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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity Ocula Conversation Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity

Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...

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Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House Ocula Report Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House 5 Jul 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...

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Art Jakarta: World spirit, Independence Day and Asian Games Ocula Report Art Jakarta: World spirit, Independence Day and Asian Games 16 Aug 2018 : Hera Chan for Ocula

A four-legged beast with an ornate mirror for a face and the hybridized horns of a Bawean deer stands in the centre of Chan + Hori Contemporary's booth at the tenth Art Jakarta (2–5 August 2018), housed in the Grand Ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton. This contemporary mythical beast is Lugas Syllabus's Wild Legend (2018): a strong teak wood testament to...

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Aaron Seeto Ocula Conversation Aaron Seeto Director, Museum MACAN, Jakarta

In November 2016, Aaron Seeto was appointed director of Museum MACAN in Jakarta, Indonesia. MACAN is an acronym for Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, Nusantara being an Indonesian and Malay term for 'archipelago'. The museum—the first institution of its kind in Indonesia with a planned focus on art education—is the vision of...

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Ocula Report: Art Stage Jakarta 2016 Ocula Report Ocula Report: Art Stage Jakarta 2016 2 Sep 2016 : Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva for Ocula

For its first edition, which ran from 5th to 7th August 2016, Art Stage Jakarta bustled with exuberant visitors, and the overall atmosphere was one of heightened excitement and activity. Works shown throughout the fair represented a wide consideration of contemporary and modern art. There were representations of well-known...

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Eko Nugroho Ocula Conversation Eko Nugroho Artist, Indonesia

Indonesian contemporary art has enjoyed the attention of the international arts community in recent years. By tapping into the country’s distinct mix of ethnicities, religions, cultural influences, and languages that make for a rich and layered sense of national identity, Indonesian artists are increasingly communicating their unique...

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Stephen Mccoubrey Ocula Conversation Stephen Mccoubrey Co-curator, UBS Art Collection, London

With an extraordinary collection of paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures and video by some of the world’s major artists from 1960 onwards, UBS is recognized as having one of the most important corporate collections of contemporary art in the world.  Stephen McCoubrey has been co-curator of that collection since 1999 and is...

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Art Stage Singapore 2013 Ocula Report Art Stage Singapore 2013 30 Jan 2013 : Diana d'Arenberg for Ocula

Art Stage Singapore has just finished its third, and so far most successful edition, this past weekend. Held in the basement of Marina Bay Sands Exhibition and Convention Centre, this year saw some 130 gallery booths participating.

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Indonesian Art Scene Revs Up Related Press Indonesian Art Scene Revs Up 18 November 2017

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...

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Jakarta Biennale: A new understanding of contemporary Indonesian art Related Press Jakarta Biennale: A new understanding of contemporary Indonesian art The Jakarta Post : 2 November 2017

This year's Jakarta Biennale will diverge from many of the curatorial practices of its predecessors.The Jakarta Biennale, which is set to open on Saturday at Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem in South Jakarta, will this year adopt Jiwa as its artistic concept.Jiwa is a concept that is almost impossible to translate into English, but for this biennale, it...

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Museum MACAN provides public access to one of the most significant collections of modern and contemporary art in Asia Related Press Museum MACAN provides public access to one of the most significant collections of modern and contemporary art in Asia Art Radar : 25 October 2017

The first museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art in Indonesia, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN) opens to the public on 4 November 2017. Founded by Indonesian philanthropist and leading collector Haryanto Adikoesoemo, the museum has over 800 modern and contemporary artworks in its growing collection.

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6 highlights from Art Stage Jakarta 2017 Related Press 6 highlights from Art Stage Jakarta 2017 Art Asia Pacific : 8 August 2017

Indonesia's largest international art fair, Art Stage Jakarta, has announced its line-up ahead of its second edition in August 2017. Art Stage Jakarta features a range of leading Indonesian and international galleries, as well as specific art projects by Indonesian, Southeast Asian and European artists. Art Radar previews some of the fair's...

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Australian curator Aaron Seeto appointed new Director of Jakarta's Museum MACAN Related Press Australian curator Aaron Seeto appointed new Director of Jakarta's Museum MACAN Art Radar Journal : 20 November 2016

On 10 November 2016 the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN) announced the appointment of Aaron Seeto as Director of the museum. Seeto has previously worked as Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney and most recently was the Curatorial Manager of Asian and Pacific Art at the...

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Jompet Kuswidananto: 'After Voices' Related Press Jompet Kuswidananto: 'After Voices' ArtAsiaPacific : 31 August 2016

The voices of Indonesian contemporary artists are gaining an increasing profile in Australia along with the region. Yogyakarta is a thriving arts center, attracting artists and curators from around the region for cultural exchange. Indonesian artists appear in biennials and triennials, and are closely watched and supported by commercial galleries...

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Understand, utilise, uplift: 3 Southeast Asian artists presented by Silverlens x ROH Projects, Jakarta Related Press Understand, utilise, uplift: 3 Southeast Asian artists presented by Silverlens x ROH Projects, Jakarta Art Radar : 25 August 2016

Art Radar profiles three internationally-recognised Southeast Asian artists presented in an exhibition curated by Filipino artist Gary-Ross Pastrana in Jakarta. The works on show demonstrate a thorough understanding and exploration of materials, which has resulted in unconventional and cross-cultural forms.Known to expand notions of contemporary...

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Art plus: Art as food for your soul Related Press Art plus: Art as food for your soul The Jakarta Post : 22 August 2016

The eighth edition of the flagship regional event promises to be more diverse and informative than ever before, Fair Director Vivi Yip said.“We aim to connect with a broader public audience,” Vivi said. “Not only will Bazaar Art Jakarta present the artwork of world-class artists from 41 leading galleries from 11 countries,...

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Recent Events

Contemporary art exhibition, Art Jakarta 2018 at Ocula Editions, Auckland
2–5 Aug 2018 Art Jakarta 2018

About Jakarta

Jakarta, once known as Batavia, was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies during more than a couple centuries of colonial rule. The city was established as early as the 5th century and quickly became an important trading port. As Indonesia's current capital city, Jakarta's business opportunities attract people from across the island nation, bringing together many communities and cultures over centuries of rapid development. A reflection of this cultural and historical diversity can truly be felt and seen in Jakarta's vibrant art sphere.

An arts organisation called Batavia Art Circle (Bataviasche Kunstkring) was formed in 1902. A building in the centre of the city was dedicated to the art society and in the 20th century exhibited works by van Gogh, Picasso, van Dongen, Chagall, Kandinsky, Ensor, and Kollwitz as a part of an exhibition of European art commissioned by Dutch entrepreneur and art collector Pierre Alexandre Regnault.

From the late 1930s, the nation's first artist association—the Union of Indonesian Painters (Persatuan Ahli-Ahli Gambar Indonesia or PERSAGI), founded in Jakarta in 1938 by a group of Indonesian artists—criticised the European style of paintings that depicted the romantic landscapes of the Dutch East Indies. They advocated a new modern art that held a distinctly Indonesian identity and highlighted the struggle of the Indonesian people under the colonial system.

Jakarta bore witness to the birth of the Indonesian New Art Movement (Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru) in 1974. The movement sprung out of protests during the judging of the first edition of what would later be known as the Jakarta Biennale. They centred around the institutional limiting of what could constitute Indonesian fine art practice. Notable figures of the movement include artists and art-world figures, such as Jim Supangkat, Dadang Christanto, and FX Harsono, who championed installations, ready-mades, photographs, and photo-realist paintings.

In 2017, the Jakarta Biennale appointed performance artist Melati Suryodarmo as its artistic director, along with four curators from the Indonesian and international art stage.

In the southern part of the city, Ruangrupa—loosely translating to 'space for art'—is one of the leading artist-run spaces in Jakarta. It is also the name of the founding art collective that was established in 2000 and consists of Indonesian contemporary artists Ade Darmawan, Reza Afisina, and Iswanto Hartono, among others. The collective launched OK. Video—Indonesia Media Arts Festival to create a platform for a wider range of artworks than the standard art fair. This range includes digital imaging, sound art, and internet-based works, along with an exciting programme of workshops. Ruangrupa has been appointed as the curator of the 2022 edition of Documenta in Kassel. They will be the first Documenta artistic directors from the Asian region.

In addition to artist-initiated events and spaces, Jakarta is home to one of the country's most important institutions: the National Gallery of Indonesia. The museum houses over 1700 artworks by Indonesian and international artists such as Raden Saleh, Pierre Soulages, Sutjipto Adi, and Zao Wou-Ki. The most recent addition to the energetic art scene in Jakarta, The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), is the first Indonesian museum fully devoted to modern and contemporary art from Indonesia and around the world, showcasing contemporary artworks by Andy Warhol, Arahmaiani, Cai Guo Qiang, Christine Ay Tjoe, Karel Appel, Lee Ufan, Robert Rauschenberg, and Yayoi Kusama, to name a few.

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