This morning we introduce Sarita Ibnoe, an inspiring 28 year old who was born in Jakarta; as a child dreamed of being an Illustrator, trained as a Graphic Designer in Kuala Lumpur and London, and now works in multiple roles as Art Gallery Manager, Painter, Weaver and more recently Business owner of Clothing brand ‘Petang Hari’ translated as ‘Evening Time.’
In todays interview, Sarita reflects on her early years living in Jakarta; the excitement of being chosen to exhibit her art work at the 2017 EXI(S)T exhibition (a creative platform for young Indonesian artistic talents) held at Galeri Nasional Indonesia, and how her meeting with three significant people led her to pursue her creative endeavours, which included establishing her new clothing range.
Read on as Sarita shares her story.
Your full name please: On my birth certificate, it’s Sarita Hapsari Putri. But I guess people know me as Sarita Ibnoe. Ibnoe is my late grandfather’s name. I stole it because I love that name so much!
What do you like to be called? Sar or Sarita.
Please tell us a little about your background – Where did you grow up?
I was born in Jakarta. When I was 13 years old, my family had to move to Kuala Lumpur because of my Dad’s work. My parents stayed in KL for 3 years and then moved to Bangkok. So, there were times in college when I went ‘home’ to Bangkok instead of Jakarta. I stayed in KL for about 7 years (until 3rd year of college) and then I continued my study for 1 year in London. It was the end of 2009 when I had to go back to Jakarta because I couldn’t find a job in London.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
‘My sister and I had this book where we wrote what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote that I wanted to be an illustrator. At that age, I didn’t even know what an illustrator did? haha. But I guess that wish kind of came true!’
How did you get into your current profession?
It all started with my passion in art, curiosity and some inspiring people.
‘I first learnt how to draw from my Dad’s driver. I learned about art from Pak FX Harsono. I learned how to weave from Terry Bibby a lady I met in Canada.’
What does an average week look like for you?
I wake up at about 8 am almost everyday. I go to Suar Artspace, the Art Gallery that I manage in South Jakarta at least 3 days in a week to have meetings or to prepare some events. Suar Artspace is really close to my house, so most days I go straight home to work on something else (ie. freelance works or weaving). I work on quite a lot of different things during the week and it takes a lot of energy to switch from one thing to another, so I usually take my Sundays really slow. I like to do yoga and maybe meet a few friends for coffee, that’s pretty much it! haha.
I tend not to hate Mondays. I generally do not separate weekdays and weekends because sometimes I work on Saturdays and have a day off on one weekday. I think that’s a good idea, so any day could feel like a Monday or a Friday!
Can you share with us your creative journey; including your work at Suar Artspace, your artwork, weaving and clothing brand owner of Petang Hari
Well, the first thing that you have to know is that I am the kind of person that has difficulties in choosing things, so I take (or at least try) them all. haha.
I graduated as a Graphic Designer with an Illustration Major and I started working as a graphic designer and still do some freelance illustrating. But then after a few years I felt like I was not that good at both of them. I still do it, though. But they are not my main job.
If I can go back in time, I would love to study Fine Art (and a ballet dancer, seriously). But now I can’t change that, can I? But I still insist to learn more about art. not academically, but by experience and meeting artists and other people who work in the industry. In 2013, I was selected for a mentoring program that taught me a lot about the process of art making, conceptual art and also about the art scene in Indonesia. After that program, I started participating in a few exhibitions. My artwork has grown from just drawings that are meaningful for me. But then I would not call myself a full time (fine) artist or maybe never will, because it is my passion and when I make art to earn a living, it will become a job. With that thought, I decided that making art my ‘other life’ and I have to be able to afford that ‘other life.’ That is why I do other jobs like managing Suar Artspace and initiating Petang Hari (my weaving product).
About weaving, I feel very lucky with this one. Nowadays it is so easy to find references through the internet. I thank Pinterest and Instagram for that. While browsing, I came upon many modern weavers from Australia, the US and the UK and it was something new for me! No one has done it in Jakarta (not that I know of). So I bought a beginner weaving kit and started experimenting on my own. After that, I tried to arrange a workshop and so many people were interested! So in 2015-2016 I taught weaving almost every weekend, and now I’m happy to see lots of people enjoy weaving as much as I do.
But for my brand Petang Hari, I use a different kind of weaving loom (in general it’s called a floor loom). It is the type of loom used to make a piece of fabric. This is also a very lucky coincidence! haha. Almost 2 years ago I visited my Aunt and Uncle in Canada for 2 months and I was looking for something crafty to do; and then I met a lady that taught weaving in her lovely studio in the middle of the woods. So I took a 3 day class with her and I fell in love with the floor loom that she used. When I got back to Jakarta, I decided to invest in that loom and finally started Petang Hari.
Who do you find inspiring and why?
‘I can’t say just one name. I’m inspired by someone who gains their success from 0 and someone who can be gentle and kind especially in this harsh Jakarta’
What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?
My short temper behind my calm face. haha!
What annoys you?
What delights you?
Travelling/going to new places
What’s your most treasured possession?
About Jakarta & Indonesia:
Give 3 words to describe your Jakarta?
Ok, I’ll try to be positive here…
‘Diverse, Talented and Funny’
What’s your favourite Indonesian book?
Buru Quartet by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
What’s your favourite Indonesian Movie? / Band ? / Singer ?
Movie: 1.Mengejar Matahari 2. Prenjak (a short film)
Band: I can’t name one. But I do enjoy a music performance and I usually go to 1 event with a few local bands playing
Singer: Elda (from Stars and Rabbit)
Who is your favourite Indonesian artist? / creative?
Where’s your favourite place to eat in Jakarta?
‘I am not so adventurous when it comes to food. so.. at home’
Tea, Coffee or Juice? And where?
Coffee, in Antipodean
Where do you go to relax in this busy city?
A yoga class
Finish these sentences:
Every visitor to Jakarta should eat…. asinan with kerupuk kuning
Every visitor to Jakarta should visit…. Pasar Mayestik
Every visitor to Jakarta should experience….
‘walking without any sidewalks. haha! and also, quoting a bajaj driver, ‘kalau belum naik bajaj, belum ke jakarta!’ … if you haven’t been on a bajaj ride, that means you’ve never been to jakarta!’
What’s your favourite place to visit in Indonesia? Or place you would like to visit?
I would like to travel around the east side of Indonesia
What’s Jakarta’s best kept secret?
Jakarta has this extreme love & hate relationship with the people who live in this city
What are your favourite Apps?
Instagram, obviously .. haha
If you could have dinner with 2 famous people who would you invite?
‘Hmm.. probably President Jokowi and Lena Dunham. That could create a very interesting conversation.’
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
I find weaving fun (not just a job) so I do that, and also I love visiting an art supply shop
Where can our readers purchase your Petang Hari woven cloth and clothing pieces?
Penang Hari is now available in bobobobo.com, a shop called Asamula in Bali and this month in Seibu Grand Indonesia. Otherwise, people usually shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to see Sarita’s work at EXI(S)T 2017: Tomorrow As We Know It : The exhibition runs until June 5th, 2017
10am – 6pm at Galeri Nasional Indonesia
Gedung B and D
*Baju – Clothes
*Kenalkan – Let me introduce
*Kain – Cloth
*Petang Hari – Evening time
*Tas Silang – Cross-over bag
Words: Liz and Sarita Photography: a journey bespoke, all images of Petang Hari supplied by Sarita Ibnoe
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