12.27.2013

Au Revoir, The Picnic Girl!

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don't resist them;  that only creates sorrow. 
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
(Lao Tzu)

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Do you remember that moment when Wendy decided to leave Neverland? Do you remember Peter promised to always love her in that place between sleeping and awaking where you can still remember dreaming? That is how I feel right now about leaving The Picnic Girl. 

I never thought I would come to this point where life as the Picnic Girl is no longer relevant. It hurts a little and at the same time very relieving to actually find myself grown up, actually love my job, starting a family, and have a bigger dream-- bigger than those dreams of having all the times in the world to lay on the grass watching the world revolving. 

At first, it feels a little bit weird to realize that I no longer make that much time to travel off the beaten path-- and completely ok with that. Yes, I still steal hours and hours of me-time every morning to taste the crisp peppermint wind, sip my coffee slowly, stealing Mondays, listen to the chirping birds, and cloud spotting-- but I also enjoy doing nothing with my husband in our home, going out for a soiree, watching movies, and spend even more time to read and write. I guess growing up is not so bad after all. It is inevitable and enjoyable. 

So, this is the last post on the Picnic Girl. 
I am now moving forward to a new home: The Deer and Unexpected Soiree. 


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9.21.2013

Read: Gendis


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I was having so much fun curating for Lala Bohang's exhibition in Lir. When she first asked me to curate her show, I was overjoyed! I fell in love with young Gendis right away. Gendis is that kind of girl who enjoys her solitude.. that kind of wallflower with so many things going on in her head that she starts to fade away when things get too loud.. and that kind of girl who knows how to feel comfortable with herself. The introvert and quirky Gendis living in that whimsical world.. it is easy to relate her with some of my dearest friends (in fact, when I'm writing for the curatorial..my mind goes to Anna and Elda.. somehow!). 

Lala came with pages of illustrations and pieces of puzzles about this girl. We spend days after days connecting the dots (while busy eating good food, mingling with the art scene, and embracing the nature). We listened to way too many Detektivbyrån along the way. Gendis is about having fun, feeling comfortable, and listen to that tinkling voice underneath. 

I must admit that I was a little bit fuzzy this time.. asking Lala to paint the table black and white (and almost force her to find baby shoes for the table), made her present Ibu Ikan in real life, spend the night with Anggun and three of us making paper boat and paint them black, and ask Dito to actually create that 'hot air balloon' while Lala made that cute little book. It was a very fun collaboration, indeed.. one message we wish to deliver to those who came and visit Gendis. 

The main idea of this exhibition is this: people who enters the room should ideally feels like reading a storybook. Of course..people are encouraged to read the text first before entering the Space. Do not expect to find the 'art exhibition' kind of curatorial.. here you will find a story instead. For example, instead of explaining how Lala has an artistic tendency to create monochromatic works using charcoal on paper, I prefer to say that the rainbow ran out of color along the way. That storybook thing is also why the works are lined up based on the story and puzzles, that is why there was the listening fish, and that is also why the small Gendis portrait from the back is displayed lower than the others.. (hint: what do you do when you see a lost little girl in the crowd?) (another hint: this is not our last collaboration.. there are more..soon!)


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♪ ♫ ♪   Detektivbyrån - Nattoppet ♪ ♫ ♪ 


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Posted below is how you read Gendis | don't forget to play this music while reading! 

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Gendis: The Chapter when She Seeks for Her Inner Self


I. A Place where Time is Irrelevant

This is a story about a girl who live in a little corner of the world at the end of the rainbow. The world is nothing but contrary. There is no such thing as seven colors and hundred hues. The color of the rainbow shines all the way through human's world, across the human's blue sky, and at the end of it-- there is nothing but black and white.

She chose to stay at the edge of the world for she is an impatient little girl. She wanted to know how things end and what will be found at the end of everything. Being at the end of it all, she feels like she doesn't need to prepare for the next move. She owns her time all by herself.

With all the time in the world, this girl enjoys her solitude like no one else. She makes the most of it. She can spend days after days, year after year doing all the thing she enjoys all by herself; seize every moment for pure joy. But, in her world there is no such thing as days or years or minutes or hours. She lives in a place when time is irrelevant. Her life is marked by phases and chapters; just like a storybook!

She doesn't dream because she is dream herself. Her name, Gendis; is what they call sugar in the human land far far away. She is, of course, a very sweet girl.

Gendis’ world revolves around her. It has its own will and one purpose to always make Gendis happy, to put a smile in her heart, and to always bring delightful surprises. There are times when Gendis wants to go for an adventure on a hot air balloon and her world would open its zip and there goes a balloon. There also a time when the sun is too hot and the trees around her decided to follow wherever she walks to keep her comfortable under the shade.

This is a kind of world where everything is possible.

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II. The Solitary Life of a Girl who Never Actually Alone

Of course she is happy! Why wouldn't she?

True, she lives a solitary life; but, she is never lonely. After all she always has Ibu Ikan and Pak Kucing to be by her side. Ibu Ikan₍₁₎ is a very wise fish with all ear and heart for Gendis' story. Pak Kucing are all those cats friend of her. Pak Kucing are so many she lost count of them. Their number added and lessen each now and then; but, there always at least one to stay by her side. Pak Kucing are full of love and very independent at the same time. They need each other but never depend on one another to the point where it's disturbing.

They both are Gendis' dearest friends. Gendis adores them for their silent. Those cats can mew, but only as soft as a hush or a breeze. With all the music and loud conversations going on in her head, she needs her world to be silent and still.


The chairs, the tables, the bed, and everything else in Gendis' house have a heart, free will, and strong legs to keep moving. Just like Gendis, her moving house also likes to travel up to the sky and down the deep sea. Nobody force them to stay where they are. They are there because they want to-- not because they have to. Sometime, some of them get exhausted standing and prefer to lay down on the floor. Sometime, they need a breath of fresh air and start embracing the nature in many ways.Their mantra is: "Stay because I want to. Do because I want to. Move because I want to. Not because I have to".

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III. That Pinch that Leaves a Trace of Melancholy in a Part of Her Heart She Never Knew Existed

This is where this part of the story started.

Once upon a time, some tables decided to leave the house and not planning to return. It was unlikely. Yes, they all have their own right to come and go as they please. But, they always live a harmonious life before. Somehow, Gendis knew there is something different this time. It was as if she would never see them again. It was her first lost.

There goes a pinch that leaves a trace of melancholy in a part of her heart she never knew existed.

There was a part of her heart that crack when those tables left. Her world is so silent and still that the cracking sound of it can be heard clearly from the other room. Ibu Ikan knows that it will be a long phase of listening ahead of her.

She was so consumed by the thought of being left behind; consumed by the fear of losing something she never actually own. She forgot that while she was busy counting her loss and healing the bruises, there are other tables and the rest of her friends who stay.
Time after time she spend trying to find the logic. She spends even more time talking to Ibu Ikan. Time flows in a mysterious way that the first pain she felt start to distort. She gets busy, but not like the grown ups kind of busy that distract them from their feeling. It is not the kind of busy that makes people numb. She starts getting her hand full of all the fun things she could think of, contemplate, spending more time with those who stay, and let time does the magic. Gendis' kind of busy is what allows her to find herself, read her own mind, and meet her inner self.

"It's alright..", it says.

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IV. That Moment when She Met the Daydreamer from Lalaland

It was a moment of peace and fun and adventure for Gendis. The first pain of losing the tables she never actually own is long behind her. She is ready to rejoin the world and she ask for a balloon ride to a place far far away.

Up, up, and away she goes.

The scenery excite her, the breeze softly touch her blushing cheek, by the time she starts to feel bored, she starts to read. Then, she falls asleep. Drifted by the wind to the Lalaland. To the land where human lives.


By the time she wakes up, she was surrounded by more people than she could ever imagine. She never met a single soul before, aside from Ibu Ikan and Pak Kucing. These people, twice her size; are busy walking carrying their suitcases, briskly running with their dogs, and loudly chattering laughing singing things she doesn't understand. The human world-- the Lalaland, is too loud for her. 

She feels exhausted and lost, she starts to fade away.


It was just in time for a Daydreamer₍₂₎ to find Gendis. In that crowd, she was the only one who notice that lost little girl, looking like she almost fades away. The Daydreamer bend her knees to get to talk to her better. She takes her to a place away from the crowd so she could listen to her sweet tinkling voice. She said to her, "It's alright", and bring her back to the balloon-- back to the end of the rainbow.

The Daydreamer.. it was her who tells Gendis' story and introduce her to us human.

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V. After Gendis Left on Her Balloon to That Moving House at the End of the Rainbow.

At first, the Daydreamer though it was her who saved Gendis. Yet again, it was the other way around. By the time she met the little lost soul, she was lost herself-- stuck in the numbness a routines can cause. She almost forget how to embrace her inner self. All the stories Gendis told her about her world was the one that stop her from doing what she must and start doing what she desire

That is how this story is written and those pictures are made₍₃₎. 

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Notes:

(1) Lala is a dedicated Pisces. Chances are.. she pictures herself as Ibu Ikan in her drawing. She always there all ear for Gendis.. just like Gendis always there for her. Ibu Ikan can not speak and she doesn't need to. sometime, Gendis just needs to let it all out, to be listened, and she knows that everything will be alright.

(2) The Daydreamer is each one of you who will do all the trouble of bending in your knees to get to talk to Gendis better and embrace the little soul.

(3) Lala Bohang met Gendis when she was looking for her true self, a phase Gendis went through a while ago. Gendis was there for her. They both enjoys their solitude. They both are romantic by heart and they made a very good friend who completes each other. Gendis makes lala feel calmer, happier, and laid back. Lala become Gendis' first human friend.  When Lala met her, she was heartbroken. It was 2009 in human's world. On the contrary, it was a phase full of love in Gendis' world. Gendis was all in peace with herself and met her soulmate, Rama. The time is later known as the chapter of Rama and Gendis. Later, Lala tells the whole story of Gendis in pictures, chapter by chapter. This is the first chapter when Gendis is searching for her true self in her solitary world.
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(Mira Asriningtyas, a daydreamer)



8.25.2013

Thought: A Home Named Hong


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It's been awhile since husband and one of my bestie, Budi, joke about naming the house HONG (that stands for quite a childish silly boyish joke I'd rather not talk about here). Day after day they keep on insisting the name that even my friend, Sita, start calling it HONG too. 

Well.. I was expecting a name that is rather personal, well-meaning, easy to say yet sophisticated at the same time. It has to be dreamy too. I want people to think about fresh air, sunbeams, secret garden on the backyard, smell of freshly baked pie, flowers, and wind touching their blushing cheek..only by thinking about the name. (Yes,that one dream ideal name I haven't found yet)

Yet, apparently..after a little research, I found that Hong (bird) is the other name of Phoenix.. the fire bird that is so magical it makes the great Dumbledore look much less sacred and magical. It says that the Hong bird unite the yin and yang; makes people feel secure to be around it, and represent harmony. Hong or jiang also means rainbow that is also the name of a two-headed dragon in Chinese mythologys. (wiki.01). Hong in Shan language means Hamsa represents perfect union, balance and life.The flight of the Hamsa also symbolizes the escape from the cycle of samsara. (wiki.02).

With phoenix, rainbow dragon, and perfect balance in life representation; the boys persistence, and a minor frustration of not finding a name that represent the soul of my light house.. I finally gave up and start calling it HONG. So, Voila! 

Here are some pictures of a home named Hong after we live in it for 3 months. 
Feel free to visit Hong by the hill!

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The Entrance
(this is my favorite spot to work in the afternoon..sundrenched with the afternoon sun)

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The Private/Public Border
(family portrait on a piano is my idea of classic)

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The Breakfast Table
(my 'serious' working table with fresh flower and a self portrait from Dito's Finding Stillness series) 

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Dito's Working Space | My Spa Room
 
(detail shots of two other rooms in the house)

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The Leisure Room
(for the first time after the wedding, it's finally neat and tidy)

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The Guest Room (or 'The Budi's Room') | The Kitchen
(the pink room is 'Budi's room' where our guest can sleepover)

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The Kitchen
(it's where I spend most of my morning for coffee and sunbathing)

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The Reading Nook
(I've always dream of a reading nook..lucky there is a warm spot to sit comfortably by the window)

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The Dining Room 
(with another photo of Dito's Finding Stillness series)
Photographed by Dito Yuwono

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Hugs,


8.16.2013

Studio Visit: Agus Suwage


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Remember last February when I had an assignment from Elle Decor to cover for Agus Suwage's new home and studio? The article about his house was published on April (click here to read) and the article about his studio is published this month (go grab it at the bookstore while it lasts!) 

Remember how I was bedazzled by him..one of my favorite artist of all time! He's the one who made me come back for 5 times to see his landmark retrospective exhibition that gives me nightmare after each visit. That's what made the visit at his studio and talking to him about his art mean the world to me (while he play the Beirut songs with his guitar and I died a little).. An artist like Agus Suwage reminds me of what makes me love art at the first time (and his band is surprisingly really good too!) 

Of course..with someone as famous as him with notable record of local and international exhibitions, I don't need to make further introduction, do I? (just click this link)Now, I'll leave you with some photos.. a short interview (in Bahasa Indonesia tho..) and a published article at Elle Decor August 2013. 

Enjoy!

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His Studio

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His Work

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His Music

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The published article :
(click image to enlarge)



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Click the image below to read the interview:
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 Photographed by Kurniadi Widodo
Text by me

Find the article in Elle Decor Indonesia August 2013

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