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

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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: 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, <;.


Project Tote Bags – IKAN Group

By Annie Su, Jessica Xie and Anjana Sridharan

For this subject, we were located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia where we had the opportunity to experience and challenged ourselves in many ways to develop skills in a cross-cultural collaboration with Vital Strategies; an NGO who envision a world where every person is protected by a strong public health system. Our focus was to research the public health challenges and the influence of smoking at Kampeong Code and propose one design solution.

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-11-16-26-amSu, A. 2017, Draft Sketches

Our proposal and focus was on children and how much they were affected by the strong smoking culture in Indonesia. It was a culture shock to a lot of us as we have observed so many people smoking, and it concerned us that the children were influenced to pick up the habit too. We wanted to involve the kids in our project, and to create more exposure and bring light to this situation.

Our comic personifies a health consequence of smoking, both educating and metaphorically warning the audience that smoking will have grave consequences both on themselves and the people around them.

Our initial ideas consisted of a mural, finger painting or hand prints involving children, t-shirts, tote bags & book covers with a comic strip of an anti-smoking story on them.

From multiple feedback sessions, we decided to think about who else was affected by smoking. It was brought to our attention the alarming percentage of gender specific smokers (men 68%, women 4%) Yet many women as well as children are still affected by passive smoking. Because of this, we wanted to create something that would involve both children and women. We decided to print tote bags with an anti-smoking comic strip for women to use and to organize a workshop for the children to join in with the printing.

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-11-19-39-amSu, A. 2017, First initial Comic Strip Illustrations

For our comic design, we initially wanted to reflect the way smoking can deteriorate one’s health and also shock the viewer to refrain from smoking. Through research we discovered many negative effects smoking has on an individual’s body, particularly the way it can affect the smokers lungs. We decided to create a simple design because of time constraints but also because we wanted the message to be bold and clear to understand. The comic style is used as we didn’t want to create gory images as there would be young children working with us. We also chose to use the colours red, blue, yellow, and grey to coincide with the Vital Strategies’ Show Your True Colors campagin.

After some thought and a discussion with the members of Vital Strategies, we decided to refine our comic to make the message clearer.

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 11.19.48 am.pngSu, A. 2017, Final Comic Strip Illustrations

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 11.39.56 am.png

Sridharan, A. 2017, Mockup of Tote Bags

The first panel of the comic reads, “Jangan Sakiti Kami!!” which translates to “Don’t Hurt Us!!” showing the first stage of a smoker’s lung when they start the habit of smoking. They start to be affected by harmful chemicals from cigarettes.

Our comic strip’s second panel reads, “Kamu Baik-Baik Saja??” meaning “Are you ok??”, shows the next stage of a smoker’s lung. Where one’s lung starts showing signs of serious health-hazards making it harder to breathe and even trigger asthma.

The third panel reads, “Jangan Tinggalkan Aku!!” translating to “Don’t Leave Me!!” showing the third stage of a smoker’s lung where one lung gives up and starts to collapse leaving the one single lung to support it’s owner.

Our final comic square “Berhentilah Merokok!!” meaning “Stop Smoking” presents the very last stage of the smoker’s lungs where they lose a lung due to continuous smoking and ignoring the signs and symptoms.

We held a printing workshop with the kids and it got a little out of hand as paint went everywhere and the children printed wherever they want, even on the newspapers, and our hands. Even so, the printed totes still share our anti-smoking message through the campaign hashtags that are written on the bottom of the bag. The mothers of the children also got involved and created some totes for themselves and everyone had a great time.

18_Kids.JPGSu, A. 2017, Wood Block Printing Workshop with the children.

33_Kids.jpgSu, A. 2017, Wood Block Printing Workshop with the children.

19_Kids.JPGSu, A. 2017, Wood Block Printing Workshop with the children.
Through our time working on this campaign we realised that it is very hard for Indonesians to reject smoking as it is ingrained into their culture just like drinking alcohol is ingrained in the Australian culture. We as outsiders may look in and not understand why they would purposely harm themselves but they would think the same of us with our drinking. This anti-smoking movement may be happening at the moment however it will take many years before it becomes common for smoking to be seen as negative in Indonesia.

34_Kids.JPGSu, A. 2017, Completed Tote Bags

Su, A. 2017, IKAN group


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