Art Jakarta 2018 eyes emerging middle market: Ria Lirungan

Asmara Wreksono

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta

Jakarta, posted: Tue, July 31, 2018 | 10:33 am

Visitors at Art Jakarta 2017 reached 47,000 in numbers. This year, the art market expects around the same number, and it is the first time the art fair charges an admission fee of Rp 50,000.(ArtJakarta.com/File)

Art Jakarta celebrates its 10th anniversary with a strong lineup of local and international artists in its four-day exhibition at The Ritz Carlton, Pacific Place, Jakarta, from Aug. 2 to 5. The art fair has come a long way from its first event back in 2008, and has seen positive shifts in many aspects.

Deputy head of the Art Jakarta committee, Ria Lirungan, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday, “Art Jakarta began on a small scale from two ballrooms, which have now expanded into three along with the ever-growing list of participant galleries, including the international ones.”

Ria also noted the significant growth of art transactions in recent years: “The types of artists presented by galleries determine the sales. The numbers have kept growing since the start, and the last five years saw the most significant growth, especially in 2016 and 2017. Hopefully, this year we can witness even more growth.”

The rise of the middle class has also been a significant factor in the shifts seen by the art fair. “With the rising awareness of art and lifestyle, our emerging middle market has grown significantly and this has been apparent to Art Jakarta,” Ria said. “Perhaps in the last five or six years, we saw a surge in terms of visitors. It used to be only art dealers, art enthusiasts or serious collectors. There has been a great deal of appreciation from the public, who were previously foreign to art,” she added.

Read also: ART Jakarta spotlight: Agus Suwage

For the first time in a decade, Art Jakarta 2018 charges an admission fee of Rp.50,000 (US$3.47) for its visitors. “We figure that it’s affordable. It is more or less the same as a movie ticket, so I view this as an effort to make the public willing to appreciate art the same way we’re willing to pay to watch a movie. Art can also be viewed as food for the soul. [The tickets] are to help us in the upkeep and maintenance for Art Jakarta,” Ria said.

Aside from the gigantic installation at Pacific Place’s main atrium by Faisal Habibi, the art fair also features 10 Indonesian artist, which including Agus Suwage, Syagini Ratnawulan, Yani Mariani, Kemal Ezedine, Bagus Pandega, Hahan, Chinati Juhansyah, Eddie Sutanto, Heri Dono and Tere, to create special installation artworks for the event. Other special presentations not to be missed are from Ay Tjoe Christine and Spanish artist, Fernando Botero. 

Also aiming to touch base with the younger market, Art Jakarta 2018 has a segment called Art Gram, which wishes to be an interactive platform for people in the art world who would like to inspire and educate the public. “If perhaps we have been doing so with workshops and discussions, we are introducing a new discourse of capturing the public’s interest via social media, particularly Instagram,” said Ria. “We chosen five personalities, among them are a fashion designer, chef, illustrator and traveler. They were chosen based on their inspiring Instagram accounts, which also come with a strong touch of art. We hope that it can inspire everyone to have an artistic feed,” she added.

The art fair, supported by the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf), has assigned a curator and named a number of young artists to perform at Art Jakarta. Another exhibition not to be missed is the Japanese Art Now presentation, which features emerging Japanese artists. 

The complete schedule of the event can be found at its official website.

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