The Jakarta Post
Art initiative: The cafe area inside Museum MACAN in Jakarta. The museum will hold an Arisan Karya (artwork raffle) event to support artists affected by the pandemic. (Museum Macan/File)
As the pandemic bring the world to a standstill, art communities have come up with creative ways to survive, from putting on shows online, holding virtual auctions and, a latest one, holding an arisan (rotating savings gathering and raffle popular among housewives) that will give lucky winners the prize of an art piece.
The idea came from one of Indonesia’s leading museums, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN).
Responding to the crisis, the museum invited art lovers to purchase “mystery artworks” through the Arisan Karya (artwork raffle) event at a flat rate of Rp 1 million (US$69).
The initiative also gives a rare chance for art lovers to acquire a piece by a leading Indonesian artist or yet-to-be-discovered star. Some leading Indonesian artists, including Melati Suryodarmo, Tisna Sanjaya, Saleh Husein and Agus Suwage, have pledged their support.
Arisan is a social tradition where participants contribute to an agreed amount of money that is then collected and raffled at a weekly or monthly gathering. The participants whose names are drawn at the raffle, take home the money.
At its core, arisan is a tradition that values trust and support among participants. In the same spirit, the museum announced that Arisan Karya was designed to be an act of support that will drive other acts of support, giving much-needed funds to artists at this time of crisis.
The initiative also aims to stimulate the artistic community during a time of need and great uncertainty and is a gesture to recognize and remember the important role that art has in society.
“This is a fun initiative that has serious outcomes. Right now, artists are wondering when their next paycheck will come. The art system, at the best of times, is hard to maneuver and understand — it is not all art fairs and parties — but its real, often under-recognized work can benefit society, which we need to support,” the museum’s director Aaron Seeto said in a statement.
Museum MACAN has reached out across its networks to launch an open call to artists across Indonesia, encouraging them to create artworks — which may be paintings, sculptures, prints or photographs — for Arisan Karya.
The public can join the initiative by purchasing a ticket, which will later be raffled via Instagram Live on @museummacan and @shopatmacan_id. Each ticket sold receives an artwork.
The raffle will be held in three rounds in May, June and July, with the first one scheduled to take place on May 18-28 on shop.museummacan.org. All artworks are anonymous until revealed through the raffle.
Artists or charities of their choice will receive 70 percent of the collected funds. The balance is allocated to facilitate artists in sharing knowledge with the public through online resources, such as practical art tips, workshop tutorials at home or talks that will be delivered through Museum MACAN’s digital platforms.
“We really hope that this initiative will not only motivate the local art community but also be a source of joy for art enthusiasts who are working and studying from home,” Seeto says.
“In a time like this, we have to postpone the physical experience of encountering art. But it is also a time like this that should inspire action.”
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