Yearly Archives: 2010

Ruba’iyat of Amma Supahilo

In celebration of Tulisan’s first year anniversary, I have created my final year end project which will be exhibited at Artsphere Gallery, Darmawangsa Square, from 27 November – 27 December 2010. This show, titled RUBA’IYAT OF AMMA SUPAHILO, consists of twelve single edition screen printed illustrations (90 cm x 117 cm) telling a story about the search for the most precious matter in life. This project is a complete reflection of my passions and creative pursuits, from story telling, constructing rhymes, creating code or symbols, lettering and drawing.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Tulisan is also introducing 18 different numbered and signed (editions of 24) screen printed canvas totes, each reflecting a meticulous craftsmanship and detailed illustration.

A percentage of the proceeds from this exhibition or Tulisan products will be given to the relief efforts for the victims of Merapi and Mentawai disasters.


Concept Story Behind The Artwork:


by Melissa Sunjaya

On a cold rainy night, I fell asleep and met a girl who told me about her life. We became very close, therefore she taught me a special alphabet so we can communicate with each other in code. Before we parted, she wrote me a short poem. The structure of this stanza was similar to a Ruba’iyat, a Persian quatrain consisting of four lines and rhyming with AABA. Each line was written in iambic pentameter, with double meanings and dual perspectives.

“A dream so vast sends me sky high too fast
I roam the distant lands from dusty past
Upon a stage which bears countless charades
In hope to cast the endless sun at last”

She told me that if I could figure it out, I would get rid of all my nightmares and my heart would stop sleeping. In return, I gave her six of my pen and ink drawings based on her ruba’iyat as a symbol of our eternal friendship. My drawings were all in solid jet black. She smiled while starring at my original sketches, then she whispered that we should try to slow down our thoughts and to breathe every syllable of the poetry. ‘Listen well!’ she said, ‘every sound produces two tones, as every slice of life always presents itself in different colors…’

Then I watched the wind take my new friend before my eyes. She was a free spirit who served no master with diabolic personalities. Her original character was a balanced mixture of kindness and malice, the past and the new, light and dark. Her name was Amma, the last survivor from the family of Supahilo. Amma lived inside a teapot that carried a sweet scent of lemongrass. A loyal garden ogre guarded her habitat amongst a bundle of gigantic edelweiss flowers. Beside her ogre who kept her safe, she nurtured three other giant pets. Gustav was the elephant with whom she travelled to many places. Tatiana was her wise tortoise who gave her guidance. Finally, Sophia was the hummingbird who provided consolations and inspirations. Amma lived in world so far from me. Through her eccentricity, she became my urban hero.

Opening Reception:
Saturday, 27 November 2010,at 17.00
at Artsphere Gallery Darmawangsa Square, City Walk, Second Floor, Unit 16
Jalan Darmawangsa VI & IX, Jakarta 12160

phone/fax +62 21 727 86661

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Eastern Reflection

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I have always been fascinated by the splendor of Islamic architecture and the exotic world of the Middle East. It makes me wonder about the glorious costumes of their Sheiks, the morning fragrance of their street markets, their seductive acoustic melody, and their vivid gem like colors that populate all their fabrics. I indulged myself in illustrating these decorative ornaments, by taking inspirations from the different regions. The six final ink drawings of this Eastern Reflection Series are titled: ‘Persian Mornings’, ‘Moroccan Afternoons’, ‘Arabian Nights’, ‘Turkish Evenings’, ‘Indian Sunset’, and ‘Moorish Sunrise’.

The first four editions of this series are now produced as pray sets, each include a quilted meditation mat and a light canvas bag. Most people use this pray set in many different ways  to reflect on life. My brother Adit and his wife Ani use the set to complete the sacred ritual of Salat. My two münchenberries, Miya and Clio, use them to play picnic and tea party in our patio. Just like in the magical ballad of ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, I sit on the soft mat while sketching or reading so I can fly away to those distant lands where the plants are taller than the skyscrapers in Jakarta.
Pura vida!
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Fun and Easy Goody Bags

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Anyone living in Jakarta with kids quickly learns that a birthday can be a big social event for the little ones. When the kid is in kindergarten or nursery, the parties can happen almost at a monthly or even a weekly basis. The cake is usually the center of the show, but the goody bags and party souvenirs become the sweet icing to these events.

To make it easy for the mums and fun for the kids, we have created some ideas for goody bags using the Tulisan gift tags. Little ones love these colorful gift tags and these become a memorable touch to the event. You can even attach a string and make a loop to the package, so that they can play ‘fishing the goody bags’

If you use our Tulisan gift tags for your goody bags, please send us pictures to and we will post it on our blog. Hope you will find these pictures useful and inspiring!

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Eid-ul Fitr Just Around the Corner

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We’re having so much fun this week and it keeps getting better. While the showcase at Darmawangsa Square is still going on, a new product is finally done at the right time. Yeah.., it is right on time for The Ramadan season. These 4 personal blank cards are inspired from Middle Eastern architecture. It makes a perfect gift as well as a greeting note to share this blessed moment, a very joyous day with friends & family and real joy for the health, strength and the opportunities of life.

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Darmawangsa Temporary Showcase

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This week ‘Tulisan’ will be available at Darmawangsa Square, we were excited for this opportunity. This isn’t the first time for us invited by Darmawangsa for temporary showcase. But we’ll sure it’s going to be so much fun like before!! So see you there..

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Kakatua Raja

For every new sketch, I love to work with an imaginary character that would help me in setting the overall tone through the entire collection of that specific print edition. For last July 2010, I created a special story about ‘Kakatua Raja’ – an exotic empress inhabiting an enchanted tropical forest, her very own magical universe. She is a symbol of strength, resilience, and purity against all odds. Her unique and solitary life becomes a solace to all wound.

The process is really about handmade labor of love. From the original pen and ink sketch, I developed three art work: the signature art (the original sketch refined), surface study (a layout where we experiment with different ink textures), and tile work (a repetitive composition using some element of the signature art). Each of these art work are silkscreened on to cotton materials with a limited print run for every color way. The colors are hand-picked to best depict the spirit of ‘Kakatua Raja’ using tropical tones of fresh green, coffee brown, orchid pink and navy.


Melissa Sunjaya

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