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Jakarta puzzle company promotes mindfulness in quarantine

Gisela Swaragita
Gisela Swaragita

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, December 18, 2020  /  01:40 pm
Jakarta puzzle company promotes mindfulness in quarantine

Monosodium g. puzzle by Cloudy Fields (Courtesy of/Cloudy Fields)

Lockdown boredom strikes people in different ways. Spending most of the time at home in front of screens, be it a handheld gadget, computer or television, might make some people crave simple table games to be played together with the family.

That is what inspired two college buddies, 27-year-old banker Devina Samantha and real-estate specialist Nicholas Johannes, to establish Cloudy Fields, a new company providing 1000-piece puzzles with collectible artworks.

“In March, when I started spending more time at home, I tried various home-based activities. I eventually came around to finishing a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle for the first time. In over two months, I assembled three jigsaw puzzles,” Devina told The Jakarta Post in an interview.

At the time, she felt a level of mindfulness that turned into a feeling of peace after a full day of looking at computer screens for work. However, as she casually browsed for more puzzles to purchase, she found there were not that many Indonesian puzzle brands, while imported jigsaws on e-commerce marketplaces were mostly made for Western consumers, and they did not come cheap, either.

In May, Devina and Nicholas decided to start their own puzzle company that would better fit the needs of Indonesian consumers.

“We want to promote mindfulness in a box. We truly feel that everyone deserves to take a break and just enjoy playing daily. You can piece the puzzle alone if you are in search of a quiet time or you can assemble it with your friends,” Devina said.

“For the artwork, we work together with skilled freelance illustrators that we have gotten to know through an online community. We acquired the rights to use their original artworks,” she added. 

Their first volume, The Nusantara Collection, depicts three artworks that celebrate the rich culture and ecological biodiversity unique to Indonesia: Shadow Puppets, Monosodium g. and Feathers and Floras.

“Our Shadow Puppets puzzle, stylized in pop-art colors, is inspired by the traditional wayang performance, a UNESCO-recognized cultural heritage. For Monosodium g., we wanted to represent one of Indonesia’s favorite comfort foods. One that is understood, accessible and beloved by Indonesians,” Devina said. “Finally, with Feathers and Floras, we wanted to showcase the rich biodiversity that Indonesia has across its islands. We selected five birds that are native to the five main islands of Indonesia: Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua.”

The 1000-piece puzzles can seem intimidating at first for those who are not familiar with the meditative activity of assembling them. However, Devina claims that the number is a sweet spot.

“It ties back with our mission of promoting mindfulness. Someone can as easily complete it in three hours or slowly assemble the pieces over a week,” she said. “When social media trains us to only have a short attention span, it is important that we have another avenue for training our minds to focus longer and sharper. With a 1,000-piece puzzle, we believe that there is enough of a challenge to get us to cultivate the present mindset.”

The puzzles are available for individual purchases on www.cloudyfields.com or Tokopedia. A puzzle set costs Rp 495,000 (US$35.12), while the whole collection is sold in a bundle at Rp 1,385,000.

Devina claims that buyers come from cities all across Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Padang, Lampung and Medan. 

“They were purchased by avid puzzlers who are excited to see a homegrown Indonesian brand. Couples who looked for a date night activity, families who wanted to find an activity to do together and those with a keen eye for designs who saw our puzzle boxes and frame-ready puzzles as home decor pieces,” she said. (wng)

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