Pontianak is the capital of the Indonesia province of West Kalimantan. It is a medium-size industrial city on the island of Borneo. It occupies an area of 107.82 km² in the delta of the Kapuas River, at approximately 1143 km, the longest river in Indonesia and the 133rd-longest river in the World by length. It is located precisely on the equator, hence widely known as Kota Khatulistiwa (Equator City).


The city was formerly the capital of the independent Sultanate of Pontianak and was founded in 1772 around an old trading station on the Borneo coast. It is built on swampy ground that is subjected to regular flooding by the river, requiring buildings to be constructed on piles to keep them off the ground. It has its name due to the story that the founder had seen appearance of pontianak ghost at the place to be built for the palace, which he fought to save the people.

Kapuas Bridge

Pontianak is renowned for its food and regional produce. The main industries are shipbuilding and the production of rubber, palm oil, sugar, pepper, rice and tobacco. It was formerly Borneo’s main centre for gold extraction. Pontianak is also recognised for being a trade hub between overseas cities and other cities in West Kalimantan province. It has also strong trade link with the city of Kuching, Malaysia. Trading activities are centered along the Kapuas River, which range from easternmost part of West Kalimantan province to South China Sea.


There are college and university operated by both state institutions as well as private and religious institutions. The University of Tanjung Pura, a state university, was established in Pontianak in 1963. In addition to this, there are other universities maintained by private institutions. Muhammadiyah University, University of Widya Dharma, University of Panca Bhakti, STMIK (Sekolah tinggi Manajemen Informatika dan Komputer), University of Panca Bhakti, State Islamic collage (STAIN), POLNEP (Politeknik Negeri Pontianak), etc.


The 2000 census put Pontianak’s population at about 472,220., with an intercensal estimate in 2006 of 509,804. Pontianak is a multicultural city. It has a large population of Chinese alongside the native Malay and Dayak local ethnic groups, living along side Javanese, Bugis, Batak, Minang, Madurese, Sundanese, Balinese, Ambonese and Papuan migrating from all over the country. In fact, Chinese form the largest single ethnic group in the city. Most Chinese are of either Teochew or Hakka extraction. Teochew is the main lingua franca used among the Chinese, and Teochew are the dominant ethnic Chinese group in Pontianak. Native Indonesians are mainly Malay and Dayak people. Madurese and Javanese are also significant minorities. Most citizens of Pontianak use Malay accent of Indonesian, which is somewhat similar to that used in Malaysia.


Most populated are motorcycles as personal transport mean. Public transport includes minivan (local: opelet), human-powered becak (three wheel), while city bus is a rarity. Inter city bus takes passengers to other nearby cities (2, 3, to 10 or more hours of travel), even to Kuching, a city in Malaysia.

Transportation to other part of Indonesia is mainly via airport. There are more than 10 flights every day from Pontianak to Jakarta and vice versa. There is also sea transport connecting Pontianak to Jakarta, Semarang, Cirebon and some other cities, including regional cities such as Ketapang in southern part of West Kalimantan.


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List of islands in Indonesia

This is a list of islands of Indonesia. Indonesia comprises more than 17,000 islands according to estimates made by the Government of Indonesia, with 922 of those permanently inhabited. The country extends from adjacent the Malay Peninsula in its west and into Melanesia in its east.

According to a 2002 survey by National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), Indonesia has 18,306 islands. According to the CIA factbook there are 17,508 islands.Counting tidal islands (periodically submerged) could be up to double the island figure (no precise figures); many islands have no name or share names, all of which makes tabulation very confusing even to the government of Indonesia. Exact figures should be considered merely “improved estimates” until a definitive study can be conducted.

Management of the islands sometimes includes a regency which covers a small island chain.

On September 21, 2007, an 8.4 earthquake struck Sumatra near South Pagai Island, producing a cluster of six small new islands, and enlarging others by uplift. A large portion of Indonesia is seismically active; the number, size, submergence and emergence and shape of islands continues to evolve.


• Greater Sunda Islands

· Borneo — divided between Indonesian Kalimantan, Brunei, and Malaysia’s states of Sabah and Sarawak

· Java (formerly Jawa Dwipa)

· Sumatra (formerly Swarna Dwipa)

· Sulawesi (formerly Celebes)

• New Guinea — divided between Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua and the independent nation of Papua New Guinea


1. Java

a. Province of Banten

• Sangiang

b. Province of DKI Jakarta

• Kepulauan Seribu

c. Province of West Java

• Tangkuban Parahu

• Pangandaran

• Pelabuhan Ratu

d. Province of Central Java

• Karimun Jawa

• Nusa Kambangan – prison island

e. Province of East Java

• Bawean archipelago (kepulauan Bawean)

• Kangean Islands archipelago (kepulauan Kangean)

• Madura

• Raas

• Raja

2. Sumatra

a. Province of Aceh, 119 islands

• Banyak archipelago (kepulauan Banyak), 99 islands

· Balai

· Tuangku

• Lasia

• Weh Island

• Simeulue Island

b. Province of North Sumatra, 419 islands

• Nias archipelago (Kepulauan Nias)

• Hinako archipelago (Kepulauan Hinako)

• Batu archipelago (formerly Batoe Eilanden), 51 islands

• Berhala island on the Strait of Malacca

• Jake

• Makole

• Masa

• Samosir island on Lake Toba

c. Province of West Sumatra

• Mentawai Islands

· Siberut

· Sipura (Pulau Sipora)

· North Pagai

· South Pagai

• Pasumpahan

d. Province of Lampung

• Child of Krakatoa (Pulau Anak Krakatau)

• Province of Riau

• Rupat

• Bengkalis

• Padang

• Rangsang

• Tebing Tinggi Island

• Basu

e. Province of Riau Islands, about 3,200 islands

• Natuna archipelago (Kepulauan Natuna)

· South Natuna archipelago

· Anambas archipelago

· Natuna Besar archipelago

· Tambelan archipelago

• Badas Islands archipelago

• Riau Archipelago

· Batam

· Bunguran

· Bintan

· Bulan

· Galang

· Karimun

· Kundur

· Rempang

• Lingga Islands

· Lingga with nearby islands:

· Singkep with nearby islands:

f. Province of Bangka-Belitung Islands

• Bangka Island

• Belitung

3. Kalimantan

a. Province of East Kalimantan

• Derawan Islands

· Kakaban

· Bunaka[citation needed]

• Balabalagan Islands

• Bunyu

• Sebatik

• Tarakan Island

b. Province of South Kalimantan

• Laut Kecil Islands

• Laut Island

• Sebuku

c. Province of Central Kalimantan

d. Province of West Kalimantan

• Karimata Islands

• Bawal

• Galam

• Maya Karimata also just “Maya”

4. Sulawesi

a. Province of North Sulawesi

• Talaud Islands

· Karakelong

• Sangihe Islands

· Sangir Besar, aka Sangir Island

· Siau Island

• Karakaralong Islands

b. Province of Central Sulawesi

• Togian Islands

· Togian

• Banggai Islands

· Peleng

· Banggai

· Bowokan Islands (aka Treko)

c. Province of South Sulawesi

• Pabbiring Islands

• Sabalana Islands

• Tengah Islands

• Selayar Islands

· Selayar Island

• Takabonerate Islands

d. Province of Southeast Sulawesi

• Tukangbesi Islands

· Wakatobi

• Wangiwangi Island,

• Wowoni

• Buton

• Muna

• Kabaena

5. Lesser Sunda Islands

a. Province of Bali

• Bali

• Nusa Penida

• Nusa Lembongan

b. Province of West Nusa Tenggara

• Lombok

• Sumbawa

• Sangeang

• Moyo Island

c. Province of East Nusa Tenggara

• Alor Archipelago (kepulauan Alor), 14 islands + 1 (E.Timor)

· Alor

· Kepa

· Pantar

• Flores

• Komodo

• Palu’e aka Palu

• Rincapulau

• Rote Island

• Savu (Savu Islands)

• Solor Archipelago

· Adonara

· Lembata (Lomblen)

· Solor

• Sumba

• Timor—divided between Indonesian West Timor and the independent nation of East Timor

6. Maluku

a. Province of Maluku

• Buru

• Seram

· Ambon (Amboyna)

· Saparua

• Gorong archipelago

• Watubela archipelago

• Banda

• Tayandu Islands (also Tayahad)

• Kai

• Aru archipelago

· Enu

· Kobroor

· Maikoor

· Trangan

· Wokam

• Tanimbar Islands archipelago

· Selaru

· Yamdena

• Babar Island archipelago

• Barat Daya Islands

· Damar

· Romang

· Wetar

• Leti Islands archipelago

Small volcanic islands in the Banda Sea

b. The province of North Maluku

• Halmahera, with nearby islands:

· Machian (Pulau Makian)

· Morotai

· Ternate

· Tidore

• Bacan

• Morotai

• Widi archipelago

• Obi Islands

• Sula islands

7. New Guinea

Islands on the west of the main New Guinea island

a. Province of West Papua 610 islands, 35 inhabited

b. North of New Guinea Island:

• Asia Islands

• Ayu Islands

• Raja Ampat

· Batanta

· Fam Islands

· Boo Islands

· Misool

· Waigeo

• Gam

• Kawe

• Karas

• Semai

c. Province of Papua

• Biak Islands

· Biak

· Numfor

· Yapen

· Mios Num

· Supiori

• Komoran

• Yos Sudarso

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Central Kalimantan

Central Kalimantan (Indonesian: Kalimantan Tengah often abbreviated to Kalteng) is a province of Indonesia, one of four in Kalimantan – the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its provincial capital is Palangkaraya.

The province has a population of 1.9 million (As of 2007 census). The population grew 2.7% annually between 1990 and 2000, one of the highest provincial growth rates in Indonesia during that time. Far more than other province in the region, Central Kalimantan is dominated by the Dayaks, the indigenous inhabitants of Borneo.[update]


Since the eighteenth century, the central region of Kalimantan and its Dayak inhabitants were ruled by the Muslim Sultanate of Banjar. Following Indonesian independence after World War II, Dayak tribes demanded a province separate from South Kalimantan province.

In 1957, South Kalimantan was thus divided to provide the Dayak population greater autonomy from the Muslim population in that province. It was approved by the Indonesian Government on 23 May 1957 under Presidential Law No. 10 Year 1957, which declared Central Kalimantan the seventeenth province of Indonesia. President Sukarno appointed the Dayak-born national hero Tjilik Riwut as the first Governor and Palangka Raya the provincial capital.[2]

The three major Dayak tribes in Central Kalimantan are the Ngaju, Ot Danum and Dusun Ma’anyan Ot Siang. The three major tribes extended into several branches of prominent Dayak tribes in Central Kalimantan such as Lawangan, Taboyan, Dusun Siang, Boyan, Bantian, Dohoi and Kodorin.

In addition to the indigenous Dayak tribes, the province also groups from other areas of Indonesia, including Javanese, Maduranese, Batak, Toraja, Ambonese, Bugis, Palembang, Minang, Banjarese, Makassar, Papuan, Balinese, Acehnese and also Chinese


Central Kalimantan is the 3rd largest Indonesian province by area with a size of 153,800 km2, about 1.5 times the size of the island of Java. It is bordered by West and East Kalimantan provinces to the north, by the Java Sea to the south, by South and East Kalimantan provinces to the east, and by West Kalimantan province to west.

The Schwaner Mountains stretch from the north-east of the province to the south-west, 80% of which is covered in dense forest, peatland swamps, mangroves, rivers, and traditional agriculture land. Highland areas in the north-east are remote and not easily accessible. Non-volcanic mounts are scattered in this area including Kengkabang, Samiajang, Liang Pahang and Ulu Gedang.

The centre of the province is covered with tropical forest, which produces rattan, resin and valuable timber such as Ulin and Meranti. The southern lowlands are dominated by peatland swamps that intersect with many rivers. Sabangau National Park is a protected peatland area internationally acknowledged as sanctuary for the endangered Orangutan. Recently the peat swamp forests have been damaged by the Mega Rice Project, which unsuccessfully sought to turn large areas into rice paddies.

The province’s climate is wet weather equatorial zone with an eight-month rainy season, and 4 months of dry season. Rainfall or precipitation is 2,776 – 3,393 mm per year with an average of 145 rainy days annually.


Central Kalimantan is divided into 13 districts or regencies, which are headed a regent. (Capitals listed in brackets)

  • South Barito (Buntok)
  • East Barito (Tamiang Layang)
  • North Barito (Muara Teweh)
  • Gunung Mas (Kuala Kurun)
  • Kapuas (Kuala Kapuas)
  • Katingan (Kasongan)
  • West Kotawaringin (Pangkalan Bun)
  • East Kotawaringin (Sampit)
  • Lamandau (Nanga Bulik)
  • Murung Raya (Puruk Cahu)
  • Pulang Pisau (Pulang Pisau)
  • Sukamara (Sukamara)
  • Seruyan (Kuala Pembuang) and the provincial capital:
  • Palangkaraya

In addition to the civil service, Central Kalimantan also recognises a traditional governing system lead by traditional leaders known as Demang. The province is divided into 67 traditional law areas known as Kademangan, headed by Demang. The system is intended to culturally recognise and preserve the customs and heritage of the Dayak tribes


Central Kalimantan has numerous rivers from the catchment areas to the north in the Schwaner Mountains, flowing to the Java Sea. The major rivers include:

  • Barito River (900 km)
  • Kapuas River (600 km)
  • Kahayan River (600 km)
  • Katingan River (600 km)
  • Mentaya River (400 km)
  • Seruyan River (350 km)
  • Lamandau River (300 km)
  • Arut River (250 km)
  • Sebangau River (200 km)
  • Kumai River (179 km)
  • Jelai River (100 km)

Rivers are an important mode of transportation and a primary location for settlement. With relatively undeveloped infrastructure, the province’s economy relies heavily on the rivers

From Wikipedia

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Dayaks Tattos

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Tiga Puluh Enam Strategi adalah sebuah koleksi sajak Tiongkok yang berisikan taktik Perang. Strategi ini disusun oleh Sun Tzu, seorang filsuf yang hidup pada abad ke-5 sebelum masehi dalam bukunya “Sun Zi Bingfa” (Seni Perang Sun Tzu). Sun Zi Bingfa sendiri tampaknya memuat beberapa petunjuk langsung tentang kehidupannya. Beberapa orang ahli menyimpulkan bahwa tulisan Sun Tzu sebenarnya digarap oleh beberapa orang filsuf China yang tidak diketahui dan Sun Tzu hanyalah tokoh fiktif dalam sejarah.

Strategi untuk Menang
Strategi 1:
Perdaya Langit untuk melewati Samudera.
Bergerak di kegelapan dan bayang-bayang hanya akan menarik kecurigaan. Untuk memperlemah pertahanan musuh bertindaklah di tempat terbuka dengan menyembunyikan maksud tersembunyi anda.

Strategi 2:
Kepung Wei untuk menyelamat-kan Zhao.
Ketika musuh terlalu kuat untuk diserang, seranglah sesuatu yang berharga yang dimilikinya. Seranglah sesuatu yang berhubu-ngan atau dianggap berharga oleh musuh untuk melemahkannya secara psikologis.

Strategi 3:
Pinjam tangan seseorang untuk membunuh.
Serang dengan menggu-nakan kekuatan pihak lain. Perdaya sekutu untuk menyerang musuh, sogok tentara musuh menjadi peng-khianat, atau gunakan kekuatan musuh untuk melawan dirinya sendiri.

Strategi 4:
Buat musuh kelelahan sambil menghemat tenaga.
Rencanakan waktu dan tempat pertempuran terlebih dahulu. Dengan cara ini, anda akan tahu kapan dan di mana pertempuran akan berlangsung, sementara musuh anda tidak. Dorong musuh anda untuk menggunakan tenaga secara sia-sia sambil menghemat tenaga. Saat ia lelah dan bingung, seranglah.

Strategi 5: Merompak sebuah rumah yang terbakar.
Saat musuh mengalami konflik internal, inilah waktunya untuk menyerang.

Strategi 6:
Berpura-pura menyerang dari timur dan menyeranglah dari barat.
Strategi Berhadapan dengan Musuh

Strategi 7:
Buatlah sesuatu untuk hal kosong.
Buatlah tipu daya 2 kali. Setelah beraksi terhadap tipuan pertama dan kedua, musuh akan ragu-ragu untuk bereaksi pada tipuan yang ketiga. Namun tipuan ketiga adalah serangan sebenarnya untuk menangkap musuh saat pertahanannya lemah.

Strategi 8:
Secara rahasia pergunakan lintasan Chen Chang.
Serang musuh dengan dua kekuatan konvergen. Yang pertama adalah serangan langsung dan yang kedua secara tidak langsung dimana musuh tidak menyangka dan membagi kekuatannya sehingga akhirnya mengalami kebingungan.

Strategi 9:
Pantau api yang terbakar sepanjang sungai.
Tunda untuk memasuki wilayah pertempuran sampai seluruh pihak yang bertikai mengalami kelelahan akibat pertempuran yang terjadi antara mereka. Kemudian serang dengan kekuatan penuh dan habiskan.

Strategi 10:
Pisau tersarung dalam senyum.
Puji dan jilat musuh anda. Ketika mendapat kepercayaan darinya, mulailah melawan secara diam-diam.

Strategi 11:
Pohon kecil berkorban untuk pohon besar.
Ada suatu keadaan dimana anda harus mengorbankan tujuan jangka pendek untuk mendapatkan tujuan jangka panjang. Ini adalah strategi kambing hitam dimana seseorang akan dikorbankan untuk menyelamatkan yang lain.

Strategi 12:
Mencuri kambing sepanjang perjalanan.
Sementara tetap berpe-gang pada rencana, anda harus cukup fleksibel untuk mengambil keuntungan dari tiap kesempatan yang ada sekecil apapun.

Strategi Penyerangan
Strategi 13:
Kagetkan ular dengan memukul rumput di sekitarnya.
Ketika anda tidak mengetahui rencana lawan secara jelas, serang dan pelajari reaksi lawan.

Strategi 14:
Pinjam mayat orang lain untuk menghidupkan kembali jiwanya.
Ambil cara yang telah dilupakan atau tidak digunakan lagi. Hidupkan kembali sesuatu dari masa lalu dengan memberi-nya tujuan baru.

Strategi 15:
Permainkan harimau untuk meninggalkan sarangnya.
Jangan pernah menyerang secara langsung musuh yang memiliki keunggulan akibat posisinya yang baik. Permainkan mereka untuk meninggalkan sarangnya sehingga mereka akan terjauh dari sumber kekuatannya.

Strategi 16:
Pada saat menangkap, lepaslah satu orang.
Mangsa yang tersudut biasanya akan menyerang secara membabi buta. Untuk mencegah hal ini, biarkan musuh percaya bahwa masih ada kesempatan untuk bebas. Hasrat mereka untuk menyerang akan teredam dengan keinginan untuk melarikan diri. Ketika pada akhirnya kebebasan yang mereka inginkan tersebut tak terbukti, moral musuh akan jatuh dan mereka akan menyerah tanpa perlawanan.

Strategi 17:
Melempar Batu Bata untuk mendapatkan Giok.
Persiapkan sebuah jebakan dan perdaya musuh anda dengan umpan seperti kekayaan, kekuasaan, dan wanita.

Strategi 18:
Kalahkan musuh dengan menangkap pemimpinnya.
Jika tentara musuh kuat tetapi dipimpin oleh komandan yang mengandalkan uang dan ancaman, maka ambil pemimpinnya.Sisa pasukannya akan terpecah belah atau menyerah.

Strategi Membingungkan
Strategi 19:
Jauhkan kayu bakar dari tungku masak.
Ketika berhadapan dengan musuh yang sangat kuat untuk dihadapi secara langsung, lemahkan musuh dengan meruntuhkan dasarnya dan menyerang sumberdayanya.

Strategi 20:
Memancing di air keruh.
Sebelum menghadapi pasukan musuh, buatlah sebuah kekacauan untuk memperlemah persepsi dan pertimbangan mereka.

Strategi 21:
Mepaskan kulit serangga.
Ketika anda dalam keadaan tersudut dan anda hanya memiliki kesempatan untuk melarikan diri dan harus menyatukan kelompok, buatlah sebuah tipuan. Sementara perhatian musuh terfokus atas muslihat yang dilakukan, pindahkan pasukan anda secara rahasia di belakang muka anda yang terlihat.

Strategi 22:
Tutup pintu untuk menangkap pencuri.
Jika anda memiliki kesempatan untuk menangkap seluruh musuh maka lakukanlah, sehingga dengan demikian pertempuran akan segera berakhir. Membiarkan musuh untuk lepas akan menanam bibit dari konflik baru.

Strategi 23:
Berteman dengan negara jauh dan serang negara tetangga.
Ketika anda adalah yang terkuat di sebuah wilayah, ancaman terbesar adalah dari terkuat kedua di wilayah tersebut, bukan dari yang terkuat di wilayah lain.

Strategi 24:
Cari lintasan aman untuk menjajah Kerajaan Guo.
Pinjam sumberdaya sekutu untuk menyerang musuh bersama. Sesudah musuh dikalahkan, gunakan sumberdaya untuk berbalik menyerang sekutu.

Strategi Pendekatan
Strategi 25:
Gantikan balok dengan kayu jelek. Kacaukan formasi musuh, buatlah satu hal yang berlawanan dengan latihan standarnya. Dengan cara ini anda telah meruntuhkan tiang-tiang pendukung yang diperlukan oleh musuh dalam membangun pasukan yang efektif.

Strategi 26:
Lihat pada pohon murbei dan ganggu ulatnya. Untuk mendisiplinkan, mengawal, dan mengingatkan suatu pihak yang status atau posisinya di luar konfrontasi langsung; gunakan analogi atau sindiran. Tanpa langsung menyebut nama, pihak yang tertuduh tidak akan dapat memukul balik tanpa keberpihakan yang jelas.

Strategi 27:
Pura-pura menjadi seekor babi untuk memakan harimau.
Sembunyi di balik topeng kebodohan untuk mencip-takan kebingungan atas tujuan dan motivasi anda. Tipu lawan anda ke dalam sikap meremehkan kemampuan anda sampai pada akhirnya terlalu yakin akan diri sendiri sehingga menurunkan level pertahanannya.

Strategi 28:
Jauhkan tangga ketika musuh telah sampai di atas. Biarlah musuh mengacau ke daerah anda. Kemudian putus jalur komunikasi dan jalan untuk melarikan diri. Lalau serang sekuat tenaga.

Strategi 29:
Hias pohon dengan bunga palsu.
Dengan menggunakan muslihat dan penyamaran akan membuat sesuatu yang tak berarti tampak berharga; tak mengancam kelihatan berbahaya.

Strategi 30:
Buat tuan rumah dan tamu bertukar tempat.
Kalahkan musuh dari dalam dengan menyusup ke dalam benteng lawan di bawah muslihat kerjasama. Dengan cara ini anda akan menemukan kelemahan dan kemudian saat pasukan musuh sedang beristirahat, serang secara langsung pertahanannya.

Strategi Kalah
Strategi 31:
Jebakan indah.
Kirim musuh anda umpan yang akan menyebabkan perselisihan di basis pertahanannya. Jebakan ini terutama menggunakan wanita.

Strategi 32:
Kosongkan benteng.
Perangkap psikologis, benteng yang kosong akan membuat musuh berpikir bahwa benteng tersebut penuh perangkap.

Strategi 33:
Biarkan mata-mata musuh menyebarkan konflik di wilayah pertahanannya.
Gunakan mata-mata musuh untuk menyebarkan informasi palsu.

Strategi 34:
Lukai diri sendiri untuk mendapatkan kepercayaan musuh.
Berpura-pura terluka akan mengakibatkan dua kemungkinan: musuh akan bersantai sejenak karena tidak melihat anda sebagai ancaman serius; kedua, jalan untuk menjilat musuh anda dengan berpura-pura luka oleh sebab musuh merasa aman.

Strategi 35:
Ikat seluruh kapal musuh secara bersamaan.
Jangan pernah bergantung pada satu strategi.

Strategi 36:
Larilah untuk bertempur di lain waktu.
Ketika pihak anda mengalami kekalahan, hanya ada tiga pilihan: menyerah, kompromi, atau melarikan diri. Menyerah adalah kekalahan total, kompromi adalah setengah kalah, tapi melarikan diri bukanlah sebuah kekalahan. Selama tidak kalah, anda masih memiliki kesempatan menang!

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Art meets Nature

Titles of art exhibitions often say nothing, are misleading, or have little to do with the content.
But in the case of “NextNature”, currently at the National Gallery Jakarta, some important works do relate to the title, taking Nature beyond its conventional visual representation.

One example of this among the 18 Indonesian and seven Chinese art works included in the exhibition is Microcosm by Miao Xiaochun (b. 1964), the Beijing-based Chinese artist who reaped international recognition with his spectacular reworking of Michelangelo’s masterpiece with Last Judgement in Cyberspace in 3D. In contrast to the hierarchical concept of the God‑human relationship, Miao Xiaochun took his own vision of equality as a basis, showing nudes in his baldheaded likeness fighting each other in the air as they struggled to find a way to salvation.

In the current exhibition, Miao Xiaochun again takes his inspiration from a European master, the 15th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch who painted The Garden of Earthly Delights featuring heaven, Earth and hell. Although inspired by the old masterpiece, however, Miao Xiaochun ventures beyond it, in his 3D oeuvre titled Microcosm.

Baldheaded nudes moving like robots, fire disasters with skyscrapers collapsing and art works falling down the walls, spaceships coming to the rescue in the fashion of Noah’s ark, speeding tanks and flying mosquitoes, dancing skeletons and humans riding birds of paradise: All these are dazzling images that are intended to reveal the artist’s vision of life and death, of human desire and weakness.

But even if nothing of this intent comes through to the less observant viewer, the images of Microcosm hovering between myth and futurism and matched by the magic spells of Wagner’s Tannhäuser Ouveture, can engender imaginings of Nature in its most expanded understanding. Some of the episodes are also shown in C-Print.

Closer to home is the video work by Nindityo Adipurnomo (b. 1961), the Yogyakarta-based Indonesian artist whose metaphorical hair buns have been executed in the most varied materials possible. In this exhibition, he surprisingly leaves his longtime metaphors to engage with the issue of perceived nature or, shall we say, the layered skin of nature.

His video images show him walking and cows moving in Lembuyung, amidst the most beautiful environs outside Yogyakarta. Such beauty, however, is grossly hampered by the waste disposed there from the city of Yogyakarta. Cows owned by pemulung (trash pickers) are bred and fed with waste of intolerable stench and dangerous toxins.

Nindityo says the stench is horrible and swarms of flies emerge from the surface at the slightest movement. But he was intent to explore the level of his tolerance and examine to what extent human nature can adjust in the way animals can.

After a few days he was able to make a barbecue in the midst of the stinking waste, even eating a slice of barbecued beef. Perhaps no one having dinner in a posh restaurant in Yogyakarta, or Jakarta for that matter, would have even the least notion that what is served in the luxury of an air conditioned room and fine dinner set might have come from the filth of this waste disposal in Lembuyung near Yogyakarta.

Perceived, culturally constructed and natural identities are the issues tackled by Dutch-born, Yogyakarta resident of 25 years, Mella Jaarsma (b. 1960), whose iconic burqa has been a metaphor for issues of protection, discrimination, tents for fugitives and other issues of a social and political nature.

Annoyed by the diminishing attention to the natural, and the trend of pushing it into a corner, she says, “Everything natural is either primitive or needs to be covered with a jacket that fits the urban fashion.” In a cynical twist, she mimics what fashion designers often do, namely taking their examples from the village and remaking them for the urbanistas. Based on photographs taken from Papuans, a people she considers to be closest to nature, she has designed “dresses” fitting a modern Jungle Fashion, and made silk screens of them for the installation Shirts that Fit Us All.

If many of today’s photographic landscapes are the result of digital cameras, the fantastic photograph of the Himalayas in this exhibition has followed a different approach. Beijing-based Chinese artist Shi Guorui (b. 1964) uses the age-old tool of the pinhole technique. This technique mentioned as early as the 5th century BC by Chinese philosopher Mo-Ti, was called the camera obscura by German astronomer Johannes Keppler. Unlike a digital camera, the camera obscura required the artist to spend long hours in a makeshift tent (dark room) with just a beam of light.

Also interesting is Yuli Prayitno’s (b. 1974) Landscape No. 1. Many will remember Yuli Prayitno’s incredible work of glass featuring a hot pepper at the Yogya Biennale in 2006. Here he offers a view from the plane, featuring a landscape made of colored pencils. Budi Kustarto (b. 1972) who has enjoyed incredible attention from collectors, seems to be feeling like a bird caught in a cage, cut off from his natural freedom. Other works include those by Ade Darmawan, Anusapati, Deden Hendan Durahman, Handiwirman Saputra, I Nyoman Erawan, Iswanto Hartono, Iwan Sagita, Manuputra, Nurdin Ichsan, Putu Sutawijaya, S. Teddy D, Tisna Sanjaya, Ugo Untoro, Bai Yiluo, Han Yajuan,He Yunchang, Shi Jianmin, Shi Jing.

Organized by Vanessa Art Link, and curated by Ritzki Zaelani, the works are well displayed with ample space for visitors to move around.


A joint exhibition of Chinese and
Indonesian artists
Until Sept. 16
National Gallery Jakarta
Sept. 16­­–30
Vanessa Art Link
Jl. Darmawangsa X no. 76
South Jakarta

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Back to nature

It’s nice to escape the city once in a while. Like a weekend a month. Just every now and then.
As much as urbanites love to reminisce about the natural way of life of their parents’ parents, not many can actually stand Mother Nature for longer than a weekend getaway.

Well, 59-year-old Eddy Djamaluddin Suaidy and 125 of his friends and relatives choose to do it 24/7. They do more than just grow their own food or mow their own lawns; this community tries to remind us what communal living is all about
On one afternoon during the fasting month, three women were peeling shallots, slicing red chilies and sorting spinach leaves in one of the houses tucked inside the 5-hectare suburban farm in Depok. In the garden across from them, a man was sweeping up dried leaves.

There are no housemaids or gardeners. Just a clear job description for each individual living there.

“If this weren’t Ramadan, at lunchtime the kids would automatically gather here. So would the adults who work here,” said the man who was sweeping the garden. A former colleague of Eddy, Erwin Yulianto Kosasih just recently joined the community after leaving his home in crowded West Jakarta’s Ciledug.

Done with his broom, Erwin helped the cook take what was left of the spinach stems to feed a baby deer in a cage nearby. In the neighborhood of Kampung 99, nothing goes to waste.

Kitchen waste becomes animal feed. Animal manure and dried leaves become organic fertilizers. Even fallen branches become the source of energy for the kitchen.
It’s basically an ecosystem where man is more a manager than mere exploiter.

“We try to make the most out of what we have here,” said Umi Santi, a niece of Eddy who decided to give up her teaching job at a private university and take her family there to develop organic food processing for the community.

They make their own bread and yogurt, consume fresh goat’s milk and slaughter a cow once a week for their meat. Currently, about 80 percent of their food comes from the farm.

Even the buildings they call home are made of local wood. A handful of houses in the complex are shared between two and four families, making it reminiscent of traditional Indonesian village life.

Up on one of the stilt houses, a mother is feeding her baby while goats are tucked away in their quarters underneath.

But don’t imagine these people are going back to some pre-modern era. Cell phones, TV, computers, Internet connection and refrigerators are still part of their everyday life.

“We are not trying to live like some tribal community. We merely want a different way of living which can help us contribute something to nature,” Eddy explained.

At first, Eddy, who founded the community, sought only to escape the jaded city lifestyle. In 1989, he first bought a 500-meter plot alongside the Pesanggrahan river and built a wooden house on stilts, mimicking the traditional Tomohon house of Kalimantan.

Slowly, his idea of going back to nature became wilder. He bought more land and gradually transformed the previously almost sterile ground, which was also prone to landslides, into what he calls an urban jungle.

He bought cows and goats and planted 10 trees each day; in just three years, he could actually call his home a sanctuary. Eddy then invited first his relatives to join in with making this alternative way of living a reality.
“I want my grandchildren to be nurturers of nature, not exploiters. We have so long been crippled by the mainstream idea of living, having a house in a real estate complex, a motorcycle and a car. When in fact, we are capable of so much more,” Eddy pointed out.

“We too often theorize about the environment, talking about preventing floods and disasters while rarely willing to actually live with nature.”

Eddy’s children, niece, nephews and grandchildren have indeed learned more than just about caring for nature. They learn about living as communal beings in the midst of the increasingly individualized urban lifestyle.

Everything here belongs to and is decided by the community to the extent that residents consult the weekly gathering even if planning to buy a TV set, Umi Santi said. What each person earns monthly is collected and spending priorities are set together.

“Here we are taught to be equal and set aside our own egos,” Erwin added. “It’s not easy, but if one wants to fit in here, that’s the basic rule.”

“The mentality we want to build here is that we don’t emphasize the singer, but we emphasize the song,” Eddy said. “It’s the collective work that counts instead of the individual.”

Sounds like a socialist utopia, but it works.

The children still go to the nearest school and teenagers are receiving an education funded by the
collective. In a way, it’s a separate world that stays in touch with outside reality.

Lately, the community has attracted outsiders charmed by the cool micro climate and the various back-to-nature activities that people can do there. In its recent weekly gathering, the community decided to get more professional about opening up their assets to the public.

“We don’t charge entrance tickets or anything here except for special outbound programs. People who drop by are simply asked to plant a tree in the area,” Santi explained.
That afternoon, two guests were getting their hands dirty planting 10-centimeter tall nyamplung trees (Calophyllum inophyllum) on the edge of a contoured plot that overlooks the river.

Plastic sacks filled with soil were already lined up to prevent the land from sliding and it is hoped roots of the trees will keep it together in the future.

The complex itself is as open as it can be, especially for its neighbors. Some 14 locals are hired to help with everyday maintenance and children are free to roam and play in the dirt with buffalos and other animals in the area.

Eddy’s dream is to see what he has done replicated along the stretch of the Pesanggrahan river with
more people taking initiatives for Mother Nature.

“Imagine if we have that stretch of land, each around 10 hectares from Parung Bingung to Pasar Jumat. We will have the largest botanical garden in the world,” he said.

Eddy and his community members have taken the first baby step. And they are waiting for us to walk with them.

from: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/09/08/back-nature.html

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