April 24, 2011

Saving Our Heritage | Indonesia's Kite Museum and The Unfinished Mural

When I first went to Indonesia's Kite Museum last year, I had to be disappointed, because the museum was shut down for a day due to a wedding reception that'd be held there. And thank you for a three days weekend due to Easter Holiday, finally my friends and I got another spare time to visit this museum.
How do I know about this museum is thru Mr Google. And it caught my eye as the museum provides numerous workshops at affordable prices. For 10.000 IDR you will get a packet of watching short movie about kite, a tour to see the collection, plus a small kite making workshop. For an extra 50.000 IDR you can have another workshop to paint t-shirt, ceramic making (but need to pick up the finished ceramic after 1 week, as the ceramic need to go through the burning process first), batik making (min. 5 person), or umbrella painting.
It may be a small museum, but the collection is enormous. I get to see not only traditional kites from each region in Indonesia, but also kites from other countries. And what the kites were made of was also shocking. I always thought that kites are made from paper or thin cloth. But there, I found kites made of Pandan leaves weaving, shapeable Lontar leaves, plastic and others. And the size, you can see kites in 2D or in 3D, hundred meters long and wide, also as small as 5cmx5cm.
What is more amazing is, when I saw the movie, it shows a controllable kite. It can dance, it can walk on the ground, and it can maneuver like the jets on military parades. This all depends on how strong the wind is. For example when the wind is really strong, you can have a three paralel kites maneuvering. But when there's no wind, the kite can only walk on the ground. Not all kite can do this. The ones that can must shape like the kite beside, plus this kite is controlled by two string (unlike most other kites).
For some part in Indonesia (and sometimes other country), kites are not just a toy for the kids. For example in Kalimantan on the wedding reception two kites will be flown by the bride&groom. The groom will flown the Dandang Laki, and the bride will flown the Dandang Bini. Actually this thought kinda freaks me out. I mean, what happens if you can't fly the kite?!?! Will the wedding be off?? :)
Another story, making kite might not cost a lot. But what do cost a lot is the ritual that goes with it. In some part of Indonesia, traditional kites are considered sacred. That's why upon making it there are several rituals and ceremonies that they must do. One more interesting thing, it is never a kite unless it makes a sound when it's flying.
Done having a tour, it's time for a little handicraft, and a walk around the museum for a little photoshoot. :) *trust me this place is filled in with a lot of natural sets that can fulfill your narcissistic personality*

Located at Jl. H. Kamang No. 38, Pondok Labu, South Jakarta, makes Museum Layang-Layang Indonesia pretty secluded from Jakarta's busy street, but still make it easy to reach. For more info, just visit their FB page. A little advice, if you're travelling in large group (>20people) better make a reservation first. And do call the museum before you visit, to make sure whether they're closing down that day for a private party or not.

Next stop we go visit Jakarta's Historical Museum (or the infamous Fatahillah Museum) to see the unfinished Mural Painting by Harijadi Sumodidjojo. The "Batavia Situation between 1880- 1920" mural is an ambitious project started in 1974 to fill a 200m2 wall with paintings. A detail capture to the hustle and bustle of Jakarta's social life at colonial times. It is a complete painting along with the dominating Europeanen, the Vreemde Oosterlingen merchants, and the suppresed inlanders. Although unfinished, the painting still give me the chills when I enter the room. Wonder what it would be like if it was a completed painting. Then again maybe the chills came, because half of the paintings are only sketches.
To spice up the exhibition, before we enter the room of the mural painting. We will see a show by Teater Koma. It is an interactive animated performance, in which characters from the mural painting suddenly came to life, with three additional human players, as narrator and soldiers. The performance itself is actually only the introduction to a story "Mystery of Batavia". This fictional story is inspired by the mural painting. In order to know how the story ends, we must follow the digital comic at www.mysteryofbatavia.com which is updated every Friday.

April 16, 2011

Road to IT pt I - Introduction

After building a miniature Colosseum in one day, and being more determined to visit Italy, I decided to get myself on track. And put an effort on turning a dream into reality.
So how this all began? Actually I really can't remember how it all began. Ever since 5 or 6 years ago, I'd always wanted to visit Venice and Greece. And after a while, my mind is set on Italy. The following things, are probably what caused my mind to focus on Italy :)
  • Nancy Drew's The Phantom of Venice, probably played a really big part of it. Wandering around the city of Venice, riding gondola to get from one place to another. It's just exciting.
  • Angelina Jolie & Jhonny Depp's The Tourist. Now I watched this with my friend at the cinema few months ago. And we came up with one decision. Definitely need to visit Venice. That's why we started to scheme this adventure now..
  • The Romeo and Juliet's tragedy took place here!! Don't you want to at least reminiscence their "O Romeo,,Romeo,, wherefore art thou Romeo?" in Verona
  • A city with a great and unique architecture really worth the visit. Italy is filled with a lot of great landmarks. So what are we waiting for?
  • You know how the TV always report a Christmas Mass LIVE from Vatican City. And to look in the background, you see something really grande & decorative. I just need to see it for real. And the movie Angels & Demonds does not help, it just makes me want to explore every church they got there. Maybe it's because every church got their own style of decoration, statues, paintings and all.
  • The more I learn about it the more I see that it's a one stop travelling. You can shop till you drop in Milan, enjoy the sunbathe or warm seas in Sicily, thousands of historical museums and cultural heritage sites, a hike at Cinque Terre, biking along the vineyard, and a hundred thousand things to do there. Although probably, if I'd really like to do all that I must stay in Italy for a month or two. *and got back home broke and jobless, haha..*
So help me turn this dream into a reality!! A prayer, tips or even donations are most welcome *haha..*. Let's just wish with all our might, that I'll be there in 2012. *although not all place visited at least reaching a part of it..*

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