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Wednesday, 31 March 2021 14:26

Monod Diephuis

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The area of Old Town in Semarang, Central Java, with 45 hectares wide, is an area where we can still feel the nuance of the Netherlands. The Old Town, which was founded in the Dutch colonial era around 1677, has 150 buildings which are silent witnesses to the triumph of large companies at that time. Jalan Kepodang or formerly known as Hogendorp Straat is the main road on which stands various banks and large corporate offices. One of them is NV Handel Mij Kian Gwan which was founded in Semarang by Oei Tjie Sien on March 1, 1863. The name Kian Gwan means the Source of all welfare. The hope is that their company will be large and prosperous. This trading company is engaged in the export and import of sugar, cotton, chocolate, coffee and pepper. After Oei Tjie Sien died, the company was inherited to his son, Oei Tiong Ham. This company has head-office called the Monod Diephuis building which is still standing up to date.

The building, which was built in 1921, was owned by the richest Sugar King in Southeast Asia, Oei Tiong Ham. After decades of being a seemingly meaningless building frame, this building was finally revitalized by its new owner, Agus S Winarto. Initially, it was difficult to find parts of the building that looked like the original ones, but now the result is that the two-floor building has been standing again. The building which consists of two floors is very thick with the art deco style, which is characterized by firm and straight architectural lines and magnificent decorations. In 2018, this building officially became a cultural heritage and can be used for various artistic activities. A set of Gamelan instruments is also placed in one of the rooms in the building, which is used every week for practicing the Semarang musical community.

In front of this building, the Gema Kroncong music performance is held for three hours once a performance every Monday, Thursday and Saturday night. Before the building was completed in restoration, in May 2017, the Monod Huis courtyard was used as a jazz concert venue to commemorate International Jazz Day. The visitors were spoiled by jazz music from three Semarang jazz bands, namely Delight, DD Kids, and Kitty Fatty. Local designer fashion shows are also often held on this building's yard. Some time ago, Nyala Rupa painting studio held an exhibition of paintings from painters all over Indonesia at the Huis Monod. The trading building that turned into a place for artists to showcase their work is one of the efforts of Semarang people to preserve the historical relics that are scattered in the Old City.

Read 734 times Last modified on Saturday, 03 April 2021 08:24