Indonesia is known for being one of the most vibrant art scenes in Asia, and its capital of Jakarta is a hub for this activity! If you're in the city then you should definitely check out what this burgeoning art scene has to offer; from museums to galleries and even pop-up exhibitions and private collections, you'll be immersed in the rich arts culture of Jakarta!
Despite the notoriously terrible traffic, getting around Jakarta is pretty easy with modern conveniences like Uber. If you’re flagging a cab from the curb side, it would be advisable to stick to Bluebird or Express taxis. However, hiring a driver is the easiest and most convenient option when you’re in the city. Ojeks are another alternative similar to that of Tuk-Tuks in Bangkok and can manoeuvre through tight spots and small alleys, the only downside is that there’s no air-conditioning in the sweltering heat (also, there’s the Go-jek app that works just like Uber).
The best time to go to Jakarta is the month between May and October, as it is considered the drier period of the year, although one can still expect sporadic showers across the months. November till April are considered the wetter months of the year, making it a less ideal time. Additionally, the middle of the year is choc-a-bloc full or art events, from Bazaar Art Jakarta in July to Art Stage Jakarta in August.
There are a variety of places to stay in Jakarta, depending on your budget. Many major hotel chains such as Raffles, Shangri-La, Fairmont, Four Season and Ritz-Carlton, all have a building or two in the capital. However, if you’re looking for a nice boutique hotel, Kosenda Hotel is a lovely new space to check out.
Located in an industrial space in the hip locale of Senopati, Ruci Artspace is a relatively young gallery in the Indonesian contemporary art scene. The gallery hosts a regular rotation of solo and group exhibitions by emerging local artists such as Natisa Jones, Arkiv Vilmasa and Anton Ismael.
Founded by Laksamana “Junior” Tirtadji in 2012, ROH Projects is an exciting space within Jakarta’s vibrant art scene. Shows exhibited include a mixture of local and regional guest artists, as well as represented artists from Bagus Pandegax, Syaiful Aulia Garibaldi and Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo.
Established in 1984 by Edwin Rahardjo, Edwin’s Gallery is considered an institution in the commercial art scene in Jakarta. The gallery shows both modern and contemporary Indonesian artists from artists such as Affandi, Le Mayeur, and S. Sudjojono, to Henri Dono, I Nyoman Masriadi and Christine Ay Tjoe.
Nadi Gallery was founded by a young collector of Indonesian art Biantoro Santoso in 2000. Exhibitions hosted by Nadi Gallery are produced in partnership with guest or independent curators, with the goal of showcasing works by Indonesian and international artists. Nadi Gallery has shown works by artists such as Agus Suwage, Handiwirman Saputra, and Jumaldi Alfi, just to name a few.
Located in the prestigious Fairmont Jakarta, Sunrise Art Gallery showcases both young and established international artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara and Sri Astari Rasjid. Sunrise also has a sister store Sunrise Arcade, featuring beautiful Indonesian and Japanese design items and artworks that make great souvenirs.
Established in 1983, and previously known as Mon Décor Gallery, Art:1 New Museum is a private museum as well as a gallery with a 4,000sqm space. Art:1 New Museum focuses on exhibitions featuring works by Indonesian old masters, as well as modern and contemporary artists, while Art Space:1 arranges art exhibitions by emerging contemporary artists.
With an exhibition space of over 4,000 square meters, the Museum of Modern And Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN) is the first museum dedicated entirely to international modern and contemporary art. With about half the works drawn from collector Haryanto Adikoesoemo’s personal collection, expect Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room, and sculptures by Chinese artist Ju Ming!
Situated in the heart of Kemang, this tranquil oasis is a gallery and museum and is cited to have pioneered the arts in Asia. Duta Fine Arts was also the first art institution to promote young artists.
The National Gallery of Indonesia is a museum and art gallery for modern and contemporary art. It features both a permanent collection as well as a heavy rotation of temporary exhibitions. The museum houses almost 2000 works by a wide variety of local and international names such as Zao Wou Ki, Sonia Delaunay, Popo Iskandar and Soedibio, just to name a few.
In contrast to the National Gallery of Indonesia, the National Museum of Indonesia focuses on cultural and historical artifacts. Featuring about 140 000 objects dating all the way from the pre-historic period, the museum showcases a rich collection of historical ceramics and textile art, amongst various other objects.
Indonesian art collectors are well-known for being passionate about supporting the local arts scene, which is largely funded by private individuals. They are also known to be a very sharing group of collectors, opening up their homes so that they can share their own journey of art collecting with those who are equally passionate about art. Invitations to these places are rare, but if you do come across them you should definitely jump at the chance to catch a glimpse into a different facet of the local art scene.
The Akili Museum of Art is a private museum set up by Rudy Akili in 2006. It features works by some of the most avant-garde burgeoning artists in Indonesia, as well as prominent modernist artists, alongside other regional artists such as Ronald Ventura, Chen Yifei and Jiraki Sawa.
Ciputra Museum houses the art collection of Dr. Ir. Ciputra, which is divided into a section focusing on contemporary art, while the other is dedicated to a major collection of works by notable modern Indonesian artist Hendra Gunawan, of which Dr Ciputa was a friend and patron of.
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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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