Manual Pick: Jigsaw Puzzles

by Erdira Wirengjurit
3rd February 2021
Cloudy Fields and Rekarekat Puzzles stunned us with a new pastime with the comeback of beautifully designed jigsaw puzzles for Manual Pick, a series where we highlight items we love and desire that range from remarkably banal to mucho fancy.

Time in our hands, but nothing is really there besides scrolling our social media feeds or checking out our online shopping carts. But life is keeping up with this current pace with people finding their own bubble of solace; reading, working out, cooking—truly, all is fair in keeping one’s sanity after yet another day of being glued to our screens for work. After all, the challenge of tumultuous times is mental well-being, with off-screen time being the most suggested advice.

Homegrown Cloudy Fields and Rekarekat Puzzles have snatched attention by delving back into a low-stress game seemingly long forgotten: classic jigsaw puzzles. They’re making a comeback for the seeker of quiet downtime infused with a little challenge. The puzzle of interlocking tiles with specific soulmates to match is nothing unheard of. Revamped excitement, however, comes from appreciating it for what the process enacts.

The ultimate goal of jigsaw puzzles is to assemble the tiles to reveal the big picture. In the process of matching each piece to its soulmate, it reveals the virtue of patience—patience for meticulous searching and patience towards your friend (or pet) who keeps knocking pieces off the table. On the other hand, it opens up the pleasure of taking one’s sweet time to wind down while being mindfully engaged and entertained. In other words, make your time and emotional investment as part of the art.

Both Cloudy Fields and Rekarekat tribute their first volumes to local culture. The latter engaged four local illustrators and artists to each mosaic a 500-piece puzzle. The batch includes From Jakarta by Phantasien, depicting an all-around Jakartan scene backdropped against the Jakarta History Museum. By far, the ones from Rekarekat are better options for dabbling beginners.

Cloudy Fields sought to challenge, and challenge they did. Volume I features three 1000-piece puzzles, one seemingly as difficult and beautifully designed as the others. So, don’t bet on finding the “easy one”. Shadow Puppets is abstract-leaning and a colourful illustration play on Indonesian wayang that one might just want to frame it up onto a wall upon completion.

Despite the initial tile madness, strategise your methods of reassembly: sectioning off by pattern, colours and shapes: look close enough for the cues and there’s indeed order to the madness. Each placement of a tile is deliberate, and when it fits it’s sure to be satisfying. Wash, rinse and repeat until completion—preferably over a few drinks and with a small company to share the fun of your newfound hobby.


Shadow Puppets (50cm x 70cm) from Cloudy Fields — IDR 495,000 — Tokopedia

From Jakarta by Phantasien (42cm x 57cm) from Rekarekat Puzzles — IDR 459,000 — Tokopedia