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An Interview with Benjamin Hampe of Art Jakarta 2017


An Interview with Benjamin Hampe of Art Jakarta 2017
Benjamin Hampe, Arts and Cultural Specialist of Daya Dimensi Indonesia. Image Courtesy of Singapore Tatler.

Tell us a bit about your background. What encouraged you to pursue a career in the arts?

My decision to pursue a dream of owning an art gallery (which resulted in Chan Hampe Galleries from 2010-2017) was made out of a burning passion for creativity coupled with the realisation that my own abilities as an artist were limited. Over the years I have learned to apply my creativity to the facilitation of artistic endeavour which has led me to some very interesting places and projects. Currently I am employed by a human resources development group (Daya Dimensi Indonesia) in Jakarta as an arts and cultural specialist.

You've recently relocated to Jakarta. How would you describe the Indonesian art scene today? 

In my almost one year of living and working in Indonesia I have experienced a scene that is pulsing with activity. Certainly art fairs such as Art Jakarta and more recently Art Stage have contributed to the visibility of the art market however there much more to Indonesia’s art sector.

An exhibition of works from the Istana Collection exhibition at the National Gallery recorded 35,000 visitors in August 2017. This is indication of a growing public interest in cultural artefacts of national significance and has drawn attention to the importance of heritage conservation and professional collection management. The private sector is paving the way and projects such as Museum MACAN funded by collector and philanthropist Haryanto Adikoesoemo will most certainly lift the game in terms of museology. Other heritage projects are in the pipeline in Kota Tua, North Jakarta which will include the upcoming Bank Mandiri Museum revitalisation that incorporates visual arts programming. 

It is an exciting time to be in Indonesia.

Image Courtesy of ART JAKARTA 2017.

Happening just around the corner is Art Jakarta 2017, which you are involved in. Could you share with us a little more about your role at the fair? 

I will be attending to a group of passionate art collectors who will be treated as VIP guests by the fair organiser. We have arranged for an exclusive tour of private collections in Jakarta, the highlight of which is a special preview of Museum MACAN before the official opening in November 2017.

"O Dear What Can The Matter Be" by Stephanie Tane Burt. Collection of YEO Workshop and exhibited at ART JAKARTA 2017. Image Courtsey of Yeo Workshop.

What are some highlights of this year’s art fair and its related events? 

This year Art Jakarta will present galleries from Indonesia as well as Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, China, and France. For the first time we will host a video art competition using the theme “unity in diversity”, which is also the main theme of Art Jakarta. This year’s much anticipated large-scale installation in the Pacific Place atrium is by Indieguriellas.

The contemporary art scene in Southeast Asia has seen considerable growth in recent years. What are some of your thoughts on its evolution?

Having been in Singapore for eight years to witness the concerted effort of its government to establish the state as the centre of the art market for Southeast Asia has certainly been instructive. Singapore has in a very positive way shown how facilitating a conducive, safe, and efficient working environment can create good opportunities for arts businesses to grow. As more dynamic art markets in the region begin to take ownership of their own art sectors, Singapore will be forced to consolidate which will in turn test the Singapore art market and its long term sustainability. 

Are there any particular art events or exhibitions within the region that you are looking forward to?

The ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta will present an art exhibition entitled “ASSEMBLAGE: REFLECTIONS ON ASEAN” to mark ASEAN’s golden jubilee this year. The exhibition showcases more than 20 significant artworks from prestigious private collections and from ASEAN, and specially commissioned assemblage sculptures from emerging Indonesian contemporary artist, Hendra Priyadhani. The show opens on Friday 28 July and continues until Thursday 31 August.


Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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