COVER STORY INSPIRATION 39
A compassionate artist in-and-out, Happy Salma is a shining gem in her generation of Indonesia’s TV and movie performer. Now a full-time Bali residence, the beautiful wife and mother of two continually pursue her passion in the world of arts through her relentless zeal, talent and energy. There were times where Happy Salma was considered as one of Indonesia’s best actresses who grazed both the silver screen and television alike with her natural beauty and top-notch acting talent, but then she decided to left the extravagant celebrity life in Jakarta behind and resides in the tranquility of Bali after getting married with a prince from Ubud royal family. Nowadays, she is putting all effort and focuses on the world of art through her own jewelry label, Tulola, and recently appointed as the Art Advisor of Apurva Kempinski. Here goes her story… Born in Sukabumi, West Java, Happy Salma Wanasari was an avid reader and writer from her tender age. Blessed by gorgeous physical appearance, she naturally started her career in Indonesia’s entertainment industry as a model before successfully pursuing her acting career on screen. Unlike most other celebrity who uses ‘stage moniker’, Happy Salma decides to stick to her unique namesake. “Yes, ‘Happy’ is my real name” she gleefully answered. “When my mom was pregnant, she has another best friend who’s also expecting, but then having a miscarriage. My mom was so happy that I could born safely, hence the name” Starting her career in Jakarta, Happy then decide to move to Bali after marrying a photographer, Tjokorda Bagus Dwi Santana Kertayasa, who’s happen to be a member of Ubud’s royal family (hence the ‘Jero’ official honorary title in front of her name). Now, she already found the balance between the metropolis and island life, and seemingly able to still do her career in both regions, despite of its distance and difference. “In Jakarta, everything is super-fast and busy. It is a place where I can execute my ideas; whether to make a show or me as an actress. Bali is a place where I can distance myself with those bustling routine. In this island, I can arrange my plan, hatch ideas and think about what I want to do in clarity” Happy explains. “Bali is a place to discover the source of my inspiration. But I also need Jakarta to grow my awareness about that ‘tranquil space’ itself. Bali and Jakarta gives me balance, but of course now Bali has become a home for me and my little family. So, for living, I feel more contempt to reside in this island” As a national celebrity, Happy’s deep attention to contemporary art; both handicraft and literature makes her a ‘rare-breed’ amongst her colleagues. That’s why when Apurva Kempinski Bali approached her to become their ‘Art Advisor’,
“My love for and culture are mostly interpreted through adaptation of Indonesian literature to performing arts, fore fronting Indonesian spirit collaboration with lots of art performers. This energy is what drives me to give input to all kind of art-related aspect in Apurva” of ‘gotong royong’ (strive in togetherness) and also
island’s incredible culture, art and also the artists, and she shares about some names she particularly admire, including Desak Nyoman Suarti, which inspires her to establish Tulola jewelry brand. “In 2010, I was writing a creative biography about Desak Nyoman Suarti, and that makes me get to know more about her through her daughter, Dewa Sri. She was the one curating late Desak Suarti’s personal possession for my writing material” Happy said. “That pleasant meeting turns into business collaboration. I made creative concept and branding, while Dewa Sri creates the designs. Tulola brand itself has actually existed since few years back before then, when Sri only made jewelry for other brands and her closest friends” “I don’t want Tulola to become just another jewelry brand. There has to be a strong concept within it as well. My deep love and passion to literature and Indonesia’s indigenous aspect; both its history and human, become the basic of Tulola’s creativity” Happy said. Now a mom of two, Happy also spill some beans about her up and coming project, which will see her back on the stage as a performer once again. “I will be involved in a movie which will start shooting around the end of this year. I am so excited in this project, because usually I prefer to stay behind the scene as producer so I can have more time flexibility with my children. I also will produce the 32th show by Titimangsa; my own culture foundation. Then, I will also step up to the stage once more to do monolog” she excitedly explains.
she didn’t think twice to accept the role. “I really appreciate Apurva’s maximum effort to give space for artists to shine; whether sculptor, architect, interior designer or even local craftsmen. This was proven by the hotel itself, which was designed and adorned by talented Indonesian artists” Happy stated. “My love for and culture are mostly interpreted through adaptation of Indonesian literature to performing arts, fore fronting Indonesian spirit of ‘gotong royong’ (strive in togetherness) and also collaboration with lots of art performers. This energy is what drives me to give input to all kind of art-related aspect in Apurva” she said. “My involvement with Apurva is also in-tune with my effort to give Balinese culture a room to breathe and live. Bali is a symbol of Indonesian harmony in the eye of the world, therefore, we who live in it should always introspect ourselves when things are falling out of places” Living in Bali for over a decade has opens up Happy’s knowledge and understanding about the
the culture issue
September & october 2019
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