“Indonesian ephemeras deserve to be used as a primary source for further research– which offers unique windows into cultures past.”
Indonesia is lavished with vernacular wealth – reflected in visuals that exist within the daily lives of its people. From the packages purchased in supermarkets, colourful posters and leaflets wheat-pasted on electric poles, to the old shop signs scattered on every street corner. Yet, the opulence of these Indonesian-styled graphics is sometimes overlooked, forgotten, and even underestimated because of the assumptions of them being low-brow or kitschy.
Perhaps the importance of these visuals has to do with the term we use to name them – quoting from Shakespeare: “What’s in a name?”. If, in English, they are known as “ephemera” , there is no equivalent word that I think is appropriate for these goods in Indonesian. The closest term more or less falls to the Javanese word klithikan – which means used goods, which I don’t think does justice because there is a lot more to it than meets the eye!
Maurice Rickards, founder of The Ephemera Society in England, dubbed ephemera as “the minor transient documents of everyday life, such items reflect the moods and mores of past times in a way that more formal records cannot.”  Indeed, they deserve to be used as a primary source for further research, offering unique windows into cultures’ pasts. 
I am beyond elated with the existence of Grafis Nusantara – an initiative from Rakhmat Jaka that started with his hobby of collecting stickers and labels as a college student. This collection is then archived and uploaded via an Instagram account @grafisnusantara. This step is arguably a breath of fresh air in the graphic design world in Indonesia, considering the number of Indonesian graphics online archives that can only be counted on fingers. Furthermore, easy access to social media for the Y generation and beyond in an urban environment opens up new opportunities to collect Indonesian graphic artefacts through social curation.
Grafis Nusantara then evolved into a collective that is active in heuristic activities and in exploring the meaning and context behind these visuals through journal pages on Grafis Nusantara’s website @nnnusantara’s Instagram account. I’m sure this forum can spark curiosity and undoubtedly will become a part of the process that can give birth to creativity and new creations for anyone – who dares to see above and beyond.