Tag Archives: Gold

Art

GOLD OF THE GODS – WORLDMUSEUM ROTTERDAM

Gold_of_the_Gods

 

Last week I saw a news article online that they currently have an exhibition called the Gold of the Gods from Java at the World Art Museum at the harbor of Rotterdam. So that sounded like something we had to see!

– The mysterious world of the Javanese Kingdom remained closed to outsiders for over a thousand years, with only the statues hewn from lava rock at Borobudur displaying the wealth with which the Javanese rulers venerated their gods. The Wereldmuseum is bringing you a world première with its exhibition Gold of the Gods. It is a privilege to show you the most extensive collection of Javanese gold from the seventh to the eleventh centuries on display today, the beauty of which can barely be grasped by contemporary audiences.
On special occasions Javanese royalty would adorn themselves with jewelry originally intended for the gods, in honor of Vishnu, Shiva, and Parvati by embodying them. The jewelry itself was crafted by the most highly renowned goldsmiths, requiring not only superior craftsmanship but also spiritual knowledge as illustrated by the sagas and legends adorning the individual pieces and that portray the active role played by the gods in Javanese society.
The Wereldmuseum is proud to be the first museum in the world to exhibit this collection. Being aware of our tremendous responsibility not only towards the collector, but also with regard to the collection’s history, our aim was to create a presentation that will enable the audience to tangibly perceive the contemporary mysteries surrounding the works on display.
This production was made possible with the cooperation of the Princessehof Ceramics Museum in Leeuwarden, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and, in particular, the National Museum of World Cultures in Amsterdam and Leiden. These museums were willing to lend us several pieces from their permanent collections to enhance our exhibition. Additionally, the Documentation Centre for Ancient Indonesian Art in Amsterdam lent us several photographs of the Borobudur. We are very grateful for these valuable additions to the exhibition.-

 

Yesterday we had a day off and decided to make a trip to the museum in Rotterdam. It turned out to be a very impressive collection of golden jewelry from Java, holding some very exclusive items which we never saw anywhere else before. The set up of the museum is quite simple but classy. You can get really close to the items, exposed in glass showcases  to be able to see the extreme details and complex designs of this ancient jewelry.

Beside the exhibition of the Indonesian gold, there’s a big Tibetan / Japanese section in the museum. Showing a great collection of buddha statues in all different forms and size’s and a great example of a traditional Buddhistic temple. Even the Dalai Lama personally visited the museum in May last year! At the end of the exhibition you will find a gift shop, with a small book section selling a great selection of books about Indonesia,Tibet, batik, keris, wayang, the Pacific, buddhism, etc!

 

Ratu_KidulI was very happy to find this little book about Kanjeng Ratu Kidul by Ruud Greve, The Legend of the South Sea Queen. A Javanese mystery that fascinates me for years already. Soon more about this story on the blog!

Overall it was a nice, educative day out. We would definitely recommend this exhibition / museum to everybody who is interested in ancient jewelry or the Indonesian / Tibetan heritage in general.

You can still visit this exhibition till 6 April 2015.

Entrance: 15,- + free audio tour / CJP: 3,- / free guided tours on every Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information: http://www.wereldmuseum.nl/

 

 

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KRIS / KERIS ON LEG

Keris

The Kris or Keris is a Javanese asymmetrical dagger most strongly associated with the culture of Indonesia or Javanese culture. In Indonesia, people believe that the Krises have magical powers.

The earliest Krises known were made around 1360 AD and most probably spread from the island of throughout Southeast Asia. Krises have been produced in many different places in Indonesia for centuries, but the Kris is mostly used, worshiped and seen in ceremonies in Central Java (besides the regular use in ceremonies of Krises in Bali).  As the result, in Indonesia Krises are commonly associated with the Javanese culture, although other ethnicities such as Balinese, Sundanese, Madurese, Banjar and Malay people are also very familiar with the weapon as part of their culture. The Kris is most known for its distinctive wavy blade, although many have straight blades as well. A Kris can be divided into three parts: bilah (blade), hulu (hilt), and warangka (sheath). These parts of the Kris are often carved into extreme detail and made from various materials like metal, precious or rare types of wood, gold or ivory. They are art objects on their own. Some blades can be made in a relatively short time, while some weapons take years to complete.

The dhapur (the form and design of the blade, has around 150 variants), the pamor (the pattern of metal alloy decoration on the blade, has around 60 variants), and tangguh is referring to the age and origin of a Kris. Depending on the quality and historical value of the Kris, the value in money can go up to thousands of dollars or more. Both used a weapon and as a spiritual object, Krises are often considered to possess magical powers, with some blades seen as holders for good luck and others holding the bad. Krises are also often used for display, as talismans with magical powers, weapons, as extra equipment for court soldiers, an accessory for a ceremonial dress, an indicator of social status, and as a symbol of heroism, etc.

Krises are made by a Kris blacksmith called, empu. Before the empu starts making the Kris, he will first have a conversation with the client to make sure the Kris will be adapted to the exact wishes of the future owner. Empu are highly respected craftsmen with additional knowledge in literature, history, the occult, etc. By performing specific rituals before, during and after the process of forging the Kris, it will give the Kris his energetic load. Because a Kris is always made specifically for one person, it could be that a Kris of someone else is not ‘a good match’ for you. That doesn’t mean the Kris is ‘bad or wrong’, but it doesn’t fit the person. Krises need to be washed and ‘reloaded’ every once in a while, this comes with a very complex and sometimes even dangerous ritual of washing, drying and oil. Dangerous because some people try to use Arsenic, to make the pamor show up better. After washing the Kris, incense is being used to dry the blade and after that treated with oil. Krises are always highly cherished and taken care of to preserve their magical powers. 

Until the 1990s, Kris-making activities in Java had almost come to a standstill due to economic difficulties and changing socio-cultural values. Over the past three decades, Krises have lost their prominent social and spiritual meaning in society. Only a handful active and respected empus still produce high quality Krises in the traditional way but their number is dramatically decreasing and it’s getting more difficult to find them.

– Ade Itameda

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ADE ITAMEDA X VANS

Click on the images for a bigger photo.

A couple of weeks ago, Ade Itameda was asked to design a pair of shoes for Vans BLX.

And this is the end result!

For more information, check:  http://www.vans.nl/news/item/8402/artist-shoe-ade-itameda

Special thanks to Vans BLX & Silvia for making this possible!

 

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