Jakarta has its first annual international event of literary festival and it’s held at Taman Ismail Marzuki, Cikini, just a few minutes walk from our place. The event is initiated by the Literary Committee of Jakarta Arts Council (JAC) and intend to promote Indonesian literature in international literary platforms. JILF 2019 was opened Tuesday night (20 August 2019), which is took place in Teater Besar (big theater) and will end on Saturday, 24th of August, 2019. There is also a book bazaar on the Plaza Teater Besar by Patjar Merah.
JILF 2019 promotes "Pagar" (Fence) as the central theme to reflect the boundaries of a world that is getting dissolved. A fence that functions as a protector as well as a divider between the outside world and the serenity of the house is something that must be crossed if we want to get to know and be known by others. [Ref: https://tirto.id/festival-sastra-jilf-2019-kenalkan-karya-dari-negeri-selatan-egGj]
In colonial era, Indonesia has lots of literatures but didn’t get published by Balai Pustaka at that time because many of them didn’t use Indonesian language properly. As a colonial political tool designed to regulate the people’s reading material, Balai Pustaka was responsible to provide “good literature”. Anything the colonial government felt uncomfortable with, they discriminating those literatures by labelling “wild reading matter”/ Bacaan Liar, it has to be exterminated. Now, in JILF, in Teater Kecil to be precisely, you can enjoy those Bacaan Liar.
Below is a display of our classic literatures with its original cover.
A special event in celebrating our 72nd anniversary of Indonesian independence throughout August is being held in national gallery. Entitled “Senandung Ibu Pertiwi” (Tunes of the Motherland), it is a painting exhibition from our six presidential palaces collection. The event was started in August 2nd and will end in August 30th, from 10 am until 8 pm. They will open as usual in August 17th. I was deliberately picked the weekdays and after lunch time to avoid the crowd and can enjoy my quiet time admiring the paintings. It was worth it!
National gallery is just opposite Gambir train station, only 15-20 minutes from Shraya Residence. It could be reached in shorter time if you go in weekend with less traffic.
This time painting exhibition is a bit different from the prior exhibitions, Raden Saleh and Aku Diponegoro, visitor have to make a registration in separate building (next to the exhibition building, only few meters separated by parking space) and given a visitor tag and a stamp. Bags must be left in the deposit counter like usual. It is more organized.
Entering the exhibition building, a guard will quick scan your body and allow you to proceed.
Before entering the display room, a big screen picture of amazing painting from presidential palace in Bogor, entitled “Russian Wedding” is a gift from the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics at the time, Nikita Kruschev. Painted by Konstantin Egorovick Makovsky, a famous painter in 19th century. It took sometime for me just to look at the picture. I wonder what would it be like if I can see it from the original masterpiece. Amazing.
Entering the display room, with the first theme is The Nature of Indonesia. Paintings of scenery of beach, sea, and.. this one painting get me fixated on. None other then Raden Saleh’s “Drinking Tiger” (1863). Picture below.
One room displays portraits of female wearing kebaya. An Idealization of Indonesian women. Picture below.
Mythology room. Creation of Basoeki Abdullah that delivers local beliefs such as from wayang stories and myth in Javanese culture. Soekarno, our first president, asked the maestro to make a painting with a story from the world of wayang for The Istana Merdeka (Merdeka Palace). Basoeki Abdullah chose the story of Gatotkaca.
Spirituality and Religion room. The reprisentation of nature and human religious practices are addressed in the form of religious figure in the works of Walter Spies, Ida Bagus Poleng (two of others). Meanwhile, Basoeki Abdullah explore the combination of natural objects and religion.
There’s one room that shows copies of documents about the story behind some of the paintings. There was this particular post about a book that wrote about Basoeki Abdullah’s Nyai Roro Kidul and the writer is Astri Wright. A very familiar name. One of our old guest at Shraya Residence. Picture above.
Below, are some paintings that I also got attracted.
The displays in the gallery
We just celebrate our cultural heritage at the biggest annual handicraft exhibition, INACRAFT 2016, where the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sell their local product from traditional until the most innovative one. The exhibition was held at Jakarta Convention Center from April 20th until 24th. INACRAFT is an annual event that much awaited by people who loves our local product, foreigners who simply just looking for some souvenirs or to do direct business with the SME. Because it is an opportunity where you got to see products from all over Indonesia. And every year they have a theme of one province that get to be the star and got the center stage to promote their culture. This year, they promoted the Minangkabau ethnic of West Sumatera. So they put the big pointy roof traditional house of Minangkabau in the main lobby facing the entrance to welcoming the visitors. Everyday they had traditional dance or performance scheduled, in order to introduce our culture to the visitors.
Below are some pictures of local product from Sumatera, and the famous kain songket. The golden and silver thread that is intricately woven justify Sumatera as the Golden Island or we may know as Swarnabhumi or Swarnadwipa. A heritage from the kingdom of Sriwijaya shows from the splendor of Songket.
Pandai Sikek is an area in West Sumatera where it is well-known as the place of the weaver. And has been appreciated by the government in the picture of our five thousand rupiah bill. A woven songket of Pandai Sikek is a work of art and has unique character and subtlety in its motifs. Gold thread made of metal is the main material in forming the motifs on the fabric.
Songket in Sumatra is generally associated as one of the cultural heritage from the golden age of Sriwijaya kingdom. Therefore, in the past songket was associated as a symbol of luxury, social status, and the wearer’s dignity. According to historical records, weaving songket in the past was using real gold thread. This makes songket is not only high value in terms of aesthetics, but also in intrinsic value.
And other beautiful things from other provinces all over Indonesia...
Check out this special craft...
It is always fun to shop in an event like this. You can find a lot of unique product with fine quality from all over Indonesia plus you are helping the local SME and their village. I must say, I'm quite happy with Inacraft this year, they made a lot of progress than last year. Most of the booths were equipped with credit card machine and the SMEs were already put attention for quality on their product. So, I found a lot of high quality goods. Makes me even more proud to wear our local product. -SK-
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