Last weekend, Bali-based concept store Jiā by OCK took over Plataran Canggu in Bali from 1 to 3 July for the debut of its festival, ‘Jia Curated Kiosks’, where a combination of art workshops, curated market, live music and F&B vendors lured visitors to further discover the brand’s defining concept of ‘home’.
In Mandarin, Jiā translates to ‘home’. Built on the premise of sanctuary and comfort, the founders of Ong Cen Kuang, Budiman Ong and Rudi Winata launched the brand in 2020 as a platform for quality and locally-made homewares with a strong identity and traceability process beyond their aesthetic.
“Jiā has always been about community, collaboration and storytelling grounded in exploring ideas surrounding the home. We wanted to translate this to the festival and create a space for guests to feel as comfortable as they would be in their own homes, where music, sharing food, and gathering of friends and family coexist in a very comfortable environment,” Budiman shared on the festival’s first day.
Depending on the day, guests were encouraged to participate in family-friendly activities, from a live-drawing competition of a Balinese dancer mid-pose, practising strokes of Chinese calligraphy, rattan weaving with Vivere, to fabric upcycling with Threadapeutic.
This heightened sense of craftsmanship also rolled into the interactive art workshops, which featured a natural ink-making class with Lagi Lagi, where guests could learn how to extract pigment from local fruits, flowers and everyday materials, along with pottery hand-building and wheel-throwing sessions with Kevala Ceramics to name a few.
Budiman observed how “there is a creative energy that springs up when communities gather. And we hope this market will shape an ecosystem where artists, brands and creatives can connect and spark collaborations. Think of Jiā Curated Kiosks as the starting point, we hope to do many more in the future.”
Jiā’s emphasis on artisanal value and craftsmanship was also expressed through its tenant curation. Focusing on local creatives and independent brands, the main interior showroom slash marketplace featured a mix of homely products and furniture, ranging from social enterprise Du Anyam’s handwoven wicker baskets and upcycled teakwood tablewares by Fredhelligh to natural body-care products from brands like Pourie and Anaïs Amdo.
Elsewhere, amidst the backdrop and shades of towering trees, F&B vendors were busy serving the crowd with nibbles, refreshing beverages and desserts. Guests had plenty to choose from between the wide-ranging tenants, from the crowd-puller booth of Kura Kura Beer and plant-based ayurvedic meals from Vedic Kitchen to handmade cheese and crackers from Rosalie Cheese alongside other picnic-perfect bites.
One thing that stood out from the festival was the mix of characters in the crowd—the young and old, the enthusiasts and curious, the artistic and fun-loving. Across the greeneries, friends, family and strangers shared mats and picnics, chatting away with a cold beer in hand as their furry friends lay next to them in mid-slumber, young children swung from one activity to the next before soon settling for a treat of cotton candy or ice cream.
Once the sun started to set and coat the sky golden, the crowd were on their feet swaying and singing along as live music seeped through the night. Other performances worth noting include the gamelan, a traditional Balinese instrument performance, and wayang, a shadow puppet show courtesy of 11-year-old puppeteer, Cok Damar.
A few hours at the festival felt like being handed a three-dimensional yet concise guide to Bali’s creative figures and happenings. According to Yang Hartono, co-founder of textile collective Rumpun Maison who also helped curate the festival, this was always the intention behind Jia Curated Kiosks. “We hoped this festival would be an entry point for people who might not necessarily be drawn to design or interior but appreciate good food and music. They can leave having had a good time, yet also knowing a little bit more about the artisanal value and stories behind the brands and artists who made them.”