Why POST is the kind of pop-up space Jakarta needs

Zack Petersen
Why POST is the kind of pop-up space Jakarta needs
A weekend pop-up space in a traditional market that offers something different every time it opens is challenging perceptions of public spaces in Jakarta

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Jakarta has been waiting a long time for POST, a unique and nimble concept that may be small in space but creatively comprehensive in use.

The brainchild of 3 fervent friends, POST is pro-joy and anti-snobbery. It’s a weekend pop-up space inside Pasar Santa, a traditional market in South Jakarta, that depends on creative individuals and communities to share the task of ultimately defining what it is.

POST is anything a 4x2 space in a traditional market could be, says its founders. Image courtesy of POST

The founders – Maesy Angelina, Steven Ellis and Teddy W. Kusuma – see POST as an ever-evolving pop-up shop, gallery, and mini-workshop space, with the potential to grow into a hub for larger activities inside the market.

It was just a few weeks ago, says Maesy, that, over caffeinated cups from the ABCD Coffee shop in Pasar Santa, the three of them vented their frustrations about the lack of non-mall public spaces in Jakarta.

They began to ponder how refreshing it would be to see creative things emerge in a traditional market like Pasar Santa.

“We started imagining what kind of other initiatives would be interesting for the market, and we got hooked on the idea of a pop-up space that offers something different every time it opens – a space that could be selling shirts one day and doing a poetry slam the next,” Maesy said.

“The idea of a space that could function as a home for the creative initiatives of various individuals and communities intrigued us so much, we booked our kiosks the following week. Sometimes the best thing to do is to not overthink something and just pursue it right away!”

Disrupting spaces

That is POST’s selling point — it doesn’t feels calculated. In Jakarta’s malls, things are packaged in a predetermined, sometimes discouraging and often unoriginal fashion. Sure it’s shiny, but there’s little real thought or feeling to any of it.

LAUNCH. Enthusiastic crowd during #TravelSale, POST's premiere event on September 1. Photo courtesy of POST

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of POST is its absorbing indiscretion.

“We like the name POST because it can represent many things, just like our space,” Maesy said. “If a mall mostly gives space to big brands, we are ‘post-mall’ since we’re hoping to host local communities, individuals, and entrepreneurs.

“We also want to challenge the tendency of people to think hanging out is best done in a mall, and challenge as well people’s perceptions of a traditional market and what’s possible in one.”

Which makes them ‘post-pasar’ too. Interestingly enough, 3 months ago there were only 3 kiosks operating on the upper floor of Pasar Santa. On Tuesday, September 2, there was a kiosk-waiting list 20 names long.

POST shouldn’t be there, but it is. Which makes it all the more reason to check it out.

This weekend, a bookstore

This weekend, September 6-7, POST is throwing up its rollaway doors for a handful bibliophiles happily shedding a few of their favorite titles for a good cause.

How to connect with POST

One of the those book lovers willing to part way with a few titles is Hanny Kusumawati, one of Indonesia’s most coveted bloggers.

“I heard about POST from Maesy and Teddy (who blog at TheDustysneakers.com),” says Hanny, who also co-founded Coin a Chance! “We knew each other from our blogs and then became friends. I think POST is a great idea, as that floor was empty before, and now it’s starting to fill up with kiosks managed by young people.”

What hooked Hanny was the idea that a place like Pasar Santa – which has a record store, a coffee shop where you pay what you like, and a pop-up space on one floor – could also promote buying local fruits and vegetables from vendors downstairs.

“POST is a great way to utilize a local market and bring the youth to shop or eat there,” she said. “I hope visitors would also consider shopping for groceries there after visiting the ‘hip’ upper floor, and buy meat, veggies and fruits from the sellers on the bottom floor.”

Throughout the month of September, POST is hosting weekend events aimed at attracting crowds from beguiling backgrounds. A book launch, a mini workshop on music journalism, and an art exhibition are all slated for this month, which should give you more than enough reasons to keep coming back. – Rappler.com

Originally from Iowa, Zack Petersen came to Indonesia because he watched too much Animal Planet as a kid. He currently resides in Jakarta, where he divides his time between writing, reading and volunteering. Follow him on Twitter at @HushPetersen




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