Jakarta's creative energy
shines in souvenir design

The Council for National Handicrafts Indonesia (Dekranasda) together with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Jakarta held the first Jakarta Souvenir Design Competition last Friday to search for a new icon for the city.

"We want to create a icon of Jakarta through the creative industry, in this case in the form of souvenirs," Jakarta Kadin chairman Edi Kuntadi told a press conference at Pondok Indah Mall 2 in South Jakarta.

Edi, who was also one of the judges in the competition, said many people had entered the design competition, but none of the designs were worth remembering.

Another judge, Jakarta Dekranasda chairwoman Tatiek Fauzi Bowo, hoped the event could produce high quality designs for Jakarta merchandise.

"The city's tourism needs quality souvenirs, which is also a potential source of employment for Jakarta residents," Tatiek said, adding that one of the problems faced by the city souvenir industries was to maintain their quality.

"We will hold this competition once a year," Tatiek said.

Edi said that the winners' designs would be mass produced and distributed to the tourists spots and malls.

Eleven designs from 11 designers, selected from 50 participants, competed for six awards, from amateur to professional categories.

One of finalists, Purwo Kusumaning Dianto, came up with a design of an ondel-ondel paper toy that won the people's choice award.

The entry won favor among the public for its interactive, origami-like design.

Meanwhile, the winner for professional category was Muhammad Fauzie with a design called "Mantank", creative T-shirts for tourists.

"Tourists are like journalists, they love to take pictures. Therefore, after their visits to Jakarta they will make *reports' through using, showing or distributing souvenirs," Muhammad said.

His T-shirt designs show, among other, cartoons of Jakartan traditional food vendors, from kerak telor (Betawi omelette) to gado-gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce) with the text explaining details of the items. The cost to produce each T-shirt was Rp 45,000 (US$5).

The winner of the student and 2010 best design categories, Chintami Ricci, designed a souvenir called the Batavia Box (Babox).

"Jakarta has a lot of stories to tell through certain products, including a clock, photo frame and a mini drawer in which I put in one box with the stories of Jakarta's development from time to time," Chintami said, adding that the production cost of each box was Rp 60,000.

The finalists' products was displayed at North Sky Walk of Pondok Indah Mall 2 from Aug. 3 to 8. (not)

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