Indonesia’s chaotic cosmopolitan capital has a long and diverse cultural history, with influences from Portuguese and Dutch colonialism as well Chinese and Indian immigration. All of these rich cultural components add up to a dynamic art scene and a subsequently burgeoning regional market. Explore the creative riches of contemporary Indonesian art for yourself at these ten must-visit contemporary art galleries.
Considering itself a hub for artists, collectors, and art lovers, ARTsphere Gallery focuses on contemporary art from young Indonesian talent coming out of Jakarta, Jogyakarta, Bali, and Bandung, with the aim to promote the nation’s unique art scene both at home and abroad. The gallery was founded in 2006 by Maya Sujatmiko, an arts academic and professional, with a remit to actively contribute to and develop the Indonesian art scene. Past exhibitions have included the thought-provoking sculptures of Renjani Damais-Arifin, the powerful abstractions of Tisna Sanjaya, and the playful paintings of Tatang BSP. Previously based in Dharmawangsa Square, ARTsphere is now housed in a slightly smaller space at the Kemang Icon, making it a convenient stop while visiting other galleries in the area.
Jl.Kemang Raya No.1 Unit 2, Jakarta, Indonesia +62 21 7199719
Another frontrunner on the Jakartan art scene, Edwin’s Gallery was established in 1984 by renowned photographer Edwin Rahardjo. Starting out of a small gallery space and studio in his parents’ garage, the gallery has grown and developed over the years to become one of the most active institutions in the city. Now located in the Kemang area of Jakarta, the gallery has hosted more than 150 exhibitions, presenting work by more than 200 artists from Indonesia and beyond. These include some of the country’s most prominent contemporary artists, such as the sculptor Nyoman Nuarta and Surrealist painter Ivan Sagita. The gallery has also worked to promote Indonesian art on the world stage at international shows in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Venice. Edwin’s Gallery was also one of the first galleries to introduce Chinese avant-garde art to the Indonesian public, presenting artists such as Zhang Xiaogang and Fang Lijun at a 2003 exhibition called From China with Art at the National Gallery of Indonesia.
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 21 Kemang, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia +62 21 7194721, +62 21 71790049
Galeri Hadiprana is the longest operating gallery in Jakarta, promoting fine art in Indonesia. Born out of founder Hendra Hadiprana’s search for beauty in the confusing, broken city of Jakarta after he returned home from studying in the Netherlands, this gallery survived the economic turmoil of the 1960s to bring art to the appreciation of the wider public. Having evolved through the decades, the gallery is now housed in a large, flexible space with movable walls – befitting of a modern art institute. Hadiprana has promoted and mentored many of Indonesia’s now-celebrated artists such as renowned writer and painter Danarto, Yusuf Affendi, and Made Gunawan. Galeria Hadiprana continues to promote the best of Indonesian contemporary art, staging exhibitions with a deep sense of respect and wonder for the country’s cultural identity and the gallery’s history.
Established in 2000, ruangrupa is an artist-led, non-profit organization that aims to support the progress of the local art scene through various initiatives, festivals, workshops and projects. Since 2008, the group opened RURU Gallery, which provides an exhibition space for young artists and curators. The group also facilitates Jakarta 32°C, a biennale showcasing the work of Jakarta students, and the international biennial OK. Video Festival, as well as publishing Karbon, the only Indonesian contemporary art magazine. Come here to see the youthful, experimental edge of Indonesian creativity.
Nadi Gallery was founded in 2000 by architect and art collector Biantoro Santoso. The gallery owns an extensive collection of art, especially painting, by acclaimed Indonesian artists of the past few decades. The name nadi means ‘aorta’ or ‘artery’, and refers to the gallery’s focus on the pulses of contemporary art. New exhibitions are staged at least six times a year with guest curators to showcase works by Indonesian and overseas artists. The gallery also facilitates exchanges between artists, critics, collectors, and curators through workshops and international art fairs.
Since Linda Gallery was founded in 1990 in Jakarta, it has been an active commercial force in the Southeast Asian arts scene. With additional branches in Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore, Linda Gallery specialises in Chinese contemporary art, presenting the freshest work from across the region, and acting as a platform for artistic exchange and communication. Linda Gallery has hosted the work of renowned Asian and Indonesian-based artists such as Shi Hu, Basoeki Abdullah, Xiao Bing, Rearngsak, and Nico Vrielink, as well as participating in international events such as China International Gallery Expo, Art Singapore, and Art Beijing. For a glimpse of Pan-Asian art, Linda Gallery is unbeatable.
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 46, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia, +62 21 7190888
Canna Gallery is a leading contemporary art gallery that opened in 2001 in a small shop house before expanding to encompass three whole floors. It has since become a significant presence in the international art fair scene, regularly showing at Art Basel Hong Kong and ArtStage Singapore. Canna Gallery showcases cutting-edge, innovative works, with past solo shows by notable Indonesian artists such as Suraji and FX Harsono. The latter’s exhibition, what we have here perceived as truth we shall encounter some day as beauty was a powerful response to the fraught sociopolitical history of the Chinese-Indonesians in his native East Java, and the forgotten victims of the massacres in the 1940s.
Boulevard Barat Raya LC 6 No. 33–44, Kelapa Gading Permai, Jakarta, Indonesia +62 21 4526429, +62 21 4522536
The Balinese gallery BIASA ArtSpace has played an important role in developing contemporary art in Indonesia since it opened in 2005. The gallery acts as a complementary space, bringing an alternative platform to the city and continuing its mission for better social understanding through art. Past exhibitions have included the contemplative Garden of Delight by Indonesian artist Arya Pandjalu, in which the gallery was transformed into an indoor garden complete with grass, leaves, and creatures, with mixed media works scattered throughout, drawing attention to the contrasts between the natural environment and urban ecology. Another notable exhibition was Observatories of the Self by Yogyakarta-based Belgian artist Sara Nuytemans. This show presented seven interactive, kinetic installations which used reflective media, light and technology to capture the viewer and the environment, creating ‘constellations’ that explored the way humans interact with the world.
Jalan Kemang Raya 20, Kemang, Jakarta, Indonesia +62 21 71796264