MACAN, Jakarta's new contemporary art museum

Indonesian modern art brings the country vividly to life and will soon have a new showcase.

Jakarta’s rapidly expanding art scene is set for another addition in 2017 with the expected opening of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN). Given that Indonesian art has made quite a splash at major art auctions in Hong Kong over the past 10 years, it seems timely for the country’s capital to have a major contemporary art museum.

Haryanto Adikoesoemo

Yogyakarta, in central Java, already has a large, private modern and contemporary art space, the OHD Museum, with displays of Indonesian paintings, sculptures, installations and new media art. Dr Oei Hong Djien, who started it, has been collecting art for more than 30 years. His collection comprises more than 2,000 Indonesian works, a fraction of which is on public display at any given time.

Dr Oei’s vast collection of the exuberant, colourful art includes names that may become more and more familiar to art lovers. Living artists such I Nyoman Masriadi, Christine Ay Tjoe, Heri Dono, F.X. Harsono, Entang Wiharso, H. Widayat and Eko Nugroho are among artists that he likes. Among his favourite older, deceased artists: Affandi, Hendra Gunawan, S. Sudjojono, Soedibio, Hendra Gunawan, and Lee Man Fong. 

MACAN will certainly fill a need in Jakarta, a city of over 25 million people. Announced recently by Indonesian philanthropist Haryanto Adikoesoemo, a leading collector who owns over 800 pieces, the new museum will cover 43,000 square feet in a larger complex. In addition to Indonesian art, it will be the country’s first museum dedicated to international modern and contemporary art, along with education, art history and research.

Thomas Berghuis

“Jakarta is one of the most dynamic artistic centres in the world,” Adikoesoemo said in a press release. “And Indonesia has long been home to countless talented and experimental artists working in all genres. Indonesia has over 250 million people and is a significant growth area for the arts.”

Adikoesoemo has named Dr Thomas J. Berghuis, formerly the curator of Chinese art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, as the museum’s director.

Berghuis told FinanceAsia: “I am grateful for the opportunity to work on this bold move in building a private initiative that has a strong public vision and mission. We are excited for the opening of Museum MACAN in 2017, a museum that will distinguish itself from existing private museums in Indonesia through a distinct focus on education, enriching curatorial initiatives, and investment in a dynamic creative economy for Indonesia.”

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