• Nourishing some art into the heart of weary urbanites

    Earlier this year I spent a day visiting two friends, rising contemporary artists who are also one of the cutest married couples around, at their Yogyakarta-based studio and home. I can’t remember exactly how during the long conversation I had with the husband that we arrived at the topic, but we ended up questioning why the Indonesian art scene seemed so obsessed with artwork carrying social critiques. It seemed almost unimaginable these days to place value on an artwork that pinpointed to anything less than the flaws and fractures of our raggedy social fabric.

  • Art program gives Boston's homeless a place to create

    In an elegant church in one of Boston's most chic shopping districts, homeless people from across the city gather once a week to express themselves in ways not possible when living on the streets.

  • Security steps in Paris, Brussels, may be spreading anxiety

    At a Paris train station, the zap of a pigeon getting electrocuted on the tracks was enough to send some jittery people scurrying for cover, in the aftermath of the devastating attacks on Nov. 13.

  • Behind pomp of APEC summit, crushing poverty endures

    Just a few miles from the gleaming venue hosting President Barack Obama and other world leaders sits Manila's slum of slums on a mountain of trash, a potent reminder to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc that the globalization agenda it promotes has left many behind.

  • Sharing or shaming? Tracking homelessness on social media

    On an app, pins on a New York City map chart sightings of homelessness, accompanied by photos of people lying on sidewalks, slumped in doorways, sitting on curbs with shopping carts piled high with bags. Hashtags frame the scenes: "NeedsMedicalAid," ''Encampment," ''AggressiveBegging," ''Violent."

  • And they called it modern love

    Love now has a science to it. In modernity, the word ‘‘compatibility’’ substitutes for ‘‘soulmate’’.

  • Homelessness in Hawaii grows, defying image of paradise

    Two days before the city planned to dismantle her sidewalk home, Kionina Kaneso had no idea where she and her daughter and grandchildren would sleep.


    The weeklong brutality that is Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW) came to town last week. Yours truly, mere days after a bruising 10-day sojourn to Milan and Frankfurt, threw herself into the annual fete with much glee and abandon.

  • Black violet And copper the ‘it’ hair looks

    Popular among Hollywood stars and top models, black violet or copper hair will give you the look of your favorite celebrities.

  • North Sumatra: Coffee flavor goes global

    The Indonesian Coffee Exporters Association of North Sumatra lists the coffee of North Sumatra as a highly prized commodity for Americans, with 56 percent of North Sumatra’s total coffee production being exported to the US.

  • A Rinjani Promise

    It was almost midday and the scorching sun shone unmercifully. Yet, the quiet breeze across the massive open dry hilly savannah on the foot of the majestic Mount Rinjani in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, was highly soothing.

  • Love is all you need — but in truckloads

    Like most parents who discover their child has autism, the message was delivered slowly and came as a shock.

  • Tantrums and techniques

    How do you handle a disruptive child who continues to throw sand?

  • Kids who can’t say Mommy

    At a new Autism Center in Blitar, East Java, parents are schooled on handling their offspring. Shouting and scolding is a waste of time and emotion. Positive behavior support works best.

  • ‘100% Yogyakarta’: portrait of a city on the Stage

    At a glance the theater show held at the Yogyakarta Cultural Park’s (TBY) concert hall over the weekend was just like any other performance.

  • Sumatran orangutans threatened by forest destruction

    A series of deaths of orangutans further confirms the destruction of Indonesia’s forests, contributing to the problem of global climate change.

  • Handicrafts regain popularity in major cities

    While many Jakartan urbanites spend their weekends relaxing or shopping in malls, many are now taking handicraft courses in painting, woodcutting, knitting, origami or cosmetics making.

  • Park Hye-soo: The next best thing

    Her mezzo-soprano vocals filled the atrium of Lotte Shopping Avenue in South Jakarta, lulling fans who gathered at the venue hours before the event started.

  • Documentary pays homage to Gesang’s legacy

    The popularity of the traditional Javanese musical style keroncong might have been declining in recent years, but one of its most celebrated figures, the late composer Gesang Martohartono, is still fondly remembered by musicians and artists alike.


    In the hands of noted designer Josephine “Obin” Werratie Komara, batik and kebaya will never be boring.