relaxing in contemporary javanese design - (go explore), two inspiring and meaningful messages in an

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| YO GYA K A R TA94

S A N T A I

f u r n i t u r e

STORY BY Natasha Gan PHOTO BY Bagus Tri Laksono & santai Doc.

relaxing in C O N T E M P O R A R Y

D E S I G Njavanese

Its easy to come across a group of Javanese gents having a modest meal by a street vendors mobile cart, or lounging around a bale-bale outside, a couple of them playing a game of chess and a few others enjoying a siesta in the sun; the Javanese lifestyle is laidback anwd communal. With the help of highly talented local craftsmen, German-born Dennis Pluemer fuses this rhythm of life with his European roots and it culminates in the form of simple yet suave furniture label he dubbed santai. We nd out through some of santais pieces what its like when contemporary comfort collides with Javanese motifs and shapes.

RELAXING IN

CONTEMPORARY

JAVANESE DESIGN

Singgih S. Kartonos santai relax chair set from teak wood & rattan weaving

FROM TOP

Jengki relax chairTop of Cilik coffee table can be lifted and used as a tray. The base can be used as a stool and/or footrest Sedan relax chair

95YO GYA K A R TA |

TO DENNIS, RELAXING IS ALL ABOUT ATTAINING A STATE OF

EASE, WARMTH AND COMFORT.

Its precisely how he feels when in Yogyakarta, leading

him to name his furniture with the Indonesian word

for relax, santai.

Santai, elevated by German support and anchored

in Javanese tradition, features modernized wooden

beds, chairs, tables and other homely accessories

crafted by a closely-knit group of award-winning

Indonesian artists. One of its most brilliant inventions

is the Angkringan set. Crafted by Singgih S. Kartono,

Angkringan is an adaptation of the makeshift food-

serving mobile cart (gerobak kaki limacart (cart ( ). Just like the

original, the Kring table is practical. The top layer

opens into a rattan-woven compartment below, for

when you clear the table off books and stationeries to

have it available for other purposes think supper

or a meeting. A sleek, Ang bench makes a perfect

companion for the kring table.

RELAXING IN

CONTEMPORARY

JAVANESE

DESIGN

CLOCKWISE FROM

RIGHT

Rattan weaving of seat and backrest of kursi santai relax chairs Prototyping the Sedan relax chair at PIKA carpentry academy in SemarangAmben bamboo daybed by Eko PrawotoThe Amben is inspired by the traditional bamboo platforms that one can still find in the villages today

| YO GYA K A R TA96

The collection is followed by santais eponymous

chair set with slanted backs, soft rattan-woven

seats and hand-carved armrests contoured to

perfection. Quite remarkably the chairs, also by

Singgih, resemble the letter Wa of the old Javanese

alphabet Hanacaraka. Nothing spells the comfort

of nonchalant conversations on the veranda and

unwinding after the daily grind like this set of chairs.

The Hanacaraka, still found on old street signs, is

also found on the quaint little Hono wardrobe hooks.

A brainchild of Bagus Prabowo, the hooks make an

ideal accessory for those looking for something fresh,

functional and creative. One version has Ojo Dumeh

(Dont be arrogant) written on it and another Jalan

Jalan (Go explore), two inspiring and meaningful

messages in an unassuming clothing hook. Bagus is

the same designer who devised the Bale bed and the

p r o d u c t S A N TA I

97YO GYA K A R TA |

Angkringan set by Singgih S. Kartono NEW! Kring table by Singgih S. Kartono The traditional angkringan set = mobile bistro commonly found on the street side in Indonesia Singgih S. Kartono sitting on an old jengki relax chair from the 50s in front of his house in Kandangan, Temanggung

Dennis Pluemer (31) from Bonn, Germany. santais founder and managing directorEko Prawotos new bamboo stool idea to replace all plastic stools. Inspired by traditional basket making using bended/round bamboo on the top

RELAXING IN CONTEMPORARY JAVANESE DESIGN

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE

| YO GYA K A R TA98

The santai team from left: Bagus Prabowo, Ruby Sofyan, Eko Prawoto, Dyah Soemarno, Dennis Pluemer & Singgih S. KartonoPadi sofa table by Bagus Prabowo. Inspired by the optic of rice terraces. Bagus carves along the lines of the wood grain and resembles that optic Bagus Prabowo is carving the top of the Padi sofa tableCarving tools

p r o d u c t S A N TA I

Ojo Dumeh Hono wardrobe by Bagus PrabowoBale bed by Bagus Prabowo inspired by the gates of the Mataram templeThe carved motif on the Bale beds legs is called Pusaka (spoken Pusoko) and is believed to protect from bad spirits

RELAXING IN CONTEMPORARY JAVANESE DESIGN

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE

99YO GYA K A R TA |

dark-coloured, hand-grooved Padi table crafted from

palisander, locally known as sonokeling.

Meanwhile, Eko Prawoto, another designer behind

santai and one who has shared Dennis vision from

the get go, channeled his skills on the Amben daybed.

Offering utter relaxation, amben was inspired by comfy

Javanese daybeds. It has a mattress slightly floating

above the base, perched by elastic bamboo slats. Its

unequivocally minimalistic yet it shares a core identity

with the Javanese bamboo platform with the same

name. Though rarely seen in urban areas anymore,

ambens are still frequently seen in some villages, often

crowned with locals sitting cross-legged, relaxing.

Together, Dennis; the three designers, Eko, Bagus

and Singgih; and assistant designer Ruby Sofyan and

Dyah Soemarno have changed the fact that such

authentic form of comfort is exclusive to rural areas.

Reviving the concept with modernity and a dash of

acculturation, the santai team has brought the relaxed

Javanese lifestyle wrapped in appealing aesthetics,

no less into culturally adept, contemporary-style-

loving homes of today.