Melt (Triptych) by Entang Wiharso is one of Museum Macan's top works. Image via The Business Times.
When one is new to Jakarta, one makes the mistake of not telling the cab driver to travel via the toll roads. And so it is that while creeping through the city's tight tangled backstreets, the cab finds itself coming head-to-head with another car, both unable to give way because they are simultaneously surrounded by three dozen motorcycles.
But if the traffic in Jakarta is notoriously chaotic, the rich arts scene partly makes up for it. The recent opening of the new Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (or Museum Macan for short) as well as the fifth Jakarta Biennale are testament to the growing efforts to shine a spotlight on the decades-old and diverse scene that receives relatively scant international attention.