Indonesian art scene welcomes new player as Art Stage Jakarta fair kicks off

29 Jun 2016 | by admin

Public artworks, poolside parties and collectors’ showcases as Art Stage Singapore pulls out the stops for its new Indonesian boutique fair.

JAKARTA: It was in 2007 when Art Stage Singapore fair founder Lorenzo Rudolf first took notice of Indonesia’s burgeoning contemporary art scene. As then-director of the ShContemporary art fair in Shanghai, his curiosity was piqued after spotting a few of the country’s galleries taking part in the event.

His interest in Indonesia’s artists and collectors would continue to grow and, nearly a decade later, it has all come full circle with the launch of the inaugural edition of the Art Stage Jakarta art fair on Friday (Aug 5).

The three-day event is Art Stage Singapore’s first foray into the Indonesian capital, and the hope is that it can establish a firm footing and direct presence in one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant arts scenes.

A detail from Bali-based artist Ashley Bickerton's Watku Berpesta from Gajah Gallery. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

A detail from Bali-based artist Ashley Bickerton’s Watku Berpesta from Gajah Gallery. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

Described as a boutique art fair, Art Stage Jakarta comprises 49 galleries from 16 countries. with 16 coming from Indonesia. Although comparatively smaller than its parent art fair in Singapore, organisers have pulled out all the stops to attract collectors and art lovers, with poolside parties and VIP tours to the houses of Indonesia’s top art collectors.

The fair has also put up two special shows dedicated to Indonesian master painter Affandi and works from the country’s various collectors, as well as 17 public artworks spread across its venue, the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City, and the adjacent mall.

“We love Indonesian art, Indonesian artists, and Indonesian collectors. We’ve analysed the market and said yes, it was time to do (the fair here),” said Mr Rudolf. “Without a doubt, it’s the biggest art scene and art market (in the region).”

Under his leadership, Art Stage Singapore has been actively wooing the Indonesian market since its inception in 2011 — including a big showcase on Indonesian art three years ago — before announcing its direct foray into Jakarta earlier this year.

Edi Priyanto's Zett... from Jakarta's Andi's Gallery. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

Edi Priyanto’s Zett… from Jakarta’s Andi’s Gallery. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

Indonesian galleries participating in Art Stage Jakarta have welcomed the newcomer’s presence in a city where there’s only one other art fair, Bazaar Art Jakarta, and the market is driven mainly by galleries.

“When collectors and buyers come here, they can see all kinds of artworks together, rather than going to galleries one by one,” said Ms Aditya Lingga, gallery manager of Rachel Gallery in Jakarta.

The Art Stage brand also takes it to another level, she added. “It’s a name that is known outside of Indonesia, so people expect what it was like in Singapore to be the same as here in Jakarta.”

A detail from Triyadi Guntur Wiratmo's JaSMeRah: Jangan Sekali-Sekali Melupakan Sejarah at Jakarta's Rachel Gallery. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

A detail from Triyadi Guntur Wiratmo’s JaSMeRah: Jangan Sekali-Sekali Melupakan Sejarah at Jakarta’s Rachel Gallery. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

Mr Jasdeep Sandhu, owner of Gajah Gallery in Singapore, added: “Indonesia’s one of the biggest nations in the world. It’s a highly important country to be engaged with in the art world. We’ve been working with Indonesian artists now for 20 years and we see this as a very positive step towards bringing the art world to Indonesia and also Indonesian artists to the art world.”

His gallery is among the first to showcase Indonesian artists in Singapore, and among the works being sold at its fair booth were those by the likes of Yunizar, Handiwirman Saputra and Rudi Mantofani, and on the opening day, two paintings were sold. It has also recently expanded to Jogjakarta, where it set up a foundry in 2012 and a gallery last year.

Visitors check out the paintings of Indonesian master Affandi during the opening night of Art Stage Jakarta. (Photo: Art Stage Jakarta)

Visitors check out the paintings of Indonesian master Affandi during the opening night of Art Stage Jakarta. (Photo: Art Stage Jakarta)

But Art Stage Jakarta will not simply be an insular affair. For instance, Ms Vera Wijaya, a Singapore-based Indonesian owner of Galerie Sogan & Art, has brought in works by Singaporean contemporary Chinese ink artist Henry Chen KeZhan. On the first day, two paintings were sold but there was still much work to be done over the weekend, she added.

“I’m really hoping for the work to be exposed to the Indonesian market, and to hopefully expand collectors’ tastes here. (Art Stage Singapore) is the biggest South-east Asian art fair, and coming here signals a new kind of ecosystem in Jakarta. Like, this is how it’s supposed to be if you want to play at an international level,” said Ms Wijaya.

Agus Suwage's What Is Art What Is It Not #1 at Bandung's Bale Projects. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

Agus Suwage’s What Is Art What Is It Not #1 at Bandung’s Bale Projects. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

 

Source: Channel News Asia

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