Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jakarta....my Jakarta – Kota Tua #2: Wayang Museum

I reached the Museum Wayang (Puppet museum) after 5 minutes walk from Bank Mandiri museum. Located on the left side of the heritage complex in Kota Tua. Museum wayang housed in old church built in 1640 by VOC and functioned as a de oude Hollandsche Kerk until 1732. On 1733 the church renovated and named de nieuwe Hollandsche Kerk and continues functioned as a church until the earthquake on 1808 ruined the building. On 1912 after the building reconstructed, Geo Wehry & Co. functioned this building as their warehouse, but then in 1938 the building renovated again to match the surrounding buildings style, from new renaissance style and adjusted into a popular style during Dutch colonial time.

Enough said about the building, after paid IDR 2,000 entrance fee I begin wandering the museum, even the museum itself not as big as other museum in Jakarta, it is housed a big collection of any kind of puppet from accross Indonesia, there is even a collection of wooden puppet that reflecting the stories of a battle of local batavian (or betawi) hero ‘Si Pitung’ toward Dutch colonization with some puppet described as Dutch colonial people including the Dutch colonial army.

Various kind of puppets and masks, wooden puppets and shadow puppets, big and small puppets being displayed in this museum, the shadow puppets mainly comes from Java, stretches from West to East Java with different material made, the famous shadow puppet is made from cow skin, but there are many wayang displayed in here made from grass and other which is interesting to see and making a comparation on the form/shape of the same character made in different materials. the characters of wooden puppet and shadow puppets mainly were from Ramayana or Mahabharata epic. While the wooden puppet comes not only from Java but also comes from Tanah Karo, Batak, North Sumatera. (All this time I always thought that wooden puppet only could be found in Java..silly meL).

Wayang museum also have puppet collection from Cambodia, France, Malaysia, Thailand and Suriname. In this museum we could also found some traditional musical instrument such as Gamelan. It is a mind opening experience to me, as Indonesian, I don’t think I know all the form of wayangs if I am not visiting this museum....afterall wayang already acknowledged as the world heritage of masterpiece creation by UNESCO on 2003, so it is worthed for a visit.

Please bear in mind that all museums in Jakarta closes on Monday and stays open on Tuesday – Sunday from 09.00  - 15.00.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jakarta...my Jakarta - Kota Tua #1: Bank Mandiri Museum

Finally... after one and half year living in Lombok, now its time for me to go back to Jakarta. It’s certainly different.. moving back from a quiet and beautiful Lombok to a hustle bustle city of Jakarta. Now it’s time for me to get to know again with Jakarta and I think the best time to start wandering in Jakarta is the Kota Tua area, the old town area where many heritage building from Dutch colonial era could be found.

The last time I’ve been in Kota Tua for a serious trip was in 1993! I mean really exploring the Kota Tua part with visiting all the museums, taking a walk through the kampung (village) around Kota Tua and do some paddling with small boat or perahu at Sunda Kelapa port were at 1993! Couldn’t believe it myself... wow... that long! What a shame!

So, in a hot day....it is! At 9 am in the morning, it’s already 34°C! I brave myself to go to the old town in Jakarta. Using public transport like busway (trans Jakarta bus) only cost me IDR 3.500  and less traffic from home to Kota.

My first destination is Bank Mandiri museum located just accross the busway shelter in Kota. So when I entered the building, I completely forgot that this museum were located in a very crowded area, I couldn’t hear any sounds, no bajajs (tuktuk), no buses, no angkot sounds... so peaceful and  calm compared to the condition outside the building.  After bought the entrance ticket, which only IDR 2.000,  at the first floor I was greet by life size statue of the bank security from the old days or let say from the ancient time:D

It seems that I was the only visitor, from the time I enter the building until finished my exploration 1.5 hour later I only met the museum staff and people who do the building renovation. Is it because museums still not a popular destination or just because I came during working days/hours?

Bank Mandiri museum housed in a 4 storeys art deco building ex Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij (NHM) or Factorij Batavia built in 1929. In 1960 NHM become the Indonesian Export Import Bank and through the years has changed several times with many names and today it called Bank Mandiri.

At the first floor the lay out was sets like a bank business area, where the stools prepared for customer who deposited the money. And it set like the banking at colonial era where the bank transaction area for European/Dutch is different with the other ethic like Chinese. After looking around, I went to the second floor.  While I climbed the stairs I was amazed with the stained glass window that dominated the whole walls. It is a very beautiful stained glass art from 1800 era that tells a story of activities at different season in Netherlands.

I definitely not coming at the right time, as one of the staff informed me that some of the building area were being renovated or closed for maintenance, so some of the painting was not in place, but still many things that I could see in here. There weren’t much to see at 3rd and 4th floor, but on the way down I was able to use the old lift. After finished with Bank Mandiri museum, I continue my exploration in Kota Tua with visiting museum Wayang or Pupet museum, around 300m from Bank Mandiri museum.

For more information on Bank Mandiri museum, could be found in http://www.wisatamuseum.com

the stained glass window
images in the stained window