Indonesia’s largest international art fair, Art Stage Jakarta, has announced its line-up ahead of its second edition in August 2017.

Art Stage Jakarta features a range of leading Indonesian and international galleries, as well as specific art projects by Indonesian, Southeast Asian and European artists. Art Radar previews some of the fair’s offerings ahead of its opening later this month. 

Muhamad ‘Ucup’ Yusuf, 'Javanese little cosmos’, 2015, acrylic, offset ink on mdf carvings, 122 x 122 cm. Image courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery

Muhamad ‘Ucup’ Yusuf, ‘Javanese little cosmos’, 2015, acrylic, offset ink on mdf carvings, 122 x 122 cm. Image courtesy Tomio Koyama Gallery.

This year’s ART STAGE Jakarta, which takes place at the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel from 11 – 13 August 2017, will be exhibiting 60 galleries, with over a third hailing from Indonesia. The other galleries come from all over the world, giving the fair an intensely international character, with locations including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and the United States.

From this impressive list, Art Radar highlights some of the key galleries and the artists they’ll be bringing to the fair.

1. Sullivan+Strumpf

Established by Ursula Sullivan and Joanna Strumpf, Sydney-based gallery Sullivan+Strumpf presents the work of emerging and established artists working at the forefront of contemporary art. Critically and aesthetically engaged with the work of their large roster of international artists, the gallery has recently expanded its remit, opening an exhibition space in Singapore, and establishing itself as the first Australian gallery presence in Asia.

Lindy Lee, 'Enlightenment of the forest', 2015, black mild steel and fire, 180 x110cm. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf.

Lindy Lee, ‘Enlightenment of the forest’, 2015, black mild steel and fire, 180 x110 cm. Image courtesy Sullivan+Strumpf.

At ART STAGE Jakarta, they will be presenting the curiously abstract and meditative work of artists Lindy Lee and Matthew Allen. Allen’s most recent group show at Sullivan+Strumph, “That Was Then, This Is Now”, gives a taster of what we can expect in this presentation. Ambiguous and subdued, his mixed media pieces refer to abstract expressionism through their close focus on the material of paint upon canvas. As the gallery explains,

Purity of medium and the experience of colour form the kernel of the artist’s abstract approach. The paintings are composed of a ground colour coated in transparent or translucent glazes, producing subtle, atmospheric gradients of tone. Devoid of any formal composition and physical traces of the artist’s hand, the works recall the aesthetic of abstract expressionism and the colour field painters of the Washington colour school […] Their purity of colour, form and expression is somewhat therapeutic, tapping into the viewer’s subjectivity by triggering unique sensory and emotional engagement.

Matthew Allen, 'Untitled (flow painting; pink)', 2015, acrylic, oil and resin on paper, 100 x 66 cm. Image courtesy Sullivan + Strumpf.

Matthew Allen, ‘Untitled (flow painting; pink)’, 2015, acrylic, oil and resin on paper, 100 x 66 cm. Image courtesy Sullivan+Strumpf.

Similarly therapeutic are the thoughtful, stirring works of Lee, whose practice pairs surrealist themes of chance and spontaneity with explorations of her Chinese ancestry through Taoism and Buddhism. Lee has lately been using pyrographic imagery in her work, burning holes through sheets of metal and heavyweight paper, “as a way to further explore the theme of personal journeys”.

2. The Drawing Room Gallery

Hailing from Manila, The Drawing Room Gallery will present the work of Vermont Coronel Jr at ART STAGE Jakarta, as part of the artist’s fifth solo exhibition “Partial Topographies”. The brooding, urban themes of the Filipino artist are often created from stencil cut-outs, which he layers to create random city scenes rich with texture and detail, playing with the relationship between viewer, artist and artwork.

Vermont Coronel, 'Number 2', 2012, Stencil Aerosol spray on canvas, 122 x 153cm. Image courtesy The Drawing Room Gallery.

Vermont Coronel, ‘Number 2’, 2012, stencil aerosol spray on canvas, 122 x 153 cm. Image courtesy The Drawing Room Gallery.

The exhibition will feature a compilation of street-based, urban imagery, made up from graffiti and hand-painted signs, “which attempt to reveal the artist’s thought processes”:

Not shying away from nostalgia to imagine new narratives of the city, Coronel creates landscapes through framing fragments that stimulate him. These fragments are far from complete configurations. However, they reflect distinct areas that have precise relations to the whole […] Depictions of graffiti blockbusters, a timeworn symbol of commercial progress, a wall gap used as furnace and banged police cars comprise Coronel’s new collection, tangible traces yet untouchable. They continue to be perceptions distant from us viewers, detached yet they linger.

Vermont Coronel, 'Number 1', 2011, Stencil on canvas, 122 x 153cm. Image courtesy The Drawing Room Gallery.

Vermont Coronel, ‘Number 1’, 2011, stencil on canvas, 122 x 153 cm. Image courtesy The Drawing Room Gallery.

3. Edouard Malingue Gallery

Also based in Hong Kong with an outpost in Shanghai, contemporary art stalwart Edouard Malingue Gallery will be displaying the humorous video work of Tromarama, an intriguing collective based in Bandung, Indonesia.

Tromarama, ‘Transitivity', 2016, Three channel video. Image courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery

Tromarama, ‘Transitivity’, 2016, three-channel video. Image courtesy Edouard Malingue Gallery.

In line with the gallery’s dedication to present curated and large-scale off-site projects, the collective combine video art with music and installation to create work which asks questions about Indonesia’s political and cultural environment. It does so through eliciting interactive responses within the viewer, demanding inward reflection through its strong and provocative video work, as a response to contemporary urban culture.

Tromarama, ‘Theater’, 2016, 3D lenticular print, 80 x 150 cm, Image courtesy Edouard Malingue Gallery

Tromarama, ‘Theater’, 2016, 3D lenticular print, 80 x 150 cm. Image courtesy Edouard Malingue Gallery.

4. FOST Gallery

Singapore-based FOST Gallery is exhibiting for its second year, bringing a wide selection of Asian artists including Adeel uz Zafar, Heman Chong and Jimmy Ong. Established in 2006, the gallery focuses on progressive contemporary artists, especially Singaporean work. Featuring installation, sculpture, contemporary and conceptual work, their booth will give an overview of the gallery’s ongoing programme.

Jimmy ONG, 'Garland Merlion', 2015, Charcoal and gouache on paper, 64.5 x 128.5 cm. Image courtesy of Fost Gallery.

Jimmy ONG, ‘Garland Merlion’, 2015, charcoal and gouache on paper, 65 x 129 cm. Image courtesy FOST Gallery.

One artist to watch is Pakistani Adeel Uz-Zafar, exhibiting ahead of his second solo exhibition at FOST Gallery in September 2017. The exhibition – “Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise” – showcases the artist’s unusual method of engraving on plastic vinyl, painstakingly scratching forms and marks into the material to create his ethereal, otherworldly works, at once childish yet eerily macabre. 

Adeel uz-Zafar, Drawing Appendage (Diptych), 2014, Engraved drawing on vinyl, H243.8 x W305 cm

Adeel uz-Zafar, ‘Drawing Appendage (Diptych)’, 2014, engraved drawing on vinyl, 244 x 305 cm. Image courtesy FOST Gallery.

5. Tomio Koyama Gallery

One of Tokyo’s leading contemporary galleries and a regular at many of the world’s art fairs, including Art Basel, Frieze, FIAC and Art Stage Singapore, Tomio Koyama gallery will be bringing a roster of emerging and established artists from Japan and around the world. Leading artists include Atsushi Fukui, Tomoko Nagai and Mohamad ‘Ucup’ Yusuf (header image) who creates work which considers sociopolitical issues, with much of his practice taking its theme from his local, natural surroundings.

Atsushi Fukui, 'Clouds and a Bird’, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 53.5 x 80.5 cm. Image courtesy Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Atsushi Fukui, ‘Clouds and a Bird’, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 53.5 x 80.5 cm. Image courtesy Tomio Koyama Gallery.

The imaginative, lighthearted work of Japanese artist Tomoko Nagai is also a highlight, populated with animal motifs – typically cars, bears and horses – alongside imaginary figures in fantastical landscapes. The results are these intriguing, miniaturist compositions, which teeter on the balance between playful and sinister. Nagai is not restricted to one particular medium, rather using different media depending on the subject.

Tomoko Nagai, 'The Room of Fish’, 2015, Oil on canvas, 53 x 73 cm. Image courtesy Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Tomoko Nagai, ‘The Room of Fish’, 2015, 0il on canvas, 53 x 73 cm. Image courtesy Tomio Koyama Gallery.

6. “OFF THE WALL: Europe meets ASEAN”

Alongside the many artists and installations on show, ART STAGE Jakarta also presents “Off The Wall: Europe Meets ASEAN”, an exhibition that nods to the spread of graffiti as an art form across Europe and Southeast Asia, reinforced by the spread of imagery and work through the internet and social media. The exhibition will present and juxtapose the work of innovative urban artists from Europe, Southeast Asia and across the world. Among the participating artists included are renowned names such as Seth Globepainter from France, Chekos Art from Italy and Antz from Singapore.

Chekos Art and Farhan Siki at ART STAGE Jakarta. Image Courtesy of ART STAGE Jakarta.

Chekos Art and Farhan Siki at ART STAGE Jakarta. Image Courtesy ART STAGE Jakarta.

This year, the fair will also extend its programme beyond its physical walls with ART STAGE Jakarta Week, designed to promote Jakarta as a capital for Asian art through activities across various cultural institutions around the city.

Finally, the fair will also introduce a new art prize, the inaugural Indonesian Award for Authenticity, Leadership, Excellence, Quality, Seriousness in Art. The Award “recognises the best of the best across the entire art industry of Indonesia, acknowledging the tremendous creativity, passion, commitment, ideas and concepts of the Indonesian art world.”

Anna Jamieson


Related topics: galleriesinstallationemerging artistsIndonesian artistsIndonesian artcuratorsnewsAsian artistsmarket watchart fairsbusiness of artgallery showscollectorsevents in Jakarta

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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