The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Pavillion at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. (National Book Committee/File)
The world’s largest publishing event, the Frankfurt Book Fair, is being held in Frankfurt, Germany, until Sunday.
This year’s fair involves 7,450 participants from 104 countries, with Norway as the guest of honor.
Represented by the National Book Committee (KBN), Indonesia brought to the event 350 book titles along with 10 publishers, two literary agents and an illustration agent.
On the fair’s first day, the KBN launched Leben und Abenteuer des Raden Saleh (The Life and Adventure of Raden Saleh) comic book, written by German historian Werner Kraus alongside three comic illustrators. The book was released to mark the painter’s contributions to Germany and Indonesia.
'Leben und Abenteuer des Raden Saleh' comic book by German historian Werner Kraus. (National Book Committee/File)
“Raden Saleh was considered the first Indonesian cultural ambassador in Europe,” said Indonesian Deputy Ambassador to Germany Perry Pada at the book launch on Wednesday, referring to the painter’s life in Europe.
In his speech, author Kraus said the book was only the beginning phase. “It is quite impossible to put the complex life of Raden Saleh into 40 pages of a book,” he said. “He was not only a painter, he was also a scientist, a photographer and a writer. Hopefully by next year we can continue this series.”
Along with the comic book, the Indonesian Embassy presented eight series of German stamps featuring Raden Saleh’s paintings, in collaboration with Deutsche Post. The eight paintings were curated by Kraus, including Raden Saleh’s portrait of himself in Javanese attire and The Arrest of Prince Diponegoro.
The fair’s first day also presented a discussion titled “Women and Literature in Asia Pacific” with Indonesian writer Feby Indirani, Malaysian writer Chuah Guat Eng and Indian writer Sara Rai.
A discussion themed 'Women and Literature in Asia Pacific' involved Indonesian writer Feby Indirani, Malaysian writer Chuah Guat Eng and Indian writer Sara Rai at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair. (National Book Committee/File)
As Indonesia also put the spotlight on nonbook content, the culinary team of Santhi Serad and Astrid Enricka presented gulai cubadak (young jackfruit curry) from West Sumatra’s Bukittinggi, beef rendang (slow-cooked meat in coconut milk and spices) and Moluccan butterfly pea flower tea with nutmeg in a cooking demonstration.
In the coming days, the KBN is to present musicians Oppie Andaresta, Mochamad Yudha Wijaya and Windy Setiadi, who are to perform songs derived from the verses of renowned poet Joko Pinurbo.
Other highlights include artists who are to demonstrate their skills at the national stand by painting a mural on site and an interactive exhibition showcasing 24 works by 12 illustrators. (wng)