All posts filed under: Southeast

ARTJOG 2019: A Retrospective

I must admit, contemporary art is something I have never been able to truly enjoy. Its propensity toward anything “out of the box” which requires deep contemplation to “understand” it rarely inspires me. Of all the artworks that fall into this category, there’s one particular […]

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Bandung Part 2: Art Spaces

Having two parents with opposing views of the arts has not always been easy for me. My mom, who used to teach at a traditional Javanese dance school founded by her late father, understandably has a strong artistic calling. She taught me how to sing […]

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Bandung Part 1: Civic Spaces

The city of Bandung – Indonesia’s fourth largest with over 2.5 million residents – since 2002 has become one of the most special places for me in the country, and will remain so, thanks to the five years I spent there for college and running […]

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Killing Time in Semarang

The city of Semarang, the capital of Indonesia’s Central Java province, is the place where I was born. However, since the age of 1.5 years old I have been moving around the country with my parents following my father’s assignments from the government institution he […]

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Eastern Asian Religions under One Roof

In the 21st century, we often see antiquity as a period of time when great artworks were produced despite limitations in technology. From Greek statues in fine marble and the colossal architecture of ancient Egypt, to classical masterpieces displayed in the Vatican and ornately-decorated manuscripts […]

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Tang Shipwreck: Digging into Controversy

In the ninth century CE, an Arabian dhow sailed from the Middle East to China, possibly bringing precious cargo from Africa, Arabia, Persia, and other places along its journey to the Far East through the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, and all the way […]

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Trowulan: Beauty in Red Brick

I am standing in front of Candi Tikus, its red brick structure almost entirely below ground level as if the earth was purposefully dug out so that it could fit inside. A flight of stairs made from the same material acts as the only entrance […]

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Trowulan: An Ancient Javanese City

“You’re the only person I know who comes to Mojokerto to see its ancient ruins.” Monica expressed her amusement over dinner at a modest, dimly-lit local restaurant in the East Javan city. I knew her from college and this was only the second time we […]

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10 Years in Jakarta

How much can a city change in ten years? If it’s physical appearance we’re talking about, unless it is Dubai, Singapore or places in China, the changes – notably the skyline – in most cities are usually not too palpable. But how much can a […]

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Belitung through My Phone

  Have you ever wondered whether or not you should bring your camera before leaving the house for a trip? And when your decision is to go without it have you ever regretted it? This happened to me on a company outing almost two years […]

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Surabaya: Brash and Brave

Once upon a time in the 12th century, a Javanese oracle foresaw an epic fight between a giant shark and a giant crocodile in the Brantas River in eastern Java. About a century later, an event interpreted as the manifestation of this prophecy occurred: the […]

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Hoi An: A Revived Old Beauty

Four hours after leaving the onetime imperial capital of Hue, we arrived at the outskirts of our final destination in central Vietnam. The pockmarked roads were quite a contrast to the smooth streets of Da Nang, the country’s third largest city. We were in fact […]

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