My idea of utopia will never be a place for a solo artist with vested personal ambitions. It is about building an honest and accountable environment that encourages people to operate fairly, create ethically, and dream constantly.

Graduated with honorary Distinction in Visual Communication Design from the
ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN, Melissa Sunjaya co-founded BLUELOUNGE DESIGN in Los Angeles (1999-2010) with her Swiss partner Dominic Symons. It started as a multidisciplinary creative studio, employing only four designers, which specialized in product development, advanced design research, and corporate communication systems. In 2000, the United States government granted her the O1 status – a highly regarded working permit for foreign residents with extraordinary abilities in the arts. In 2008, BLUELOUNGE studio started developing their own products and won many reputable international awards annually, including Red Dot Design Awards, Good Design Awards, and International Forum Awards. At the peak of its performance, BLUELOUNGE was acquired in February 2018.

Melissa moved back to her home country Indonesia in 2006, due to her growing concern on many social and cultural ramifications rooted in greed, nepotism, and corruption. Driven by deep respect towards her ancestral heritage and traditional values, she prepared a blueprint to build an accountable organization with ethical business practice, dedicated to empowering others, celebrating individuality, and caring for our world. This blueprint was actualized through the founding of TULISAN in 2010 – artist serigraphy editions and 100% handmade in Jakarta. Through an arduous journey in constructing a low carbon emission methodology and sustainable infrastructure, in 2015 her brand forged an alliance with a mill, certified with Swiss Bluesign® System manufacturing criterions. Derived from her essays and fictions, TULISAN products have been appreciated as heirloom-quality accessories. The brand’s signature features include chlorine-free cotton canvas, eco-friendly water-based inks, water-resistant Poly-Urethane coatings, upcycled PET lining materials, and customized nickel-free trimmings. Through this award-winning brand, Melissa has assembled a visionary guild of like-minded artisans and collectively manifested whimsical art projects based on her writings, illustrations, and designs. The repertoire of these visual essays, inspired by Melissa’s perspective on the emerging Indonesian generation, are compiled under a literary anthology titled The New East Indies.

She is currently the principal lecturer and curator at DIMENSIONAL MORPHOLOGY – a learning center for heuristic problem-solving in visual arts, managed under TULISAN. Its modular and systematic pedagogy allows creative practitioners to experiment collectively with visual elements in order to analyze and decode the varying transformations within our evolving anthropocentric systems. With an emphasis in contemporary anthropology, her comprehensive research has embraced trustworthy partnerships with diverse organizations, including PERMATABANK – a notable financial institution that has become her major patron since 2016. In the spirit of eradicating unfair living standards, Melissa has also established three ongoing humanitarian programs for KAMPUS DIAKONIA MODERN, a non-profit refuge foundation for abandoned street children. Through the first triennium, her programs have raised over USD45,000 to benefit the organization’s mission in providing vital care to Jakarta’s most vulnerable children. Recently in 2018, she founded KOMUNITAS AYOM (‘Caring Community’) which focuses on building rehabilitation sanctuaries for stray domestic animals in Jakarta. It is a social movement advocating human empathy towards other living beings.

Contact

Exhibitions

  • Empathy, Ethics, & Wealth
    SALIHARA ART CENTER
    Curator of Visual Lab Pedagogy & Explorations based on Heuristic Studies
  • Bio Fantasy
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Travelling Solo Exhibit: A Visual Essay Installation of Chairil Anwar’s Poetry and Proses
  • Pepe & The Flying Balloon
    A Musical Rendition of Melissa Sunjaya’s Short Story
  • Hotel Batavia
    Solo Exhibit of Time Capsule & Musical Rendition of Melissa Sunjaya’s Short Story
  • Amma Supahilo
    Solo Exhibit of Single Edition Serigraphy Series

Literary

  • Grow
    Genre: Fiction
    An Educational Fiction on Cyber-Bullying and Decision Making.
  • Surat No. 03: Lelono
    Genre: Non-Fiction
    An Essay on Serialism Amongst Polarity of Cultures and Doctrines
  • Surat No. 02: Persinggungan
    Genre: Non-Fiction
    An Essay on Human Nexus in Cyber-Industrial Revolution
  • Surat No. 01: Tari Pulsar
    Genre: Non-Fiction
    An Essay on Human Behaviours and the Impact of an Anthropocentric Universe
  • Bio Fantasy
    Genre: Poetry and Science Fiction
    A Sci-Fi Argumentative Prelude to a Visual Anthology of Chairil Anwar’s Poetry and Prose
  • Dreher
    Genre: Non-Fiction
    A Biography and Legacy of Gerd Dreher, a German Gemstone Master Carver
  • Les Papillons de Victor
    Genre: Fiction
    A Children’s Book on Empathy and Unconditional Love
  • Dream of Flight
    Genre: Illustration
    An Illustrated Journal, Published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, U.S.A.

Awards & Recognitions

  • BCA Marketeers Woman Award | 2016
    Influential and Aspiring Women
  • Sulwhasoo X Her World Award | 2015
    The Most Powerful Women and Young Achievers
  • Ernst & Young Award | 2013
    Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women
  • Indosat Appreciation Award | 2012
    Indonesia’s Inspiring Youth and Woman
  • CIMB Niaga Click Society Award | 2011
    Young Online Entreupreneur 2011, Second Price
  • Salone Satellite Award | 2000 & 2001
    10 Best Young International Designers
  • O1 | 2000
    Working Permit in United States of America for Aliens with Extra-Ordinary Abilities in the Arts
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