Contemporary Art in Jakarta: Part I

Jakarta, the chaotic, cosmopolitan capital of Indonesia, has had a long and diverse cultural history. The city has been influenced by the reigning Portuguese and Dutch colonialism as well as the more recent Chinese and Indian immigrations. All this has helped add to an already dynamic and vibrant art scenario in the city. Jakarta is actually one of the most mature and robust contemporary art markets in the region.

BIASA ArtSpace Jakarta
The Balinese gallery BIASA ArtSpace has played an important role in developing contemporary art in Indonesia ever since it opened back in 2005. Bringing in an alternative platform to the city, continuing its mission for better social understanding, the gallery acts as a contemporary space, the most exhibitions of which have included the contemplative Garden of Delight by Indonesian artist Arya Pandjalu. This particular exhibition included a transformation of the gallery into an indoor garden, complete with grass, leaves and otherworldly creatures, with mixed media works scattered throughout, starkly drawing out the contradictory nature of the environment and urban ecology.

Presenting the seven interactive, kinetic installations which used reflective media, light and technology to capture the viewer and the environment, creating ‘constellations’ that explored the way humans interact with the world and their role in it, the Observatories of the Self by Yogyakarta-based Belgian artist Sara Nuytemans was another notable exhibition held at the BIASA ArtSpace at Jakarta.

Address: Jalan Kemang Raya 20, Kemang,Jakarta, Indonesia
Contact no.: +62 21 71796264

Canna Gallery
Opened in 2001, the Canna Gallery is as a leading contemporary art gallery that began in a small shop house, before it expanded to encompass three whole floors in order to house its large contemporary works. With a reputation that has grown over the years, the Canna Gallery has become a significant presence on the international arts fair scene. Canna Gallery showcases cutting edge, innovative art, with recent solo shows by notable Indonesian artists such as Suraji and FX Harsono, regularly showing at Art Basel Hong Kong and ArtStage Singapore as well. A powerful response to the fraught sociopolitical history of the Chinese-Indonesians in his native East Java, and the forgotten victims of the massacres in the 1940s, the exhibition by FX Harsono, what we have perceived as truth we shall encounter some day as beauty has also been showcased at the Jogja National Museum.

Address: Boulevard Barat Raya LC 6 No. 33–44, Kelapa Gading Permai, Jakarta, Indonesia
Contact no.: +62 21 4526429, +62 21 4522536

Galeri Hadiprana
The longest operating gallery promoting fine art in Indonesia, the Galeri Hadipranais, was born out of founder Hendra Hadiprana’s search for beauty in the confusing, broken city of Jakarta after he returned home from studying in the Netherlands. After a number of evolutions through the decades, the gallery is now housed in a large, flexible space, with movable walls, befitting of a modern arts institute, the gallery has promoted and mentored many of Indonesia’s now-celebrated artists such as renowned writer and painter Danarto, Yusuf Affendi, and Made Gunawan.

Address: Mitra Hadiprana Boutique Mall, Ground Floor, No. 30 Jl. Kemang Raya, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
Contact no.: +62 21 7194715

Linda Gallery
Ever since it was founded in 1990 in Jakarta, the Linda Gallery has been an active, commercial force in the Southeast Asian arts scene. Linda Gallery also has branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore and specializes in Chinese contemporary art, presenting the freshest work from across the region. The Gallery acts as a platform for artistic exchange and communication and has hosted the work of renowned Asian and Indonesian-based artists such as Shi Hu, Basoeki Abdullah, Xiao Bing, Rearngsak and Nico Vrielink.

Address: Jl. Kemang Raya No. 46, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
Contact no.: +62 21 7190888

Ruangrupa
Ruangrupra was established in the year 2000 and is an artist-led, non-profit organization that aims to support the progress of the local art scene through various initiatives, festivals, workshops and projects. The group opened the RURU Gallery in 2008, which provides an exhibition space for young artists and curators. This gallery provides a more youthful and experimental edge of Indonesian creativity.

Address: Tebet Timur Dalam Raya, No.6 – Tebet, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
Contact No.: +62 21 8304220

As it is rightfully said, art is not what you see, but what you make others see, Jakarta too is not as you see, but more of what you choose to see.

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