Wednesday, October 1, 2008

WEEKEND TOURS WITH CLIFFORD PEARSON, Visiting Places and Capturing Cultural Souls for a Book about Indonesia.

The event is begun in 1997 when a friend contacted me and mentioned that somebody from U.S. needs a visit list for several places in Indonesia. She also mentioned that this person is an Author and have intention to write a book about Indonesia.
Spontaneously, I proposed list of places might be suitable for the purpose, mostly in Java. For West Java, I proposed Bandung local artist houses such as Sunaryo (Sculptor), Srihadi (Painter) and A.D. Pirous (Calligraphic Painter). For Central Java, I proposed Arief Budiman house and Kali Code Compound beside well-known ancient temples such as Borobudur and Prambanan and also Sultan Palaces in Jogjakarta and Surakarta. I was immediately contacted my good friend of mind, Ndaru (Hendro Prabowo) at Jogjakarta and asked another additional list of places could be added into visiting list. Ndaru, as I remember added Jogja local artist houses such as Amri Yahya, Andrianto, local bird market and Sendang Sono, the awesome built-environment designed by the Architect Romo Mangun Wijaya.

I was not involving in every trip, because I could only free from my office in Jakarta during weekend only. Mostly, I met with Clifford Pearson and Ndaru two times on Saturday till Sunday at Jogjakarta. In this town I was recognizing Clifford Pearson as Associate Editor of Architectural Record when he gave me his name card during dining session around Malioboro.

Fortunately, a friend who lived in Jogjakarta could arrange Saturday-Sunday Trip to Borobudur, Prambanan, Mendut, Sendang Sono Sites,'Kali Code' riverbank compound, Jogja Bird Market and Sultan Palace in Solo.

He was driving the rental car with Bon Jovi songs were playing along the way. He was also find-out a nice small motel at Prawirotaman in Jogja where we stayed during the trip.What I never forget from this trip was the event when on Sunday I called directly Romo Mangun from my hand phone and introduced Clifford Pearson for personal interview. He was very pleased and available for interview on Monday. Unfortunately, I missed this valuable event because on Sunday evening I must got the last train to Jakarta from Semarang, of course because I must get back to work. This is valuable session, because no longer from this event Romo Mangun Wijaya, who is well known as an Architect, writer, spiritual leader and cultural observer passed away.This last Trip session with Clifford Pearson, Bryan Whitney (the photographer) and my other friends was so memorable for me. I will always keep in my mind we were climbing the hill to find-out Sendang Sono site that we have never seen before or when we were having coffee time at a small coffee shop owned by Danarto nearby Pasar Klewer Solo. Also when Clifford closed his eyes and took a walks in the center of ‘Alun-alun’ Jogja, tried to find straight way in between two ancient Banyan Trees. And he made it!My friend was continuing this journey with Clifford to Sumatera. Actually, Clifford also have his own list of places should be visited including Bali and Sulawesi. Not all these visited places are recorded and published in his book.

Long time after those memorable trips, we have got the final published book from Clifford Pearson. The book title is “Indonesia Design and Culture”, 272 pages of book published by Monacelli Press on 1998. It was great found my name is mentioned among the other names by Clifford Pearson in the foreword page. Not all of visited places are published in the book. Clifford Pearson also sent to my office sheets of photographs from Manhattan-New York that capture me and my friend were sitting together on entry stair of Prambanan Temple and standing in the middle of hanging bridge of Sendang Sono.

Truly and again, this was a memorable trip for me and become one of unforgettable weekend in my life time.

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