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Warming up for year-end shopping: Semasa, Museum MACAN x Kokken creative markets

Muthi Achadiat Kautsar
Muthi Achadiat Kautsar

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, November 30, 2019  /  08:33 am
Warming up for year-end shopping: Semasa, Museum MACAN x Kokken creative markets

Semasa first announced the Bank Indonesia Museum event in early October, also inviting would-be tenants to drop off their brand portfolios. Only 10 days later, Semasa announced the date of the creative market and notified that all spots available were already filled with tenants. (Instagram/semasa_di/File)

The end of 2019 is just around the corner, meaning that we might have a little (or a lot of) shopping to do. As most of what we need to buy is just a fingertip away, it certainly means we can often skip shopping trips.

Enter creative markets. It is a type of marketplace usually held as pop-ups at different venues. Some Jakartans know Semasa, a creative community that often organizes pop-up markets and tours around the capital in heritage buildings. Semasa’s upcoming pop-up takes place from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 at the Bank Indonesia Museum.

“It’s our last event this year and yes we are open from Friday,” Semasa wrote in an Instagram post, also saying that there will be creative makers from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan who will sell their products at the pop-up market.

At the time of writing, Semasa had posted images of more than 100 tenants, most of whom are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) offering knick-knacks, accessories, foods and drinks, skincare and home care products and clothes.

Semasa first announced the Bank Indonesia Museum event in early October, also inviting would-be tenants to drop off their brand portfolios. Only 10 days after that first announcement, Semasa announced the date of the event and notified that all spots available were already filled with tenants.

Hutomo Joe, founder of Semasa, told The Jakarta Post that one of the company’s missions is to preserve heritage areas through creative markets, housing Indonesia’s art and craft products and help improve them with modern packaging.

Based on tenants’ enthusiasm for the pop-up events that Semasa created, Joe said he felt that there were many who longed to support movements to improve Jakarta and help preserve the heritage buildings.

“We are not only being commercial as the vendors also help generate traffic to places that were unknown and overlooked,” said Joe, adding that people who came to visit also took photos and posted them to social media, spreading awareness of “new hangout places” and attracting even more visitors.

Previously, Semasa had held pop-up markets at such places as the post office in Jakarta's Kota Tua, a Chinatown building that is now known as the Pantjoran Tea House, the Olveh building and the Jakarta town hall. The latter was a place that almost nobody thought of visiting, as the image was far from being people friendly, but once Semasa held a pop-up market there, it was understood that the building was open to the public.

Joe also said that the businesses that could take part in the market were those that create original handmade products.

Cempaka Asriani, founder of the South Jakarta-based Sare studio that produces pajamas, is joining Semasa for the second time. She told the Post that she wanted to join because she wants her brand to penetrate the market in West and Central Jakarta.

While admitting that her first participation at Semasa was not fully satisfying, Cempaka said she was eager to try again.

“It’s probably because we sold the goods at relatively higher prices, while the market was price sensitive. Selling clothes at Semasa is rather challenging, because it is dominated by those who sell knick-knacks, hence the lower prices,” Cempaka explains.

Sare Studio now applies a different strategy at Semasa. Eighty percent of goods that they will sell are sale items, including sample items. Nearing the end of first day, Cempaka said that the sale went well.

Read also: Expats, locals flock to Jakarta's Christmas markets

Another creative market, called the Holiday Market at the Museum, takes place at Museum MACAN from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. Curated by creative community Kokken+, the event offers creative workshops and a pop-market that features more than 50 vendors.


SABTU DEPAN DI MACAN | In case you missed this, this is final call to join our annual Christmas Wreath Workshop as seats are filling up fast!! 🌿 – Learn the basics of wreath making and the appeal of creating your own wreath to adorn your home for the festive season! ☃️ – Christyna of @mimsybotanical will demonstrate and guide you through the creation of a wonderful wreath using a variety of seasonal greeneries and other natural materials, such as pine cones, cinnamon sticks, berries, etc 🌿 – You will learn foliage names, how to prepare greenery ready to arrange onto your ring, mossing, and floristry tips & tricks of the trade. You will receive step-by-step guidance to create your own hand-crafted wreath for home decorations and to simply leave with inspiration for future projects. Your beautiful Christmas Wreath will then dry naturally for decorative purposes throughout the year 🌿 – Day/Date: Sat/ Nov 30th, 2019 Venue: MACAN Lounge, Level 6 Time: 10.30am-2pm Fee*: IDR 1 Mio Includes: • All materials and tools • Sandwich & Coffee/Tea by @gutenmorgencoffeelab • A special Christmas Gift: a Scented Soy Candle by @duftandchandelle • Your very own Christmas Wreath to take home – Please contact us via WA number in our profile to book your seat(s) or more details! ☝🏻 . . #whenCreativesGather #kokkenid #kokken #JSMDMACAN #christmas.

A post shared by 29 Nov – 1 Dec at MuseumMACAN ( on

Askar Moniaga, co-founder of Kokken+, said that the company is more interested in new small brands in need of exposure and recognition to boost their spirits.

“[We] give them the opportunity to tell their stories through our channels and touch points,” said Askar.

When it comes to selecting brands to collaborate with and to put in Kokken+’s newly opened shop, Gather&_, Askar said that the values they keep in mind are ingenuity, simplicity and community.

In collaboration with Museum Macan, the workshops to be held on Saturday are Christmas-wreath making with florist Mimsy Botanical and event designer/stylist Cosa Projects. Meanwhile on Friday, a calligraphy postcard workshop with Veronica Halim (@truffypi) had taken place.

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