether uttering a respectful “Vintage, niiiiice” upon spying the stylist’s secondhand branded bag (let it be noted that she herself was carrying a major tote) or expressing exasperation at the penchant for dilly-dallying and self-pity in Indonesian politics. Neither does she take herself too seriously: after giving her views on healthy fasting, she adds, “I must sound like I think I’m a doctor or something”, and proceeds to launch into a humorous tale of her publicity-shy Balinese-Australian husband’s unwitting metrosexualization for a magazine shoot. “We need more places like this in Jakarta, an oasis from everything else in the city,” Happy says of the Textile Museum, a sprawling, leafy complex in downtown Central Jakarta, where hawkers on the cluttered sidewalk peddle everything from kitchen utensils of dubious origin to smutty magazines. The cover shoot at the museum is a return to a happy hunting ground of sorts; she first stumbled upon the museum while making a TV soap years ago – “I was looking for a toilet, and I thought, ‘what is this?’”
WORDS BRUCE EMOND I PHOTOS MEUTIA ANANDA
She took weekly batik classes at the museum for years, and recalls passing the housedress-clad ladies of the night, who were turning the air blue with their ribald come-ons. Her first work – appropriately, considering her social consciousness – was a batik of a street protest. She presented it to Indonesia’s most famous man of letters, the late author Pramoedya Ananta Toer, with whom she became acquainted after performing in a play adapted from his work. “He told me, ‘keep on doing batik, Happy,’ but I haven’t had the time. Maybe one day I can go back to it.” It might make up for her unfulfilled dream of becoming a painter – for which, she admits, she simply lacks the talent. Photo shoot done, Happy bids farewell, and, on leaving the changing room, greets a hovering cleaner by name. The two women chatter in the Sundanese dialect of the actress’s West Java roots. “We used to eat together when I took the batik classes,” Happy says. “I thought you would be here longer,” the cleaner says, disappointed. “Oh, I’ll be back. I still need to pick up the last batik I made here.”
MAKING IT SNAPPY
What would you do to make museums better? We need to make them comfortable and up to date, by using social media and putting on inviting events. Make them attractive and informative, instead of oldfashioned and spooky. That will bring in the visitors. Do you take home goods from the shopping shows? Always! They’re given to me, and I’m curious about them. Are they really as cool as when we try them on TV? What do foreigners say when they first hear your name? “Is that for real? What a cute name.” MAGAZINE, 2013
Come and See the Collections WHAT DO THE MUSEUMS TAKING PART IN THE MUSEUM WEEK AT SENAYAN CITY HAVE TO OFFER VISITORS? -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Textile Museum Jl. Aipda KS Tubun No 2-4, Central Jakarta Telp. 021-560-6613
Museum Wayang (Puppet Museum)
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat 12, West Jakarta Telp. 021-3811551
Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No. 27, West Jakarta Telp. 021-6929560
Founded in the 19th century, the museum is also known as the “Elephant Museum” because of the iconic elephant statue that greets visitors (it was a gift of the king of Thailand). Home to more than 60,000 prehistoric and anthropological artifacts from Indonesia and Asia. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Home to everything you want to know about wayang (Indonesian traditional puppets), named a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003. On display are more than 4,000 puppets from Indonesia and many parts of the world; it also hosts regular performances. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Founded as a joint initiative of the Jakarta administration and a community of Indonesian textile collectors in 1976 to preserve and study the country’s traditional fabrics. Located in a beautiful old mansion with welcoming grounds, the collection boasts more than 1,000 Indonesian fabrics. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Museum Bank Indonesia
Jakarta History Museum (Museum Fatahillah)
Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum)
Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No. 3, West Jakarta Telp. 021-2601730
Jl. Taman Fatahillah No. 1, West Jakarta Telp. 021-6929101
Jl. Pasar Ikan No. 1, North Jakarta Telp. 021-6693406
Houses relics detailing the historical development of Jakarta, with cultural influences from China, Europe and other regions, as well as artifacts from ancient kingdoms in Java. Its impressive premises are the old city hall built by Dutch administrators in 1625.
Situated in the Kota Tua complex, the museum is appropriately located in an old bank building dating back to 1828. Showcases the complete history of the nation’s economy, from pre-colonialism to today. ----------------------------------------------------------------------26
Records the nation’s maritime history, including displays of legendary traditional fishing boats and statues of famous seafarers who set anchor in Jakarta. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Gedung Joang 45 Jl. Menteng Raya 31, Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta Telp. 021-3909148
Museum Sumpah Pemuda (Youth Pledge Museum)
Strategically located in the city’s leafy Menteng neighborhood, Gedung Joang 45 showcases relics from Indonesia’s independence struggle era. The first cars of the president and vice president, as well as photos of the Independence War, are among its collection. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jl. Kramat Raya No. 106, East Jakarta Telp. 021-3103217
Mohammad Hoesni Thamrin Museum
Museum Asmat TMII Jl. Raya Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, East Jakarta Telp. 021-8400546 Part of the vast Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) complex , this museum is dedicated to the Asmat people of Papua. Among its artifacts are Asmat traditional wood carvings that have gained international recognition. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jl. Kenari III No 15, Central Jakarta Telp. 021-3909418 The museum, jointly supervised by Gedung Joang 45 management, was donated by the family of national hero Mohammad Hoesni Thamrin. Its collection is mostly composed of the native Betawi’s private items, such as photographs,
Museum Perumusan Naskah Proklamasi (Museum of the Draft Proclamation) Jl. Imam Bonjol 1 Menteng, Central Jakarta Telp. 021-3144743 This was the house rented by several youth activists in 1920s, including Muhammad Yamin, Amir Sjarifuddin, A. K Gani and Mohammad Tamzil. Dedicated as a museum in 1972, it houses items from the historic Youth Pledge Congress in 1928, which paved the way for the nation’s eventual independence. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Harry Darsono Museum Jl. Cilandak Tengah No. 71, South Jakarta Telp. 021-7668553 The nation’s founding fathers drafted the proclamation of independence at this Art Deco house in mid-August 1945. The collection includes the copy of the hand-written proclamation text. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
radio and books. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Monumen Nasional (National Monument) Jl. Silang Monas, Central Jakarta Telp. 021-3504333 Popularly known as Monas, the 132-meter-high tower is the major landmark of Jakarta. Its museum, located on the ground floor of the tower, offers a complete history of Indonesian independence; its spacious gardens are among the city’s best areas of open space.
Basoeki Abdullah Museum Jl Keuangan Raya No. 19 Cilandak Barat, South Jakarta Telp. 021-7698926 Before his sudden death in 1993, renowned painter Basoeki Abdullah told his family his wish to donate his works to the state. His museum, officially launched in 1995, contains 112 original works and 11 reproductions. Also on display are hundreds of his books and artworks.
This private museum of the designer and philanthropist is a lavish homage to fashion, including dresses and accessories, and rare antiques. And you may get to meet the famous raconteur in person. MAGAZINE, 2013
ORIGINALLY A MANSION, THE TEXTILE MUSEUM HAS BEEN REINVENTED MANY TIMES DURING ITS COLORFUL HISTORY. ITS HISTORIC PREMISES, A REFUGE FROM THE BEDLAM OF TEEMING TANAH ABANG OUTSIDE, OFFER THE PERFECT VENUE FOR CAPTURING A CONTEMPORARY TAKE ON TRADITIONAL FABRIC.
Combining a crisp white shirt and a long, dramatic skirt is the quickest – and easiest – way to reveal your sense of simple chic. On Kelly: Shirt by Dior Homme, worn with Cirebon Megamendung batik MAGAZINE, 2013
Chiffon is the material of choice for feminine dresses. Ripped chiffon, combined with fishnet and precious stones, makes for a serenely artistic impression. On Kelly: Cocktail dress by SebastianRed and jacket by MaxMara
Harem pants cut at the knee are more flattering than those finished at the ankle because they give the leg an elongated look. Perk it up with a voluminous handkerchief top and straw hat. On Kelly: Pants by MaxMara and tenun woven fabric from Sumbawa MAGAZINE, 2013
Taking a Bow
True, that little black dress is a must, but a trusty black skirt is another wardrobe essential. Pair it with a crop top in vibrant colors and you will be ready for your cocktail party. On Kelly: Skirt with bow accent by SebastianRed paired with tenun woven fabric from Sumbawa
Photographer Meutia Ananda Assistant Photographer Fransisca Angela Model Kelly Tandiono/B-Mgt MUA Tania Ledezma Stylist Willy Wilson Assistant Stylist Theresia Aprilia Traditional textiles Collection of Bruce Emond Location Textile Museum, Central Jakarta Accessories Mata-Mata
An oversized jacket embellished with precious stones is a great choice for looking good. For an unexpected twist, wear it with a circular lace skirt, all the rage this season. On Kelly: Jacket and skirt by Biyan
Creative Forces 34
HARRY DARSONO TELLS OF OUTFITTING SUCH LUMINARIES AS QUEEN RANIA OF JORDAN AND THE LATE PRINCESS DIANA, BUT HIS PRIVATE HOME MUSEUM IS THE STORY OF A BOY WHO OVERCAME THE ODDS TO SUCCEED. WORDS KINDRA COOPER I PHOTOS NURHAYATI
he mesmerizing detail of Harry Darsono’s sartorial oeuvres – Shakespearian operatic costumes, beadwork-encrusted ball gowns wrought from sheets of gold – conceals their maker’s early struggles. The year before Harry turned nine, he was expelled by four schools for offenses he shudders to recount, the mildest of which was pulling his teachers’ hair during Mass. More serious was his inability to speak, a condition he attributes to Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder. “When your brain is full, you can’t speak,” Harry says of his struggle with the disorder.“ Even to say the name of a relative […] At one point I decided to end my life because I was already sixteen and I still could not speak when in fact there was so much I wanted to say.” Instead, he drew what he could not utter (he says he did not speak properly until the age of 22). “If I wanted a cookie, I would draw a cookie. I would a draw a bed – I would draw everything.” The young Harry sketched every unvoiced yearning, including the three-story baroque museum that stands today on one hectare of land – life imitating art right
down to the 79 finial trophies and the punishment chamber in the rooftop garden (pardon the fairytaleenamored imagination of a nine-year-old boy). The original sketch is in a gilt frame by the main door, notable for its technical prowess. A distinctive touch I learn all this before we have even moved through the ornate entrance hall of his home. Black mannequins clad in aristocratic finery stand guard in the main foyer, with its arched windows monogrammed HDC (for “Harry Darsono Couture”); marble pedestals bear timepieces and glassware, and shadow boxes sit in wall recesses, one spotlighting a wide-sleeved organza jacket Harry created for a production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. By the window looms the armor-like costume worn by Othello in a production of Verdi’s opera. “All of this is made from metal,” Harry says of the costume. “This” – he points to the breastplate – “is made from stainless steel that has been welded from three parts of a large metal box [made into] large circles and small circles. It was worn for more than 16 years, every night.” He invites me to touch it. In Harry’s museum, the MAGAZINE, 2013
only exhibits encased in glass are the limited-edition tea sets from the British royal family. Otherwise, Harry’s museum is configured exactly like a residence – perhaps that of a Victorian aristocrat – and everything else is meant to be probed, marveled at and discussed with their collector. A recording of Bach forms our soundtrack as we linger before a floor-length silk robe that was used in a production of King Lear. It was hand-woven and hand-sewn, Harry says. “The opera’s director asked me, ‘Why does it have to be hand-sewn when you can use a sewing machine?’ The costumes that are worn onstage are far from the audience so they wouldn’t be able to tell if it was machine-sewn. Nobody knew that my [handiwork] was my therapy,” Harry explains. With each of his creations, he fingers the imperfect seams:“See?” he says excitedly. “It’s all made by hand.” Manual handiwork soothes Harry’s ADHD-wrought nerves. While his teenage peers learned to thread needles, Harry recounts, he made knot after knot without stopping, switching needles and threads 70, 80 times until the knots, each one like a pixel, formed a picture.It has become Harry’s design trademark: knots so tight, clustered and numerous they obscure the fabric altogether.
“[PEOPLE] CAN ENJOY THE MUSEUM, JUST LIKE THEY ENJOY BEING IN THE MALL. THEY SEE THE FASHION AND THE ARTIFACTS, THE HISTORY ... THEY TOUCH EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE TOUCHED IN OTHER MUSEUMS” Like a dream We trail our fingers overwhat Harry tells me is the world’s most expensive perfume fountain, its spouts shaped like lion heads. “This belonged to King Louis XVI, the one king who never bathed,” he says. “His body odor was terrible because he liked to eat raw fish and aged cheese. When he hosted a party he would display 48 of these fountains along the corridors of the Fontainebleau in Paris so his guests would not smell his body odor.” Before we climb the floating spiral staircase, Harry ushers me into his textile room. Before I know it I’m
draped in a rainbow-hued silk cape and a feathered hat – made from dried cow manure – that he says were Princess Diana’s. “[People] can enjoy the museum, just like they enjoy being in the mall. They see the fashion and the artifacts, the history, the private letters of Albert Einstein. They touch everything that is not supposed to be touched in other museums – but here they can touch it, they can use it,” Harry explains. “Also the costumes that they can wear from the Phantom of the Opera, Julius Caesar, Othello and all the royal families’ dresses. They can just wear it and
sit and enjoy.” The collection is wide-ranging and eclectic, a chronicle of Harry’s life and mind. He describes the items he shows me: Princess Diana’s disconcertingly heavy sapphire tiara; a small Hebrew scroll that is purportedly a copy of the Book of Moses; Ernest Hemingway’s writing desk; framed typewritten letters by Albert Einstein; even Harry’s own toys, such as a red tin car carrying smiling wooden passengers. Each item comes with a tale, as does Harry himself: he tells of a man who can create a tapestry
from over 22,000 tiny knots, study four majors at once and publish more than 70 books in French, English, Dutch and Indonesian because he requires only one or two hours of sleep each night. A visit to the museum closes with tea and fresh fruit in the parlor. Harry sits behind the grand piano – once owned by Chopin, he notes. He launches into ABBA’s “I Have a Dream” and exhorts me to sing. He then asks me to recite his poem“The List”. “The most effective sleeping pill: Peace of mind/ The most crippling failure disease: Excuses/The two most powerful words: ‘I can’.” Harry nods vigorously at the end of each line. He is indeed vigorous in many ways, a youthful 63, and he claims that, as a university lecturer, his greatest teachers now are his young students. “A museum has to be entertaining and have lots of sensations. If it is just dead and dry and dour, it’s not interesting for the young,” Harry says. “Museum is for ‘M’, like ‘mood-creating’, ‘music’.” Yet even though he has created a museum holding some of the world’s most coveted artifacts, he warns against being enthralled by objects. There are greater things to pursue. “I’m a dreamer,” he says. “But I make my dreams come true.”
KIDS IN MIND MALLS MAY BE JAKARTA’S MODERN PLAYGROUNDS, BUT ADVENTUROUS KIDS CAN ALSO GET THEIR KICKS AT JAKARTA’S MYRIAD MUSEUMS. WORDS LUTFI RAKHMAWATI
et’s admit it: Malls make for convenient “babysitters”, offering almost everything parents and their children could possibly need to keep themselves occupied. But some parents are balking at letting their kids morph into marauding mall rats. Among the alternative diversions on offer are the more than 50 museums around the city. Self-described museum junkie Tio Pramono takes his three children – ages 9, 6 and 4 – to museums on weekends and holidays. He chooses destinations carefully. “They have to be clean, accessible and kid-friendly museums,” he said. “Some of them are too dark, literally, and contain the wrong message about history. Others have sanitary issues, and I definitely stay clear of them.” A favorite is the iconic National Monument (Monas). “It’s cheap, has many activities and the kids are always thrilled at hopping into the old elevator, climbing the tower and observing Jakarta from above,” he said of the 132-meter-tall monument. Tio acknowledges that there is room for improvement, especially at its National History Museum. “The dioramas are old, so kids may find them boring or even scary.” Also making the grade is Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, especially its Transportation Museum, tracking the development of the nation’s transportation system, and the Science and Technology Demonstration Center. The latter, managed by the Research and Technology Ministry, resembles an inviting giant
playground with its swathe of bold colors and attractive objects. “The place is stunning, even for adults. There is so much that science does in our everyday life, and here we learn about it in fun ways,” he said. But what say his kids about their museum excursions? “I keep a diary at home, and I usually write about visits to nice museums,” said his daughter Gemala Putri, 9. “I also collect the tickets or pictures to remind me of the visit. It would be even better if there were souvenirs to bring home as keepsakes.” Another parent, Rinawati, is deliberately choosing museums for recreation to wean her children off their mall fixation. “My mistake as a rookie parent was often taking my twins Vanya and Vandy to malls when they were toddlers. They are now 11 and consider malls the best place to eat, play and shop.” Rina prefers well-maintained sites such as the Bank Indonesia Museum in West Jakarta’s Kota Tua complex. “I want my kids to get a good impression. This place is a perfect example of how a museum should be. I wouldn’t mind paying a high admission fee, but the museum provides it all for free,” she said of one of the city’s most sophisticated museums, which contains detailed exhibits on the history of the nation’s economy. Rina also names the Jakarta History Museum (more popularly known as Fatahillah Museum) and Museum Wayang (Puppet Museum) as worth visiting. “My kids love the Wayang Museum. Traditional
puppets are not part of their everyday toys, so they really enjoy seeing an array of puppets from many places.” Kota Tua is a great area to explore, Rina added, also mentioning Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum), which is located at historic Sunda Kelapa port and pays homage to the nation’s maritime past. There is a pungent reminder at the location, however. “Museum Bahari is a very interesting place but … once we leave the museum, we are in the thick of a crowded, stinky fish market,” she lamented. Museum coordinator Dwi Martati said the institution continued to enhance its collection, including with the addition of statues of famous seafarers James Cook and Abel Tasman, who laid anchor in Jakarta during their travels. (Dutchman Tasman died in then Batavia.) “Every museum is precious in its own way. The duty to preserve and improve the museumslies with all of us,” she said. And that includes the youngest visitors of all.
Test of Time A MUSEUM ACTIVIST ARGUES THAT MUSEUMS SHOULD MIX ENTERTAINMENT WITH EDUCATION TO STAY RELEVANT AND APPEALING. WORDS NICO HARYONO ILLUSTRATION BUDHI HARTONO
daily running of their properties as well as using the funds for future development. Why aren’t museums in Indonesia popular? Recording and maintaining historical objects is often viewed as an imported culture – it isn’t a habit that we grow up with in Indonesian society. There is an increasing awareness about the objective of museums, but it takes time for our society to view museums as places to spend our recreation time.
RT Thomas Haryonagoro is working hard to breathe new life into the nation’s museums, particularly in his hometown of Yogyakarta. His family owns Ullen Sentalu, opened in 1997 in Kaliurang at the foot of Mt. Merapi. The 57-year-old Thomas is a member of several national and international museum organizations, including the International Council of Museums (ICOM), a UNESCO-affiliated nonprofit institution committed to conserving and developing museums, and raising public awareness about them. Seated in the leafy Ullen Sentalu Museum complex and wearing his trademark cap, Thomas discussed the challenges for museums today. What’s the single most important role of a museum? The ICOM statute states that a museum is a permanent nonprofit institution with the task of collecting and maintaining historical references of a certain period or civilization. To avoid gaining a boring, off-putting and “exclusive” image, a museum must position itself as a center for education and research. Today, museums are more concerned about expanding their collections, and not so much about increasing their visitors. This should change. How can museums be relevant in this day and age? I believe that making museums an edutainment hub is a great way to attract visitors. There must be an innovative change in the museum premises. Museums
shouldn’t just be a place for those seeking knowledge, but also for curious visitors looking for meaningful and relaxing downtime. It is therefore important for museums to have souvenir shops, cafés, restaurants and exhibit rooms. Is it true that museums are competing against commercial venues as recreation spots? If you look at it closely, malls are our competitors. In urban areas, malls are the must-visit weekend place. We need to be more creative in our marketing efforts, so in 2012 we did a campaign called “Museum goes to the mall”. We produced replicas of the items we have in the museums, and put them on display at malls. We also had the “Museum goes to the Istana [palace]” campaign, which implemented similar strategies at the principal residence of the Sultan of Yogyakarta.This year, we’ll run the “Museum goes to campus” campaign, and we’re preparing others for schools and villages. Let’s talk about the commercial side of museums. Are museums supposed to make money? There’s a difference between nonprofit and notfor-profit. While the former refers to organizations established for purposes other than profit-making, the latter refers to organizations that aren’t commercially run but could make a profit. Museums fall into the latter category, as it is OK for museums to hold commercial activities. Profit-making museums are self-sustainable; they could maintain the
What’s the role of the Deliberative Body of Museums (Barahmus) in advancing local museums? Established in 1962, Barahmus is an organization that consists of 32 Yogyakarta-based members. I led the organization in 2004–2009, and again in 2009–2014. We managed to bring in a total of 2.3 million visitors to our museums in 2009, which was “Visit a Museum Year”. Why did you choose to be a “museum activist”? Museums are close to my heart because I learn something new every time I visit a museum. This educational part of museums is the very reason why I, along with some friends, decided to fight for the advancement of museums. Although I don’t have an academic background that qualifies me for this line of work, I believe I have made, and will continue to make, some contributions to the museum community through Barahmus. How do you think museums contribute to the tourism industry? We’re trying hard to position museums as recreation spots, apart from usual suspects such as malls. However, we must be strategic in doing so. I think specially designed programs would have a better chance at attracting visitors. For example, a program based on a particular theme, tours to the Vredeburg Fortress Museum or Armed Forces Museum to show the nation’s years of struggle.
Getting the Word Out THE CITY ADMINISTRATION’S MANDATE IS TO RAISE THE PROFILE OF JAKARTA’S BELEAGUERED MUSEUMS WORDS LUTFI RAKHMAWATI ILLUSTRATION BUDHI HARTONO
ead of the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency Arie Budiman shares his views on the development of the city’s museums. And, he says, it all comes down to the thorny issue of money. Generally, what condition are Jakarta’s museums in? Jakarta has many types of museums: those that are managed by ministries, the city administration or other state institutions. The Jakarta administration runs at least 10 museums, including the Jakarta History Museum, Maritime Museum and Puppet Museum. Undoubtedly, we still have much work to do to upgrade the collections and maintain the museums. On the other hand, we also have to introduce museum tourism to more Jakartans. We have to acknowledge that museums have yet to become a main attraction for city residents. What challenges does the agency face in developing the city’s museums? I have said over and over again that budget is our major problem. We have a limited budget even for daily maintenance, let alone for upgrading collections. I have shared this concern with the governor and the City Council, and still have high hopes that we will receive positive feedback. Jakarta has a huge annual budget, so our problem isn’t “do we have the money?” It is more about, “do we see museums as a priority?”
Unless we start to see developing museums as a great investment for our future, we will never get the ideal budgets for their maintenance. Can other parties, such as corporations or wealthy individuals, help preserve museums? We welcome any kind of sponsorship from other parties. However, we must ensure that their contribution to the museum will be regular. Maintenance requires regular donations instead of several impromptu disbursements. Most of the time, we find that many parties are committed to developing the museums only on certain occasions. We cannot count on that kind of help. Jakarta is a burgeoning hub of everything from the arts to the economy. How can museums record all these developments so future generations have a clear idea about what happened in the past? We are very interested in establishing a museum that documents the development of contemporary art, including in paintings and films, as a tribute to the art community. Jakarta has many legendary actors in Indonesian cinema, the late Benyamin Sueb among them. His life, works and artistic vision deserve to be well preserved. We are also talking about other artworks like paintings and statues. Ideally, there has to be a museum dedicated to those masterpieces.
However, we once again face budget constraints. The best way to appreciate the artists’ works is by buying their creations and properly displaying them at the museum. I am ashamed to say that some of our artists are more appreciated by international collectors or overseas museums but receive scant attention here. But for now, we are unable to show them sufficient gratitude. With all the budget constraints, how does the agency manage to improve the museums? We believe that the growing number of visitors will yield a lot of positive results, not only in revenue but also in public attention to the museums. We are making the museums better known through more events in popular places like malls. Last year, we had a museum exhibition at a shopping center. We hosted a museum day in May, to coincide with World Museum Day, to attract more visitors. We are also developing thematic museum visits for tours of several museums sharing similar historical timelines. History lovers, for example, can start their tour at the National Awakening Museum on Jl. Abdul Rahman Saleh to get thorough information about national heroes and early student movements. They then continue the trip to the Youth Pledge Museum on Jl. Kramat Raya, Gedung Joeang 45 in Cikini and end it at Tugu Proklamasi (Proclamation Monument), where Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared national independence. We also have high hopes that the media will keep spreading information about museums. MAGAZINE, 2013
A Sanctuary for Art THE NATION’S CREATIVE TALENTS ARE BEING NURTURED IN AN ARTISTS’ COMPLEX IN YOGYAKARTA. WORDS WILLY WILSON
n 1995, former deputy chief editor of Kompas, P. Swantoro, set up Lembaga Studi Jawa, a cultural center dedicated to the study of classical Javanese culture. His son, Norbertus Nuranto, believed the institution could be even bigger and better. Upon taking it over a few years later, Norbertus welcomed artists, musicians, dancers and poets, inviting them to express themselves and develop their artistic skills. “The institution has since evolved,” Norbertus said. “We are determined to conserve Indonesian culture – be it Javanese or non-Javanese.” The original institution, now known as Tembi Rumah Budaya, was built on a 3,000-square-meter block in the village of Tembi in Bantul regency, Yogyakarta. The complex consisted of a pendopo (traditional Javanese house), a museum, classrooms and offices – until it was destroyed by the devastating earthquake that struck Yogyakarta and Central Java in May 2006. Norbertus, a former management consultant with a degree in Japanese literature from the University of Indonesia and master’s in Southeast Asian studies from Cornell University, was determined to give Tembi Rumah Budaya a new lease of life. He hired architects, rebuilt the pendopo and bought nine traditional wooden houses, each unique to a different ethnic group in Java. The revamped complex occupies 2,500 square meters and functions as a commercial resort, museum, performing arts center and residence for
budding artists. It is divided into four major areas: Bale Inap is a modern tropical resort that features traditional Javanese houses; Bale Dokumentasi is a museum/office; Bale Rupa is an exhibition hall; and Bale Karya is an art studio for selected artists in residence. “Our vision is to nurture the production of quality creative works by young Indonesian artists,” Norbertus said. “In this place, there is no limit to creativity.” Over the years, Tembi Rumah Budaya has also branched out into other businesses. “We have published several books of Javanese literature. We also have opened a restaurant that serves traditional food as described in the Surat Centhini [the ancient Javanese story describing the adventures of Sheikh Amongrogo],” Norbertus said. “And more recently, we have ventured into agriculture by supporting local farmers who want to get into the organic farming industry.” Getting Personal Considering Tembi Rumah Budaya’s contribution to Indonesian art, many might assume that Norbertus, now 50, is himself an artist. But he prefers to call himself, somewhat mockingly, a “cultural scavenger”. “I have a habit of collecting information that many consider useless and irrelevant. In that sense, I am a ‘scavenger’,” he said. His habit of “scavenging” information derives
Photos: Courtesy of Tembi Rumah Budaya
“OUR VISION IS TO NURTURE THE PRODUCTION OF QUALITY CREATIVE WORKS BY YOUNG INDONESIAN ARTISTS. IN THIS PLACE, THERE IS NO LIMIT TO CREATIVITY.”
from his interest in history. Born into a family that appreciated arts, education and tradition – his paternal grandfather was a teacher and maternal grandfather, K.R.T. Purbaningrat, was a choreographer at the Yogyakarta Palace – Norbertus grew up in a cultured environment. “Obviously, art runs in my veins. But my true passion is history. For me, Tembi Rumah Budaya is a very personal project. Building and running it means exploring my personal history,” he said. “For instance, to honor my paternal grandfather, I named the cottages in Tembi Rumah Budaya after the towns where he worked as a teacher. I also made Tembi Rumah Budaya a haven for dancers to pay tribute to my maternal grandfather.” His own daily routine, he said, revolves around coffee, books and cigarettes. And as for family? “Well, my friends call me a geographic widower.” His daughter, Lucy Nuranto, laughs shyly at her father’s dry humor: Norbertus divides his time between Yogyakarta and Jakarta, but Lucy and her mother are based in San Francisco. “My wife, Sarah Maxim, is vice chair of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies at UC Berkeley,” Norbertus said. “I didn’t want to be based there because when they decided to move back to the US, I felt that I was already too old to adapt to a new environment – I want to be surrounded by my elements here.” But it isn’t all about him. “At this point in my life, I realize that young artists in this country need support from art patrons to be able to grow. This is one of the main reasons we created the artist-in-residence program,” said Norbertus, who, along with a team of art experts, chooses those who are granted a three-month stay at Tembi Rumah Budaya, with a solo exhibition at the end. “There’s no limitation in terms of artistic expression here – you can sing, dance, play music, paint, write poetry – as long as you can come up with a concrete result at the end of the program.”
Emerging Cultural Spaces TAKE A TOUR OF THE CITY TO FIND VIBRANT ART SPACES SHOWCASING BURGEONING TALENTS.
icasso once said that the purpose of art was to wash the dust of daily life off our souls. Those familiar with Jakarta’s maladies – traffic, floods and pure chaos at times – might conclude that the city has quite a thick layer of grit in this context. So when your daily routine starts to get a bit flat and flavorless, a little touch of art could serve to enlighten your day. So why not give the city’s art spaces a try? “One might well ask what’s value of such a space?” says Dia.lo.gue art space owner Engel Tanzil. “For one thing, art and design are inextricably linked with
the way humans express themselves. They are part of everyday life, living and breathing a profoundly human truth.” Art spaces are wellsprings of fresh notions. Jakarta’s art industry may have yet to gain the pace of those in fellow metropolitan areas such as New York or Tokyo, but the scene is developing and demand is emerging. Today, young Jakartans embrace creative communities, defining new spheres in the art scene while also going global through captivating artwork. Check out our list of art spaces in Jakarta and get ready to be newly inspired by them.
Dia.lo.gue The thundering blaze of Hammond organ notes coupled with staccato drum strokes echoed in the main hall of the Dia.lo.gue art space as I entered the quirky building. The instrumental duo – Mission Possible – was performing as a guest in “Color of The Trap”, an art exhibition held by local artist Sir Dandy. The atmosphere in the exhibition came hand in hand with the music; psychedelic with a nudge of the contemporary. Among many familiar faces, I found Sir Dandy and asked him to describe the importance of art spaces in the industry. “It’s essential. Basically this kind of place is important for the industry. Artists and art enthusiasts converge in this place,” he said. A favorite spot in the place is definitely the gift shop, located in the front of the venue. Buying locally crafted accessories is the easiest way of giving support to the scene. Dia.lo.gue Artspace Jl. Kemang Selatan Raya 99A, South Jakarta Telp. 021.719 9671 firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/ dialogueartspace.
Bentara Budaya “The meaning of ‘Bentara’ is emissary. The word embodies Bentara Budaya’s spirit to expose the marginalized arts in Indonesia,” says Bentara Budaya manager Dinar Tisti. According to Dinar, Bentara Budaya differs from other art spaces because it focuses its programs on art forms that are considered obsolete rather than those seen as sophisticated and modern. Bentara Budaya Jakarta’s architecture adapts the shape of traditional houses in Kudus, Central Java. One can immediately sense an elegant and traditional atmosphere when arriving. Inside, hundreds of artworks are stored; some are on display for visitors’ pleasure from time to time. It is also a good place to go when you feel like watching local artists perform. The building owes its design to the late Romo Mangunwijaya, who is known as Indonesia’s “Father of Modern Architecture”. Bentara Budaya Jakarta has counterparts in other regions. Make sure you pay both the Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta and Bali a visit when you are in the neighborhood.
Bentara Budaya Jl. Palmerah Selatan 17, Central Jakarta Telp. 021-5483008 bentarabudaya.com, @bentarabudaya.
Since 2000, Ruang Rupa has succeeded in keeping its title as a den for young artists and urbanites. Indra Ameng, who is responsible for Ruang Rupa’s programs, said that the main reason behind its establishment was that there was no place for young artists to gather and express their work. Ruang Rupa was born out of the collective initiative of various artists longing to fulfill a need to express themselves. You might already be familiar with the collective thanks to its international programs such as Jakarta OK VIDEO, Rrrecfest and Jakarta 32 Celcius. It is also a welcoming haven for artists abroad who visit Indonesia on residencies or exhibitions. Many artists, such as filmmaker Vincent Moon and musician Arrington de Dionyoso, have also made Ruang Rupa their home during visits to Jakarta.
Art:1 In over a 4,000 square-meter space, Art:1 hosts workshops, seminars, spaces for hire and art classes. The venue is a privately owned museum offering public programs. It is certainly worth a visit to join Art:1 classes of your choice. Children can participate in brief lessons on art techniques, based on those used by famous Indonesian and international artists. Professionals from the Jakarta Art Institute (IKJ) conduct the class. Other classes are for adults, with focuses on painting, collecting and conservation. Art:1’s space is also available for hire. Or, simply pay a visit to the gift shop on the first floor to find various merchandise art, custom-made frames and other curios. Art:1 Jl. Rajawali Selatan Raya 3, South Jakarta Telp. 021 64700168 mondecor.com.
Ruang Rupa Jl. Tebet Timur Dalam Raya 6, South Jakarta Telp. 021-8304220 email@example.com, ruangrupa.org, @ruangrupa.
Originally published on jakpost.com
Salihara The brainchild of a group of journalists, artists and literary figures, Salihara has become one of Jakarta’s noteworthy art hubs. The establishment of the eco-friendly structure in 2008 set forth a euphonic vision: “Fostering freedom with the people.” Salihara has housed various creative events, including discussions, music performances, exhibitions and many more. It not only accommodates the works of established artists, but also holds weekly classes for art rookies, discussions, craft workshops and much more. And Salihara’s programs are far from dull; some of them involve unique and controversial topics. Salihara Jl. Salihara 16, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, Telp. 0217891202, salihara.org, @salihara.
A Family Museum
THE EAST JAVA CAPITAL IS HOME TO A WELLMAINTAINED MUSEUM THAT PAYS HOMAGE TO ONE FAMILY’S BUSINESS DYNASTY. WORDS & PHOTOS KESHIE HERNITANINGTYAS
strong aroma of tobacco and cloves suddenly assailed me as I entered the House of Sampoerna museum in Surabaya on a recent evening. At first I thought the smell in the compound was a perfume that was sprayed into the room to create an inviting ambience, but the museum attendant told me that it actually came from the cigarette factory at the back of the same building. Two centuries ago this 1.5-hectare Dutch colonialstyle compound was an orphanage managed by the Dutch, until 1932 when Liem Seeng Tee bought it and made it the factory for his cigarette company, founded in 1913. Liem, who was a poor orphan when he arrived in Indonesia in 1898, worked his way up to create Indonesia’s most successful cigarette company PT HM Sampoerna. The compound has since become known as the Taman Sampoerna Plant, a production facility that remains in operation today. It now employs up to 2,000 workers, most of whom have been working for the company for decades. When I was on the second floor of the building, I looked down through a glass wall and I saw a
massive room filled with traditional cigarette-making tools. The attendant told me that if I came to the museum during the daytime I could see hundreds of female workers busy making unfiltered, hand-rolled kretek (a special mix of tobacco and dried cloves) cigarettes at a speed of more than 325 per hour. Each of the female workers can roll up to 4,000 cigarettes per day. So if you plan to come here, make sure to arrive during their working hours which are from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and until noon on Saturday. As I begin exploring the museum the rooms provide a flashback to Liem’s life and there are also hundreds of tobacco-related products as well as memorabilia of the early years of the company’s business. Near the entrance there is a replica bamboo stall along with sacks of various crops and traditional snacks in small containers, it tells visitors that Liem started as a traditional vendor selling basic food stuffs and tobacco products before entering the cigarette business in 1913. Next to the bamboo stall is Liem’s old bicycle that he used while working on the railroad, jumping onto moving rail cars in the middle of the night, hawking
food carried in a sarong to travelers in the lowerclass compartments traveling between Jakarta and Surabaya. Further on there are Sampoerna marching band uniforms and musical instruments, the company’s first research-and-development equipment, an old printing machine and a street stall selling cigarettes and other interesting memorabilia. Charlie Chaplin, the world-famous comedian, once performed in the establishment in 1932. It housed the Sampoerna Theater, which was built to contain the only rotating stage with a false floor in all of Java, providing dramatic special effects rarely seen at the time. When you are done with the museum, head to the art gallery and sophisticated cafe to spend more time admiring arguably the most luxurious museum in the country and its surroundings. Liem had five children who all lived in the smaller building on the left of the museum. The family did this in order to control the family business more effectively and efficiently, and it remains the tradition for them to maintain a residence in the factory. During the early times of the Sampoerna family, there were two accidents where the factory was accidentally burned down. Today the Sampoerna business group has widely diversified its businesses; the family sold its original core business, the cigarette company, to Philip Morris International in 2005. Nevertheless, Liem’s grandson Putra Sampoerna, who now heads the family business group, has been listed on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people.
In Brief The House of Sampoerna is located at Jl. Taman Sampoerna 6. The museum and the cafe and art gallery are open daily 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Children and persons under the age of 18 can only enter the museum when supervised by their parents or guardians. House of Sampoerna is open to the general public all year round, except during the Idul Fitri holidays. There are no admission fees and no prior arrangements are needed, but groups of 25 people or more are encouraged to notify the museum beforehand. Originally published on jakpost.com MAGAZINE, 2013
MUSEUM WEEK HERITAGE
JAKARTA’S FRENZIED URBAN PLANNING SEEMS INTENT ON DEMOLISHING THE REMNANTS OF THE PAST. THANKFULLY, SOME OF THE CITY’S ARCHITECTURAL HOLDOVERS HAVE BEEN DEEMED WORTHY OF PRESERVATION – FOR NOW. WORDS KINDRA COOPER
he skeletal, rain-washed façades of Kota Tua Jakarta’s (Old Batavia) buildings, in streets teeming with and its vendors and bajaj, show scant trace of thae area’s erstwhile prominence as Southeast Asia’s commercial hub, once courting the appellation “Queen of the East”. Ruling the port of Sunda Kelapa was the Dutch East Indies Company, perhaps the world’s first multinational corporation with its spice monopoly and thousand-strong fleet of ships plying its Asia trade route. While the port still looks like a throwback to its past, it now admits only phinisi schooners transporting freight, and the Kota Intan drawbridge, constructed nearly 400 years ago over one of the many Dutch-built canals, is fast deteriorating – despite a renovation in late 2007 that cost more than Rp 860 million. Sunlight only highlights the dilapidation, but the soft nighttime illumination creates an aura of majesty that recalls the bridge’s former importance as a trade route between the fortress of the Dutch East Indies Co. and that of the British East India Company. Not all the Dutch legacy is lost: some of the city’s former banks, warehouses and even the City Hall of Batavia (now Fatahillah Museum) – once the seat of the Dutch governors general – have become museums whose artifacts display Indonesia’s culture and heritage, such as the Museum Wayang (Puppet Museum). The Maritime Museum, in a former warehouse where the Dutch East Indies Co. stored spices, coffee, tea and textiles, presents models of the ships and canons deployed by the company to attain its quasi-governmental powers. A scale model of the Thousand Islands recreates the
HISTORY ON THE STREETS shipyard where the company’s vessels underwent repairs, with glass-corralled shipbuilding tools and documents of maritime traditions and folklore taking visitors further into the era. Fatahillah Museum, flanked by rusted canons, is decidedly the area’s best-kept building, and offers a display of Batavia-style furniture – dark mahogany replete with curlicues and carvings – and sparse household paraphernalia loosely evoking 17thcentury daily life. Gedung Candra Naya, on Jalan Gajah Mada, is a poignant sight, nestled incongruously between the supporting pillars of a gargantuan apartment block. However, it remains an important center for Batavian arts and culture, hosting, among other things, the Candra Naya Batavia Festival in June. Once owned by Khouw Kim An, mayor of the Chinese (Tionghoa) community in 1910–1916 and 1927–1942, who was taken prisoner by the Japanese during their occupation of Indonesia, the building is configured as a residence, right down to the bedrooms facing the inner courtyard, the living room and the study. A different sight from the city’s past is the Jakarta Cathedral, described as one of the most “out-ofJakarta” architectural spectacles. A careful replica of a European cathedral, with its neo-gothic style, its stained-glass rose window and twin 60-meter spires (named “The Fort of David” and “The Ivory Tower”), this building stands unmistakably apart from its surroundings. The cathedral was consecrated in 1901, but already the building’s second floor is no longer structurally safe for Mass. The choir stall now holds keepsakes from Roman Catholicism in Jakarta, such as a goblet used by John Paul II during his 1989 visit and a scarlet-robed statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, palms raised heavenward. It’s not quite on the street, which makes the Museum di Tengah Kebun in Kemang, South Jakarta, a literal breath of fresh air from the urban sprawl. As its name suggests, the museum lies in the heart of
a garden, spanning 4,200 square meters. Among its 1,744 exhibits from 63 countries and 21 provinces in Indonesia are archaeological artifacts from China, Japan, Mexico, France and England, as well as 19th century furniture and bronze statues from Europe and America. It was named the city’s best private museum in the 2013 Museum Awards. Statues Jakarta’s statues – particularly those erected under the auspices of founding president Sukarno – are monuments to patriotism. The “Pizza Man”, as the Youth Statue (Patung Pemuda Membangun) is rather disrespectfully known, triumphantly holds aloft a dish of flames, a tribute to the “neverending spirit of the youth to serve the country”. Built in 1972, the statue is located at the Senayan traffic circle that connects South and Central Jakarta. Similarly, the Dirgantara Monument, which features, on a 27-meter-high pedestal, a muscled figure lunging toward the north, symbolized Sukarno’s hopes of developing an aeronautical industry as sophisticated as that of the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Its northward orientation and proximity to Jakarta’s first airport in Kemayoran, East Jakarta, made it a prominent sight for incoming and outgoing flights. The president personally funded this statue, his last, in part by selling his car. Less vaunted but highly emblematic is the Proclamation Monument in Menteng, where Sukarno had lived, where he and then vice president Mohammad Hatta declared the nation’s independence on August 17, 1945.
Time Gone By I
n evaluating the state of museums today, it makes sense to look back at how they fared in the past. According to Scott Merrillees, author of Greetings from JAKARTA: Postcards of a Capital 1900-1950, there was only the National Museum of note in then Batavia during the Dutch colonial era. In fact, today’s diverse range of museums appeared years later during the progressive tenure of Jakarta Governor Ali Sadikin in the 1970s. The Australian longtime resident of Jakarta here shares some “tempo doeloe” images of this unique cultural institution.
Want a signed copy of Scott Merrillees’ fascinating coffee-table book? E-mail your details to firstname.lastname@example.org to take part in the draw. Three books await the lucky winners.
The Museum Week 2013 Schedule of Events (August 27-September 1) Tuesday, August 27
Friday, August 30
Sunday, September 1
• 1 p.m. Opening Ceremony • Welcome Dance followed by keynote speech of DKI Jakarta Governor; speech of The Jakarta Post Executive Director Riyadi Suparno and other officials. • 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Classic Film Screening • 4 p.m. Tari Rampak Dance (Presented by Kinarya GSP) • 5 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. Tari Lenggang Nyai Dance (Presented by Bentara Muda Jakarta) • 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Talkshow #1 Inspiring Session: Museums and the Independence Proclamation • 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. Announcement of the winner of daily Twitter quiz Music performance
• 12.30 p.m. Film Screening with Kompas TV • 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Launch of Kompas TV’s program 100 Days Traveling Around Indonesia Followed by a talkshow with Ramon Tungka • 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tari Piring Dance (Presented by Trinero Club) • 5 p.m. – 5: 30 p.m. Talkshow #4 Inspiring Session: Museum, IT and the Development of the Nation • 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Preview of contemporary Javanese drama (popularly known as Wayang Orang) “Confused Arjuna” (Presented by Indonesia Pusaka group) • 8 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Announcement of the winner of daily Twitter quiz
Wednesday, August 28
Saturday, August 31
• 12 p.m. Museum Week live coverage during Kompas Siang program on Kompas TV • 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Classic Film Screening • 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Modern dance performance by SMA Tirta Marta Turkish International Dance by SMA Labschool • 5 p.m. – 5.30 p.m. Yospan Dance by Asmat Museum (Taman Mini Indonesia Indah) • 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Music performance by Harry Darsono and Team • 6: 30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Talkshow #6 Inspiring Session: Museum, Government Policy and Press • 8 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Announcement of the winner of daily Twitter quiz Closing Ceremony
• • • • •
• 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Classic Film Screening • 2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Acoustic performance by PKSD Mandiri School • 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Theatrical drama “Proclamation Figures” by Museum of the Draft Proclamation • 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Talkshow #5 Inspiring Session: Museum and Community Groups • 7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Music performance by Harry Darsono and Team • 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Announcement of the winner of daily Twitter quiz Music performance
12.30 p.m. Film Screening with Kompas TV 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Classic Film Screening 4 p.m. – 4: 30 p.m. Music performance by Harry Darsono and Team 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Talkshow #2 Inspiring Session: Museum and Today’s Youth 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Announcement of the winner of daily Twitter quiz
Thursday, August 29 • • • • • •
12.30 p.m. Film Screening with Kompas TV 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Classic Film Screening 4 p.m. – 4: 30 p.m. Music performance by Harry Darsono and Team 5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Musical drama 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Talkshow #3 Inspiring Session: Reviving Museums in Indonesia 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. Announcement of the winner of daily Twitter quiz
Other events to be held simultaneously during The Museum Week include a Writing Competition, Photo Competition “Museum Goes to the Mall”, model boat demonstration and puzzle competitions by Museum Bahari, Textile Museum batik demonstration, interactive quizzes via Twitter and more.
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Preserving tradition is more than a relay between generations Indonesiaâ€™s highly distinguished and valuable arts and cultural heritage deserves to be cherished, now and forever. With this in mind, Total E&P Indonesie continuously strives to participate in programs related to the preservation of Indonesian arts and culture. Among these efforts is its sponsorship of The Museum Week 2013, conducted by The Jakarta Post English-language daily, supported by the Special Task Force for Upstream Oil & Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas). The inaugural museum week, by gathering the capital's leading museums in one location, will seek to showcase their diverse appeal to the public. The event will also focus on finding the most appropriate and feasible strategies to enhance the image of museums for changing times and challenges.