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Art Jakarta 2018 in Its 10th Year

Erin Tallman and Vanessa Liwanag
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August—Art Jakarta 2018 celebrates its ten-year anniversary as a contemporary art fair where collectors, dealers, artists and art enthusiasts meet and interact.

To commemorate its tenth year, the ‘10 for 10’ acted as a museum-like exhibition featuring ten art installations, notably The Irony of Ruralism by award-winning, Jakarta-born artist Eddy Susanto. The fair furthers its title as a prominent art hub in Jakarta with its Arti Carpet Charity Auction for the benefit of the Jakarta Museum Partner Foundation; and in Asia by exhibiting Japanese and Korean artists, to mention but two. We’ve also put together our pick of some of the best artworks found at the fair.

10 for 10 Exhibition: The Irony of Ruralism

A large, sculpted metal gate, open on either side, began our journey through The Irony of Ruralism by artist Eddy Susanto, presented by Lawangwangi Creative Space. Crisp deep-orange leaves covered the ground inside the exhibition, providing an autumn scent, and the left and right walls portrayed beautifully painted trees which continued onto the center wall—wherein a large, Asian-styled home appeared rather discreetly.

“I collected the leaves near my home,” Susanto told ArchiExpo e-Magazine, smiling.

Attracted by the natural environment in rural areas of Java, many urbanists have been purchasing real estate there over the last ten years. Susanto wished to highlight the fact that the reasoning behind such purchases are for investment purposes, not for the buyers to live there and become part of the local community. This reasoning contradicts the Javanese culture, whose people “read the signs of nature to form their own signifiers and attitudes towards life.”

I wanted to do a political yet societal and cultural piece.”

For the Javanese, “rural areas are synonymous with both a natural environment and a social life filled with warmth, helpfulness and the spirit of mutual cooperation”; in what way could these real estate purchases contribute to the heart of Java when the buyers have no intention of living in the homes and entering the community?

Susanto hopes that this “ironic tale” he has created will “serve as a historical note that will be studied by future generations.”

Arti Carpet Charity Auction

Colorful wool carpets, printed with whimsical designs and patterns made by some of Indonesia’s artists that include Wedhar Riyadi and Radi Arwinda were also auctioned at the fair for the benefit of the Jakarta Museum Partner Foundation of the Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta. Entitled “Tumbuhan”, the carpet that Riyadi designed was a reflection of his signature style, inspired by contemporary street art, graffiti and comics. Arwinda’s carpet creation “Manekineko-Moneybath” was a play on colors and shapes that formed vivid graphics and images of pop culture interspersed on a wide 2 x 2 meter hand tufted premium acrylic wool canvas.

Our Top Pick of Artworks

Among all the tasteful art found at the fair, a few truly stood out. Myanmar-based artist Soe Soe holds nearly three decades of professional experience in the local and international art scene. The vibrant colors and intriguing texture of his Cherry Blossom painting captured our attention. The press agent explained his technique as “like adding icing onto a cake.” Difficult to notice in the photo version of his paintings, one can only wish to gently stroke the artworks when seeing them firsthand—we didn’t, of course.

One artist from the IACO Gallery stand captured our attention. Korean artist Park Sung Sik expresses his talent as not only a painter—and sculptor—, but as a philosopher. “The aim of my works are all about the inner sight and the hollow reality of that special moment, some collision between them giving some case of human story talking with another Ego,” the artist explains on his IACO page. His paintings reveal missing, or “hollow”, forms that, when photographed or seen at a distance, appear complete.

Indonesian Luxury presented an exhibition by photographer Alexander Thian called Let Me Tell You a Story. Well, we like stories. Each photograph he took throughout his travels holds the key to a delightful tale.

Read an interview with Alexander Thian on Swedish Nomad.

Contemporary masterpieces like the Water Wheel Mini by Marck and British photographer Nick Veasey’s C-type print called “Imelda” were some of the key pieces presented by Blue Rider Art.

“The Water Wheel Mini by Marck is describing a woman, swimming in the box, indicating the constraints and limits of women in the society.” shared Vivian Chiu, Sales Executive of Blue Rider Art from Taiwan. Marck is known for creating video sculpture art that reflects society’s themes.

Art Jakarta 2018 in Its 10th Year

Herd by Korean artist Park Sung Sik

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