Majas products are all designed in Toronto and handcrafted in Yogyakarta, the Art and Culture Capital of Indonesia. We flew to Yogyakarta 2 weeks ago to visit with our artisans and we thought we'd share with you a sneak peek into Yogyakarta and surroundings.
In the afternoon, we visited a famous artist's gallery called Museum Affandi. Affandi was a famous expressionist painter during the Dutch era, before Indonesia's Independence Declaration. His paintings are famous for its idiosyncrasy, bold subjects, and unusual takes to everyday lives.
One of the most famous sights around Yogyakarta is the Borobudur Temple. It is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world, and was built in the 8th and 9th centuries AD during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage. Borobudur's structure has 3 levels arranged in a pyramid-like fashion to represent the conception of Universe in Buddhist belief: kamadhatu, rupadhatu, arupadhatu. They are representing respectively the sphere of desires where we are bound to our desires, the sphere of forms where we abandon our desires but are still bound to name and form, and the sphere of formlessness where there is no longer either name or form.
Here's a sneak peek into Majas' workshop. At Majas, we are proud to say that more than 70% of our artisans are women and we intend to keep this ratio for the foreseeable future. For them, being able to practice their craft in a clean and safe environment and earning living wages for themselves and their families made them feel empowered and supported.
During this particular visit, we finalized the details of our new designs and in general just saying hi to everyone.
Yogyakarta is famous for this traditional Javanese dish called Gudeg. Gudeg is made of young unripe jackfruit that's stewed for several hours with palm sugar and coconut milk. It's then eaten together with rice, krecek, eggs, and chicken. It is normally consumed as breakfast or lunch and if you happen to find a really famous spot, they tend to sold out by 10 AM!
One of the highlights for us during this trip was being able to visit Ullen Sentalu museum. Hidden high up near Merapi Volcano Centre, this beautiful privately-owned museum house beautiful pieces, relics, and artifact from royal houses and kratons of Java, such as Yogyakarta, Pakualam, Surakarta, and Mangkunegaran.
So what do you think? Does this make you want to visit Yogyakarta? :)