The intial emblem and mascot of 18th Asian Games was unveiled in conjunction with country's 32th National Sports Day on September 9th, 2015 and officialy launched on December 27, 2015 in Gelora Bung Karno stadium. Both logo and mascot, named Drawa, were potrayed Cendrawasih (Bird of Paradise), a rare species of bird found on east region of Indonesia. This symbolises high hopes for the country’s sports at the quadrennial event, as Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi told to The Jakarta Post.
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However, not long after the reveal, the design, in particular its mascot, received many criticism, mainly by art communities and netizens, due to lack of attractive and creativity as well as too old-fashioned. Many of them even claimed the mascot would have looked like chicken rather than Cendrawasih bird. After raising massive outcry, Ministry of Youth and Sports and Indonesia eventually abandoned the previous logo and mascot design and ordered Creative Economy Board (Bekraf) to revised them immediately.
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- The Jakarta Post - Ministry to change logo, mascot after outcry
On 28 July 2016, a revised logo and new mascots were unveiled by Creative Economy Board (Badan Ekonomi Kreatif), the Indonesian Olympic Committee, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Indonesia (Kementerian Pemuda dan Olahraga) replacing former-controversy ones. It was designed by Jefferson Edri of creative agency Feat Studio after won a competition held by Bekraf.
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The new logo, dubbed as The Energy of Asia, depicts an aerial view of Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) stadium and is adorned with imagery of the stadium’s eight gates as well as the Asian Games’ sun logo in the center. The logo was inspired by GBK stadium, which is located in Senayan, Central Jakarta, and was Indonesia’s first sophisticated sports arena, built when the country hosted the Asian Games in 1962.
While the all-new mascots reflect Indonesia's diversity with three animals, each from different regions in Indonesia. Bhin Bhin represents the Cendrawasih bird of paradise, wearing a vest with Asmat traditional motifs from the Papua, Eastern Indonesia Region, which symbolize strategy. Atung represents the Bawean Deer, wearing a batik parang sarong from Central Indonesian Region, which symbolizes speed and a "Never give up fighting" spirit. Kaka (originally dubbed Ika) represent single horned Javan rhinoceros, wearing a flower motif from Palembang's Songket scraf that represents Western Indonesia Region, which symbolize power. Together, the combined symbols of their names (Bhin Bhin — Atung — Kaka) spell out Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), the national motto of Indonesia.
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| Olympic Council of Asia