Bone China and a Bond of Steel
The relationships between mothers and daughters around the world experience highs and lows. While the strength of the bond varies and can be marred with problems and misunderstandings, the unconditional love between mothers and daughters withstands the tests of time.
“A daughter is a mother’s gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters’ role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships,” American psychologist and author Victoria Secunda once said.
Yulie Setyohadi and her eldest daughter, Adindara Jelita Setyohadi, known as Dara, captured the beauty of mother-daughter love in their latest porcelain dinnerware collection “Jasmine.”
The dinnerware was launched recently at the Ciputra Art Museum in South Jakarta.
“We selected the iconic, simple white Indonesian flower melati [jasmine] for our latest collection,’’ Yulie said. “Its white color portrays the pure love between mother and daughter.”
The 45-year-old is an art lover and renowned watercolor artist. Yulie is also an active member of the Indonesian Watercolor Society and the Asean Watercolor Confederation. She participates in painting exhibitions in the country and abroad.
“I’ve always loved drawing sketches,” she said. “It’s been my favorite pastime since I was a kid.”
Yulie’s artistic talents stemmed from her early childhood in Bandung. After high school, Yulie attended Stamford College in Singapore, focusing on English and computer studies. She got married after graduating, and added two daughters and one son to her family. Her life was suddenly too busy for art.
When her children grew up, Yulie took up her old hobby of drawing. A private tutor introduced Yulie to watercolor painting. With some practice, Yulie soon excelled at the intricate techniques of aquarelle painting.
Her exotic realist creations have become collector’s items among celebrities, socialites and dignitaries in Indonesia and abroad.
Beyond her passion for art, she also holds a deep love for children — an affection that inspired her to establish Yudacitra, a painting school for kids up to 13 years of age in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta, in 1998.
“I want to help children to recognize and hone their talents when they are still young,” she said.
Within four years, the school expanded and opened a branch in Kemang. The schools are still thriving today.
But Yulie is more than a mother, artist and teacher: she’s also an entrepreneur. In 2008, she established Yulindra Fine Art Gallery in Cilandak, South Jakarta, as the headquarters for her flourishing art-dealing business.
Like her mother, Dara also loves painting. In fact, she was one of the first students of the Yudacitra painting school for children. Since 2000, she has participated in a number of prestigious painting exhibitions in Jakarta.
But as Dara got older, her artistic talents veered toward the art of buildings and spaces.
Dara studied architecture and interior design at LaSalle College of Arts in Singapore in 2006. After graduating in 2010, she became the head of the Gajah Gallery in Singapore for a year, before returning to LaSalle in pursuit of a master’s degree, which she earned in 2012.
During Dara’s first stint at LaSalle, Yulie expressed her wish to start a new joint venture with her in 2010.
“I love my kids,” she said. “And I always want to involve them in everything that I do. So, I thought why don’t I collaborate with my eldest daughter? After all, we both have similar passions.”
“Mama is a very powerful mom for the three of us,” said Dara, 24. “She also is a very creative artist that doesn’t hesitate to put her ideas into practice. I’m honored to follow in her footsteps.”
After months of discussion, the mother-daughter duo decided to combine their talents to create the porcelain dinnerware labeled “Y & D Stylish Dinnerware.”
“It’s also part of the home interior,” Yulie said. “And the prices would be affordable for most people.”
Their first line, “Blooming Blossoms,” was launched in Jakarta in November 2010. The contemporary design of the collection was inspired by Japanese cherry blossoms.
The porcelain sets portrayed blooming pink flowers in the middle of a green garden. The design signified the optimism and enthusiasm they shared for the beginning.
The pair exchanged ideas through e-mail and talked on Skype. With final approval from Yulie, the design was sent to a factory in Tangerang that produced the limited-edition finished product.
“The collection was a success,” said Yulie. “It became a collector’s item among celebrities, socialites and wives of ambassadors.”
Their next collections, “A Bunch of Tulips” and “Tulip Garden,” were released in December 2011.
“Tulips are amazing,” Yulie said. “They’re gentle and feminine like a woman.”
These collections take on a more romantic look with the crimson and fuchsia flowers depicted against a mosaic of stained glass windows.
In commemoration of Kartini Day on April 21 last year, the Indonesia Museum of Records (MURI) awarded them the record “The First Mother & Daughter Collaboration on Porcelain.”
“We’re very proud of the record,” said Dara. “We hope what we’re doing will inspire other Indonesian women to be creative and confident in presenting their creations to the public.”
“A relationship between mothers and daughters is not only about sharing and discussing things, but we can also create something together,” Yulie said. “The creative process will draw us [mother and daughter] together.”
After two successful series, the mother and daughter felt confident in releasing “Jasmine.”
The collection is made of fine bone-china porcelain. Bone china is a type of soft-paste porcelain that is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material (tectosilicate minerals) and kaolin.
“It’s translucent, but not fragile,” said Yulie. “When you flick at it, you’ll hear a clear ‘ting’ as if it were crystal.”
Due to its fine materials and difficult production, bone-china is considered the most precious among porcelain products.
The “Jasmine” collection comes in black and white, which heighten the bone-china’s translucence.
“It’s very classic and elegant,” said Sonia Wibisono, a doctor who attended the launch party. “The basic colors make the collection suitable for any home interior.”
The collection, priced at Rp 1.5 million ($156), is available at Yulie’s gallery in Cilandak.
“Now we don’t have to go and buy it in France or Italy,” said motivational speaker Maha Daoudi, who also attended the launch party. “We can get it [bone-china dinnerware] here in Jakarta.”
Maha, who already has a couple of Y&D Stylish Dinnerware collections, admired the beauty of the new collection.
“The design is very feminine, it reflects the ladies who made it,” said Maha. “It’s feminine and beautiful, but at the same time it’s not too sweet, so the guys can also use it.”
Inggris Kansil, the wife of Syarief Hasan, minister of cooperatives and small and medium enterprises, lauded the creativity of the mother and daughter.
“Yulie and Dara have combined their hobbies, talents and creative potentials in the dinnerware,” Inggrid said.
Bumimas Apartment Tower North 1 H,Jl. Terogong Raya No. 18,Cilandak, South JakartaTel. 021 7590 5911 yulindragallery.com