Category Archives: Art

Inside Tulisan’s Creative Process #6


Step 6: Silk Screening and Protective Coating


Silk Screening

The very essence of Tulisan’s artwork is accentuated with a classic reproduction art form that has dated way back since 1910, this silk screening technique uses filters where the pores are closed with a photo emulsion switched off by an ultra violet ray. This filter functions as a stencil blocker of the color substance resulting in a color print recording an image created by the emulsion layer.

As big admirers of artisanal crafts dating way back throughout century, the silk screening manual are often printed with uneven layers and registers untidy color prints highlighting the imperfections made by the involvement of hands. This screen printing manual are often presented deliberately in Tulisan’s work of the Original Editions and By MS with Love Edition, giving the illustrations a life of its own. On an advance scale,  particularly for the Tulisan Prints Edition, the silk screening art form is created with a rotary machine which focus on the basic mechanism and greatest level of precision.

Through extensive trial and error and manual dexterity, each Tulisan product ensures to preserve the traditional art form which values the highest artisanal craftsmanship.


Protective Coating 

In our sincerest effort to promote a healthier infrastructure for both ourselves and our environment, all Tulisan soft goods are hand-made using non-bleached (chlorine- free) cotton canvas, eco-friendly water-based inks, non-toxic water-resistant coatings, and certified nickel free components with low impact and energy-efficient fabrication methods. Each components involved in the process ensures zero-waste are left behind, and so our workers working in the production site have a better exposure to materials which are less hazardous to their body. Each bags features a PU-coated poly lining, coating which creates, durable and resistant composite which eliminates brittleness and ensures each artwork is enriched with proper protection.




Read the previous steps below:
Step 1: Preliminary Research and Sketching
Step 2: Writing the Stories
Step 3: Research and Development
Step 4: Prototyping (Print)
Step 5: Prototyping (Design)

- Tulisan Chronicles Team

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Inside Tulisan’s Creative Process #5

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Step 5: Prototyping (Design)

Our design instructor Sébastien Théraulaz always repeated time and again “when we have an idea, make the prototype,” that way, we see the tangible form of our ideas and notice if it translates well visually or whether we would need to tweak bits and pieces before achieving our desired result. After the four separate creative process of research, sketching, writing, and playing around with patterns, here is where everything should come to its ultimate form.


When Melissa and the Tulisan team has already sat down and settle on the type of bag they want to realize, the process from here is to first produce a very detailed technical package. As I once talked to Tulisan’s technical designer, this activity requires an eye and sensitivity for detail. A strong sense of logic in calculation and imagining form is key in this step. From here, the team would need to research on the various fabrication methods, test the components used for the bag, develop cutting patterns which apply the zero-waste principles of leaving no waste behind to the final construction of product prototype.


Often, during the cutting pattern development, the extra materials are turned into a completely new product which occur spontaneously and stray from the initial plan — making it a bonus product complimenting the rest. Other times, once a form has been produced, many changes of removing, adding, or replacing the components to altering size may occur to ensure the design still retains its main function.


Even though Tulisan is rich with character and bold colors, a minimalistic approach in product design is still necessary to follow the functionality foremost. Prototyping here is  crucial in evaluating the simplicity of the bag without overdoing it. A contributing product designer of Muji, Sam Hect once said, “it [product design] requires great restraint from a designer. The designer must almost not design. The removal of unnecessary function, to allow gaps to exist. In these gaps, life can breathe.”

Through these gaps is where the patterns and livelihood of Tulisan stories breathe on the simple form of canvas.


Read the previous steps below:
Step 1: Preliminary Research and Sketching
Step 2: Writing the Stories
Step 3: Research and Development
Step 4: Prototyping (Print)

- Tulisan Chronicles Team

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Discovery: Revitalizing the Past at Jak Art Space


 “The revitalization of  Jakarta since 2014 is a creative agenda. Without nostalgia, we could not return to the past; we “return” to the future, back to the future. We revitalize Space to Time; we change something stagnant to something of movement”Goenawan Mohamad


Jakarta’s Old Town or familiarly known by the inhabitants as Kota Tua has always been a place to gather recollection of Jakarta’s past. The Old Town Area has beared witness of being the remaining district during the Dutch colonial time in the 16th century. Recognitions of history are now gathered at Fatahillah Square in its surrounded choices of Jakarta History Museum, Museum Keramik, Museum Bank Mandiri, and Pos Indonesia.


To date, the compound has already gained masses of local dwellers and tourists seeking for a place to casually spend their afternoon enjoying a bike ride or sipping coffee while overlooking the beautiful architecture view through the favored Café Batavia.


While the past can mesmerize us to stay in, time remains on going, and the once adored buildings of those era have for years faced its slow decay. The revitalization program organized by Jakarta Old Town Revitalization Corporation (JOTRC) and the Jakarta Endowment for Art and Heritage has gathered the best names in contemporary design and art world in Indonesia to relive the beauty of the place.


Contemporary architect Andra Matin has started by redesigning the Post Office without changing the façade of the building. Instead he has incorporated the rustic feel of the place with a cleaner foundation. Inside the second floor is where the amusement lies. As a way to attract younger and urban locals to the site, the space is transformed into an art gallery consisting of over 40 contemporary pieces of artwork by 47 artists which highlight the theme of Identifying Indonesia.


As Jakarta itself is broad to discover, Indonesia, as a country is much difficult to pinpoint, the diversity of islands and cultures raises questions of identity for its own people.  The exhibition itself aims to give a glimpse of varying interpretation of Indonesian taken from the perspective of these contemporary artists. Mix-mediums were used to highlight the varying themes of colonialism, identity, globalisation, women empowerment, emancipation, to exploitation, memories, or even obsession.


When discussing the term ‘contemporary’ with a friend, she mentioned the term contemporary needs to speak for certain relevancy of time, place, and events. And as stated by Oei Hong Djien, a member of the Jeforah board of advisors, the 47 artworks in the exhibition is created for varying purposes, but the relevancy and theme is to highlight the Fiesta Jakarta Old Town today.


In order for us to move forward, this exhibition invite us to take a step back and peer into the past before we can bridge a newly constructed future by the new generations.


Identifying Indonesia
Until Sept. 24
Jak Art Space
Post Office, 2nd floor
Kota Tua, North Jakarta

- Athina Ibrahim









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Inside Tulisan’s Creative Process #4


Step 4: Prototyping (Print)

The production process and raw materials used at Tulisan is thoroughly evaluated with proper research and development to comply with the Sustainable Design Principles – a design standard emphasizing environmental preservation by reducing carbon footprint.



While the initial process of illustrating is spontaneous, full of character, and would capture emotions and stimulate the imagination, the composition of the prints must always be manually developed to become the patterns for textile.



This art form is taken from the ‘Originals’ editions where each element is manually transformed to become a textile pattern. In order to keep up with Sustainable Design Principles, the patterns must be maximized and be able to fulfill the anagram concept, a perspective play on patterns, having it rearranged in various ways to have it face one direction only.



By avoiding the usage of a pattern making software, each step in Tulisan is done organically without technical measurement which reduces flexibility and make it too rigid for cutting and change.



Before applying the pattens on the materials, Melissa [Sunjaya] would continuously experiment with texture, shapes, and penmanship before the patterns are printed on a rotary machine which applies the latest technology called ‘reactive dye’ – a method where the dyes is absorbed to the material’s surface to produce vivid colors that withstands any weather conditions.



Read the previous steps below:
Step 1: Preliminary Research and Sketching
Step 2: Writing the Stories
Step 3: Research and Development

- Tulisan Chronicles Team

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Inside Tulisan’s Creative Process #3

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Step 3: Research and Development

If the first two creative steps involve in creating the basis and content of the artwork. Proper research and development pushes the collected idea into the ideal visual representation and clearly defines the achievable objective. Each step has its own challenges. Starting from making the patterns work, selecting the right color, designing the bags and preparing the technical drawings for the factory before having the designs improved over and again until the designers are finally convinced with the outlook.

To understand step three in greater detail, we interviewed product designer and Tulisan’s design consultant, Weina Ding on the exploration of product development and how trend forecasting plays an important role in making Tulisan’s artwork stand on its own.

Can you briefly explain, based on your experience, what are the basis of fashion trend forecasting?

The trend forecasting is not only about fashion. It is a bit like alchemy — you are looking for the elements in trying to make something. Not one person says “this is the next trend” or “this is how it will be,” there are many analysis and reports involved and people who specialize on that. They generally investigate what is going on in the world, culturally, artistically, and through technology also.

After the research is made, they can forecast future projection. Where a social phenomenon can lead us in the next few years. The more advance specialist can make a forecast for the next five years.


Who are these groups of people and how do they make their analysis?

It is a big operation. You have a group of people who specialize in this basis of observation. For example, right now, 3D printing is very popular in terms of its technology. Before when people wanted to make something they have to make a mold of the ceramics they are working on and making that requires you to go to a factory. Now, it is accessible to be done at home. This liberates the production processes for a lot of designers. It then becomes a new tendency. In the future, 3D printing is going to be affordable.

Moreover, there are also a lot of digitalized information available, so how people react to it would affect people in the artistic sense which can inspire trends. New aesthetics often develops based on the development of the culture.


If you are a trend forecaster, do you need to always be very aware of what is going on around you?

Yes. They need to be very aware of every social, economic, or artistic development. A lot of it is also based on the intuition of the specialist. They have to have good sensitivity and to be good in overlooking what is going on. A sense of the bigger picture, because you are looking forward.

And this forecast is done annually?

The aim is to do it seasonally. Normally, it is done two years in advance. The clients who pay for this information need to be convinced that these projections would occur two years ahead.

It acts like a pyramid, you have the trend forecasting which is trickled down to all these retail space, but I am not talking about big brands because normally these brands already have good designers with their analysis and intuition. I am talking about fashion-related brands on the mid-range to start-up levels often receiving information on this trend forecasting. The process involved is not black and white, only receiving information and digesting it. They receive the materials and take it as an advisor. They do not put direct use to it, inside their company structure the designer has to be aware and make their own element.


From the very deliberate trend forecasts, how do you select the elements and make sure they still appear to showcase Tulisan’s characteristics?

The simplest idea can be in the form of taking color trends. We do not necessarily have to copy the exact trends but we take it as references.

We need to adapt it to the Tulisan brands. For example, in Tulisan, Melissa [Sunjaya] does a lot of illustrations. These illustrations become the base element of the brand. How the elements are chosen are often based on intuition, picking something which is fresh and nice, and we then have to observe what is out there.

The narrative of the pattern is a big part of Melissa’s illustration, and how to bring that out to make it original and bring out Tulisan’s characteristic. There are many ways to make this interesting or inspiring. It could be organic forms or even a story background – there are countless of elements to be taken. You take what you can and see what works and what does not and that is based on our judgment. It is a tool that every designer must have. You need to have that intuition. It is not something people can tell you.

There is no exact formula, a lot of times it is experience, Melissa has many years of experience as a designer, there is a mental note of the observation and trends she sees and gathers. When you start working it may seem like an abstract way of working but it really shows into the work produced.


Does every designer need to have an aim in picking the elements they want to take in their designs?

Melissa definitely has her own vision because she understands the brand inside and out, through that she can bring other inputs to see how she can improve it, but she has a goal in what she wants to achieve.

In talking about trend forecasting, most of this projection is happening on a global level. How is this project scaled down and made relevant to a local level?

The design team is part of the work. You also have the marketing team and sales, especially if you are running a retail space. Each role is important. It is important for the shop manager to know how to display the shop, so a little marketing plays to that as well and they need to also be aware about what product is selling and what is not. He/she has to be keen on customer’s behavior. His/her intuition and opinion values a lot and works for all retail space.

Suppose you have a shop based here and a branch based in Paris and you have different kind of reports from the sales manager, you can retrieve information on what products are selling in each distribution point. That is how the products become localized. You also have the marketing team and buyers, what elements work for customers on a local level. This has great influence on the design process. If you have the right system with the keen sense of alertness and awareness of each team member, everything becomes interconnected and every aspect can then translate to a local level.


When do you know when a design has achieved your desired result? When do you stop?

You can modify it and change it constantly. But we all have limited situations, for example, time, not everyone has endless time to develop a product, if not you would not have any products in the shop. You need to have a dedicated goal and deadline. Timing is important to be calculated. When you need to develop a product and when you want to deliver it into the stores.

We are not reaching for perfection but the best result in the given time. The other challenges lies in the timing of the production process, suppose you want a particular zipper with matching color to the bag you designed, to order that to the factory requires waiting time and you also need to consider buying it in minimum quantity, even though you wanted to have it for sample first. So you have to see what you can do with the best, maybe you can not have a particular trimming, so timing and financial constraints can also be a challenge.

Do you think it looses the instinctive process and originality of the artist when one says trend forecasting makes a brand too commercial?

I think every designer has to be aware of what is going on, even though you do not necessarily have to make use of everything you receive. Originality is very objective nowadays. True originality is very diffused. It is not so important because it does not mean you have to do something that has not been done before. You can take a complimentary source of elements and in the end infuse it with your personal touch. It is not about being the most original of all. It is not relevant nowadays, it is important to retain the characteristics of your brand. Trend forecasting is mainly the knowledge you must posses.


Read the previous steps below:
Step 1: Preliminary Research and Sketching
Step 2: Writing the Stories

- The Tulisan Chronicles Team

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Inside Tulisan’s Creative Process #1


Step 1: Preliminary Research and Sketching

As big appreciators of the arts and fashion, most of us are often consumed with the beauty a product presents to us without knowing the elementary stages on how a single bag or brand was formed.

At first glance, the bag at Tulisan may seem to be a simple and illustrated projection of our very own talented founder and illustrator, Melissa Sunjaya, but as French Writer Émile Zola explains, “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work,” everything you see today in our store is a product of intense research before we, ourselves, can strut our way through the beauty of the Tulisan hand carried bags.


Preliminary Research

We agree the gift of the artist remains in the head and hands of creative Melissa Sunjaya, but as she confirms, every illustrated elements were delivered firstly through the constant development of a single idea. The initial steps is to capture her thoughts and infuse her emotions into the surrounding elements she finds – her inspiration can be formed by anything from Art Nouveau to old packages of cigarettes. She takes a further step by understanding varying elements in fashion, arts and culture, and observing consumer patterns to finally cross web her instincts into the context of Tulisan’s characteristics. For the “Love Letters of Roro Mendut” collection, the inspiration she took was based on elements revolving around royalty, emblems, and soft colour palettes.



Illustration remains the vital role in the designs of Tulisan’s product. From the selected forecast, Melissa and her team focus on the fashion elements and spends rigorous time in dissecting a proper way to present it visually. By focusing on a certain period highlighting women and royalty, she exhibits a classical Indonesian folks tale, Roro Mendut, emphasizing her sketches on three elements of cloves, chili, and the messenger bird. Here is where the process gets very technical. With the object selected from the research, various techniques of illustration – pointillism, cross-hatching, and vignette – are then explored to get the desired brush of patterns. As the process goes on, the evolution of the pieces comes to play through Melissa’s organic touch, sense of whimsy, and rich tones of both story and colour.


Look forward and be awed by more of Tulisan’s creative process for weeks to come.


The images above are sketches of how the collection “Love Letters of Roro Mendut” was developed. 

- Tulisan Chronicles Team

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Loving you all year long: A DIY Gift from the heart

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DSCF2822-topWith Pink and Red hearts plastered all over town, it’s hard to forget that Valentine’s day is approaching fast.

Romantics as we are, we love any excuse to love but as we started thinking about Valentine’s Day gifts for our lovers, and friends we started thinking about gifts that last longer than just a dinner, or date. We are not suggesting that the romantic dinner is unwanted. Candlelit dinner…uh YES, PLEASE! but love is more than just that dinner, and sometimes the off moments are when we need to know most.

So here is a suggestion for a long lasting, funny, cute and handmade, DIY gift that doesn’t take too long to make!

Open when… Cards.

DSCF2841Create as few or as many as you like, and put it somewhere your lover, or you can easily reach, and use them all year long.

They are super easy to make.

DSCF2818All you need are:

Small envelopes
Blank Cards/paper

We chose to put quirky little sayings, but make as personal as you want or make it simpler by doing away with the doodles.

Pair it with these sweet treats: Box of Love Homemade Banana Bread all wrapped up for the occasion.
DSCF2812-2Box of Love Homemade Banana Bread available at our Darmawangsa Square Shop for IDR 100.000/-


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Bibliofiles: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

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GAB-20130530-003Perhaps I should start by getting what’s obvious out of the way: John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is an intimidating book.  This is one of those books that we tend to acquire in roundabout ways.  Maybe it was a requirement to a syllabus, or a whim indulged at a book fair.  It’s the kind of book you casually thumb through and think, “I’ve heard good things about this and I should read it one of these days.”  But as some 600 pages rest between its covers, it’s not something you get to right away.

Having said that, this is the kind of book that once read sticks with you.  It is one of those books that you could read today and get a lot out of it and then pick up in ten years and discover you enjoy it even more.


East of Eden spans 60 years (c. 1860-1920) and is at once timeless and a time capsule.  It tells the semi-autobiographical tale of two families, the Hamiltons (based on Steinbeck’s own matrilineal heritage) and the Trasks (a fictional family).  Through their overlapping and intertwined existences we see the biblical tale of Cain and Abel unfold alongside universal themes of free will, betrayal, love, greed, and good vs. evil.

Steinbeck began writing the book for his two young sons in hopes that it would one day teach them both about themselves and where they came from, as well as enlighten them to the tortured ways the world works.  The juxtaposition of free will vs. fate courses through the text holding firmly to the plotline of each major character.  The main villain, Cathy Ames, would by today’s standards be labeled a sociopath.  Steinbeck introduces her with the sentence, “I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents.”  While this book is by all accounts a masterpiece, it is not without a few flaws, and I believe Cathy’s character embodies one of them.  While the men grapple with the notion of free will both within the confines of their own psyches and out loud in some of the best conversations I’ve ever read, Cathy, who is central to the plot, never does.  She embodies evil, arguably making the point that evil isn’t able to fathom that goodness even exists; it’s just another weakness embraced by fools.  I wonder, how often do our perceptions blind us?

This brings up another interesting point.  Cathy believes that goodness is a weakness and this ultimately leads to her downfall.  There are several times in the book where perceived character strengths turn out to be weaknesses.  Take, for example, Cathy’s twin boys Cal and Aron, whom she abandons as infants when she shoots her husband and runs away to become a madam.  Cal (who if you haven’t read the book yet is a modern interpretation of the bible’s Cain) is generally hard to like and for his father harder to love, while Aron (you guessed it, the stand-in for Abel) is angelic both in stature and nature.  In the end the purity of Aron’s character leads to his undoing, while Cal acknowledges his own tendencies towards evil and comes away with a deep understanding of the meaning of life, while simultaneously reaping the benefits of free will.  Their own perceived strengths and weaknesses subvert themselves.  This is a relatable topic as life often has a way of making you face your demons, and occasionally they turn out to be friends rather than foes. Has this ever happened to you?

There were several times when I first picked up this book that I wanted to put it down for good. I had to remind myself that when the book was written, Freud was all the rage and women’s liberation hadn’t happened yet.  Idiosyncrasies aside, I couldn’t stay away for long.  Steinbeck was an incredibly deft writer.  Very few writers are able to make a character driven book a page-turner as well.  Never one to tie everything up neatly with a bow, he perpetually engages the reader by shifting story lines and inserting his own voice into the text.  The main characters (Hamilton patriarch Samuel, and my personal favorite, Cal) were so compelling that I had to see their stories through.


If you have read this book, what did you come away with? I found East of Eden to be a beautiful, sometimes tragic, often raunchy, and searingly honest comment on what should have and what ultimately does have the most meaning in life.


 xx Melany Zwartjes


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The Map of Imaginary Instructions


With our eyes half-wide shut, and the remaining daydreaming of our cozy beds, our Saturday morning on a seemingly hectic November was shaken and transformed in an abrupt manner.


MyraArianiLydia, and myself were the four – with later assistance by Farid - who became part of a grueling yet enlightening workshop prepared by our Swiss-based artist/designer/visual practitioner, Sébastien Théraulaz.


A fellow school friend of Melissa Sunjaya in the Art Center College of Design (Europe), Sébastien has always carried a creative streak in him, having worked in TV productions and various advertising agencies before deciding to establish Sub Communications in 1999 and Subtitude Foundry in 2004, that focuses heavily on typography. Having traveled to Jakarta for the first time, he made sure he fully equipped us with the proper knowledge necessary in his tight schedule.


Before day one, we were prepared with a few easy tasks: to write our names on a piece of paper, bring a photocopy of our photograph, and select one of our favorite images, all of which were assigned with a purpose.


Our written names and photograph became an analysis of our character and a visual projection of ourselves, what we consciously or unconsciously portray, whereas the favorite imagery was a study of dissecting the layers and intention behind the image producer.


He helped us to understand how a simple projection can determine so many messages. What followed was an intense week of breaking down what Tulisan meant to us through word association and visual representations. Our days from then on were divided into morning art and design discussions and afternoons of refining our technical design skills.


The process was new, often frustrating and accompanied by numerous cups of coffee (and snacks!), but it gave us a simple fulfillment to see and do things through varying perspectives not be limited to our familiar routine. As a writer, this became a refreshing exercise to break down my linear and literal thought-process and experiment with ideas through color palettes and visual imagery in tactile or digital mediums.



My utmost gratitude to both Melissa and Sébastien for the opportunity to explore our creative endeavors and by having it compiled into a physical copy we all were surprised to have.



We are proud to announce our exploration in a book we call The Map of Imaginary Instructions. Why imaginary? Because this book became a guide to break down the imaginary head voices often stopping us from trying.

- Athina Ibrahim

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Exploring the Incomprehensible Shape


Like a drawing that starts with only a few lines and continues to imprint an incomprehensible shape, life always leads us to mysterious paths that are filled of imperfections and fractured corners.

At that moment, most of us choose to stop drawing for the fear of tainting the page with a horrible mistake. A very few of us take the decision to stop asking questions on life’s ever changing directions and gallantly ink without any doubts towards an unexpected end.

The beauty of life lies on facing our biggest mistakes and loving our most dreadful self-portraits. Only after passing that point, we can capture a clear view over the horizon that human beings are not made of flesh and blood, but we are an infinite idea that we choose to project.

Always ink courageously because time only becomes meaningful when we start exploring, Melissa Sunjaya

JOU_DRAW_01{  Indonesian  }

Bagaikan sebuah gambar yang dimulai dengan goresan dan menghasilkan gambar dalam berbagai bentuk yang sulit dipahami, hidup akan selalu membawa kita ke jalan misterius penuh ketidaksempurnaan dan sudut yang retak.

Dalam saat itu, banyak dari kita memilih untuk berhenti mengambar karena takut menodai halaman dengan kesalahan yang mengerikan. Segelintir dari kita akan mengambil keputusan untuk berhenti mempertanyakan perubahan jalan hidup dan berani berjalan tanpa ragu menuju akhir yang tak dapat ditebak.

Indahnya hidup terletak pada kemampuan kita menghadapi kesalahan-kesalahan terbesar kita dan mencintai gambar diri yang menakutkan. Hanya setelah melangkah dari titik itulah, kita mampu melihat jelas bahwa manusia tidak hanya terbuat dari darah dan daging, melainkan suatu proyeksi ide-ide yang tidak ada batasannya.

Teruslah menorehkan tinta karena waktu hanya menjadi berarti saat kita mulai menjelajah, Melissa Sunjaya

Photography by Trish Haulz, Translation by Athina Ibrahim

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Melissa at Pecha Kucha Jakarta Vol. 16

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We are excited to announce that Tulisan’s very own Melissa Sunjaya will be one of the speakers of Pecha Kucha Jakarta Vol. 16.

A little bit about Pecha Kucha:

Pecha Kucha (pronounced as “peh-chak-cha”) is a Japanese term to define the conversational sound in a room full of people. This term was taken by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham as the first people to establish Pecha Kucha since the year 2004 in Tokyo. This is a casual networking event inviting key figures from the creative industries to share their stories, ideas, and experience.

The uniqueness of Pecha Kucha lies in its quickly paced 20×20 presentation format where speakers are welcomed to share their stories of 20 slides in only 20 seconds each slide. Resulting in a exciting 6:40 minute talk of each speakers.

This month Pecha Kucha Jakarta Vol. 16 will be highlighting the theme Storytelling and Melissa Sunjaya — alongside the other great speakers — will be ready to share to you her journey and stories of Tulisan.

Monday, 25 November 2013
Time: 19:00 – 21:30 (Registration will be opened from 18:30)
Location: Erasmus Huis
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. S-3, Jakarta, 12950

We hope to see you there!


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Namarina 8th Season Performance

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WP_NAMARINA8_01Whatever you have planned this weekend, you don’t want to miss 8 by Namarina Youth Dance! The performance will be showing twice at the Gedung Kesenian Jakarta: on Saturday, 23 November at 8.00 pm and on Sunday, 24 November at 4.00 pm. Admission: IDR200,000.  Tickets: or call +62 21 829 4777.WP_NAMARINA8_02

“8″ has been used as symbols since 5,000 BC. To the ancient Egyptian, “8″ symbolized the cosmic order; to the ancient Greek it meant love and friendship; to the Chinese it represents the universe; to the Japanese it is a symbol of multiplicity; and when positioned horizontally it becomes the mathematical symbol for ‘infinity’.


One subject can be viewed differently, and this is exactly what this production is all about. With different cultural and technical backgrounds, three Asian choreographers interpret Western-based dance forms and make it their own. Jeffrey Tan from Singapore explores ballet in contemporary approach, Kim Jae Duk of South Korea lays out his expression in modern manner, while NYD’s very own Dinar Karina expresses her ideas with her own jazz style in one number, and embracing the local traditional dance in her ballet piece.


Jeffrey Tan came from a classical background, and was former Principal Dancer and Resident Choreographer with The Singapore Dance Theatre. Currently Jeffrey is the Principal of The Singapore Ballet Academy. 

WP_NAMARINA8_05Kim Jae Duk received the Best New Dancer Award in 2010 from The Modern Dance Promotion of Korea, and aside from being the Artistic Director of his own company, Modern Table, Jae Duk is also the current Associate Choreographer for T.H.E. Dance Company, Singapore.

WP_NAMARINA8_06 The performance will be held for 2 (two) days, at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, featuring Namarina Youth Dance dancers, two guest dancers, and also supported by Namarina Youth Dance Apprentice and selected students from Namarina School. WP_NAMARINA8_07 Dance pieces that will be featured in this production are Symbiotic Metamorphosis (by Jeffrey Tan), Second Hand (by Kim Jae Duk), Identity and Jegeg (by Dinar Karina).WP_NAMARINA8_08

Namarina Youth Dance (NYD) is a semi-professional dance company, established in 2006 with its roots in classical ballet while incorporating traditional culture, with hopes to be able to put Indonesia on the map of the dancing world. NYD was initiated with the aim to become a vessel to nurture and develop the many talents of young Indonesian dancers, and to improve the position of dancing as a profession in society. Moreover, Namarina Youth Dance also carries a mission to participate in the development of healthy, creative and character-rich Indonesian dancing heritage and to take part and enrich Indonesia’s cultural life.

WP_NAMARINA8_09Photography by Namarina Youth Dance


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Discovery: Pasar Mayestik


We spend our times on our personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones, often letting the whirling pace of information drag minutes to hours of our time away. We seek to nourish our minds, yet as a fly is attracted to lights, we get sucked into the illuminating brightness of the digital world. And we forget. We forget to take notice of what happens if we shut ourselves away from our compelling schedule that lies within the tap of our fingers.


With the grappling modernity of our time, we tend to overlook the finer details found away from our computerized built world – the vastness of our senses tuning itself with people and interactions.


Spending a day at a local market brought me back towards the fleeting feeling I have placed aside, the buzzing excitement of finding myself amongst the locality of a traditional marketplace. Taking in the sense of nostalgia and the rowdiness of honking cars, shouts of the vendors and customers bargaining, and the tempting aromas from the food stalls nearby. All elements which are toned down in a modern settings of shopping arcades.


Although the scorching heat gave my team-members and I a reason to stay indoors, it was the exuberant colors from the objects encountered that gave us a reason to explore. Standing proudly since the 1960s, Mayestik Market or familiarly known as Pasar Mayestik has been a place of trade for generations. Inside it, I could easily find any of my daily needs, everything from textiles, stationaries, fruits to cosmetics was available at proper navigation of the market.


For years, as other great traditional markets, Mayestik has given Jakarta its vibrant identity. A sense of its culture, inhabitants, and rooted tradition found through its Indonesian snacks of Kue Cubit, Kue Apem, Es Doger, and other tantalizing treats.


Contemporary marketplace might still be favored for its convenience and sealed air-conditioned rooms, but nothing can ever beat the feeling of going through patterns over patterns, buttons over buttons, or rummaging over the endless amount of colorful textiles and seeking collectible finds of home display.


Whether I needed what I bought and discovered was later to be evaluated. What I knew was traditional marketplaces led to the imaginative possibilities of piecing together crafts that I probably wouldn’t experience through a digital search engine.

Pasar Mayestik
Jl. Tebah, Kelurahan Gunung,

Kebayoran Baru,

Jakarta Selatan

- Athina Ibrahim



Photos by Shalimma Robbiaswaty

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Discovery: Librairie De La Louve

JOU_CH_LIBR_01 It was almost 6.30 pm in Lausanne and we were about to have dinner in Melissa’s favorite restaurant. We were passing through a tunnel from Place de la Palud to this big square, called Place de la Louve. The square was surrounded by old buildings with pretty windows and balconies. Most of the windows were decorated with colorful flowers which captivated me and one drew my full attention.

JOU_CH_LIBR_02In front of me, there was a big arched window with old books displayed behind the glass. I came into the store immediately and found piles of rare and old books. JOU_CH_LIBR_03 Many books were wrapped up in hand-made bindings. JOU_CH_LIBR_04Traditional typography arrangement, which consists of letters and decadent ornaments were often seen on the covers of these old books.

JOU_CH_LIBR_06Just when I was about to leave, I saw a door that connected to a bigger room with many more books. JOU_CH_LIBR_07Inside there were other doors that connected to another rooms. JOU_CH_LIBR_05I was immediately drawn into this heavenly maze of books like a child in a toy store.

JOU_CH_LIBR_11I put down my bag hastily and examined every corner until I found my corner to dream. JOU_CH_LIBR_10That little corner was filled with English books and equipped with a single chair and a small ladder which invited me to indulge myself in these literary treasures.JOU_CH_LIBR_12

JOU_CH_LIBR_09In the middle of the piled and organized books, I spotted a number of intaglio prints of the city. Intaglio is a traditional printing method that uses an engraved metal plate. The engraved plate is then covered with ink and wiped. Paper is placed on the plate and compressed, so the remaining ink in the engraved plate is transferred to the paper.

JOU_CH_LIBR_14The book shop has been operating for 26 years. Emanuel Landolt, the owner, took over the shop from his retired boss three years ago. JOU_CH_LIBR_13Emanuel, who is currently working on his PHD thesis on late Soviet philosophy, wants to keep the shop in its original condition. He likes the old formula and has no intention of changing it. His goal is only to get more interesting books which he usually buys from inheritors who ask him to evaluate books of their late relatives. As le grand tour ended, I stepped outside to the cobblestoned square and brought along a book about Eugene Grasset, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and Orwell’s Animal Farm. JOU_CH_LIBR_08I left the shop with curiosity and a hope that someday I could go back.

JOU_CH_LIBR_15My day in Lausanne ended nicely with a book-reading performance in front of Librairie de la Louve. Backed by a cello, flute and piano players, the story-teller sang and told the story in a very delightful and quirky manner. Like Emanuel said, Lausanne is a small town in one of the most beautiful countries in the world that proposes a huge offer of cultural possibilities. I could not agree more. Lausanne instantly made it into the list of my favorite cities.

Librairie de la Louve 
Place de la Louve 3,
+41 2131210 51  

- Myra Bianda

JOU_CH_LIBR_16Photos by Melissa Sunjaya.

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Par Avion – from Jakarta with Love


On Monday, 14 October 2013, Tulisan is introducing the first delivery of my illustrated editions of Fall/Winter 2013-2014 Collection. The prints of Luca feature five-colored textile work using illustrated character and botanical elements from my Original Edition ‘Love Letters of Roro Mendut’. This edition was based on a classic Indonesian folktales, about a young Javanese princess in her adolescence who fought for her believe and passion. JOU_1206OT_02

I re-told this fiction from a personal angle where the story focused on the princess’s audacious spirit and her letters which conveyed messages of emancipation and freedom. JOU_FW13_14

In my version, Luca was the name of Roro Mendut’s beloved friend, a white homing pigeon who was the keeper of her deepest secrets and the courier of her private letters.JOU_FW13_11

As part of my reseach in developing the prints of Luca, I was inspired by William Morris – the most influential Medieval artist, writer & poet from England in the nineteenth century. Later in the work, I also infused fresh contemporary colors of tile works from Peranakan Chinese, so that the final print collection depicts a sensual taste of East and West.


Please come to my boutique at Darmawangsa Square on Monday, I will be there to meet you and to sign your bag if you wish. Thank you for appreciating my work. Triple kisses, Melissa.


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