Wednesday, October 25, 2017



350 years ago, two feuding European countries decided to end their quarrels by exchanging some of their assets to each other. One wanted to monopolize the spice trade, the other saw potentials on the asset offered to them. Those two "assets" underwent totally different stories as one became one of the most famous cities of the world while the other virtually became unknown. Manhattan island was named Nieuw Amsterdam when it was a part of the Dutch colony while Rhun island was one of the most productive islands that produce the tasty, aromatic, multi functioned spice named Nutmeg. That time, Nutmeg,  priced more than gold, grew exclusively on Molucca archipelago in East Indies (before it becomes Indonesia in the 1900s) in which Rhun island was the only island that the Dutch couldn't monopolize because the British were there to defend it. Enter the Treaty of Breda, 1667.

In commemorating the swapping of the 2 islands through the treaty, Urban Sketchers Indonesia and NYC Urban Sketchers decided to have a one of a kind sketchcrawl event. The sketchcrawl included 3 different main locations: Jakarta, Maluku (Molucca) and New York. Sketchers in Jakarta decided to sketch historical items that relate to the history at the National Museum, Jakarta. Sketchers in Maluku sketched in Ambon City (capital of Maluku province), Banda Neira (the main island in the Banda Sea) and at the Rhun Island. The New York City Urban Sketchers chose to celebrate the occasion on the Dyckman Farm House, on of the oldest Dutch remains in New York. On the decided day of 21st of October, 2017, the sketchcrawl commenced with approximately 70 sketchers from the 4 locations participated. They uploaded their works on all social media under one main hashtag: #TreatyOfBredaSketchcrawl. (Facebook Page: Treaty of Breda Sketchcrawl, Instagram: #TreatyOfBredaSketchcrawl)

On the finale of the event, USk Indonesia (combination of Indonesia's Sketchers and Maluku Sketchwalk) swaps the sketches with NYC Urban Sketchers made during the sketchcrawls through mail. They hope that the sketches will be the testament of the re-connecting the history of the two islands and the new relationship built through sketches.

USK Indonesia: Jakarta team at the National Museum

Maluku Sketchwalk in Ambon City, Maluku

Maluku Sketchwalk in Amsterdam Fort, Ambon City, Maluku

Maluku Sketchwalk in Banda Neira, Banda Island, Maluku
Maluku Sketchwalk in Rhun Island, Maluku (Photo Credit: Embong Salampessy from Antara Photo)
NYC Urban Sketchers at the Dyckman Farm House, New York
Ms. Susi Pudjiastuti with the sketchers at Rhun Island (Photo Credit: Antara Photo)

We thanked Mark Leibowitz, Leslie Sim G and team from NYC Urban Sketchers, Jerry Pattinama, Resa Tuasikal, Embong Salampessy and team from Maluku Sketchwalk, Yanuar Ikhsan, Anto Motulz, Tio, Yoso Bayudono and team from Urban Sketchers Indonesia for making this event possible. Last but not least, we also thanked Indonesia Minister of Maritime Affair and Fishery, Ms. Susi Pudjiastuti and US Ambassador for Indonesia, Joseph Donovan Jr. for showing their support by attending the sketchcrawl event in Rhun Island.

For more information on the Treaty of Breda check this link below:

Saturday, February 11, 2017

at Surya Kancana Street, Bogor

Cap Go Meh literally means the 15th evening (after the Chinese New Year), celebrated by Chinese people all over the world with various kinds of festivities. In Bogor, West Java, it's celebrated in a form of a people parade by all communities from neighboring cities and regions, religions and ethnics, not only by the Chinese communities.
I took off from Jakarta in a rainy morning with a hope to catch this annual festival from the beginning (temple ritual for the gods and goddesses) towards the actual parade. We arrived before noon and Bogor was packed, rainy and busy already. My daughter and I tried to get inside Vihara Dhanagun (also called Hok Tek Bio temple) where the main activity took place every year and it was almost impossible to get in. The smell of incense was all over the place. Organizers, photographers, and spectators were packing the temple's hall and yard. Hardly any place to stand and sketch.
Traffic jam and people from all over Bogor city poured into Surya Kancana Street to see the parade.

Inside the Dhanagun Vihara as the center of the Cap Go Meh celebration was packed.
The celebration inside the temple (Photo credit: Iqbal Amirdha)

I had intended to meet my fellow sketchers from Bogor, Iqbal Amirdha, Kiki Priyosejati and Ersta Andantino who already settled inside the temple for good sketching spot but it was too packed and hectic to make it  to their spots that I decided to sketch somewhere safe and less chaotic.

While waiting for the activity to start, I sketched the commotion from the front gate of the vihara. People stood by to wait in the rain. Some carried umbrellas or raincoat, the others just didn't care even if they got drenched.

Inside the hall where the statues of gods and goddesses were stored, people were busy decorating and waving flags. Some visitors came to pay respect to the gods and goddesses here.

The Drummers (right side) by Kiki Priyosejati. The drums inside the hall can be heard all the way to the streets and usually symbolize what kind of activity or ritual that was going on.

Inside the vihara sketch by Iqbal Amirdha captured the sense of excitement.

As the religious activity took place, parade participants were already standing by at the hall and by Padjajaran street. Waiting for their turn to walk.

Kiki Priyosejati's quick sketch of the gate from the Surya Kancana street.

Bogor city Sketchers: Ersta Andantino, Iqbal Amirdha and Kiki Priyosejati. Reporting live, from Cap Go Meh festival.

By afternoon time, it seemed the parade is delayed until evening time. So I decided to head home before getting trapped inside the heavy traffic jam in Bogor city that day. After apologizing to my Bogor Sketchers friends via Whatsapp Application, we walked back to where we parked and safely drove back to Jakarta.
May next year I can come back again and sketched a bit more. Special thanks to my Bogor Sketchers friends who stood by waiting for me although we didn't meet in person. I just admire their spirit to capture the scene through their sketches! 

The rain was still pouring as we exited Bogor through the highway. 

For more information about Hok Tek Bio?Dhanagun temple, please check out this
Here's a nice article about Cap Go Meh:
Also view: Facebook page of Bogor Sketchers, Indonesia's Sketchers for more sketches of Cap Go Meh celebration in Indonesia.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Galian Tanah

Galian tanah di daerah Rowosari Semarang, lebih dikenal dengan nama brown canyon walaupun secara geografi susunan tanah yang menjulang bukanlah canyon. Bentuk menara dan susunan tanah yang terlihat telanjang memang nampak seperti canyon dan inilah yang menarik sehingga banyak warga sekarang datang melihat pemandangan yang menarik di sini. Pemandangan yang menarik ini adalah hasil kerja keras alat alat berat.

Hari Minggu kemaren (20/11/2016) saya datang kesana lagi, kali ini karena ajakan dari teman sketcher Rudi Hartanto , dia adalah kontibutor di blog utama USk.

Kali ini saya menggambar dari sisi lain daripada sketsa saya sebelumnya di wilayah ini.

Lokasi penggalian tanah.
A massive land excavation site.

Pemandangan dari tempat saya menggambar.
A view from the spot I choose for sketching.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Nunukan island in brief sketches (part one)

Pulau Nunukan, sebuah pulau di utara kalimantan, dikelilingi perairan lengkap dengan kehidupan nelayan dan petani rumput laut. Objek sketsa kali ini banyak diwarnai tema laut di sela-sela kegiatan bersepeda.

Nunukan island, an island up north of borneo, surrounded by sea completed with the life of fishermen and sea weed farmers. Most of the sketches objects are about them. All sketch made during my cycling activity around the island.

Sebuah perahu di perkampungan nelayan Sungai Bolong

Seringkali tidak mudah mensketsa setelah beberapa jam menggenggam setang. Namun setelah beberapa lama jadi terbiasa.

Often, not quite easy to sketch right after cycling. The tremor caused by hours of cycling just makes it worse. But gets better after a while

Perkampungan nelayan dan petani rumput laut

Alat sketsa yang dibawa seringkas mungkin. Karena tidak mungkin mengerjakan sketsa berjam-jam di lokasi, kertas gambar dan pena tinta menjadi salah satu favorite saya.
As concise as possible, sketch equipments to take. Since almost impossible to do the art work for hours at locations. 15 minutes per sketch is my top. A piece of paper and an ink pen are my favorite

Sebuah sisi pantai di timur pulau

Perkampungan nelayan di barat pulau
 Beberapa dikerjakan dengan cat air, meski hasilnya tidak semaksimal pelukis besar :), but, this is live-sketch anyway...

Karena kemana-mana harus membawa peralatan gambar, sepeda gunung pun didesain khusus dengan rak dan "pannier" untuk perlengkapan penjelajahan.

a special design rear rack and pannier to complete my adventure in  crossing the island

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Stasiun K.A. tertua

Dulu dari sebuah harian terkemuka saya pernah membaca tentang sejarang Kereta Api di Indonesia.
Dalam artikel itu disebutkan tentang jalur kereta api pertama, yaitu antatar Tanggungharjo dan Semarang.
Ternyata Stasiun K.A. Tanggung letaknya tidak jauh dari rumah saya yang berada di Semarang Timur.
Jaraknya sekitar 18km saja ternyata.
Pada libur Lebaran yang baru saja lewat saya ke sana dengan maksud mebuat skets tentang stasiun ini. Jalan menuju ke lokasi sudah bagus, stasiun nya sendiri terletak di dekat perumahan penduduk.
Stasiun Tanggung ini berupa bangunan dengan konstruksi kayu, kayu jati tentunya. Bangunan ini dulu pernah akan dibongkar dan ditempatkan di Taman Mini (TMII) tetapi tidak jadi, sehingga sampai sekarang masih berdiri dan menjadi bangunan cagar budaya. Jika kita naik kereta api dari semarang menuju Solo maka kita akan melewati stasiun ini.

Stasiun Kereta Api Tanggung, stasiun kereta api tertua di Indonesia yang masih beroperasi hingga hari ini.
Pena dan cat air, buku gambar A4.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kapal Phinisi dan Mercusuar.

Sketsa panorama, 21 x 58 cm, menggunakan tinta dengan kayu kering dan cat air di atas kertas cold press. Adalah Pelabuhan laut Tanjung Mas Semarang dengan kapal SAR dan kapal kayu Phinisi bersandar, serta Mercusuar peninggalan jaman kolonial Belanda. Ini adalah sisi bagian lama dari pelabuhan, kegiatan bongkar muat kontainer untuk export dan import barang tidak berada di sini, tetapi ada di sisi bagian lain.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

World Sketching Tour, Luis Simoes Comes to Indonesia

World Sketching Tour's
Luis Simoes Comes to Indonesia

Custom sketchbook made for Luis by Soleh Hadiyana
One of the many dreams of a sketcher is to see the whole world and show it one drawing at a time. An urban sketcher from Portugal, Luis Simoes is living that dream for about 4 years now. He set off from his hometown in Lisbon in 2012 and wanders the world (mostly Europe and Asia) alone, though sometimes meeting fellow travelers on a road.

A few days ago, he arrived in Jakarta after he finished traveling in the Philippines for about a month. After settling in a hostel in the Old Jakarta area, we arranged meetings with fellow Indonesian Urban Sketchers here and had a dinner together nearby the hostel. It was a great experience for us to meet him, talked to him about his numerous trips around the world, his struggles, his sketching method and his passion. He hopes to keep going on tour until he reaches his last target, Australia and New Zealand.

We took Luis in a laid back stroll around the old Chinatown residential block called Petak 9 the next day. We enjoyed the little and vivid details that the area provide and especially admire how this area still exist inside a megapolitan city like Jakarta. After having a late lunch (we sketched for a long time and almost skipped lunch). We also visited the Old Jakarta's "square" a.k.a Taman Fatahillah where the colonial Dutch buildings can be found. From there we head back to his hostel and let Luis rest.

Petak 9 neighborhood. A quiet Chinatown residential area yet has so many great little details that spring out from everywhere.

Sheila and I took Luis to lunch in  a hidden food stall behind Petak 9 traditional market called gang Kecap. In this sketch I wrote 10 questions that I asked Luis during our few days hanging out together.

The next day, Luis had the chance to explore Jakarta by himself for awhile. He went to an area called Passer Baroe and later had the chance to sketch Jakarta's oldest church, the Cathedral. In the afternoon, we came to meet him and took him to Cikini area, nearby city center to meet more Jakarta's urban sketchers. After sketching together inside a cafe there, we went to dinner at a small food stall nearby and have a farewell group photo.
Luis tried out his famous fish eye lens on my phone to take a groufie
A groufie after dinner. Stand left-right: Iqbal, Sari, Wahyu, Luis, Aga, Motulz, Donald. Front: Yoso and Yanuar.

Right now Luis is in Bandung, West Java. His plan is to spend few days on major cities in Java (Jogjakarta, Semarang, Solo & Surabaya) before crossing to the island of Bali and Lombok. We wish him a great adventure and may he find Indonesia comfortable and feel at home here. See you around, Luis. Vamos World Sketching Tour Indonesia!