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Singapore setting stage for Indonesian art

Jumaldi Alfi’s 'Re-Reading Landscape (Melting Memories)' will be one of the works on show at the Indonesian Pavilion at Art Stage Singapore from January 24 to 27. Photo courtesy of Art Stage Singapore

Publication Date : 21-01-2013


Art Stage Singapore unveils its annual exhibition of art from Asia, with never-before-seen platform for Indonesian artists


Art Stage Singapore is gearing up for its annual exhibition of art from Asia and throughout the globe, but this year with a twist: the Indonesian Pavilion.

Contemporary Indonesian art will be showcased in the space through gallery booths and a special exhibition of major artists, and through an education centre managed by the Yogyakarta-based Indonesian Visual Art Archive (VIAA).

“Art Stage Singapore is very happy to host this never-seen-before international platform for Indonesian artists and galleries in our 2013 edition,” Art Stage Singapore founder and director Lorenzo Rudolf told The Jakarta Post in an email on Friday.

Up to 50 Indonesian artists will be exhibiting at the art fair now in its third year. Some will be showing their art for the first time outside Indonesia; others are creating works especially for the event that runs from January 24 to 27.

Padang-born painter Jumaldi Alfi will be presenting "Re-Reading Landscape (Melting Memories)", a piece inspired by the romanticised Dutch colonial painting style termed "Mooi Indie (Beautiful Indies)" but with a twist. And Galam Zulkifli, self-taught and born in Sumbawa, has crafted a 10-metre-long painting based on figures from Indonesia’s art scene.

Art patron and collector Oei Hong Djien, who owns the OHD Museum in his hometown of Magelang, Central Java, told the Post in an interview on Friday that one of the exciting things about the Indonesian Pavilion is the space it is providing to local artists.

“Usually if artists exhibit at a gallery there is a limit of space and limit of the size of the artwork. The artists are very happy because they have a huge amount of space. There is no limit, so our artists are coming out with 10-metre-long works or a piece that is 6 x 6 metres … I think it will be blockbuster.”

Over 600 artists and 130 galleries from 23 countries throughout the world will be on show at Art Stage Singapore being held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

The fair is emphasising art from Asia and the Pacific with a particular focus on Southeast Asian artists and galleries, with 80 per cent of the galleries exhibiting at Art Stage from the region.

In line with the fair’s focus on Southeast Asia, the Parisian/Singapore architecture firm WY-TO has designed an entryway to the event inspired by the region’s textiles. And, recognition of Southeast Asia’s rich textile heritage will also be in evidence with Singapore’s Gajah Gallery debuting the Yogya Art Lab’s (YAL) collaboration with the West Sumatra-born painter Yunisar, known for his work with the art collective the Jendela group. Works on show will feature the unique combination of homemade paper, molten metal and dyes usually used for batik.

In addition to displays of contemporary art, there will be a host of ancillary events including tours and lectures. One notable happening is an hour-long discussion slated for January 24 titled “The Private Museum” with Uli Sigg, Budi Tek and Lekha Poddar. Budi, an Indonesian art collector and owner of the Yuz Museum in Jakarta, was eighth on Art & Auction’s top 10 most influential people in the art world in 2011, and is known for his collection of Chinese art.

Local galleries attending Art Stage include d gallerie in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, and Nadi Gallery in Puri Indah, West Jakarta.

Several Indonesian artists who will be showing at the upcoming Venice Biennale will also have works at Art Stage, including Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta-educated Entang Wiharso presenting a metal piece titled Chronicles Fence, and Bandung Institute of Technology-educated Titarubi, who works in a variety of mediums.

Oei said, “We need activities that are more focused on Asia and of course the Hong Kong art fair [ART HK] was taken over by Art Basel and Dubai is becoming more and more important and I think in our region we should have a more representative art fair.

“We have to support this. I hope that more and more countries and galleries will participate in this art space and that the quality of the works, the quality of the fair, can compete with Hong Kong.”

Rudolf, who was formerly the director of Art Basel and developed the idea for Art Basel Miami Beach, said, “I am sure our international visitors would be amazed by the depth and quality the Indonesian art scene can offer.

“Art Stage Singapore is here to bridge all gaps and gather professionals of all types to celebrate the fast-growing development of Indonesian contemporary art.”


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