Badan Ekonomi Kreatif Indonesia (Bekraf), the Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy initiated by President Joko Widodo, has curated eight Indonesian designers to participate at 2018 NY Now in Javits Center, New York City, United States, August 12-15. Having went through a strict curatorial process since March 2018, Kana Goods, Indo Risakti, Sackai Bags, Siji, Kayou, Pala Nusantara, Noesa, and Jenggala will exhibit at the event.
Those names will be taking their part along with 24,000 retailers who bring excellent craft products from various countries. Entitled "IDentities", the Indonesian Pavilion booth is set to attract buyers and enthusiasts from all over the world, in particular the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It aims to promote Indonesian culture, heritage, and tradition in order to boost domestic products competitiveness in global market, through craft and fashion.
NY Now is the leading market for home and lifestyle products held twice a year. It features collections of homewares, lifestyles, and handmade crafts, and regularly attended by more than 20,000 buyers from around the world.
"This year marks the third year of Indonesia's participation in NY Now market and we can see the huge potential of Indonesia's creative economy. We are committed to support Indonesia's craft designers and to promote our contemporary designs to the world," says Joshua Puji Mulia Simandjuntak, Deputy Chairman for Marketing of Bekraf.
The United States is still the largest market for Indonesia's craft and furniture products, contributing USD 700 million of export value. Furthermore, Triawan Munaf, Chairman of Bekraf, stated that Indonesia's creative economy sector contributed USD 64 billion in 2016, equal to7.44% Indonesia's GDP. He is confident the sector's contribution will grow up to USD 70 billion by the end of 2018.
"To adjust to the current global market needs, all products must have a touch of handmade, possess typical Indonesian traditional character and made in Indonesia. The production must also be environmentally friendly. In addition, each product must have a story to describe the design concept or the value of empowering rural communities," Joshua concludes.
Bekraf collaborates with a number of parties for this event, including Indonesian Consulate General in New York, and supported by the international curator Jennifer Isaacson from the United States. There are also Indonesian expert curators involved in the process, namely Diana Nazir from the Indonesian Society of Interior Designer (HDII), Yanna Diah Kusumawati from the Association of Exporters and Producers of Indonesian Handicraft (ASEPHI), and Christianto Prabawa from the Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association (HIMKI).
Carrying the Modern Contemporary Design to The Next Level
In an era of throwaway goods, the human touch, longevity, uniqueness, and a strong story behind each item always brings great satisfaction to the buyers. Having become aware of that, Sancaya Rini, a mother of four kids, pioneers the slow fashion movement in Indonesia through her proud product - Kana Goods. It specializes in using natural (indigo) dyes extracted from the leaves as contemporary handwritten batik.
Unlike ordinary batik techniques, one piece of Kana's Indigo batik needs to be dyed at least 10 times a day, for seven consecutive days. "Our mission is to introduce the value of natural dye as a unique and sustainable art form. We aim to give value, not only through our products, but also real contributions to empower the communities and to preserve the environment," says Sancaya Rini, Founder of Kana Goods.
Sancaya adds, "Slow fashion typically describes long-lasting and locally manufactured clothing. We take initiative to reduce the use of water and chemicals. Most importantly, we are able to re-dye every product once the colors start to faded, so the customers don't need to purchase another one."
Meanwhile, Indo Risakti offers traditional craftmanship from Yogyakarta, producing premium home decorative handicrafts to complement your modern contemporary house. They use recycled and green materials for the handicrafts, such as wild plants and water hyacinth. Indo Risakti also contributes to help up to 600 local crafters in Bantul, Yogyakarta, since it was founded back in 2012.
"The majority of the Bantul community are farmers and farmworkers. We educate them through artisanal handicraft workshops, from grass weaving to producing handcrafted baskets, and we also have a program to enrich their entrepreneurial skills. As a result, these farmers are able to earn extra money on the side," adds Windu Sinaga, Director of Indo Risakti. The biggest market of Indo Risakti's handcrafted products is the United States, reaching 75% of its total exports.