In 2013, an old brand, Radio Cawang was redesigned into an innovative fine art piece. Photos by Raditya Fadilla, Kriya Nusantara/NOWJAKARTA

An old radio brand combines craftsmanship and technology to create vibrant abstract pieces for your home décor.

At a time of around-the-clock digital connection, the radio continues to be a reliable source for many things and stands out above the digital noise. Whether hearing familiar songs or jamming out to today’s latest hits, getting critical information during a disaster, the latest breaking news or learning about important events in the community, we trust our favourite radio stations to get the information we need.

Radio speaks intimately and privately to millions. Even without visuals, the radio is capable invoking a million images in a person’s mind. Beyond that, those who were born before the millennial generation with growing up teenagers find nostalgia in radio, remembering the interactive sessions and programs, even the name of announcers and counted on their voices to fill their daily life.

In 2013, an old brand, Radio Cawang was redesigned into an innovative fine art piece. Kriya Nusantara, a leading company producing crafts, interior, exterior, furniture and accessories as well as creative industry products won the trust of one of the radio brand owners, Rahmat Gobel (President Director of PT Panasonic Gobel) to uplift the radio with a new style inspired by Indonesian patterns, but still in memorable vintage.

Cawang Radio transistor is a piece of Indonesia’s history that is now almost forgotten. It was a pioneer of transistor radio products in the 1960s. The brand was started from the spirit of nationalism of the late Thayeb Mohammad Gobel, one of the few national-scale elite entrepreneurs and widely known as the Father of the Electronic Industry in Indonesia.

Before Indonesia’s independence, radio was a luxury item, much like refrigerators. After Indonesia’s independence, President Soekarno wanted the two to be enjoyed by more people. Soekarno’s desire kept ringing in young Thayeb’s mind. Incidentally, Thayeb worked for NV Behring on Jalan Pinangsia 75, Jakarta, a company who had a radio assembly with spare parts from Austria. He started his business with the name Radio Tjawang, carrying Soekarno’s message who wanted a new communication tool to create national integration at the beginning of Indonesia’s independence.

In the hand of Kriya Nusantara, established by Abdul Sobur in 1995, Radio Cawang returns with new ideas and invites people to reminisce with the radio in new retro style. For Kriya Nusantara, it is the company’s commitment to continue the heritage of ancestral culture on craft products to inspire communities around the world.

Since it was launched seven years ago, Cawang Art Radio has become an icon that represents Indonesian cultural heritage in the creative industry that combines innovative local products and Japanese technology (Panasonic). Kriya Nusantara has released more than 20 types of radio based on customers’ tastes which not only present clear sound but also wonderful craft.

Using metal, stainless, brass and MDS (Medium Density Fiberbroad) as most materials made in its workshop in Bandung, Cawang Art Radio is available in analog (price from IDR 2,750,000 to IDR 3,000,000) and digital (priced at IDR 6,000,000). All types equipped by 4 band FM/AM/SW1/SW2 Premiradio, Audio Out, Jack DC in 6 Volt and 1,5 Volt x 4 Battery Type A.

On Black and Gold series (analog), ornament detail is on brass aesthetic with a combination of etching technique, manually painted and finished with dark coloured wood. From this series, we can find Parang batik motif and Middle East typical patterns with series name Moroccan and Mecca Harmony. This elegant radio incorporates the ornamentation streamed of Arabesque, a pattern that consists of rhythmic lines and interlacing foliage. The design of the pattern is inspired by historical design.

Veneer Series features wood elements beside stainless steel and brass aesthetic and etching technique, also manually painted and with wood veneer presenting Classical Ovoid, an oval-shaped radio with feminine flowery paints. This series brings an oasis of serenity to your room and reminisce wonderful memories of the past that would be a lovely accompaniment to your tea break.

In this series, Cawang Art Radio uses rattan taken from the rattan producing region of Cirebon. Zica Rattan is a rectangular-shaped radio that appears very simple but with rattan attached to the front surface sweetens the modest look.

Monochrome colour enthusiasts can also choose strong character of the patterns, such as Elegant Borneo and Dayak Glorious.

Cawang Art Radio

Kriya Nusantara (Jakarta Gallery)
Jalan Benda Raya No. 14
T: +62 21 780 7527
IG: @gloyaindonesia

Sari Widiati

Sari Widiati

Sari has been an arts and culture enthusiast for many years. She has written extensively on the arts, travel, and social issues as Features Writer at NOW! Jakarta.