The story of the nation’s heritage is also told through the ephemera and antiques found in flea markets and traditional markets, according to Luthfi Hasan, the ad man who runs Jakarta Vintage, which HAS a selection of local objets d’art that have been given makeovers, such as the “Ling Ling” porcelain plates he’s designed featuring” patterns taken from statue he picked up at a flea market. “My idea of vintage comes from the relevant,” Luthfi says. “It has to be fresh.” Indonesia Design asked Luthfi about some of Java’s most popular flea markets—and for tips on how to find just the right piece. Here’s what we learned.
Photo by Bagus Tri Laksono, Luthfi Hasan
Jakarta’s most famous antique market has an excellent selection of ethnic memorabilia, vintage vinyl, old suitcases and eclectic antiques. However, sellers also have a reputation for setting different prices for different people.
Pro tip: Luthfi says to think positive and you’ll find awesome items. Most sellers are honest. “Some are sellers only, some are quite knowledgeable.
Make a connection, Luthfi adds. “If they see you as an honest, interested person; they will take care of you.”
Taman Topi is more of a traditional market than a flea market, occupying a side street in Bogor. It’s chaotic, with vintage vendors scattered among other merchants, Luthfi says. Those selling vintage or antique products have some amazing finds, even offering china from some of Bogor’s old homes. However, they lack a good network and sell their wares haphazardly on the street.
Pasar Taman Puring
This market in the Kebayoran Baru neighbourhood of South Jakarta offers a well-curated selection of vinyl records and cassettes on its second floor. It’s where you can find Indonesian music that’s long been out of print, whether its songbirds such as Titiek Sandra or rockers like Duo Kribo. Also on offer is some porcelain. Luthfi notes that many vendors have relocated to the basement level of nearby Blok M Square, which is also home to several antique book vendors.
The famed antique market in Surakarta, Central Java, is the best-managed and most-friendly flea market in Indonesia, Luthfi says. It has an unrivalled collection of antiques. As a pro tip, Luthfi suggests befriending the vendors to get a look at the warehouses behind the market that hold larger items, such as furniture, including pieces done in colonial Dutch or traditional Javanese style. “When you show you’re serious, they take you back,” Luthfi says.
He also notes that some pieces at Pasar Triwindu, as well as at Jalan Surabaya, have been imported to Indonesia from India or even The Netherlands. The items are then sold, sometimes to tourists, who pay to ship their finds home.
Luthfi says that Pasar Cikapundung on Jl. Braga is perfectly located in the centre of Bandung. However the curation of the market and friendliness of the sellers can be improved. However, Luthfi describes it as a good place to hunt for more contemporary pieces such as vintage bags and suitcases, as well as for plates and ceramics.