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Art Jakarta wants to bring art to masses

Audrey Cahyadi

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, August 1, 2018  /  08:31 am
Art Jakarta wants to bring art to masses

'Such a Master' by China-based artist Zhu Jinshi at the 2017 Art Jakarta. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)

Since its first iteration in 2009, Art Jakarta has flourished into one of the largest art and social events with galleries and artists from all over Indonesia and the world displaying their works. 

Created by Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia fashion and lifestyle magazine, this year’s art fair will run from Thursday through Sunday at the Grand Ballroom of Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place — home to Art Jakarta since its beginning.

From the start, Art Jakarta was created with one goal in mind: to make art a part of people’s day-to-day life and not something that can only be enjoyed by the few. 

For the fair’s 10-year anniversary this year, the Art Jakarta committee decided to do something drastically different from previous years.

“This is going to be an art fair that celebrates our 10-year run. That’s why we are using the number 10 as one of the themes for the fair,” said Ria Lirungan, deputy head of Art Jakarta’s committee and editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia.

“In a culmination of installments that we call ‘10 for 10’, we have invited 10 artists who will create 10 different installments, all with the number 10 in it. They will be displayed right at the entrance of the fair.” 

These artists are: Kemal Ezedine, Yani Mariani, Agus Suwage, Syagini Ratnawulan, Bagus Pandega, Hahan, Chinati Juhansyah, Eddie Sutanto, Heri Dono and Tere.

An additional 10 Japanese artists from Japan Art Now will be creating and bringing in their own pieces. 

Though the theme of 10 is ever present in this year’s fair, other key pieces and special events will also take place, led by local and foreign artists, galleries, performers and even chefs. So far, 53 galleries, 630 artists and more than 2,000 pieces of artwork have been listed to join the art fair.

“There will be a number of performances, including one by the Sasikirana dance troupe from Bandung [West Java] with their Pasar Purnama group. Another is a flying balloon puppet show from Yogyakarta’s Papermoon,” said Dedy Koswara, the organizing committee’s deputy head.

The fair will also stage charity auctions for the Mitra Museum Foundation of Jakarta and the 
Indonesia Heart Foundation.

Meanwhile, Jakarta’s foodies will enjoy a food art workshop by chef Chitra, along with a pop-up restaurant by Maggie Joan from Singapore with Michelin-starred chef Seumas Smith. The restaurant itself will be designed by interior designer Kezia Karin and Larc Studio, with production by Viro Interior. 

Representing Spain in the fair is Le Museo (The Museum), which will bring with it a solo exhibition by Fernando Botero.

Art Jakarta not only aims to bring in professional artists this year, but also to help young, rising artists find a platform that can elevate their name. In association with the Creative Economic Agency (Bekraf), the fair will feature the Art Unlimited gallery with pieces created by young artists hoping to gain more recognition.

The CreArt association, a creative pop-up market, will also be doing something similar during the fair by allowing young artists to sell their art and products to visitors.

Social media has also become one of Art Jakarta’s key components, with participants being chosen through Instagram.

“We realize that technology and social media brought changes in the way people express their art. So, we chose a few names to be displayed at the fair with their artwork and profiles. Some of them are photographers, chefs, illustrators, designers or travelers who we think have [an Instagram] feed that is worth [viewing],” Ria said.

With a plan to draw thousands of visitors to the fair, the Art Jakarta committee decided to make one more change: This year, visitors will be charged an entrance fee.

“The point of charging an entrance fee is to screen visitors, so we can see who is actually serious about visiting and looking at the artwork,” Dedy said.

— The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post