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Art fairs: Expecting ultimate results

Carla Bianpoen

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, July 27, 2017  /  08:58 am
Art fairs: Expecting ultimate results

ARTmosphere, a collaboration between Art Stage Jakarta and Galeries Lafayette department store in Pacific Place, South Jakarta, is set to showcase 20 contemporary artworks from local artists. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)

Within a time span of less than two weeks, Jakarta is hosting two art fairs: Art Jakarta and Art Stage Jakarta.

Some galleries may find participating at two art fairs within such a short interval burdensome in terms of cost and available artists, but others find it precisely the right time to expose themselves.

Bandung-based Lawangwangi, for instance, has no fewer than three booths at Art Jakarta (formerly Art Bazaar), which runs from July 27 to July 30, while also taking part in the upcoming Art Stage Jakarta, which is scheduled to be held from Aug. 11 to Aug. 13.

Both fairs insist their ultimate goal is to make Jakarta great, a hub for art and tourism, a platform for art to attract new collectors, as Ria Lirungan of Art Jakarta said, or as a “matchmaker” in the words of Lorenzo Rudolf of Art Stage, who calls Indonesia the most dynamic contemporary art scene.

Art Bazaar, which goes back nine years, now for the first time runs under the name Art Jakarta, following the spirit of the time when art fairs highlight the city where they are held. At the same time they wish to make clear that they are the first and only homegrown Jakarta art fair.

Art Stage Jakarta, however, which arrived from Singapore only a year ago and is now held for the second time, has its eye on a united Southeast Asian art market, anchored in Jakarta.

Read also: Art Stage Jakarta returns with more participants, special projects

It goes without saying that the competition is tough — and sometimes even rough. But to be frank, nothing is more inspiring and adrenaline-pumping than competition.

Invoking a level of creativity that might not have been there were each the only art fair in town, the coming fairs promise an ultimate outcome. In fact, with Art Jakarta allowing newcomers and new collectors to acquire good art works at affordable prices, while Art Stage caters to the high-end segment, the notion of rivalry still pushes each beyond the usual, both providing programs that surpass commercial gains.

Top down: Artist couple Indieguerillas showcases a gigantic installation titled Me and My Monkey Mind at Pacific Place Mall’s Atrium in South Jakarta as part of the Art Jakarta fair, which runs from July 27 to July 30.Top down: Artist couple Indieguerillas showcases a gigantic installation titled Me and My Monkey Mind at Pacific Place Mall’s Atrium in South Jakarta as part of the Art Jakarta fair, which runs from July 27 to July 30. (JP/Carla Bianpoen)

Art Jakarta

Video art, which has been slow to gain collectors’ appreciation, is one of the new highlights of Art Jakarta, held at the Ritz-Carlton, Pacific Place in South Jakarta, in a competition for which the jury members – curator and artistic fair director Rifky Effendy, video pioneer Krisna Murti, founder of OK Video Ade Darmawan and Wiyu Wahono, a passionate promoter of video art in Indonesia — will be deciding on the award winner.

Ceramic art, which rarely features at art fairs, will be another highlight, appearing in an auction of porcelain marked with the stamp of visual artists.

The popular charity auction program will also offer sneakers and other products also marked with signature embellishment by artists including Uji Hahan Handoko, Radi Arwinda, Kemalezedine, Aditya Novali, Nano Warsono and Indra Dodi.

Read also: Indonesian artwork featured at ASEAN exhibition in Seoul

The Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf)’s booth with 45 emerging artists selected from 473 candidates is to be highlighted at a special exhibition at the fair (artjakarta.com).

Art talks will be held on July 28 and 29, with MACAN museum director Aaron Seeto and curator-museologist Annissa Gultom, among others, addressing the issue of public and private museums in Jakarta.

The art fair proper will be similarly exciting, with 54 participating galleries comprising 50/50 local and foreign galleries. Among the local enthusiasts are Vivi Yip artroom, Edwin’s gallery, Semarang Gallery, Zola Zulu and Lawangwangi. 

In the mall’s Atrium, a gigantic work by the artist couple dubbed Indieguerillas and titled Me and My Monkey Mind intends to help people forget complicated concerns, to “let go” and just relax.

Finally, look out for the inaugural English language Art Bazaar magazine.

Parallel events and exhibitions are offered by Edwin’s gallery, Ruci Art Space, Art1 museum/gallery, East West Society.

Little Javanese Cosmos by Muhamad “Ucup” YusufLittle Javanese Cosmos by Muhamad “Ucup” Yusuf (Art Stage Jakarta/Tomio Koyama Gallery)

Art Stage Jakarta

Art Stage Jakarta, an outflow of its Singaporean version, expresses an intent to encompass as much as possible of the art ecology in the city, with Art Stage Jakarta founder and president Lorenzo citing “Indonesia as Southeast Asia’s most dynamic contemporary art scene” and “Jakarta as an art capital.”Art Stage Jakarta, to be held at the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel in South Jakarta, brings along a huge goodie bag filled with an exhibition of 60 galleries — 24 Indonesian and 36 foreign, including street art from Europe juxtaposed with Southeast Asian street art in a program called “Off the Wall”.

Read also: Art project explores the selfie phenomenon

Art Stage reaches beyond its official venue, into the Atrium of the Gandaria City Mall, allowing the exposure of non-galleries and galleries with limited means, in what is called “The Art Square.” Inaugural participants include the Yogya and Jakarta Biennales, Papermoon Puppet Theatre, LOEV, Indrya Foundation, Erudio Art School.

It further wanders out to Galeries Lafayette at Pacific Place, with the ArtMosphere program, where 20 artworks will be exhibited in the windows and elsewhere on its premises. 

Jakarta art week (fashioned after the Jogja art week) includes exhibitions and events in various galleries, museums and foreign cultural centers in the city.

“We want to position Jakarta, Indonesia, not as one fair but as a scene,” Lorenzo says.

Topping all of this off are multiple art awards — 13 in number for 13 categories, including the Indonesian Award Best Artist, Best Curator, Best Young Curator as well as best Gallery in terms of dedication, Best Young Gallery, Best Exhibition and Best Collector. Two Life Achievement Awards are for a selected artist and collector, and finally a socio-politically significant award, the Bhinneka Award.

No doubt the two fairs are injecting a lot of energy into an exciting future of arts for Jakarta.

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