Indonesia is filled with incredibly talented artists who are getting more and more recognition on the international stage, but the venues in which we can see their works, and the works of international contemporary artists, here in Jakarta are depressingly few. Beyond the occasional art festival like the awesome Jakarta Biennale, our art galleries are few and far between and our museums’ modern art offerings are lacking.
Fortunately, that will change next year with the opening of Museum MACAN, which stands for Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara. It will be the first museum dedicated to international modern and contemporary art in all of Indonesia.
Set to open in early 2017, Museum MACAN will be located in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta, and be housed inside a 4,000-square-meter venue.
The man bankrolling the museum is Haryanto Adikoesoemo, the president director of chemical logistics company AKR Corporindo and a well-known international art collector. His 800-work collection, which will serve as the foundation for the museum’s, includes a wide selection of works by prominent Indonesian artists such as Raden Saleh, Lee Man Fong, and FX Harsono, as well as pieces by art world icons including Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.
In a press release, Haryanto said: “Jakarta is one of the most dynamic artistic centers in the world, and Indonesia has long been home to countless talented and experimental artists working in all genres.”
“I am delighted to be able to provide the public with the kind of high-caliber arts institution that Indonesia deserves, and to support and expand the existing creative industries and diverse artistic communities. Museum MACAN aims to fill a void in Indonesia, and is committed to exchange with other museums, and to strengthening the network of cultural institutions and artists in the area that are creating an increasingly vibrant and supportive environment for the arts and culture across Southeast Asia and beyond.”
The museum has already lined up Dr. Thomas J. Berghuis, the former curator of Chinese art at the Guggenheim in New York, to serve as the new museum’s first director.
“I am thrilled to be spearheading Museum MACAN,” Dr. Berghuis said in the press release. “It will make a vital contribution to the cultural ecology of Nusantara— the Indonesian archipelago—and will broaden the art world’s perspective to include an often overlooked region. The museum will provide visitors with the opportunity to engage with the most innovative art from Indonesia and beyond, and will give Indonesian artists, and artists from abroad a prominent platform, and opportunities to engage with the public in this important global capital.”
While we can’t wait to see what Museum MACAN will have to offer the public, we’re equally excited by what it could do for Indonesia’s artistic community as well as Jakarta’s cultural scene.