Admirers of contemporary Indonesian and Asian art are in for a treat this month when Dreaming Monster 3 b y Goto Atsuko, Unfamiliar Landscape –A Pond of Snipers by Chien-Chiang Hua, Inner Peace by Herbert Pajarito and Behind American Dream 1 by Entang Wiharso (pictured) will be among the artworks to be shown at Bazaar Art Jakarta (BAJ) 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place from August 25-28.
Billed as “the biggest art fair in Jakarta”, last year’s event saw a total of 550 artists participating. It attracted more than 30,000 visitors. This year’s eighth edition of BAJ has a fresh concept and two new “captains”. The first name is Vivi Yip, the fair director. This respected art expert is the founder of contemporary art gallery Vivi Yip Art Room and the initiator of the Young Indonesia Contemporary Artist (YICA) community. Previously, she worked at Sotheby’s as Southeast Asian paintings specialist and Indonesia representative for 10 years.
“My gallery has been participating in BAJ since the beginning. Now I’ve been given the chance to be in the background. It’s an eye-opening experience,” says Yip. “BAJ is already an established event with a solid team in the background. What we are trying to do is give a different taste and touch to the event. We won’t change its essence.”
The second new “captain” is a dear friend of Yip’s, independent curator Rifky Effendy, who is creative director of the art fair. He co-founded the Jakarta contemporary ceramics Biennale, established a Bandung-based art space platform3 and formed inkubatorasia, a Jakarta-based space dedicated to promoting emerging contemporary artists. His portfolio as a curator is vary from national to international scale, including the curator of the Indonesia Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.
“This year, we will focus on art experiences and education,” points out Yip. “Beside our regular programme TALKart, we will also have EDUart. This educational programme has been created for different age groups of art enthusiasts who are interested in drawing, painting, making murals, screen-printing and sculpting. Through this programme, we will also teach art teachers on how to teach in a creative way. In an effort to focus on children, we’ll have a tour for them, led by a competent guide. It is very unfortunate if young people in this country never knew who Affandi was. Why we focus on education is because we are aware that art has the ability to trigger critical thinking.”
This year, BAJ features works from more than 40 Indonesian and international galleries from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin. With a total of 350 artists and 600 artworks, they’re targeting 40.000 visitors at the event. “In regards to sale, we target an increase of 20 percent from last year’s revenue,” explains Yip.
Special projects are a part of this year’s agenda. On the line up are art performances such as theatrical acts, video loops, and live painting where several artists draw onto sneakers, bags and skateboards.
Aware that this event has a big potential to make a difference through art, Yip and Effendy have invited the government to participate in TALKart. “As one of the closing events, Head of National Creative Economy Board Triawan Munaf, Director General for Culture at Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture Hilmar Farid, and Irawan Karseno from Jakarta Arts Council will share their missions regarding art in Indonesia,” says Yip.
Collaborating with Pacific Place as the official venue, the MALLart programme will focus on displaying large-scale installations by Indonesia’s prominent artists. “Art has become a necessity for urbanites,” Effendy declares. “We hope that the government will pay more attention to art and to the creativity of young people. Art fairs nowadays are far different from the ones that were held 10 years or more ago. The goal is not only to sell artworks, but also to educate people. I hope that, through BAJ, people will realise that art has a lot of values to offer. I hope this event will liven up the cultural scene in Jakarta.”