Indonesia’s Resort Lifestyle Muse
BIASA’S Susanna Perini is Indonesia’s very own Italian design muse with much loved boutiques in both Bali and Jakarta, offering men and women an unstructured, yet tailored whispery-fine linen wardrobe that flows as effortlessly as an island breeze. She speaks to ASIA DREAMS about spirituality, her contemporary art gallery lifestyle space in downtown Seminyak, this summer’s fashion must-haves and what continues to inspire her about everyday life.
ASIA DREAMS: You recently completed your third week-long silent meditation retreat in the mountains of Bali. Are spirituality and creativity connected?
Susanna: Yes, for me they are. There are different levels of creative energy, the most exciting and the best results are given with deeper awareness.
ASIA DREAMS: What inspired you to expand from clothing design into opening your own art gallery?
Susanna: Biasa ArtSpace was opened with the intention to expose
Indonesian contemporary art. The inspiration for this comes from a desire to exchange and expand creativity in the territory I live. Working with Indonesian artists has been and still is an important experience of my being in Indonesia.
ASIA DREAMS: What’s happening in the world of Indonesian contemporary art? What names should art collectors look out for?
Susanna: Indonesian contemporary art is going international. We have worked with foreign institutions, including the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote Indonesian contemporary art outside of Indonesia. This year we see an increased number of important institutions presenting Indonesian contemporary art, including Macro (Contemporary Art Museum of Rome), Vuitton foundation in Paris, Art Hong Kong, Singapore Art Museum and Venice Biannale, with its own Indonesian pavilion. Besides the artists that have now become quite famous internationally, such as Agus Suwage, Heri Dono, and Eko Nugroho, we are seeing the rise of international appreciation for Arya Pandjalu, Tita Rubi, Achmad Ginanjar, Angki Purbandono, Mella Jaarsma, and Jompet.
ASIA DREAMS: You have boutiques in Bali and Jakarta – do you design differently for each location/clientele?
Susanna: No. All Biasa stores are consistent with the Biasa concept.
ASIA DREAMS: Tell us about your new shop in Sanur.
Susanna: We just did the soft opening. The interior is a result of a collaboration with my favourite Italian architect, Giovanni d’Ambrosio. It’s located in an old part of Sanur on the touristic strip along the main road and is a truly lovely space.
ASIA DREAMS: What kind of woman wears Biasa?
Susanna: Women and men… independent, unstructured, partly intellectual partly hedonistic, sophisticated, inter-galactic traveller.
ASIA DREAMS: You have one of the most cutting edge advertisement campaigns in Bali. What inspired this vision and how do you choose your muses?
Susanna: I thrive in working with creative people. It is a great booster for my lymphatic system. I give almost total freedom to the artist photographer after we brainstorm and feel. It always becomes a deep friendship as with Matteo Basile. And I like to portray “us”, the people, not the “models”.
ASIA DREAMS: You split your time between three places: Bali, Jakarta and Italy. Please use one word to describe each place.
Susanna: Bali: Construction site, Jakarta: Electromagnetic, Italy: Voluptuous.
ASIA DREAMS: What are some must have pieces this summer season? For women? For men?
Susanna: For this summer, super light Pashmina scarf, it’s great for traveling. This is specially made for Jakarta’s freezing malls. It’s easy to carry and can be rolled in a small bundle in your purse. Our soon coming laced up leather, “fit as a glove” soft sole Jazz shoes. Oversize sunhat for women, and our new egg shaped muslin kaftans.
ASIA DREAMS: What inspires you in your day-to-day life?
Susanna: I am ‘today is better than yesterday and less than tomorrow…with eyes and heart wide open’.