Jakarta. The annual Art Sampoerna fair will put Indonesian contemporary artists in the spotlight at its debut event at Sampoerna Strategic Square in South Jakarta on May 19.
The three-day event will feature recent works by 49 Indonesian artists from many disciplines, from visual arts, design, photography and architecture to fashion.
The artists taking part in the fair include Heri Dono, Putu Sutawijaya, Dolorosa Sinaga, Augueste Soesastro, Ykha Amelz and Yogie A. Ginanjar.
Curator Rizki A. Zaelani said the artists will bring works that respond to the theme of "Flow Into Now" — displaying the artists' meditation on the very human urge of focusing on the future and ignoring the present.
"This art fair is expanding the definition of visual arts and its role within the public space. We tend to associate visual arts with a photo, a film or a painting. But I have selected artists from a variety of disciplines, because this is what artists in Jakarta do. They mix things up, they don't just focus on pure visual arts like most artists in Yogyakarta, as you can see in ArtJog," Rizki said.
Nevertheless, a number of artists from Yogyakarta will also make an appearance at the fair, including Heri, Putu and Farhan Siki.
Art Sampoerna will put more than 60 works on display at the Sampoerna Strategic Square building in South Jakarta, which is not designed to house or display art. Rizki said the venue presents its own challenges, but he assures visitors they will be presented with a unique experience at the fair.
"This event is half an art fair, half an exhibition. I am treating each art work as an experience, so visitors can see and appreciate the artistic process that goes into it, even though they may not immediately understand what it's all about."
Photographer Christina Phan, also known as Yaya, said she hopes the art fair will show the distinctive qualities of each art discipline.
Yaya said people often compare her works with paintings, a comparison which she thinks is unfair.
"People don't appreciate photography as much as they respect painting. They always try to compare my photos to a painting. I don't think you can compare two forms of art that are produced using different tools," she said.
Exhibition director Windi Salomo said for now the art fair is focusing on Indonesian artists, but in the future international artists will come into consideration.
Art Sampoerna is organized by Mobiliari Group and Sampoerna Group. It runs from May 19 to May 21.