Atri Siregar walks the halls of the inaugural Art Stage fair in Jakarta and tells us what caught her eye.

22 Aug 2016

The inaugural Art Stage Jakarta was held from 5 to 7 August at Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel, and saw the participation of 50 galleries from 16 countries. The exhibition is the counterpart to the Singapore art fair, which made its sixth run earlier this year. During the three-day event, Art Stage Jakarta presented four main programmes: artworks, talks, private tours and a special Collector’s exhibition.

Art Stage Jakarta
Art Stage Jakarta 2016

Over 15,000 visitors came to observe and enjoy the pieces displayed; Indonesia’s own Taufik Ermas presented by Nunu Fine Art quickly became one of the talking points during the exhibition, with his smooth cut outs of humanoid silhouettes – representations of the artist’s loved ones lost during an earthquake – disrupting an otherwise peaceful scenery.

Art Stage Jakarta
Art Stage Jakarta 2016

The Art Stage Jakarta exhibition space allowed visitors to enjoy quiet moments of observation. Lucky visitors were also able to interact with the artists themselves, who freely talked about their process and inspiration. Chinese artists Yue Minjun and Chen Wenling were seen in attendance, and exhibiting artists like Argya Dhyaksa and Agus Suwage could be found enjoying the art pieces. Art collectors from far and wide were also able to find a diverse array of work, ranging from classic to contemporary, and topics to suit their every interest.

Art stage Jakarta
Art Stage Jakarta 2016

“Through this experience I have been introduced to a lot of Indonesian artists and in turn, I hope I have managed to introduce Japanese artists to a new audience,” said Hideaki Yamamoto of Shonandai Gallery. One artist that Yamamoto brought to Art Stage Jakarta was Ryota Unno, whom he met at the very beginning of the artist’s career. Traditional methods met modern musings through Unno’s playful pop-culture infused work, which used paint derived from minerals and that were traditionally processed to create striking colours on Washi paper.

Aditya Novali, Conversation Unknown, 2015, private collection of Dr. Melanie Setiawan

Talks held on Saturday and Sunday also gathered a sizeable crowd, and featured art collectors and artists alike, who spoke of friendships formed within the community, as well as government-level support to expand and explore the many challenges faced by the developing contemporary art scene. Filmmaker Mira Lesmana and Papermoon Puppet Theatre founder, Maria Tri Sulistiyani were also there to discuss the creative process.

Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo, CMYK8, 2011, private collection of Deddy Kusuma

Leading Indonesian collectors also made their presence felt through their presence on the Art Stage Jakarta Board of Art Patrons and Board of Young Collectors. Art Stage Jakarta’s Collector’s Show, entitled Expose, was a homage to the spirit of art collecting, and featured paintings, sculptures, installation and photography. Displaying art collected by two generations of art collectors, and curated by Enin Supriyanto, Expose featured 14 masterpieces. With three pieces from his collection displayed, Deddy Kusuma who is an internationally recognised art collector and currently leads Art Stage Jakarta Board of Art Patrons once again displayed his love of art and his determination to further introduce local artists into the international art scene.

Lorenzo Rudolf Lorenzo Rudolf, founder and President of Art Stage Singapore and Jakarta

Art Stage Singapore and Jakarta founder and President Lorenzo Rudolf also curated The Human Face, a special exhibition sponsored by Sotheby’s that showcased the work of Indonesian expressionist maestro Affandi.

Yunizar Selamat Pagi Kotaku (Good Morning My Town), 2003, private collection of Alex Tedja

As part of the exhibition, visitors were also invited to observe the artworks that decorated the busy halls of Gandaria City Mall, where Alex Tedja – owner of Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel where this year’s Art Stage Jakarta was held – introduced art pieces like Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin to the public.

Images courtesy of Art Stage Jakarta

Art Stage Jakarta