Wednesday, July 25, 2018


I am humble and honoured to receive an assignment as a co-project leader for the Capacity Building for Museum Professionals in Indonesia 2018-2020.

This three years training program aims to equip museum professionals with necessary knowledge and experience to improve their performance. If they improve, hopefully their museums follow. Nevertheless, my team and I realize that we do not offer an abakadabra recipe to transform dusty, dark and empty museums into fresh, light and well visited museums. These series of trainings are simply openings about what possible and what can be done. The rest are commitment and hard work. 

There are many committed and high quality staff of museums in Indonesia. The truth is, especially for public museums, they work in a system that is not always in line with their ideals, too rigid with rules and regulations, as if they are jailed in bureaucracy and hirarchy. I have seen myself how a government officer needs to ask his or her supervisor for every single idea, no matter how simple it is. If this is the way they work, no wonder museums become so dusty, dark and empty. No spirits, no passions, no life of the staff. 

The first training was held in Yogyakarta, 16-19 July 2018. It was attended by 30 museum's directors and 30 museum's staff from all over Indonesia. 

The coming trainings will be held end of 2018, 2019 and 2020 in various cities. Surely they offer opportunities but also challenges for all parties to focus on the aim: to have fresh, light and well visited museums in Indonesia. 


I visited the former sugar factory Gembongan, in Kartasura, Central Java, Indonesia, built in 1892.

The only thing from the past that is left is its facade. A very distinguished and grand facade. That is sufficient to be sold to public as an attractive place for making selfies, supported with an extra room of 3D to make more selfies with European settings.

This new entertainment place called The Heritage Palace.

The location of this former sugar factory is not far from the other revitalized former sugar factory Colomadu. So this is a proof of domino effect. Only the effort seems too superficial. We might not judge it too soon. It is still soft opening and preparation of other attractions are on the ways.

The whole things (name, graphics, selfie craziness) puzzled me but who we are to say something about taste of others?

Sunday, July 01, 2018


On Sunday 1 July 2018, the Suriname people in the Netherlands commemorate the abolition of slavery in 1873. Politically, there is still tension since Suriname requests an apology from the Netherlands government. Individually, the commemoration is living peacefully together, hands in hands, having fun, dancing and eating. 

It is also a feast for eyes looking at all colors and styles.