Wednesday, October 25, 2017



350 years ago, two feuding European countries decided to end their quarrels by exchanging some of their assets to each other. One wanted to monopolize the spice trade, the other saw potentials on the asset offered to them. Those two "assets" underwent totally different stories as one became one of the most famous cities of the world while the other virtually became unknown. Manhattan island was named Nieuw Amsterdam when it was a part of the Dutch colony while Rhun island was one of the most productive islands that produce the tasty, aromatic, multi functioned spice named Nutmeg. That time, Nutmeg,  priced more than gold, grew exclusively on Molucca archipelago in East Indies (before it becomes Indonesia in the 1900s) in which Rhun island was the only island that the Dutch couldn't monopolize because the British were there to defend it. Enter the Treaty of Breda, 1667.

In commemorating the swapping of the 2 islands through the treaty, Urban Sketchers Indonesia and NYC Urban Sketchers decided to have a one of a kind sketchcrawl event. The sketchcrawl included 3 different main locations: Jakarta, Maluku (Molucca) and New York. Sketchers in Jakarta decided to sketch historical items that relate to the history at the National Museum, Jakarta. Sketchers in Maluku sketched in Ambon City (capital of Maluku province), Banda Neira (the main island in the Banda Sea) and at the Rhun Island. The New York City Urban Sketchers chose to celebrate the occasion on the Dyckman Farm House, on of the oldest Dutch remains in New York. On the decided day of 21st of October, 2017, the sketchcrawl commenced with approximately 70 sketchers from the 4 locations participated. They uploaded their works on all social media under one main hashtag: #TreatyOfBredaSketchcrawl. (Facebook Page: Treaty of Breda Sketchcrawl, Instagram: #TreatyOfBredaSketchcrawl)

On the finale of the event, USk Indonesia (combination of Indonesia's Sketchers and Maluku Sketchwalk) swaps the sketches with NYC Urban Sketchers made during the sketchcrawls through mail. They hope that the sketches will be the testament of the re-connecting the history of the two islands and the new relationship built through sketches.

USK Indonesia: Jakarta team at the National Museum

Maluku Sketchwalk in Ambon City, Maluku

Maluku Sketchwalk in Amsterdam Fort, Ambon City, Maluku

Maluku Sketchwalk in Banda Neira, Banda Island, Maluku
Maluku Sketchwalk in Rhun Island, Maluku (Photo Credit: Embong Salampessy from Antara Photo)
NYC Urban Sketchers at the Dyckman Farm House, New York
Ms. Susi Pudjiastuti with the sketchers at Rhun Island (Photo Credit: Antara Photo)

We thanked Mark Leibowitz, Leslie Sim G and team from NYC Urban Sketchers, Jerry Pattinama, Resa Tuasikal, Embong Salampessy and team from Maluku Sketchwalk, Yanuar Ikhsan, Anto Motulz, Tio, Yoso Bayudono and team from Urban Sketchers Indonesia for making this event possible. Last but not least, we also thanked Indonesia Minister of Maritime Affair and Fishery, Ms. Susi Pudjiastuti and US Ambassador for Indonesia, Joseph Donovan Jr. for showing their support by attending the sketchcrawl event in Rhun Island.

For more information on the Treaty of Breda check this link below:

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