Aneh-aneh Art and Uniques: Denpasar

How weird is weird? Well, nobody could answer that for sure including Tjia Jie Hong, the owner of Aneh-aneh Art and Uniques in Denpasar. There is no certain limitation to the meaning of the word aneh (weird). This was why he picked the name Aneh-aneh for his business. Aneh-aneh is a workshop providing various kinds of artworks with extraordinary designs, mostly made from wood and roots. It is located next to the busy Ngurah Rai express highway.

On the day, there were two big roots of litchi leaned against the side of the bridge connecting the workshop to the highway according to Irawaty Wardany.

One of which had an image of Medusa’s face, a monstrous snake-haired female character from Greek mythology, carved on its surface. The other was still in its original condition. Four workers were busy cleaning the root’s surface and preparing it for the carvers who would give the root a new existence. Doni, one of workers, said it would take them two weeks to a month to clean the root before it was ready to be carved.

Entering the workshop we found more artworks made of wood and stone, and some home decors made of glasses.

“Ninety percent of our products are made of woods — teak wood, litchi wood and suar wood (rain tree wood), which are mostly brought from Java,” he said.

However, he said, he did not want to restrict himself to certain mediums.

“Aneh-aneh also means we do not focus our work on a single material,” he said.

He said the ideas for his artworks mostly came from his or his customers’ imagination. He established Aneh-aneh five years ago after retiring from his previous job.

“I was jobless and I had no idea about how to start a business.
“I just called it Aneh-aneh,” he said. “We prioritize design rarities.”
Most of his artworks are sold abroad.

“I have sold my artworks all throughout the world. Eighty percent of them were sold abroad,” he said.

Currently 60 artists work for him in the workshop, he said.
The name Tjia Jie Hong and his Aneh-aneh Arts and Uniques entered the public’s consciousness in 2007 when the Indonesian Record Museum recorded that he had made the largest baby cart.

The cart was displayed at an exhibition conducted during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December last year.