Post D: Culture Shock!

By Annie Su

Have you ever been to a country and think to yourself like it’s a whole new world? The way that locals eat, live and behave is just so different to those of your own. When traveling to whole new country where everything is different, most of us experience culture shock. We find many things strange and are curious to find out more and learn. During our trip to Jogja, we experienced many exciting things and events. Even before my trip, I was warned and given advises. I don’t think I’ll be able to pinpoint just one to two, so here are a few culture shocks that I’ve experienced and maybe you have too.

First of all was Jam Karet, in English meaning rubber time. Indonesians are very flexible and relaxed  in time. Events could end up being cancelled or people being late and you wouldn’t even be notified until the time has come. We had to work our way around this, as timing and planning could all be different and changed along the day. Everything that we know back at home may be entirely different here, so we had to work with our new environment and learn.

The next was alcohol in Indonesia. Drug laws are very strict in Indonesia and there are severe penalties to those who do not obey. Alcohol was not easily accessed, as most people did not consume any alcohol, where as on the other hand, smoking is almost considered a norm in Indonesia. The smoking culture is similar the the drinking culture back in Sydney. A beer or two a day for us is no big deal and same goes for them for smoking cigarettes. Most restaurants only offered a small range of beer selections if one wanted to consume alcohol.

Dress-code in Indonesia is quite reserved and modest, especially to women. Women avoid wearing short skirts, shorts, anything too tight and anything that shoes too much chest or shoulders. Since coming from a very heavy Muslim background, women are mostly covered with hijabs. To be respectful of that, we dressed accordingly and appropriately.

There are much more other events that we came across that was a culture shock to us. From the undrinkable water to the local and citizen prices. But these are just a few that most of us have experienced. It was an amazing experience, as we learnt how the locals are and immersed ourselves in their culture and society.




Expat Arrivals 2017, Culture Shock in Indonesia, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Lonely Planet 2017, Female Dress Code in Indonesia?, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Countries and their Culture 2017, Culture of Indonesia, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Post C: May 1998

By Annie Su

May 1998, Riots of Indonesia also know as The 1998 Tragedy, was an incident where there was mass violence against racial issues across Indonesia. My boyfriend, Reinardus Aditya, was Indonesian born Indonesian-Chinese who grew up in Sydney, Australia. That year, him and his family experienced this tragedy which changed their lives from then on. Here is his story.

Jakarta_riot_14_May_1998.jpegRiots in Indonesia 1.1

It happened when they were driving from their Grandpa’s place back to theirs, from Jalan Kopo to Jalan Sukakarya, Bandung. He was in the car with his mum, dad and older sister when suddenly their car was getting mobbed by outsiders. Locking themselves in, they were traumatized, as the kids did not understand what was happening and could not grasp the situation. As the crowd cleared, they drove back home with multiple dents in their car.

Incidents started happening here and there. To an 8 year old, it was frightening and confusing as to why these people are trying to hurt his family. But as he grew older, he came to learn the politics and what happened that year. His father was once chased by an ex-worker with a machete. The reasons to all this was all because they were Indonesian-Chinese. The main victim targets of the violence were ethnic Chinese. His father liquidated all his assess in order to leave the country and start their live elsewhere, where he is able to protect his family. By the end of 1998, his family was safe in Sydney, Australia.

Indonesian-Chinese became victims of the local gangstas who also threatened the community with violence. Rumors and stories of sexual violence with perpetrators shouting anti-Chinese slogans and other abusive quotes shocked the Indonesians. The incident became a state-sponsored violence, making the government taking some measures and actions.

indonesia-unrest_1a.jpeg                                                             Riots in Indonesia 1.2

As news of Indonesian-Chinese were being attacked, it reached the international ethnic Chinese community. Weeks later, the aftermath of this tragedy still left locals fearing for their life and safety. Many businesses, banks and public places remained closed in populated and major cities in Indonesia. The riots started all because of economic problems, such as food shortage and mass unemployment. It has left quite a mark in history, as it was estimated that more than one thousand people died during the riots, 168 cases of rape that was reported and more than 3.1 trillion Rupiah of material that was damaged. Even up to 2010, legal procedures with the riots are still not completed. Even up until this day, he still feels the discrimination against Indonesian-Chinese, since they are the minority and what history has led to.


CNN 1998, Hundreds dead from Indonesian unrest, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Panggabean, S. 2010, Smith, B. 2010, ‘Explaining Anti-Chinese Riots in Late 20th Century Indonesia’, Essay, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, University of Florida, USA

Bloomberg 2017, Indonesia: The Plight Of The Ethnic Chinese, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

ABC 2017, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Wikimedia 2017, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Michigan State University, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Post B: Fresh air for Sale

By Annie Su

It all started when I thought it was a joke. But as I looked more into it, the reality of this service turned out to be real. Companies or individuals in China are using a design initiative to deal with their public health issue, air pollution. These businesses are literally selling cans or bags of fresh oxygen.

article-2592762-1CB0752000000578-209_634x352.jpeg   Fresh Air Stations

In response to the growing concern, people are selling fresh clean oxygen, in hoping that they’ll help with the situation. China is one of the most polluted countries in the world, so I am not surprised of the increasing data indicating the immense growth and air pollution that they deal with.

Many locations in China are offering city dwellers a breath of fresh air. Fresh air stations are set up, where visitors are handed over oxygen masks to breath in fresh Laojun Mountain air, which is located in Luanchuan where it is 80% greenery in Henan province. The air bags are meant to address the dangerous smog levels, where only just 3 pf 74 cities in China have met the official air quality standards according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China. It is shocking that it has led to this environmental crisis and how they just let it happen.

chinaair_3_custom-e07ccc8b8d542752eaf1c13a611244d3d602bccb-s1500-c85.jpegChen Guangbiao handing out canned fresh air.

Having the same response, Chinese entrepreneur Chen Guangbiao who made a fortune selling cans of fresh air at 5 yuan (80 cents) each. His estimated net worth is $740 million, even though he claims he isn’t trying to make profit from all this. He encourages people the inhale the compressed air cans.

Vitality Air started as a gag gift, but who knew that bags of air was in such high demand. It all started when a couple of Canadians sold a bottle of air from the Rocky Mountains on eBay. Vitality Air officially launched back in 2014, where their main consumers were from North America, India and Middle East. Ending with China as their biggest buyer and market.

With a high risk of public health crisis, the Chinese government are taking actions, either you believe it is unethical or creative, but things are happening. Companies and individuals are now dealing with the public health issue and hoping to somehow to help with the air pollution in populated areas in Asia. But is it too late? What has it become of China? And why did it have to come to this stage where there is a need to drag around oxygen tanks?


Daily Mail 2014, China’s latedt fad is breath of fresh air: Oxygen stations set up across the country so city dwellers can escape smog, UK, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Daily Mail 2014, Central European News Images, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Daily Mail 2014, Central European News Images, viewed 16 February 2017, <;

Science Alert 2015, People in China are Buying Cans of Fresh Air from Canada, viewed 17 February 2017, <;

NPR 2017, In China, A Breath Of Fresh Air (In A Can), viewed 17 February 2017, <;

NPR 2017, Mark Wong/EPA /LANDOV , viewed 17 February 2017, <;

Post A :Space Design in Spa


b8xascocmaegf9wRashima Karrani Cept, Greenhost hotel ,2017

Eco friendly design that remains with nature …

Pesonally, I was really lucky that we stayed in Greenhost hotel in Yogyakarta. Before, leaving for Indonesia, I researched on Yogyakarta design and had a chance to read review and article on Greenhost hotel built of Eco friendly environment.  All hubs and natural ingredients that used in art kitchen of Greenhost hotel are grown in their own organic farm located in rooftop.  The hotel interior is combination with industrial and eco friendly  design that has lead the trend  steadily to this day.  I was very impressed the poor as well, there is no roof in that space where the poor is located in. For that reason, out side of temperature and sunlight are transmitted in the hotel through open roof. There was really raining day, while staying and I could see the rain dropped from sky.


screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-2-18-39-amw_jalanjalan, Tea Spa in Greenhost hotel ,2017

The hotel installs pipes every floors for hydroponics. These plants plays a role that makes temperature down or up naturally . The tea spa is located in at the end of the poor. I have strong interest especially on space design included with sap. In my opinion, it is strongly minimalized space that dosent need any special puncture or  props. This being so, more and more the design factor are emphasized. The factors can be texture of the ground, the consideration of the flow of human traffic in mind, the quality of service offered, selecting of music, sorts of hub used in massage, fragrance of aroma oils and even tea that drinks after spa. I suppose that every single factor is integrated and interdisciplinary design and we want to find our healing and composure in relaxation. It is a design that remains with human and nature together. In modern society, spa space has become one of the important and essential healing medium. In busy urban life, healing space makes us to refresh and energetic .

01Spa with a nature, Rio de Janeiro, 2017

Some people visit the spa of the reason that they want to get medical treatment, and some one find that space for refreshment or leisure or some others want to make social gatherings. For that mixed and complicated reason, the needs are demanded more luxury and careful design for users.  In the past, People tended to that spa is just for bath and relax. Because of that reason that there was limitation of space and unified design which doesn’t have any unique design factors. But nowadays, These kinds of facilities have brought big changes. The designers have to consider more various factors in order to meet demand of visitors. Not only for that reason that healing through spa, but also we want to approach new culture of different countries, further more we want to communicate diverse people and it is our purpose that we remain and  meet space.



Spa in camping place, CEDAR HOT TUBS UK, 2017

While selecting one of their spa menu, i asked simple questions. They tolled me that they use aroma oil from Bogor and JABA natural  hubs for body scrub. Single room has quite big and there is natural light through open roof and some part of room has open roof as well. Floor and door are made by natural wood and amenities are prepared well for spa. The atmosphere was exotic and their all place that our eyes tune on are green .040503

w_jalanjalan, Tea Spa in Greenhost hotel ,2017



Sessa, A. 2012, The Most Beautifully Designed Spas Around the World,, viewed 15 February 2017 < >

Graham, .d 2015, How Green is my valet ? , The Jakarta Post, viewed 15 February 2017, < http:// >









POST A: Designers pushing boundaries

By Annie Su

Design is shaped and created in many ways by culture and the society. Many can be controversial, especially those that affect religion. Fashion designer Anniesa Hasibuan from Jakarta, Indonesia showcased her collection “D’Jarkarta” at the New York Fashion Week Fashion Show just 5 months ago. It drew global attention as it was the first time all the models on the runway wore the headscarf, also known as hijabs.

5346fa2ce73319b4c61449d1a88c0e2b.jpegAnniesa Hasibuan

The 30 year old designer was praised from fashion critics from all over the world, but couldn’t escape the conservative critics from her hometown, as they feel it wasn’t modest enough. Hasibuan mentioned that when she was in New York, people were more interested and focused on the artistic side rather than the religious side. I see how that could be controversial, as it is daring and experimental and may not seem modest to those who chose to wear the hijabs.

Pieces from Hasibuan’s collection, D’Jakarta.

Her collection features cross-cultural design inspired pieces. Showcasing a modern take on the Japanese kimono with colourful tunics, beautiful lacy evening gowns, all including the hijab. The design pieces were bedazzled by with precious gems, sequins and hand-stitched embroidery, where this is only seen worn by wealthy women back in Indonesia. It became a great deal for the Indonesian Muslim society, as they feel it was not represented properly and the audience did not focus on the religious aspect. When her collection was uploaded through social media platforms, people pointed out that it wasn’t even worn correctly, as it should be covering the chest and neck because it is God’s order.

3ff03404ba0d49c6996abee2891bd533_18.jpegDetailed Hijab design by Anniesa Hasibuan.

The Islamic fashion is an Islamic practice, in which only specific body parts are allowed to be present. The global growth has encouraged Muslims to be both covered and comfortable but as well as fashionable, modest and beautiful. Hasibuan tried to push boundaries in her design and brought up the social, cultural as well as political sides of Islamic fashion.

I admire her a lot for being so brave by pushing into some very controversial and sensitive boundaries. She was very inspired by her love for Indonesia’s culture. Her response was much better abroad compared back to her hometown. Even so, she is determined to continue her pathway and face the world. Fashion is open stage, where you are not to be discriminated. She believes everyone is given equal opportunity to show their passion and talents.

“Difference is not something to be afraid of – it’s something you should embrace.” – Anniesa Hasibuan




Al Jazeera Media Network 2017, Indonesia fashion designer Anniesa Hasibuan goes global, Media Network, viewed 16th February 2017, <;.

Rodulfo, K. 2017, ‘Muslim Designer Anniesa Hasibuan had an All-Immigrant cast of models at NYFW’, Elle, 15 February, viewed 16 February 2017, <;.

Anniesa Hasibuan, Lookbook, viewed 16 February 2017, <;.

Al Jazeera Media Network, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, viewed 16 February, <;.

Al Jazeera Media Network, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, viewed 16 February, <;.


Post C : Tatto in Indonesia



Griya Tatu Studio Tattoo in malioboro, image by guerim kim

While staying in Indonesia, I had twice of chances to get tattoos in local shop. One shop named Griya Tatu Studio was located nearby our accommodation istana batic hotel in malioboro. The tattooist Griya has experienced for over 15years, a professional designer. He has a small place where included only one desk top, printer, inks and electronic his needles. there were lots of certificate of award on his shop’s wall. I was very lucky because he had to go overseas for the tattoo competition next day for a while. Why I like to meet artists from different back ground and in field is that even though we cant understand our languages each other, they can understand what I want to express through drawing. It is really gorgeous communication beyond just conversation.



Jollyroger tattoo studio, image by miyoung kang

Another shop called is Jollyroger tattoo studio located in Jl. Kusbini and there are three tattooists young and energetic. there name are inu, danoo and daroo and I consulted with danoo who have worked as a tattooist for 7 years. The studio divides into four spaces one for work place, one for the space where can play DJ, one for visitor and a cafe. Interesting point is that there is a barber shop next to the studio which their friend operates and his friend also young and very passionate hair designer. He has done very fun event that if customers bring their caps, he repairs or redesign it . Also cross the studio is his friend’s striker shop. They work together in different field but share their mind and opinions. IMG_2043.jpg   

IMG_2100 copy.jpg

Johnny Playboy Barvershop, image by miyoung kang

I brought own my drawing and we have discussed on its size on my arm after  printing it out.Here are pictures that I took while getting a tattoo and those are all steps of process.

Step 01

Firstly, the designer print the sketch out it real size and decide its location on body and put it using cream. Later it marks black part on body.

IMG_2070.jpgStep 02

Next, He choose his needle that matches with sharpness of sketch after then he prepare his equipments such as inks and electronic device that ink can penetrate into skin.

Step 03

After that, He takes a light on his head to focus on his work and then begin to doing tattoo carefully.

Step 04

After finishing all tattoo, he put cream on the tattoo and lapping because after getting tattoo, skin become so dry that’s why we have to put cream for a while to keep change of its colours.

Tattooist danoo said me that Indonesia has very strong street art culture ranged from punk music to skate board industry. They can draw and express their thinking on the wall using spray and most of street are not illegal. Indonesian is an island consist 1million and 3,677 of small and big islands. It means they dont have a  high speed of internet line and cant connected with it well. For that reason, their movie industry has strongly grown in Indonesia. Normally, people have DVD player in their room and can buy video player and DVD very cheap price.  All they looked enjoy their life and field and it was really fun time to visit their space.



Tattooist inu, image by miyoung kang


Tattooist danoo, image by miyoung kang



Images by miyoung kang, 2017

Munn, K.2014, Indonesian punk: PUNK’S NOT DEAD!,, viewed 15 February 2017, < >

Larse, K.2015, Indonesian new wave tattoos,, viewed 15 February 2017, < >

Merde, L.2015, IIndonesian Film Industry in Need of Clear Direction,, viewed 17 February 2017, < >




POST B: Building a Sustainable Modern Town

Kalu Yala is a sustainable village being developed in the jungle outside of Panama City, located within the Tres Brazos Valley. The aim of this town is to create a better approach to living.

Jimmy Stice, the CEO, begun this initiative because he wanted to created ‘a community, a hub of positivity and social entrepreneurship that used greening and eco-friendly, sustainable methods of building to attract the type of investors and in turn tourists who believed in creating a new type of world’ (Slavin, A. 2012).

(What Took You So Long? 2014)

The organisation is for-profit, offering an internship study abroad program for students to get hands on experience as part of their research and development team. The interns are split into 3 groups depending on their disciplines. The business interns work from an office in Panama City, whilst the biology, sustainable agriculture and outdoor recreation interns work in the valley, and the public education and health/wellness work in a nearby village.

Kalu Yala is a design initiative not only focusing on improving just one public health problem but is trying to improve a number of issues such as depletion of resources, health, education and more. The education interns teach in four schools near San Miguel, while the health interns research local health issues find resources that are available to improve them. They work closely with the local villages, supporting local businesses, improving their livelihoods, and utilising the area’s natural resources.


(Petronzio, M. 2014)

At the moment housing in the valley has not been constructed only designed, and the first interns that lived in the valley had to build living spaces from scratch. Utilising the available resources, they built huts from wood and thatched roofing. Solar battery packs as well as hydroelectricity from the flow of a nearby river allows them to have electric power. Some food is grown in the farm onsite reducing the amount of food that needs to be imported and local produce is used too.

These sustainable tools of living will be utilised to create an entire town and will hopefully pave the way for more individuals around the world to think about improving their way of living. Following Kalu Yala’s footsteps throughout different impoverished tropic regions may also improve the world’s poverty. Currently more than 40% of the world’s poverty is in tropic areas and this percentage is expected to rise (State of the Tropics, n.d). By utilising readily available materials, creating a self sufficient town, and working with locals there could be a real improvement to this world wide issue.

Kalu Yala 2016, Public Health, viewed 15 February, <>

Petronzio, M. 2014, Building the World’s Most Sustainable Modern Town, Mashable, viewed 15 February, <>

State of the Tropics, n.d., Projecting the Tropics – Population Growth 2010-2050, viewed 15 February, <>

Chapman, K. 2013, ‘A Visit to New Urbanist Jungle Community Kalu Yala in the Republic of Panama’, weblog, Hope For Architecture, Oklahoma, viewed 15 February, <>

Slavin, A. 2012, ‘The World of Kalu Yala’, Huffington Post, viewed 15 February, <>

Feature Image:

Chapman, K. 2013, ‘A Visit to New Urbanist Jungle Community Kalu Yala in the Republic of Panama’, weblog, Hope For Architecture, Oklahoma, viewed 15 February, <>


What Took You So Long? 2014, Kalu Yala – Building a New World in the Panamanian Jungle, videorecording, Vimeo, <>