These Made Our Day

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Hosting a launch like we did last week had been extremely fun. This time, we finally catch up with the faces behind each online order and email. Some of them had only been a loyal customer at Dharmawangsa, and finally get the time to catch the place where everything came from.

Just a day after, we received Dyah Ambarwati’s pictures when she put together all her Tulisan collection and have her own Tulisan Day.

Kaho also dropped a comment to say hi today. She had been visiting our booth at Dharmawangsa and had received two of our Personal Note Cards handpicked by her husband for her birthday some time ago. Happy birthday, Kaho! We hope to see you around. (You really should check her blog. Its stories and picture which are beautifully capture as well as being highly informative for expatriate in Jakarta. Oh, and did we mention that it comes in English and Japanese.)

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Batavia Hotel

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Batavia Hotel is Tulisan’s fourth limited edition of 2011 and Melissa Sunjaya’s third illustration of the year. She created this artwork with a theatrical scene and opera like color tones, inspired by the new and reformed Jakartans. The line will be launched on Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at Jl. Tirtayasa IV No. 33, Jakarta 12160 from 11 am – 8 pm. Be the first to secure the ones you want before it runs out. You can also contact our team at to reserve your selection for this Thursday.

Tulisan also features four new products in this edition, including: Monograph Journal, Olio Clutch, iPad Pouch, and Cellphone Pouch. Batavia Hotel was depicted to its narrative background story by Rassi Narika and beautifully translated to Indonesian by Myra Bianda.


If one ever take a walk down south from Stadhuis – the old statehouse now known as Fatahillah – and follow the canal to make a turn on the corner of the street, he would recall a mansion where this story took place. It had been a governor’s residence in the old days and its touch of renaissance breathed life into the building. The pillars in front of the building kept its elegance, despite the narrow alley it was located. The alley was dense, you could find another building a few step across the road, but that did not matter for the guests. Guests came, lured by Hotel Batavia’s reputation. The proprietor bought the building from the governor’s son who struggled to pay his debt. I had heard many old stories of the hotel, when the mansion was quiet and reserved only for the governor’s friends and family. These days, people talked of the hotel as a place where happiness was found. Passers by claimed to have stayed in the hotel and guests admitted to have found their source of happiness there. All these talks might only be an act to disguise what really happened inside the hotel.

To become a guest at the hotel, one would only need courage and one of the licensed carriages from the Port of Sunda Kelapa to escort him. At the grand entrance, a clown would address his utmost service for every visitor. He greeted and hopelessly built entertaining conversations to please the guests. Rumors had it that the clown was funny. I noticed, on our first encounter, his face was made up with drawn sullen lips that in no way resembled a smile.  The clown escorted the hotel’s regulars unto a velvet room where the gentlemen socialized with their gin and cigar; while the fair ladies who had been grooming all day long, amused the men through the night. As every other night, Harlequin was there. A casanova by reputation, he used to be a young man who passed by the hotel and wished to visit. He started to work as the bell boy and climbed his way up with his charm to finally be the main cast of the Hotel’s drama. His impeccable manner and natural wit helped him to get his position. His evenings were spent conversing with the mayor on the city’s new projects and cheering with a group of philanthropists. He kissed every lady with a gentle swift on her cheek, and some often asked for a little more than just a kiss. Harlequin was the only person who always came solo, yet he never left alone.

On the other hand, Colombine regularly entered with a circus of entourage. She was once a Nyonyah of the late general who ruled over the district of South Batavia. A woman of distinction who always got what she wanted. Her smooth-silk skin, deep eyes, and pointy nose resembled most women from her caliber.  They would have looked exactly the same had it not been Colombine’s bold smile that catered her seduction. With a lace gown that effortlessly wrapped her body, she entered and lit the room with a smile that killed every man’s at heart. She bursted with tales of the previous governors and gossips of the bourgeois from back then. It was captivating to watch her and to listen to her stories. Her youth, that came before the eyes, played trick to the mind. No one knew the truth of her age, face, or story. Yet, no one cared.

It was luck that brought me to witness their embrace that particular night. Colombine was very selective in accepting a dance invitation. There had always been a handful of gentlemen with high rank, waiting for their turn to own her at the dance floor. Yet, it was a common knowledge that at the presence of Harlequin, no man could even offer her a single drink. That night, spell bounded Harlequin kissed her slender hand and stunned everyone with their elegance. They waltzed away, shared intimate laughters, and kissed. The room was filled with their passion to each other. As he put his hand around her waist, I tried to hold my tears.

I had been standing here all along, entertaining those who could not find the confidence nor attention for themselves that night. For two hours long, I had been under the spot light doing these acrobatic scenes, but no one really cared if I fell or even flew. Those dames who wished to get Harlequin’s attention raised their voices with artificial laughters, calling to the Clown for another glass of wine. He would secretly received envelopes from their unoccupied pretty hands, while their other hands continued to caress the lords who invested in their luxury. Playing this conspiracy, the Clown placed the envelope into Harlequin’s pocket. It was not the first envelope of the night, but no one noticed because they were too enticed to look for happiness.

Up from the stool I was standing, I saw Harlequin’s other hand holding on the balloon I gave out to every visitor. Most guests ignored, some reluctantly took and eventually lost it. However, he always took one and kept it with him the whole night like he always did when we were growing up together in an orphanage just a few blocks away. He was my ground and he was my sky. He was a free spirit who chose his life, but the cast that Harlequin took was a mold sprung from a vulnerable society. The very role he took to salvage his life was also the one that gradually ate the human inside of him. As I reminisced on our childhood, the Clown approached and I could see a grin underneath the sullen lips. He was probably the only one with true happiness that night, with all the fortunes he made on doing these favors. The smile-drawn lips on my face served the same function with the one the Clown’s had – to cover our true feelings. Everyone continued to believe that I was smiling even with these falling tears. To avoid these painful thoughts, I concentrated on keeping my one foot balanced with the help of my umbrella.

In desperate need of happiness, one would refuse to think of the truth. Therefore, we often portray a reality of how we wish to be seen rather than what we are about.

……………in Indonesian……………..


Jika seseorang berjalan ke arah selatan Stadhuis – gedung balai kota tua yang kini dikenal sebagai Fatahillah – dan menyusuri kanal kemudian berbelok di ujung jalan, dia pasti melewati sebuah rumah besar dimana kisah ini terjadi. Rumah ini milik seorang gubernur di masa lampau dengan sentuhan berciri renaisans menghembuskan nyawa ke dalam arsitekturnya. Pilar-pilar yang berdiri di depan gedung ini membuatnya tetap anggun di tengah gang yang sempit. Dalam gang yang sepadat itu, bangunan lain hanya berjarak beberapa langkah di seberang jalan. Walaupun demikian situasi ini tidak menjadi masalah bagi para tamu. Mereka datang karena terbius oleh reputasi Hotel Batavia. Sang pemilik bangunan membeli rumah itu dari anak lelaki gubernur yang sedang terlilit hutang. Aku telah mendengar banyak kisah lama tentang Hotel Batavia, di saat rumah mewah ini begitu tenang dan hanya dikunjungi oleh teman dan sanak saudara sang gubernur. Kini, orang membicarakan hotel itu sebagai tempat ditemukannya kebahagiaan. Para pejalan kaki mengaku pernah menginap dan para tamu mengumbar kisah penemuan sumber kebahagiaan mereka di sana. Semua ini mungkin hanya sebuah sandiwara untuk menutupi kisah yang sesungguhnya terjadi di sana.

Untuk menjadi tamu di Hotel Batavia, seseorang memerlukan keberanian selain kereta kuda resmi dari Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa untuk mengantar. Di pintu masuk, seorang badut siap memberikan pelayanan istimewa kepada setiap tamu. Dia akan menyapa dan berusaha keras menghibur para tamu lewat percakapan yang dia susun. Kabar angin mengatakan badut ini lucu. Tetapi saat saya pertama kali bertemu dengannya, ada gambar bibir yang muram terlukis di wajahnya – sedikit pun tidak menyerupai sebuah senyuman. Dia mengantar setiap tamu langganan hotel ke dalam sebuah ruangan berlapis beludru, tempat tuan-tuan bersosialisasi sambil meminum arak dan menghisap cerutu; sembari nyonya dan nona cantik yang telah berdandan seharian menghibur para pria sepanjang malam. Seperti malam lainnya, Harlequin ada di sana. Sebelum dikenal sebagai pemikat hati wanita, dia adalah seorang pejalan kaki yang lewat di depan hotel dan bermimpi untuk berkunjung. Dia mulai bekerja sebagai pembawa koper dan dengan pesonanya berhasil menapaki karir hingga akhirnya mengambil peran penting dalam drama hidup di Hotel Batavia. Sopan santun dan selera humornya yang tinggi membantunya mendapatkan posisi ini. Kini, waktu senjanya dihabiskan berdiskusi dengan Pak Walikota mengenai proyek terbaru kota ini atau melobi para dermawan. Dia mencium pipi setiap wanita dengan lembut, dan banyak di antara mereka yang meminta lebih dari sebuah ciuman. Harlequin adalah satu-satunya orang yang selalu datang tanpa pasangan, tetapi dia tidak pernah meninggalkan Hotel Batavia sendirian.

Di lain pihak, Colombine selalu datang dengan rombongan ‘sirkus’ pendampingnya. Dahulu, dia adalah seorang Nyonyah dari almarhum jenderal yang memerintah di daerah Selatan Batavia. Ia adalah seorang wanita ternama yang selalu mendapatkan apa pun keinginannya. Kulitnya yang selembut sutra, matanya yang indah, dan hidungnya yang mancung tidak jauh berbeda dengan wanita lain di kelasnya. Sesungguhnya rupa mereka nyaris sama persis, kalau saja Colombine tidak memiliki senyumnya yang menawan itu. Dengan baju brokat yang merangkul tubuhnya, dia masuk dan menyinari ruangan dengan senyum yang menaklukan hati setiap pria. Dia akan bercerita dengan penuh semangat tentang kisah sang mantan gubernur dan bergosip mengenai kaum borjuis yang hidup pada masa itu. Setiap orang akan terpukau saat memandang wajahnya dan mendengarkan ceritanya. Wajah belia yang dia miliki menipu pikiran orang yang melihatnya. Tidak ada yang tahu umur, wajah, dan kisah Colombine yang sebenarnya. Namun, tak seorang pun peduli.

Keberuntungan membawaku untuk menyaksikan cumbu mereka di malam itu. Colombine sangat pemilih saat ada yang mengajaknya berdansa. Selalu ada sekumpulan tuan dari kalangan bangsawan yang menunggu giliran untuk memilikinya di lantai dansa. Akan tetapi semua orang tahu, jika Harlequin ada di sana, tidak ada yang bisa menawarinya segelas minuman. Malam itu, Harlequin yang sedang terlena mencium tangan Colombine yang ramping dan membuat semua orang terpana dengan keanggunan mereka. Mereka berdansa waltz, tertawa mesra, dan berciuman. Saat Harlequin memeluk pinggulnya, aku berusaha menahan air mata.

Aku telah berdiri di sini dari tadi, untuk menghibur tamu yang tidak mendapatkan kepercayaan diri atau pun perhatian bagi diri mereka malam itu. Sudah dua jam saya melakukan pertunjukan akrobatik di bawah lampu sorot, namun rasanya tidak ada yang ambil pusing bila aku jatuh atau bahkan terbang. Para nyonya yang ingin mencari perhatian Harlequin melepaskan tawa yang dibuat-buat dan meminta tambahan anggur dari sang Badut. Diam-diam, sang Badut akan menerima amplop dari tangan mereka yang cantik sementara tangan mereka yang lain terus membelai tuan yang membiayai kemewahan yang mereka miliki. Di dalam konspirasi ini, sang Badut memainkan perannya dan memasukkan amplop ke dalam saku Harlequin. Ini bukan amplop pertama untuk Harlequin di malam itu, tetapi tidak ada yang sadar karena mereka terbuai untuk mencari kebahagiaan.

Dari atas kursi ini, aku melihat tangan Harlequin yang lain sedang memegang balon yang tadi kubagikan kepada setiap pengunjung. Biasanya mereka akan menolak balon yang kutawarkan, beberapa mengambil balon dengan enggan yang pada akhirnya, itu pun mereka lepaskan. Namun, Harlequin selalu mengambil satu balon dan membawanya sepanjang malam, sama seperti dulu saat kami dibesarkan di sebuah panti asuhan yang terletak beberapa blok dari hotel ini. Dia adalah tanah tempat aku berpijak, dia adalah langit yang kupandang. Dengan jiwanya yang bebas, dia memilih jalan hidup ini. Tetapi peran yang Harlequin mainkan saat ini, terbentuk oleh masyarakat yang rapuh. Peran yang dia pilih untuk menyelamatkan hidupnya menjadi peran yang sedikit demi sedikit menghabisi manusia di dalam dirinya. Saat aku sedang mengenang masa kecil kami, sang Badut mendekat dan aku bisa melihat senyumnya yang lebar di balik gambar bibir yang muram. Kemungkinan, dialah satu-satunya orang yang merasa bahagia malam ini karena semua nyonya tadi memberikan imbalan atas tugasnya. Senyum yang digambarkan di wajahku juga memiliki fungsi yang sama dengan gambar bibir sang Badut: untuk menutupi perasaan kami yang sebenarnya. Semua orang tetap percaya bahwa aku sedang tersenyum, bahkan saat air mata ini mengalir. Untuk melupakan pikiran yang menyakitkan ini, aku berkonsentrasi menjaga keseimbangan berdiri pada satu kaki dengan bantuan sebuah payung.

Seringkali kenyataan didasarkan atas apa yang seseorang ingin lihat, dan bukan tentang keberadaan dirinya. Saat seseorang putus asa mencari kebahagiaan, dirinya akan menolak untuk memikirkan segala yang nyata.

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The Dust of Time

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I love taking photographs of objects that have collected the dust of time. One of my favorite subjects are doors, especially old doors. These doors have become witnesses of weather changes, conversations, correspondences and emotions. In the old towns of Europe, some of these architectural anatomies have existed since the early centuries, capturing events and changes in people’s lives.

If one day, I would ever open my personal Face Book account, most likely these would be the kind of faces that I would broadcast. It has been difficult for me to sort out this collection, since they each carry a unique story. The following pictures are only 5% of my entire library. These were taken during my recent travel to the old towns of Vevey, St Saphorin, Cully, Gruyere, Antibes, Menton, Nice, and Monte Carlo.

Warmest wishes, Melissa

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Sound of Dawn – The Collection

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Sound of Dawn

Tulisan’s third illustration of 2011, “Sound of Dawn” will be launched on Thursday, June 16th, 2011 at Jl. Tirtayasa IV No. 33, Jakarta 12160 from 11 am – 8 pm. Be the first to secure the ones you want before it runs out. You can also contact our team at to reserve your selection for this Thursday.

Also new this month from Tulisan are Club Tote, Confidence Clutch, and Runaway Bag in “Sound of Dawn” series as well as “Psychedelic Sorbet” tea set collection.

The beautiful story of “Sound of Dawn”, is delicately composed by Melissa Sunjaya:


Every life form begins with love. As the first strokes of sun rays travel to fill every inch of space with a cosmic kindness, darkness slowly bids farewell. Sleeping creatures start to awaken their sensory, absorbing energy and transferring warmth to one another making the earth beneath a happier ground. Like a conductor who is about to lead a grand symphony, a shiny black cockerel raise itself on to a fence, summoning others to join his sunrise orchestra. The hummingbirds set an opening tune, the daisies dance the cha-cha, while the leaves and the morning breeze sing a soothing ballad.

Capturing this delicate sound of dawn and surrendering the body to these early minutes of the day is profoundly subliminal. It is a brief euphoria that is hardly spoken and is often missed. I wish to open my eyes to the soft voice whispering that I am loved. These sacred words are a magical spell. I am a simple being like all other living things in my garden, but with these words I become a goddess to one person. When this moment appears, the sound of dawn is heard longer compared to other mornings.

Love is a universal gift that does not choose sides. Love empowers you and me, reaching the unlimited possibilities. Love is the only reason for our existence. Love is my unconditional gift to you.

……………in Indonesian……………..


Setiap kehidupan bermula dari cinta. Ketika kirana matahari yang pertama menyentuh setiap sudut dengan pancaran kebaikan, kegelapan beranjak untuk menyampaikan perpisahan. Para makhluk yang terlelap mulai membangunkan inderanya, untuk saling menyerap kekuatan dan memberikan kehangatan kepada satu sama lain sehingga bumi ini menjadi tempat yang lebih bahagia. Bagaikan seorang konduktor yang hendak memimpin suatu pagelaran musik agung, seekor ayam jago yang hitam berkilauan naik ke atas pagar untuk mengundang semua turut ke dalam orkestranya. Sekumpulan burung bersiul dengan nada pembuka, bunga daisy berdansa cha-cha, sedang dedaunan dan angin pagi bersenandung balada yang merdu.

Merekam bunyi fajar dan berserah diri kepada detik-detik di waktu dini, seperti sebuah mimpi indah. Suatu euforia yang jarang dibicarakan dan seringkali terlewatkan. Aku ingin membuka mataku kepada suara lembut yang berbisik bahwa aku dicintai. Kata-kata ini memiliki kesaktian. Aku adalah wujud yang sederhana seperti semua organisme lain di tamanku, tetapi kalimat tulus ini menjadikanku seorang dewi bagi satu manusia. Ketika saat ini tiba, bunyi terbitnya Surya terdengar lebih lama dibanding pagi hari lainnya.

Cinta adalah karunia alam semesta yang tidak memihak. Cinta memperkuat aku dan kamu, meraih kemungkinan yang tak terhingga. Cinta adalah satu-satunya sebab keberadaan kita. Cinta adalah pemberian tanpa syarat dari aku untuk kamu.

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Psychedelic Sorbet

Psychedelic Sorbet is a series of designs made by Melissa Sunjaya in 2010 for Tulisan. Six different characters of Melissa’s illustrations:  Kakaktua Raja, Contemplation, Gardener’s Note, Arachbiscus, Coral Wonders, and Mrs. Picklenuts imaginarily meet in this tea set. The set is a combination of all illustrations, individually presented with its vibrant color and unique design. Each character stands strong as a cup, tells its own story, and intensifies as a full tea set. The Psychedelic Sorbet tea set collection is made exclusively for Kedaung Group.


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Tulisan is the Finalist of OEA 2011!

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Tulisan has been selected as one of the Finalist of Clicks Society’s Online Entrepreneurship Award 2011. Please vote for us now through this link: CLICKSSOCIETY/TULISAN. The judging would be in two days. So, please have your votes coming int to support us.

We will be at FX Lifestyle Center on 10-12 June 2011 during and after the judging period. Vote and visit us there !

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Running Away

In between the fun we have at Tulisan, another thing that we love is to run away from the routine. It could be as simple as a lunch out or a couple of drinks after all the works are done. But running away to a whole new place or a new experience is the ultimate running treat for us.

Life is nothing common when you are on the run. The place does not have to be the exotic beach out on Maldives because running away is all about the attitude. You just want to not feel like it is the everyday. A trip to grandma’s house where everything reminds you to the good ol’ days could be just as exhilarating. So, we made a runaway bag to help us in our run.

The bag was made spacious, handy, and light. We wanted the ease of being able to put everything into one big bag. It is light that it hardly adds to the total weight of your luggage and we love the fact that it is foldable – to be put into your existing travel bag in case you need it after those shopping sessions. And while we can figure hundreds of reasons why this bag suits our runaway plan so well, we decided to stop thinking about the reasons and start thinking about destinations to wherever.


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The Thought of You

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On May 11th 2011, Google celebrated the 117th birthday of Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991, an American dancer and choreographer who was celebrated for bringing contemporary dance which spoke and tell stories with moves and passion.

The thematic animation that Ryan Woodward made for Google was so powerful in capturing Martha’s passion in dancing, we went straight to visit his site and had our breath taken away by this short animation he made.We got the shivers. It captured such a large emotion that we found no words could help to convey his portrayal. You just have to see it for yourself.

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A Letter from Aniza Santo

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I started Tulisan, in my journey to rediscover myself. So, I feel honored when people come to share their stories on how Tulisan have helped them to to rediscover their true self. Tulisan has been a way for me to transfer my energy, and in some mysterious way, the energy reach back to me like this one from Aniza Santo.

Hi Melissa,

I stumbled into your blogsite today and I’m really inspired with your work.
In a weird way I’m also doing the same thing where I try to create illustrations to the short stories, thoughts & poems I’ve written the past 10 years.
Last November I resigned from a high stress job due to creative burn out. I wanted my soul, my creativity, my life back. For some time I’ve just been an everyday wanderer trying to figure things out or in my words: an aimless being floating amidst the clouds conversing with the sun and moon.
I literally love talking to the clouds and sky… I believe it’s my home up there.

The last 2 months I’ve been going through my writing and exploring some illustrations ideas to make a book. It’s one of those things you don’t know where it might take you but in your heart you know you have to do it. My journey is just beginning and stumbling into your work gave me a boost like an arm around your shoulder saying “It’s good, it’s possible. Do it!”

I’m inspired and grateful.

Thank you,

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Melissa on Happiness

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An interview by Clicks Society

“Setelah 15 tahun berkecimpung di Graphic Design dan Brand Consultancy di Amerika, aku kangen “Siapa sih diri aku sebenarnya?”. Aku senang bercerita, mengkhayal, dan menggambar…”

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Tulisan at Rumah Inspirasi

Tulisan at Rumah Inspirasi: A home and dream to share.

The small presentation at Martha Stewart Living’s Rumah Inspirasi at Grand Indonesia on Saturday, Feb 5, was such a pleasant and intimate experience for Tulisan. James de Rave – founder and principal of Kedaung Ceramic was talking that day on “Table Setting ala Indonesia”. Along with Tulisan, H. E. Arlinda Frona, a ceramic painter who happened to be the ladu ambassador of portugal also came to present her hand made ceramic painting of wayang and other ornaments, labor of love as James put it.

James was trying to make a point that it was not only how you put your china and crystals with your songket on the dining table that matters. It was significant that you treat and make your guests feel warm and special when they are being hosted. He introduced Tulisan with the sweet story of when he first came to a house and served dinner of buncis, tempe, and telor ceplok – a must have for most nights according to informants. Not a fancy dinner, but the touch of warmth and simple elegance lasted with him as one of a kind.

The house he referred happened to be what Tulisan also refer to home. As Melissa grew in the home that gave so much comfort; she and her Mom, Didi wanted to make a line of product that also made women felt comfortable and wished they were 12 years old again when wearing Tulisan. Last year, it was a dream she wanted to share and indeed it was shared. Rassi, the new member of the team remarked on how she was startled with the dream and how much was put in by the team. She had only joined them for a couple of days, but the faith they had on Tulisan transmitted in such way that she could not avoid. She hoped the energy goes to every one who encountered Tulisan.

As the day was wrapped with laughter amongst tea and canapé, we hoped that the dream had been shared too between the talks. If you wish to encounter Tulisan, the ladies of the audience had agreed to stop by at Jl. Tirtayasa one of these days. You are welcomed to come and join to feel 12 years old again.

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Delightfully Yours

Oxytocin was the word that crossed my mind when I sketched ‘Delightfully Yours’ in December 2010. Also known as the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin is a super power female hormone that is released within our body in large amounts during labors, breastfeeding, or orgasm. It has so much miraculous quality in healing: It makes our skin glows, it feeds our babies, and it pushes away the hardest pain. What truly astounds me about oxytocin is the fact that it is triggered by our natural instinct called ‘LOVE’. When we are in love sincerely with someone or any matter or even food, our eyes smiles and our movement becomes light. Sometimes within my daily chores, I often feel robotic and forget that life needs love. So I did this sketch to remind myself every day that I MUST LOVE ME. Only with so much love within me, I can begin to love people around me. Love is a universal law in which no one hates, no one gets sick and no one is a prisoner.

I emailed this sketch to my friend Rassi, so she can write her second short story for Tulisan. Thanks for your writing, Rassi!Triple kisses, Melissa Sunjaya

by Rassi Narika

The smell of ground cinnamon fills the air perfectly, like a mix of the exotic scent of tropical forest and the tender touch of winter. From beneath the pile of assorted sweets and candies, a wooden puppet starts to move. Her body is made out of planks, while her joints are glued and screwed. She approaches the stove to see if the caramel has shimmered. As she stirs the hot caramel, her hips start to dance.

Every morning, she crushes rosemary twigs and sprinkles them into the pot. The first fresh bread of the day always brings the biggest smile to her face. The sweet steam rushes with magic from the movement of her hands. Each additional ingredient she puts would make the world a nicer place.

Nevertheless, she is made of cedar with a heart of a little girl. She breaks into tears when the cupcakes refuse to rise. Cooking is not about perfection. With all the mistakes, it is truly about having things within proportion. When her wooden arms get cramps from moving too much, she sends her pain away by holding on to delightful dreams.

……………(in Indonesian)………………

oleh Rassi Narika

Wangi serbuk kayu manis memenuhi udara dengan sempurna, bagaikan sebuah perpaduan aroma eksotis hutan tropis dan lembutnya sentuhan musim dingin. Dari balik tumpukan permen dan gulali, sebuah boneka kayu terlihat mulai bergerak. Tubuhnya terbuat dari papan dan persendiannya disambung dengan perekat dan baut. Dia beranjak mendekati panci untuk melihat apakah saus karamel sudah mendidih. Sembari ia mengaduk karamel panas, pinggulnya mulai menari.

Setiap terbitnya surya, dia menggerus daun rosemary dan menaburkannya ke dalam panci masakan. Roti pertama yang matang di tiap pagi selalu memberi senyuman lebar di wajahnya. Asap manis mengepul dalam ruangan dengan kekuatan sihir dari adukan tangannya. Setiap bumbu yang ia tambahkan ke dalam ciptaannya menjadikan dunia ini suatu tempat yang lebih indah.

Biar bagaimanapun, dia tersusun dari kayu cendana dengan hati seorang gadis kecil. Dia selalu menangis saat adonan kuenya gagal mengembang. Seni masak bukanlah tentang mencari kesempurnaan. Dengan segala kesalahan yang terjadi, memasak adalah mencari suatu keseimbangan. Ketika tangan kayunya mulai letih karena terlalu banyak bergerak, ia menepis kesakitan itu dengan berpegang sepenuhnya terhadap keindahan impiannya.

siesta tote Delightfully Yours

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Mrs. Picklenuts

On the night of January 28, 2011, I received a heartfelt email from this unknown. Her name is Rassi Narika. She wrote:

“… I was reading an article of you about how you love details, and how you have grown to deal with stencil sets, vintage, and again details. You revived what I thought I should do in life, and this time I promise myself I’m taking the action to make it. Over the past couple of years, I have been exposed to the beauty of living in Indonesia. We’re a contained, beautiful chaos with the mixture of people, problems, and unsolved issues. Yet, I always found myself amazed that I always found warmth at every corner. I love to write journals and found myself ecstatic every time I have to choose a new one. I would have to start doing the selection process of my journal to suit the mood and quality of life I want to portray. Just like you made your dream, I want to have mine. I want to have my little book shop where people can come and find themselves playing around to feel the warmth of being there and knowing that the journal will contain the life that they have. So be it if it’s going to be not as easy, I want to live it to share it. Thank you for sharing Tulisan. You have no idea how relieved I am to feel my dream again…”

Her email moved me, so I invited this girl to meet. We clicked immediately as
if we were blood sisters from the previous life. So in return to her kindness,
I asked her to write a short story based on my last illustration edition in 2010
‘Mrs. Picklenuts’. So here is what she did in 30 minutes:

by Rassi
Narika – Jakarta, 4 Feb 2011

Mrs. Picklenuts was the lady who lived on the corner of the street. She told me the story of an arrogant king who would walk naked down the road with an invisible robe, and of how an Asian tribe would lengthen the neck of their ladies for the sake of beauty. As she hugged me that night, she said I was beautiful even though my neck was short.

She taught me how to make a cup of tea taste just right. A tip of a teaspoon of sugar was what she recommended. “We need to taste the bitterness just enough before you could recognize the sweet. Only when you acknowledge both feelings, you would learn to respect.” She took me gardening every spring and let me gather some wild flowers for her living room. For her, these cast off blossom which no one wanted were still a beauty, nonetheless.

Growing up required too many things to do and friends to catch up with; and putting wild flowers together is no longer on my list. Now there are no more stories being told after last winter when she left, I was not there and I missed her. Today I put together the first bloomed flowers of the spring and wrote a note with no story.

……………………the end……………………

We welcome Rassi as a new member of Tulisan family. She spends her weekend
contributing short stories for Tulisan’s limited edition illustrations.

Triple kisses, Melissa Sunjaya

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Posted in Life, Purple, Studio, Yellow | Tagged | 10 Comments

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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Posted in Art, Blue, Fuchsia, Green, Light, Studio, Teal | Tagged | 4 Comments