During our travels, we try to make the most of the time we spend outdoors since we don’t get much of it in the city. We drove from Amanjiwo through a village town, and after making several stops along the way to ask for directions, finally found ourselves at El Progo Art House (Rumah Seni Elo Progo). Owned by painter Sony Santosa, a Sumatran native who grew up in Jakarta, this 2-hectare art house is a one-of-a-kind venue hosting an art gallery, hotel, creative spaces for theatre, painting, and art lovers, not excluding laymen who are looking for a back-to-nature holiday spot.
Located about 5km from the Borobudur temple, the Art House is around 1 hour away from the city of Yogyakarta. Interestingly, it sits on the edge of a cliff where the rivers of Elo and Progo meet. Its idyllic setting surrounded by green valleys, mountains, and the sound of flowing river water pulls us close to mother nature, reminding us to appreciate the natural beauty visible all around us.
One of the first sights that caught our eyes was a wall constructed of bricks that are unconventionally arranged, as if to depict movement.
The stage used for theatre performances.
Sony Santosa himself, the creative and artistic man behind Elo Progo Art House, seen wearing a simple cotton T-shirt and Sarong.
The tree of the Maja tree (the symbol of Majapahit).
What I love about Elo Progo Art House is how every structure built feels open and airy. And even though the art gallery (as shown above) is made of bricks, the access and feel of the building is anything but confining.
These giant rocks have a special purpose: one is to stretch out both arms in order to touch both rocks at the same time and make a wish!
Pak Sony picked a leaf off a Teak (jati) tree and began to rub and squish it between his fingers. Amazed, I never knew a green leaf could produce a blood-red color convincing enough to be blood.
One of the “family rooms” of the hotel built replicating a bird’s nest. The bricks are complemented and balanced by the intentional vents and crannies all around in order to preserve as natural a space as possible.
The second floor of the house.
It was refreshing and inspiring to be around someone who is genuinely and profoundly in touch with his natural milieu – the trees, rocks, waters, and birds. We ought to learn from him. I have a feeling I’ll return here again someday soon.
ELO PROGO ART HOUSE (RUMAH SENI ELO PROGO)
Desa Bejen, Wanurejo, Borobudur
Magelang, Jawa Tengah
+62 857 4727 0473 / +62 812 3040 3371
Hotel Booking: www.booking.com