Hong Kong View in my Window

Hong Kong View in my Window
Hong Kong View in my Window

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Indonesia and Art Basel Hong Kong

There's nothing more exciting than to see the art works of Indonesian artists at the recent Art Basel.

Entering the 3/F Exhibition Hall and voila, we could see the colorful works of Eko Nugroho. It is so eye catching and couldn't be missed! Every visitors want to take pics there!

Eko Nugroho, he also designed scarf for Louis Vuitton
Eko Nugroho, an artist from Yogyakarta, Indonesia
His works are full of political messages. One of them is saying 'permen dan politik sama2 mengandung pemanis buatan' which literally means 'sweets and politics are both containing the artificial sweeteners'.

Eko Nugroho went to Indonesian Art institute, Yogyakarta

Eko Nugroho's studio is in Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Selfie @ Eko Nugroho's booth, Art Basel, HK
Check Eko Nugroho's website for more information: Eko Nugroho
Other Indonesian artist at the Art Basel is Agus Suwage, an important contemporary artist who was born 1959 in Purworejo, Java, Indonesia.

By Agus Suwage
His masterpiece above has been stickered on Sunday, (day 2 of the exhibition), which means: it's sold! Find him on Facebook Agus Suwage.

By Eddie Hara, it's about Hong Kong
That is Eddie Hara's art work. Indonesian artist who is currently living in Switzerland.

Sukses terus ya seniman2 Indonesia! Damn, I Love Indonesia!

Art Basel, Hong Kong

This art exhibition has just finished a couple of days ago. This isn't just an art exhibition, but it is "The" Art Exhibition that everyone must go. I read somewhere that Art Basel attracts attention of many famous celebrities.

It was started in Basel and later in Miami and Hong Kong. The similarity of those cities? One person told me that's where many 'the have' people live, or perhaps some of them pretend to be 'the have'...

We don't have to be collector to visit this exhibition, anyone who is somehow into the art can go as long as they have ticket. If we buy it ahead of enough time, the online ticketing agent had special price of paying one ticket to get two.

Hong Kong is always crowded on Sunday..., with or without Art Basel. Going there on Sunday was a bit of a challenge. As an anticipation to the crowd, I bought and collected the tickets a few days before the day. Being there when the exhibition just opened at 12 noon was a good idea, as it's got busier later in the afternoon.

Walking around the exhibition hall was another challenge... once in a few steps I had to stop as the person in front of me stopped to take pic of the paintings, or the sculptures, or even to do selfie! Well I don't deny that I also stopped, but I did it carefully without bothering the others (I hope)...

Once entering the Hall in the ground floor, be careful to enter the regular entrance instead of VIP entrance -:), a couple of bartender pushing fancy trolley offering Champagne to the guests (with an exchange of HK$ for sure), and don't worry of getting thirsty or hungry as there are two coffee corners at the back of the Hall...


It is almost everyone visiting this Art exhibition bring either camera (regular camera, sophisticated ones), tablets or smartphones... click... sorry..., click smartphone here, click DSLR camera there, click...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

New Indonesian restaurant in Hong Kong, Causeway Bay "Kampoeng"

Fried pigeon with steamed rice
I have not written for awhile, there is no excuse. What have I been doing then? Socializing I should say, meeting up with friends, eating here and there. The good thing is that I find more interesting places around Hong Kong.

Wiskul or Wisata Kuliner or Culinary Trip in English. That's what I always do with the ladies. We go to one place and another. Our favorite is to find new Indonesian restaurant or warung (warung means small restaurant). Some of my friends, even though they have been living overseas for years, still is still craving for Indonesian food.

Voila, there is a new restaurant in Sugar Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

Kampoeng is actually the old Indonesian written word for Kampung, which means small village. This place was just opened around Christmas last year (2014).

Sugar Street is really the center of Indonesian culinary in Causeway Bay. That's where the Indonesian Consulate is situated. Victoria Park is where the Indonesian Migrant Workers enjoying their day off on Sunday. Please try to avoid the crowd there, it's just too hectic.

The owner of Kampoeng also owns some Indonesian supermarkets and other warung serving Indonesian food. However this restaurant is better quality, in terms of better food and place. It is more spacey, nicer decoration, better quality of food and of course it is slightly more expensive comparing to other Indonesian small restaurants in the neighborhood - but it is worth the money.

Some yummy food that my friends and I had are the following.

Grilled fried fish with steamed rice

Chicken satay with lontong (rice)

Beef oxtail soup with rice
"Ayam Penyet" (fried chicken) with steamed rice & spice sambal (chili)

Dessert: Es Campur Kampoeng
Selamat makan! Bon appetit!

ps.: Try to come during working days (avoid weekend as Sugar Street is very crowded).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Travel Notes - Xi'an Great Mosque

The English version of this article has been published in Woman Business Life website as follows:

Travel Notes Xian Great Mosque, The Oldest, Largest and Best Preserved Islamic Mosque in China

Those you wish to read the Bahasa Indonesia version, just scroll down...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Great Mosque of Xi'an (Mesjid Raya Xi'an)

(This posting is intentionally written in Bahasa Indonesia)

Prayer Hall, the Great Mosque of Xi'an, China

Total sekitar 8 juta penduduk Xi'an diantaranya terdapat sekitar 30,000 umat Muslim. Mereka tinggal di pusat kota tua Xi'an dimana terdapat perkampungan umat Muslim dan sebuah Mesjid Raya atau yg disebut the Great Mosque of Xi’an.

Ticket Office

Mereka sudah tinggal di area ini dari generasi ke generasi. Menurut pemandu wisata gue, Jane, pemerintah kota Xi'an memberikan kemudahan bagi mereka seperti memperbolehkan mereka tinggal di dalam area kota tua yg makin lama makin padat penduduknya dan harga sewa tempat tinggal dan toko makin mahal. 

Gerbang paling depan di Mesjid Raya, Xi'an. Nice, huh?

Pajak yg dikenakan ke mereka juga lebih kecil. Sementara penduduk kota Xi'an lainnya yg non-Muslim disarankan tinggal dan buka toko diluar kota tua.
Mesjid Raya Xi'an

Satu contoh fasilitas lainnya... 

Sebagaimana kita tahu, pemerintah China mempunyai kebijakan ketat mengenai jumlah anak bagi warganya. Pasangan di China hanya boleh punya satu anak saja. Sadar dong, kalau negara ini mempunyai penduduk terpadat di dunia. Minoritas Muslim di Xi’an diperbolehkan mempunyai dua anak sementara penduduk kota warga non-Muslim hanya boleh punya satu anak!

Wajib didatengin kalau main ke daerah ini pastinya the Great Mosque. Sekilas bentuknya seperti temple (kuil) tapi bangunan ini asli mesjid. Masih aktif dipakai mesjid ini, kalau hari Jumat siang banyak cowok2 shalat Jumat.

Prayer Hall, Mesjid Raya, Xi'an

Ada teman SMA di Jakarta yg datang ke Mesjid Raya ini cerita ke gue. Dia sama suaminya jalan2 ke mesjid ini, suaminya mau masuk ke ruang shalat (prayer hall) dan dilarang sama pak hajinya. Setelah dia bilang orang Muslim, dia diminta ngucapin Syahadat sebagai test dan akhirnya boleh masuk!

Hampir semua pemimpin dunia yg mampir ke kawasan kota tua mampir ke mesjid ini termasuk mantan presiden Ibu Megawati Sukarno Putri.

Mantan presiden RI, Ibu Megawati Sukarno Putri pernah berkunjung ke Mesjid Raya, Xi'an

Yg namanya datang ke tempat suci, mau itu mesjid, gereja, kuil, pagoda atau apapun itu, pastinya suasana sekitarnya damai... asli itu yg gue rasain waktu main ke Mesjid Raya ini. Halaman Mesjid yg luas berasa peaceful.

Salah satu halaman Mesjid Raya, Xi'an

Kawasan Muslim di kota tua Xi'an terkenal dengan wisata kulinernya. 

Toko Souvenir di dalam area Mesjid Raya, Xi'an
Sebagian souvenir yg dijual di Pasar Traditional sekitar Mesjid Raya Xi'an

Tips yg dikasih sama Jane, pemandu wisata gue, begitu sampai area Muslim ini, kita jalan muter di pasar traditional setempat dan lihat2 souvenir, akhirnya kita sampai ke Mesjid Raya dan lihat2lah disana… setelah puas, kita keluar dan lewat di jalanan yg penuh dengan makanan. 

Jalanan ini ngak terlalu lebar/panjang, cukup puas untuk lihat2 makanan apa aja yg dijual disana.  Banyak penjajah makanan di pinggir jalan, sebagian mereka warga Muslim jadi banyak juga tampang perempuan oriental yg pakai jilbab atau pak haji tapi kulitnya putih dan mata sipit.

Memang jalan2 baru lengkap dengan wiskul!
Btw, sehubungan dengan bulan puasa, kira2 seperti apa suasana disana ya... sayang ngak bisa menyaksikan langsung.

Next story: More on Xi’an!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Xi'an, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

Day 2 in Xi’an, I walked along Yanta South Road. After passing a few blocks and shopping malls, I began to see the tall pagoda from afar. It appeared to be surrounded by mist or was it vehicle fumes?
Statue of Xuanzang and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
My tour guide told me the story why the pagoda is called the Wild Goose Pagoda. It was built during the Tang Dynasty in 652, its structure was rebuilt in 740 and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming Dynasty.

Anyway, this pagoda was designed by Buddhist monk called Xuanzang, on the request of the Emperor who ruled China at that time. When the Emperor asked his suggestion on how to name this pagoda, he came up with Wild Goose Pagoda.
My signature jumping pic!
Xuanzang used to travel between China and India. When he was in India, he had strange experience with the wild geese. There was a group of wild geese flying in the sky and dropped him food when he was hungry. This experience remained deeply in his heart.

Now, Xuanzang’s statue that was built at the big public square at the entrance of the pagoda attracts visitors’ attention.
There are two things that we can do when visiting this pagoda, actually three things.

First, enjoying the public square outside the pagoda where Xuanyang’s statue is. Take nice pics with background of his statue and the giant tall pagoda at the back. So your selfie pic includes two wonderful things at once!
A man flying his kite at the public square outside the pagoda
Second, buy an entrance fee of 50 RMB and see the pagoda closely. Walk around the big pagoda complex with nice gardens.  

Room with many monks and visitors praying

Entering the temple, there are two buildings-Bell Tower in the east and Drum Tower in the west. Inside the Bell Tower, there is a heavy iron bell of 15 tons.  

Wall of ceramics with history of Buddha
Walk further to see other building in the complex, there is praying hall and we still can see monks doing the activities. Pray, there are many visitors coming here to pray...
Inside the praying room

Third, buy another entrance fee to enter the pagoda and climb up to the seventh floor. The 360 degree view of Xi’an from the top of the pagoda is amusing.

Stairs to go up/down inside the pagoda

Last but not least, the largest musical fountain in Asia can be found the pagoda. Size of the public square is around 15,000 sqm. The musical fountain entertains people at least twice a day, at 12 noon and 9 pm, and more schedule on weekend and holidays. Come in the evening, the music and lights combine with the fountain performance make it more attractive than the daytime. 
Musical fountain area (day view)

Enjoy the nice weather of Xi’an. Summer in June is hot during the day (30 degree Celsius) however with the breeze in the evening, the weather is just perfect.

 …. What’s the next story? Another holy place in Xi’an…