Organisers of the 2012 edition of Art Jog hope to stand out on the now-crowded Asian art fair calendar with their focus on emerging practitioners and an artist-centred exhibition format.
Art Jog ’12, “Looking East — A Gaze upon Indonesian Contemporary Art”, opened on 14 July 2012 at Taman Budaya in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Art Radar takes you inside the fair for an exclusive view of the freshest works in the Indonesian contemporary art scene.
Artists bypass galleries to set own prices
Art Jog ’12 is a distinctively artist-centred art fair. In the exhibition space at Taman Budaya, Yogyarkata, visitors will not find gallerists or art dealers in booths. Rather, the art is displayed as it would be in an exhibition.
To ask about prices, reserve a work or make a purchase, interested buyers approach one of the many fair workers who hold the full price list of all works on view. Reserved works are held for a day.
The artists set the prices of their art works, with Heri Pemad Art Management, the organiser of Art Jog, advising them. The management company takes a commission from the sale of each work, part of which goes to covering the costs of managing the fair. If works remain unsold at the end of the fair, they are returned to the artists.
At this year’s Art Jog, prices of the works range from IDR3 million (USD320) to IRD2.5 billion (USD260,000). The latter is the price tag for Pintor Sirait‘s Mythic Airways, a suspended stainless steel aircraft imprinted with pages from the English-language Indonesian newspaper, The Jakarta Post.
Heri Pemad, who founded Heri Pemad Art Management in 2004, says of Art Jog’s unique format,
For Art Jog, there is discussion, communication and interaction between the artists and the art fair committee, and with that the artists trust us with their works. I think that is the key to the success of Art Jog.
Promoting emerging artists from around the globe
Art Jog ’12 aims to promote new works by emerging artists. To participate in the art fair, artists had to submit pieces created in response to this year’s theme, “Looking East — A Gaze Upon Contemporary Art”.
Director of Art Jog ’12, Satriagama Rakantaseta, revealed that though most of the submissions were from Indonesian artists, there were also artists from other Southeast Asian countries and even European countries who responded to the open call. Art works were selected based on creativity in subject and medium as well as relevance to the theme.
Bambang ‘Toko’ Witjaksono, an artist and the curator of Art Jog ’12, said that he was “very happy” with the quality of the submissions.
Yogyakarta artists well-respresented
For Art Jog ’12, 192 works made the selection. Half of these are paintings and a fifth are installations. Altogether, there are 93 paintings, 44 installations, 25 photographic works, 12 sculptures, 11 video works and 7 paper works.
Due to space limitations, only about 70 percent of the works are on display at any one time. Once a work is sold, another one from the stockroom takes its place.
In response to the large presence of Yogyakarta artists at the fair, 79 works in total, Rakanteseta said, “Yogyakarta is where young artists in Indonesia come to study and work and try out new ideas.”
Artists from abroad included
Artists from outside Indonesia are also included in the fair: Ahmad Fuad Osman from Malaysia, Willis Turner Henry from Singapore, Wim Delvoye from Belgium and Ashley Bickerton, an American artist based in Bali. Indonesian artists based abroad, like Tintin Wulia in Australia and EddiE haRA in Switzerland, are also exhibiting works at Art Jog ’12.
Conscious of the art fair’s role in providing an important platform for emerging artists, all works at the event are by active artists, with a good number born in the 1970s and 1980s. Rakanteseta noted that this was a goal of the fair, saying, “I prefer collectors buying works from new artists because it means that we have succeeded in finding new talent and we make this event a meaningful one.”
Commissioned works, future plans
Purbandono’s “Taman Hantu (Ghost Park)” is a series of scanography works centered on skulls and everyday objects. Diputra created a monumental outdoor sculpture in the form of an elephant splayed atop a mound of coconuts, while Avianto covered the entire facade of Taman Budaya with a site-specific installation of interwoven bamboo.
For next year’s Art Jog, Rakanteseta says that there are plans to organise more fringe events, especially discussions with international artists. There is already strong local and regional support for Art Jog, and the fair committee is confident that with its distinctive format, Art Jog will gain recognition as a must-see in the art fair circuit.
A fair on the rise
Now in its fifth year (its third as Art Jog), the fair started out in 2008 as part of the Yogyakarta Art Festival. In 2009, it became independent and was called the Jogja Art Fair. In 2010, Jogja Art Fair changed its name to Art Jog.
Rakanteseta believes Art Jog ’12 will play host to a diverse group of visitors from Indonesian galleries looking for new artists to represent to private collectors, artists and art students.
A testament to the fair’s rising status in the region is the presence of Lorenzo Rudolf as advisor to Art Jog ’12. Rudolf directed Art Basel from 1991 to 2000 and played a key role in the creation of ShContemporary in Shanghai and Art Stage Singapore.
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