Vibrancy in Jakarta's Art Scene | Art Jakarta 2023


Art Jakarta 2023

Art Jakarta, a significant event in the Jakarta art scene, unfolded from November 17 to 19, 2023. Despite the global pandemic challenges, the event took place at the Jakarta International Expo, spanning the historic Kemayoran district and infusing a distinctive energy. Whitestone Gallery took part in this art fair and has invited one of their gallerists, who personally experienced the event, to share their reflections.

Whitestone Gallery's booth at Art Jakarta 2023

As well as “Art Moment Jakarta”, “Art Jakarta,” another big event in the art scene of Indonesia, welcomed its 2nd edition from 17th to 19th November 2023. This event was the largest scale since the coronavirus pandemic, and from many sponsoring companies, we can feel the extraordinary enthusiasm of the organizer. The venue is “Jakarta International Expo” (JIEXPO), located in the Kemayoran district, which has been redeveloped as a new business area. It is also a cultural district with historical shopping malls and the Sophilia Museum, and the beach is spread if we go a little further north.

Art Jakarta 2023

Despite being held collectively for three days over the weekend, Art Jakarta 2023 recorded over 35,000 visitors in total. Compared to last year’s edition, it marked a 15,000 increase. In addition to spirited galleries from all over Indonesia, 68 galleries were gathered from neighboring countries like Malaysia and Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia. Thus, the mixture of local enthusiasm and international sophistication generated a stimulating “mixed bag” atmosphere in a positive sense. Other than the usual “gallery section” consisting of the participating galleries, there was also a unique “art scene section”, area located near the entrance, which functioned as a communication spot for creators who were active mainly in Jakarta.

From Whitestone Gallery's booth at Art Jakarta 2023, Kongkee’s artwork.

Whitestone booth is located almost in the middle of the venue, in the intersection, in which every visitor necessarily takes a path. On each six walls of the booth, the works of Romana Machin Tanimura (Japan), Kongkee (HK), Kohei Kyomori (Japan), Masayuki Tsubota (Japan), Soonik Kwon (South Korea), and Tetsuo Mizu (Japan) are effectively displayed. Especially, Kongkee’s gorgeous colored LED installation cannot help capturing everyone’s eyes. Literally, it can be said one of the highlights of the entire fair. Whitestone, which has introduced GUTAI all over the world and simultaneously has expanded the branches over Asia, attracts a good variety of visitors with its selection which focuses on both regional distinctiveness and “materiality”.

Whitestone Gallery's booth at Art Jakarta 2023

From Whitestone Gallery's booth at Art Jakarta 2023, Osamu Watanabe’s artwork.

There is no end for all ages and genders who take “insta-worthy” pictures in front of the works, for example, Osamu Watanabe’s three-dimensional “deer”, which was displayed in the aisle as if it was wandering, becomes a meeting spot for the visitors. Among the represented artists, Soonik Kwon caught the attention of local art connoisseurs, with its dignified presence based on his noble aesthetics and creational elaboration. Overturning brilliantly the stereotype that “complete abstraction is hard to sell,” he recorded a high sales rate in Indonesia and South Korea. Although it had been difficult to survey the market preference in Indonesia, Whitestone prepared various types of works by a wide variety of artists. It appealed to each collector’s “joy of choice” and then, achieved consequently a successful outcome.

From Whitestone Gallery's booth at Art Jakarta 2023, Soonik Kwon’s artwork.

Surveying the profundity of the presentations at the fair, we are convinced that the enthusiasm for art in Indonesia will be expanded in the future. The richness of traditional art, including textiles, is a treasure trove of our preference for “materiality”. Besides, the dynamic natural environment will also continue to bring about the wonder of interplay following the development of technology. Also, from the viewpoint of “scouting new talent,” Indonesia is a land that is open to exploration.

Whitestone Gallery's booth at Art Jakarta

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