Post C: Growing up in Indonesia

Albert Santoso is a friend of mine who is 28 years old currently living and working in Sydney.  He grew up in Jakarta for the first 15 years of his life with his mother being a housewife and dad as a corporate worker.

Although our tutor from university have scared us about the differences we would experiences in Indonesia, but in a big city like Jakarta is probably similar to Sydney in multiple ways. Albert says the buildings are very similar with houses and townhouses. People there dress the same as us unless theres is a special occasion. As an example he mentioned on the 21st of April, the ladies dress in their traditional clothing to celebrate the birthday of Raden Ajeng Kartini – a hero fighting for woman’s rights. Another occasion where kebaya is spotted is at a wedding or an engagement party.

Albert’s been to a Indonesian wedding when he was younger. He said that some people would have traditional wedding in the morning and westernised celebrating later in the afternoon. During the traditional celebration, at least the family have to wear traditional clothing and all guest are expected have the same dress code too. This is also why you can find shops that rents out Kebaya,  almost like renting a wedding dress. Instead of a wedding cake, they would cut into a “tumpeng”. This particular food is used for multiple celebrations in replace of a cake. This dish is made from a massive pile of rice with different flavourful side dishes. Albert laughed as he said that most Indonesians eats rice for every meal of the day because they won’t feel full without it.

tumblr_kxi17a6F5X1qb3qb2o1_1280
Nasi Tumpeng Available at <https://indonesiadesignstudio.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/tumblr_kxi17a6f5x1qb3qb2o1_1280.jpg&gt;

I asked him if he’s been to places outside the main city that are still culturally influenced or rural places in Jakarta. He told me back when he was little, he use to be a boy scout and they went camping at this little village with no clean water or electricity. This just shows how the country is stronger influenced by western culture. Albert says that his uncle was once robbed down to his underwear on the street of a rather turbulent area at night. However he says it’s best not to go out in general at night because it can be very dangerous no matter where you are in Indonesia.

Albert mentioned that roads without lanes are very common in Jakarta and with the density of the population, it can take hours to go anywhere. Other than buses and taxis, they have this three wheel car called “Bajaj” which is very popular in short distance travelling.

The Bajaj or Tuk-Tuk is a longstanding tradition in Jakarta transportation. Available at
The Bajaj or Tuk-Tuk is a longstanding tradition in Jakarta transportation.
Available at <https://globalistindonesia.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/photo-update-may-15/&gt;

Albert has never been back to Jakarta since moving here, even thought he have travelled to Bali for holiday. He said the density of the city, the weather and the horrible traffic are some of reasons stopping him from going back.

” I would like to go back and see how my hometown have changed, how my friends have changed, but coming from a place like Jakarta makes me appreciate Sydney even more.”

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Post D: Punk in Indonesia

It might be surprising to know that Punk is very popular especially in the underground scene among young males. Their corrupt government disillusions some Indonesian youth, they show their rebellious nature through the anger of punk music and style of dressing including the ripped jeans, piercing, dyed hair etc. Punk in Indonesia has actually kept its original ideology, that is none commercial, anti authoritarian scene. These kids on the street live communal; survive by busking with their ukuleles.

A smal part of the massive Indonesian Punk scene(PHOTOGRAPHER: KARLI KK MUNN) Image available at
A smal part of the massive Indonesian Punk scene(PHOTOGRAPHER: KARLI KK MUNN)
Image available at <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/360/indonesias-radical-underground-punk-scene/5919506&gt;

As the Sukarno nationalist era ended in 1965, people felt human rights violations even in the era of Sukarno under a socialist government and military rules. From 1965 onwards, when Suharto successfully assumed control in the military after government generals and military leaders either dead or missing. The communal hatred had that built up from the civilians especially the youth, in result there were lots of riot going on. The new order Suharto gave more freedom to the youth to create new music and express themselves as they realized that there is something wrong with their government, they started expressing themselves through music in relation to the political and social issues. The student to express their unhappiness towards the government, students either disappeared or put in jail.

Some independent punk band existed in the era criticize social and political problem. The youngest song of Sukarno created a band wrote a song 1973 malaria using symbolism so that the government don’t understand the idiom. The metaphor is that the people are small like mosquitos, although powerless but have a lot of potential like malarias mosquitos, which can cause a lot of death.

Mike Marjinal, the president of the marjinal punk group currently, says the group associate punk as the desire of freedom, the desire to be who you want to be. He says that people till now are still discriminated by the way they dress.

Marjinal group are a punk band and punk arts collective based in Srengsengsawah on the outskirts of Jakarta
Marjinal group are a punk band and punk arts collective based in Srengsengsawah on the outskirts of Jakarta. Image available at <https://suciptoardi.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/marjinal/&gt;

In December 2011, a punk rock concert has been broken up as the police in Indonesia caught 65 Indonesian youth. They stripped away body piercing and then thrown them in pools of water for “spiritual” cleansing.

 Indonesian police shave mohicans off punks who were seized at a concert. Photograph: Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA Avaliable at
Indonesian police shave mohicans off punks who were seized at a concert. Photograph: Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA
Avaliable at <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/14/indonesian-punks-detained-shaved-police&gt;

On the other hand the police chief express his side by saying, we are not torturing or violating human rights, we are putting these youth back on the right moral path. It just shows that the civilians have no human and how strong the military force is in this country. Here in Indonesia, adultery is punished by stoning to death and gay people are put in jail or lashed in pubic with rattan canes. It is not surprising that people are unhappy with their government especially considering the western influence.

Perhaps Punk is just a conceptual act of wishful thinking, pushing the boundary of reality and fiction, desire for freedom and a better world.

Written by: Cherry Liu

References

Inside Indonesia, (2015). The killings of 1965-66 – Inside Indonesia. [online] Available at: http://www.insideindonesia.org/the-killings-of-1965-66 [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Radio National, (2014). Search for the Kuda. [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/kuda/4408130 [Accessed 1 May 2015].

the Guardian, (2011). Indonesian punks detained and shaved by police. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/14/indonesian-punks-detained-shaved-police [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Hindsight – art, anak punk, and the power of dissent. (2013). [podcast] Available at: http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2012/12/hht_20121209_1305.mp3 [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Post B: Tokyo Recycle Project

The Tokyo Recycle Project, launched in 1999 by Japanese fashion designer Masahiro Nakagawa. Starting point is under the theme of recycling, along with the connections between human and clothes in relation to events, people, information or stories. In a way challenging the mass consuming society today that influenced our mental situations, as if the fast changing consuming goods control our mind and physical energy. The project is about the small population of people who are not driven by the colorful new things instead focusing on individuality, personal associated object that is meaningful for them.

Nakagawa was particularly interested in recyclable fashion and reconstruction of pre-loved garments. During the Toyoko fashion week that year, they asked fashion journalist to send pre-loved garments with a letter attached with information of their life and memories associated with the garment. The designers then deconstruct the reassemble these piece into something more desirable and fashionable.

 

In 1999 Nakagawa created "Nakagawa Sochi" as a means of developing new forms (exciting, thrilling, festive) of communication. Avaliable at
In 1999 Nakagawa created “Nakagawa Sochi” as a means of developing new forms (exciting, thrilling, festive) of communication.
Avaliable at

The concept is somewhat related to the current trend that emerged years after, which is retro chic – new clothes, same old look. The techniques used through out the alteration including introducing new fabrication. For some piece they decided to only use certain part that can make a statement. For some piece they changed a jacket into a pants using most of the fabric.  This technique is very interesting when displayed considering he placement of the contrasting fabric as well as the material. However the aim is not trying to change one to another, is to recycle, reuse, and reconstruct, emphasising on the idea of sustainable fashion. Making something no longer fashionable into retro chic.

 

Process of the Toyoko Recycle Project Available at
Process of the Toyoko Recycle Project
Available at <http://masahironakagawa.com/works/trp02-en.html&gt;
Available
Available <http://masahironakagawa.com/works/trp02-en.html&gt;
Available at
Available at <http://masahironakagawa.com/works/trp02-en.html&gt;

The system of mass production and mass consumption with increasing speed realized the lifestyle economically rich, at the same time 21st century has come with increasing waste such as industrial pollution and many problems of environment left. The intention of Tokyo Recycle project not only encourage minimizing wastage in the high speed movement fashion system but also inspires meaningful relationship with objects. Meaning that these garments have exceed their simple being as a cover up for the body, this idea can relate to any object in our daily routine that have a deep personal attachment inclined to us.

 

Masahiro Nakagawa says, “ If you have a piece of clothes with memories, there your memories are woven on.” Any object can have a special meaning to someone, and in this case, the garment symbolises a memory, by making it into something new meaning a new journey will begin.

 

Written by : Cherry Liu

 

References

Biginjapan.com.au, (2015). BIG IN JAPAN | Tokyo Recycle Project and Beyond. [online] Available at: http://biginjapan.com.au/2009/11/2179/ [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Masahironakagawa.com, (2015). TOKYO RECYCLE PROJECT #1 | Masahiro Nakagawa. [online] Available at: http://masahironakagawa.com/works/trp01-en.html [Accessed 1 May 2015].

The Japan Times, (2001). Better living through recycling | The Japan Times. [online] Available at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2001/11/07/arts/better-living-through-recycling/#.VT3KaEvlfwI [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Post A: Cultural influences on Textile Design

Design can be about problem solving and the attempt to make change happen, creating something innovative as well as focusing on the aesthetics and usability. Designers are often inspired by the world around them, this include the lifestyle, climate, cultural and political influences that can cause the meaning of design to different designers.

The textile production in Indonesia focuses on the importance and relationship to the supernatural. The textiles communicate their values and beliefs through the use of materials and the amount of time involved in the process of making, the more detailed and time-consuming the better. Their beliefs in colour also effect their process of textile designs, for example, indigo is magical and dangerous, morinda red is only for nobility, because of it takes multiple times of dye procedures to achieve intense coloring, the richer the color the more valuable it is. The patterns are also symbolic, with designs to help infants grow, bringing luck for brides and grooms, as well as designs that are only worn by royalties.

Batik Barong, worn by the King. Batik motif of Parang, reserved for the royal courts of Yogyakarta and Surakarta.
Batik Barong, worn by the King. Batik motif of Parang, reserved for the royal courts of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. <http://marinaelphick.com/2014/04/17/parang-batik-motif/&gt;

In different island of Indonesia, the textile design is very different in relation to their culture.

In Sumba, lizards symbolize sexuality and concupiscence, while red is associated with earth, women, fertility and blood. The wrists, elbows and knees are believed to be the repositories of energy. The nassa shells and beads used in the production of this textile piece are very valuable as they are imported from India and Europe. A lot of the artworks from Sumba talks about sexual reproduction and activities.

Holmgren, R. and Spertus, A. (1989). Early Indonesian textiles from three island cultures. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, page 29.
ONE FACE OF A TWO-SIDED PENNANT (PENJI?) WITH LIZARDS East(?) Sumba ca. 1900 Imported cotton fabric, trade beads, string 58×34 cm (25X 151/2 in.)

Toraja are identified with patterns, shapes, focusing on the material and process of the production, and the quality and feel of the finished result. Using the technique of ikat and creating the border print design which is timeless and sophisticated.

Holmgren, R. and Spertus, A. (1989). Early Indonesian textiles from three island cultures. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, page 69
CEREMONIAL SARONG (PORITUTU?) Palu or Galumpang Toraja, central Celebes 19th century Cotton; warp ikat 154>< 195 cm (60l/zX77 in.)

Lampung textiles basis off traditions and beliefs from the ancient time, these images are presented in a painterly classical manner with either abstract or simple stick figure way of illustration object and stories. The story of “ships of the dead” is a common story told in these textiles, as they believe is how their ancestors boarded to the land that symbolizes the Lampung society. This is an image of great ships transformed into communities, this iconographic image stands very far apart from other textile traditions in Indonesia. This perhaps suggests that Lampung has been an ignored with little economic or political consequences.

Holmgren, R. and Spertus, A. (1989). Early Indonesian textiles from three island cultures. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, page 75
Piya, Wai Ratai, Lampung Bay 79X73 cm (31X 281/2 in.) [ Exhibited: “Splendid Symbols: Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia,” Textile Museum, Washington, DC. , 1979. Published: Gittinger 1979, no. 55; Holmgren 1979, p. 30; Gittinger 1980, p. 122; Holmgren and Spertus 1980, fig. 5.

We don’t usually associate textile designs with religious significant. Its like paining in other cultures, textile production was consisted as the greatest two-dimensional art form in Indonesia.

Written by: Cherry Liu

Reference:

Holmgren, R. and Spertus, A. (1989). Early Indonesian textiles from three island cultures. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Forshee, J. (2006). Culture and customs of Indonesia. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

The Batik Route, (2014). Parang Batik Motif. [online] Available at: http://marinaelphick.com/2014/04/17/parang-batik-motif/ [Accessed 1 May 2015].