Jakarta. At the new Art Sampoerna fair, which will make its debut on May 19, artists will not be represented by their galleries but will be there themselves at the venue to engage with visitors and fans.
Curator Rizki A. Zaelani, speaking at a media gathering in South Jakarta on Wednesday (10/5), said he hoped the new concept will shake up the local art scene.
There is already a long list of art exhibitions planned in Indonesia for this year, including the month-long ArtJog in Yogyakarta — also starting on May 19, Bazaar Art Jakarta in July, Art Stage Jakarta in August and the Jakarta and Yogyakarta Biennale at the end of the year.
Anticipation is also high for the new Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts in Nusantara (Macan) in West Jakarta, which will open in November.
Rizki, a top curator for the National Gallery of Indonesia in Central Jakarta, said he wants Art Sampoerna to be more than just a marketplace. He wants visitors to have an experience at the fair, bringing their own interpretations and meanings to each art work.
"This event is half an art fair, half an exhibition. I want the event to be interactive. The problem with an art fair, it's only interesting if you knew the artists. Art Sampoerna is arranged more like an exhibition, and not everything is located inside the building. Some of the works are displayed outdoor," Rizki said.
The three-day event at Sampoerna Strategic Square in South Jakarta will feature recent works by 49 Indonesian artists in many disciplines, including visual arts, design, photography, architecture and fashion.
Participating artists include Heri Dono, Putu Sutawijaya, Dolorosa Sinaga, Augueste Soesastro, Ykha Amelz and Yogie A. Ginanjar.
Rizki said he realized an art fair has different goals than an exhibition. An art fair tries to sell artists' works while an exhibition focuses more on presenting the aesthetic values of those works.
He said ArtJog in Yogyakarta is an ideal art fair since it takes place for a full month, so there is enough time for visitors to enjoy all the art works on display.
"Of course I am hoping the works [at the fair] will find buyers, but I don't limit my selection to art works that will definitely sell. For example, there is an architecture installation in [Art Sampoerna]. I don't think anyone will buy it, but I like it so I decided to take put it on display," Rizki said.