Thursday, June 29, 2017

Museum Nasional Indonesia : An Educational Day Out

"Real museums are place where time transformed into space." - Orhan Parmuk

It's summer time and everyone seems to be out-of-town due to Eid (Lebaran) holiday. So I think it was the best time to explore my own hometown: Jakarta. Me and my friend decided to take an educational day out by visiting National Museum Indonesia or popularly known as Museum Gajah (Elephant Building). For a person who always has a "thing" for history like me, I was very excited. We went there using free city tour bus that has been provided by Jakarta's government (big thanks to Pak Ahok, former Jakarta Governor who started this cool idea). Started from Istiqlal Mosque, we rode this double-decker bus. We managed to seat on the top level of the bus. Due to Lebaran holiday, this bus was full-packed with family who brought along their children. So you know, it was kinda noisy with children's nagging, curiosity and most of all : CRYING hahaha. I think the city tour bus is a good thing but it would be better if this bus has a guide that can explain a little about Jakarta's history or at least they can play an audio telling the passengers along the route. Because dude, so many children asking what and why, but their parents cannot give a clear explanation. 

Jakarta City Tour bus
Picture taken from Google

Jakarta during Lebaran week is like a heaven, I must say hahaha. The only time where no traffic exists anywhere. Another thing to be grateful is I get to see a rare view of Jakarta: A CLEAR SKY OF JAKARTA!

Jakarta's skyscrapers and clear sky : MAJOR LOVE!
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Semanggi area
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Selamat Datang statue and Bundaran Hotel Indonesia
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

In total we spent almost 1 hour doing Jakarta sight-seeing tour using this bus. I didn't expect that the enthusiasm of people visiting Jakarta's recreational spots were still high. We planned to explore Jakarta from museum to museum but in the end, we got the chance to visit National Museum ONLY haha. We should come earlier next time then. So here we go, a little review from me about National Museum Indonesia:

Museum Nasional
Picture taken from Google



National Museum Indonesia
National Museum Indonesia is an archaeological, historical, ethnological, and geographical museum located in Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Central Jakarta, right on the west side of Merdeka Square. Popularly known as Elephant Building (Indonesian: Gedung/Museum Gajah), the museum was officially opened in 1868. It was called Gedung/Museum Gajah on account of the bronze elephant statue in the front yard – a gift to Batavia from King Chulalongkorn of Siam in 1871. It was also called Gedung Arca because a great variety of statues from different periods are on display in the house. This time National Museum has about 141.000 objects consisted of prehistoric collection, archeology, numismatic and heraldic, ceramic, ethnography, history and geography. The museum collections is among the richest, the most complete, and the best of its kind in Indonesia and one of the finest in Southeast Asia.

National Museum Indonesia
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

For us, kids who was born in 90's, we must be familiar with this museum. I myself visited it once during my elementary days. I vividly remembered how "dark" and eerie this museum was. So it was kind of nostalgic when I visited it again this time; after almost 15 years. The image is now completely gone. This museum has been revitalized and turned out to be such a cool and modern place to learn more about history of Indonesia. The museum now have two buildings: Gedung Gajah (Building A - Old Building) and Gedung Arca (Building B - New Building). Building A is currently closed temporarily for public and will be opened again by the end of December 2018, if I'm not mistaken. I'm going to explain more about Building B.


Gedung Arca (Building B)
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Building B consists of a basement and seven levels (floors), four of which host permanent exhibitions, while other levels is functioned as the Museum's office. The layout of the four levels is as follows:

Level 1: Man and Environment
Level 2: Knowledge, Technology and Economy
Level 3: Social Organization and Settlement Patterns
Level 4: Treasures and Ceramics

This building also houses two temporary exhibition halls, one in the ground floor and another is in the basement floor. The basement floor also host the ASEAN room that feature photos exhibition and modest artifacts from 10 ASEAN countries. Cafeteria and souvenir stall is located in the ground floor. First impression of this building : it looks modern and comfy. 

When you bought the ticket, you can get a mini booklet contains the information of the museum and detailed description from some of the collection. A little tips from me: avoid bring a backpack, because you got to put it in the counter before you enter the building. Better bring a small bag.

Mini booklet and the ticket
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Okay, so let's get started from Level 1. 
Level 1 shows us archeology collection. It stores some stone age artifacts such as fosilled skull and skeleton of Homo erectus, Homo floresiensis and Homo sapiens.

Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Perning Skull
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

I forgot what collection is this but somehow it gave me a creepy feeling
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

I do wish that this "manusia purba" (primordial man) were alive at night HAHA just like Night at The Museum xD
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Since the building now has escalator and elevator, no need to be tired to stroll around this building. Moving forward to Level 2 we found quite a lot of inscriptions, a few statues and tools for navigation and transportation.

The infamous Ciaruteun Inscription
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

The Ciaruteun Inscription here according to the booklet is the replica. This stone inscription contains an ode to King Purnawarman, comparing his feet to those of the Hindu God, Vishnu. The stone is also carved with the imprint of two feet, a spider image, and illegible 'ikal' or curly characters. The language of the inscription is Sanskrit, written in the Pallawa script. Pallawa was the earliest script found in Indonesia and originates from Southern India. I still remembered those giant footprint on the inscription during my visit as a kid and it left me wondered how big King Purnawarman was haha.

Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Telaga Batu Inscription (correct me if I'm wrong)
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Compass used in a voyage
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Level 3 told us about social organization and settlement patterns. Here you can see some of traditional houses, miniature of boats, kids traditional toys and so on.

Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Inside building B taken from Level 3
Picture taken from Google

Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com


Phinisi Boat Replica
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Bakeak / Bakiak (Sandal)
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Level 4 is where the Treasure Room (collections made from gold and ceramics) located. In this level we cannot take pictures as freely as the other level. There were a lot of security guards who always keep-an-eye to the visitors; ensuring that they didn't take pictures of the collections. Personally, this level is my favorite. There were lots of pretty accessories such as earrings which were made from gold. The ceramics collection were also beautiful. The ceramics origin ranging from China, Japan and Vietnam. There was also one collection that draws my attention : Mangkok Ramayana (Ramayana's Bowl). The entire exterior of this bowl is exquisitely engraved with scenes from the Ramayana epic; ranging from the exile of Rama, Sita and Laksmana, to the abduction of Sita by the ogre Rahwana. The Ramayana Bowl is considered the masterpiece of the Wonoboyo Treasure collection.

Ramayana's Bowl
Picture taken from Google

We spent almost 1.5 hours inside building B. Before we went outside, in the glass-walled bridge that connects the building A and B, I successfully managed to find a great angle worth-Instagram for haha. Like this one:

Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

My friend posing. Cool ryt? ;D
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Finished strolling around building B, now it's time to explore outside the museum. In the forecourt of the museum, we were greeted by a magnificent swirling black giant vortex. This sculpture is called "Ku Yakin Sampai Di Sana" (I Believe I Will Get There). Inside the vortex you could see figures of several people melded into the sculpture. It had an eerie watery feeling especially when you noticed that the sculpted people were being pulled in to the vortex. They didn’t seem perturbed. "Ku Yakin Sampai Di Sana" was designed by I Nyoman Nuarta, a Balinese artist born in Tabanan in 1951. He studied Fine Arts at the Bandung University. Nyoman Nuarta is Indonesia's arts sculpture mestro. His works include phenomenal statues such as Garuda Wisnu Kencana at Bali, Jalesveva Jayamahe Monument at Surabaya, and Jakarta's Proclamation Monument. All these statues have gone beyond iconic; they are not only aesthetic but also historical.


Me posing in front of a magnificent sculpture called "Ku Yakin Sampai Di Sana" by I Nyoman Nuarta
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

"Ku Yakin Sampai Di Sana" sculpture wants to tell us that even though there are many big obstacles in front of us, but if we keep striving with sincere intentions, full of spirit and uphold unity, it will achieve a maximum result. And FYI, "Ku Yakin Sampai Di Sana" is a song created by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Pak SBY - Indonesia's former president). It was performed by 150 Jakarta students at the farewell to SBY and welcome Jokowi - President Joko Widodo at his inauguration.

Overall, this museum is beyond my expectation. It is spacey, modern and quite comfortable. The dim lighting inside Building B made it has more "ethnic" atmosphere, specially in the level 1 - 3. Compared to Monument National (Monas) - which was located nearby, I think this museum is not that popular. Well, maybe the management could promote this museum better. For example by providing more eye-catchy spots specially-designed for taking pictures so people can upload it to Instagram or other social media then another people will see it and also come to the museum. Too bad we cannot take pictures inside the Treasure Room; a room where gold and ceramics collections are stored. We were only allowed to take pictures outside it.

Outside the Treasure Room in Level 4. I personally think that this spot is considered as worth-Instagram. Don't you think so?
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

They can also add a bit touch of technology to be able to compete with another museum in town; like the one Galeri Indonesia Kaya in Grand Indonesia Mall or Bank Indonesia Museum has. I also hope that several collections could have more detailed description. I found A LOT of unique and interesting collections but I got no clue what it is this thing, the purpose, the history behind it. So the collection just feel plain cause I have so many question marks left in my mind after seeing it. Just like this one "elephant-like" inscription:

Anyone could give me a clue what is this inscription? The white little board below only states "don't touch" :(
Credits to : eugeniasepthariani.blogspot.com

Last but not least, I reckon that you guys should try to visit National Museum in your leisure time. It's superrr cheap. The entrance fee is only IDR 5K yet you can learn and get insights about history of Indonesia. Instead of mall-hopping, let's do more museum-hopping and put National Museum on your list. Happy historical traveling!


Museum Nasional Indonesia
Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat No. 12, Gambir,
Jakarta Pusat 10110
Telephone/Fax : +62213447778

Admission Fee:
Personal
Adult : IDR 5.000
Children : IDR 2.000

Group (at least 20 person)
Adult : IDR 3.000
Children : IDR 1.000

Foreigner
Adult and Children : IDR 10.000


TWITTER/ASKFM : @eugeniatheodora | INSTAGRAM : @eugeniasepthariani
E-MAIL : eugeniasepthariani[at]gmail[dot]com

3 comments: