Organisers hope that Art Stage Jakarta will help establish the city as a regional art hub and boost international interest in local artists
The nation’s top collectors are opening up their homes and an abundance of edgy contemporary artists are displaying their work: Indonesia is inviting the world to take notice of its vibrant art scene with the launch of Art Stage Jakarta.
The inaugural art fair, the sister event to the established Art Stage Singapore, opened on Friday at the Sheraton Grand Hotel Gandiara City and will run through Sunday.
With 49 galleries from across Southeast Asia and further afield – including 16 from Indonesia alone – over 2,400 sq. metres of exhibition space, the art fair promises to “present a juxtaposition of the country’s best contemporary art with selections from… Asia and the West.”
Lorenzo Rudolf, the founder and president of Art Stage, said that Indonesia had the strongest art scene, and art buying market, in the region but lacked wider recognition. This was part of the motivation, he said, for bringing the art fair to the country’s capital.
“You have so many great artists. You have so many strong collectors, who want not only to possess art, but want to support Indonesian artists,” he told an audience at the launch. “That is what makes it so unique.”
“There is also a weakness. I think what is missing until today is infrastructure on the same level as your art and your collectors are. And that’s where we can come in and where we can help and become part of this entire game.”
In addition to the myriad galleries plying their wares, the fair also had a non-commercial side.
Two special exhibitions are being held: one showcasing the works of the late Indonesian master Affandi, and another of loaned artworks that provide a glimpse into the collections of six major Indonesian collectors.
It is hoped that the boutique art fair will help establish Jakarta as the premier ‘art city’ in Southeast Asia and provide a global launch platform for local artists.
“They say you know when it’s time – well, the time is right now,” the organisers write in the programme. “Indonesia is moving, and this is its moment.”