What has been your greatest experiment as publishers?
It was when we started the MADE IN project. We were committed to featuring only one city per issue. This means we have to travel and spend few months in the respective city. For the second issue slated for release this June, we will feature Bali. We spent a month and a half in Bali, meeting craftsmen and local artisans.
Also, we treat MADE IN as a brand instead of merely a publication – that is why we created the MADE IN Pop-up Shop where we partner with design and concept stores in different cities to exhibit and sell products from makers and artisans featured in the publication. We also have the MADE IN Experience – an experiential tour where we bring people to different cities and travel in a different way; we take them to local artisans' workshops and provide the experience of doing what the artisans do, visit art galleries or cities' hidden gems, and so on.
Why was it important to create MADE IN?
The idea started from our travels to different cities in Indonesia and Asia. We saw that the creative scene – powered by the current generation – had been thriving. There are now lots of homegrown brands and microbusinesses. The market also has changed. In Indonesia (or Jakarta), people are more receptive towards local products than ever.
That being said, these local brands need more exposure from the media and currently there isn't a mainstream platform dedicated to spreading their voice.
This is why we created MADE IN as a platform to promote local craftsmen, artisans, and microbusinesses.
What is the power of the creative culture to you?
In Indonesia, the creative industry is growing. We even have a government body that governs the creative industry, BEKRAF. Statistically, the creative industry has contributed 7% of Indonesia's GDP while it was still in its infancy phase. We believe that it could contribute a larger amount to our GDP in 5-10 years from now.
This is also why we need to take our creative works seriously.
You will be returning to Singapore Art Book Fair 2017. What's something new we can look out for when visiting Studio Geometry?
We will be bringing in local products from makers and artisans featured in MADE IN – botanical candles, organic cosmetics, bean-to-bar chocolates, artisanal tea blends, etc.
Like last year, we will set up our Geospace initiative where we exhibit and sell art works from young and talented Indonesian visual artists and designers. For this year, our focus is on the printed matter – art books, photo books, and zines.
Some interesting books that you should look out for are Your Nightmare by collage artist Resatio, an exquisite corpse collage book in which you can create your own characters by flipping through the 3-part pages; Stories for Rainy Days Volume 2 by Naela Ali, a short story anthology by young watercolour artist (her first book was a hit at our booth last year!), Teman Sepuluh Tahun (Ten Years Friends) by Dalam Jenggala x S.W.U.N – it's an audiobook telling stories of friends who meet every ten years - the book is in Bahasa Indonesia, even if you don't understand the language, you can still enjoy the music and illustrations in the book.