July 20th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

So I’m back in my parents house in Jakarta, in my old room that keeps on changing here and there whenever I come back.

I left my home in Hong Kong at 7:15 a.m. to catch the 7:30 a.m. airport bus and I got to the airport on time. I checked-in online the day before, not sure what to expect. Got to the airport with my luggage and my rolled painting to find a very long queue under the sign “Self Check-In Drop Off Bags”. Hmmm… I thought it supposed to be shorter? Turned out that the queue moved pretty fast – faster than conventional check-in anyway. I was happy as my suitcase got checked-in without any fuss although it’s a bit over-weight and that they let me carry my painting to the cabin (it’s 54″ long, about 2.5″ in diameter).

The flight itself was pretty uneventful. I was hoping I could sleep all the way through the 4.5 hours flight as I only got less than 2 hours sleep the night before but there were too many interruptions so I arrived in Jakarta totally zonked. Had to wait forever to get my suitcase. I was beginning to get worried when it finally appeared. Pheeew!

The driver from the SIGIarts Gallery met me up and took me to the gallery in Jl. Mahakam in Kebayoran Baru straight way. It’s a brand new gallery with nice, spacious white space. Rachel, the owner of the gallery came out to welcome me and introduced me to the staff members whom I’ve been in contact with by emails. They’re all very friendly and some were acually from the same art institute I graduated from. Nice! To my great relief and joy, Rachel offered to take me for late lunch which I instantly agreed too enthusiastically.

Lunch was terrific! It’s at a Menado restaurant not for from the gallery. They had a live music playing Menado traditional numbers there – very unusual at 3:30 pm! The food was fantastic: spicy grilled seafood in traditional Menado manner – just what I like best! And it was very cheap too – especially compared to Hong Kong but even by Jakarta standard it was relatively cheap. I will definitely be back there. I should have gotten their name card – I forgot the name of the restaurant now, it’s in Menado language which is very different from the Indonesian. Next time I’ll make sure to get one!

We had a nice chat during lunch too, the topic ranged from art and exhibition matters to some hilarious personal anecdotes. The opening is on this Friday, July 25th – and I’m looking forward to it! Click the images below to see them larger:

Now that we’re both full, we went back to the gallery. Hendro the curator was already waiting for us and we proceed with discussion about the placement of my works. I am the only one showing three dimentional objects in this exhibition. The other artists are Ugo Untoro (paintings), Jose Legaspi (paintings) and Melati Suryodarmo (photographs of her performances). They are such amazing artists, it’s my honor to have my works shown alongside theirs.

So I unpacked some of the works I brought with me from Hong Kong and re-assembled them. It wasn’t easy to decide the placement of each but we managed to have some kind of preliminary arrangement which might work. Tomorrow we’ll start the real setting up! How exciting!

It was dark by the time I got to my childhood home by 8:30 p.m. It was good to see my parents again. Last time I saw them was in December last year. They’re both well enough and we enjoyed a nice chat catching up. They enjoyed the things I brought for them too :).