Where to see art in Jakarta
Pablo Picasso once said that “art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” This is certainly true for those living in Jakarta, where creative spaces provide a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle. Here is our pick of the city’s more notable art galleries!
Boasting a black box theatre and one of the most progressive programmes in the city, Komunitas Salihara in South Kemang deserves to top our list. The arts haven hosts all things creative including drama, dance and music performances, art exhibitions, and lectures and talks – there is something for everyone! And to top it off, the beautifully designed complex also has a branch of Kopitiam Oey and a well-curated gift shop fllled with literature, recordings, and other products made by Indonesian artists.
Interesting fact: Salihara was founded by journalist and poet Goenawan Mohamad. The great man frequently gives talks or can be found having a coffee at the Kopiteam Oey on the property.
Komunitas Salihara, Jl. Salihara No. 16 Kebagusan, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, p: 62-021/ 789-1202. Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-8pm.
An art space rather than a gallery in the traditional sense of the word, Dia.lo.gue showcases anything and everything, from fine art and paper installations to photography and video. Consisting of three distinct spaces – a gallery, a shop, and a café – Dia.lo.gue is the perfect spot for inspirational discussions over a cup of coffee or a light meal. The small store, which is chock full of products made by local artists and designers, is a one-stop shop for quirky gifts.
Interesting fact: The name Dia.lo.gue translates to he/she.you.me in Indonesian, reflecting the owner’s intention to create a space that encourages dialogue between artists, designers, and the general public.
Dia.lo.gue Artspace, l. Kemang Selatan 99a, Kemang, South Jakarta, p: 62-21/719-9671. Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-6pm.
The National Gallery of Indonesia
Located in an impressive colonial building dating back to 1817, the National Gallery of Indonesia displays a permanent collection of about 1,770 artworks by notable Indonesian and international artists. The gallery, which was opened in 1999, also provides a platform for contemporary art including installation art, design, sculpture, and video. But it can be hard to find! A common problem is that it gets confused for the National Museum, the National Gallery is actually located across from the Gambir train station.
Interesting fact: The gallery building was constructed using materials taken from the remains of Kasteel Batavia, a Dutch colonial fortress.
The National Gallery of Indonesia, Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur No. 14, Gambir, Central Jakarta. Hours: Tues-Sun 9am-4pm.
Cemara 6 Art Center
With an agenda that includes exhibitions, discussions, performances, workshops, film screenings and poetry readings by both Indonesian and foreign artists, Cemara 6 Art Center embraces most creative pursuits. The gallery, which was founded by the acclaimed Indonesian poet and philosopher Toeti Heraty Noerhadi Roosseno in 1993, consists of a main exhibition hall and a back yard, where most of the more hands-on activities take place. In addition, Cemara 6 focuses on the development of Indonesian art and culture by organizing exhibitions in countries such as the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, among others.
Interesting fact: Women’s issues play a large part in Heraty’s work and she is often described as one of the first Indonesian feminist thinkers.
Cemara 6 Art Center, l. HOS. Cokroaminoto No. 9-11, Menteng, Central Jakarta, p: 62-21/391-1823. Hours: Tues-Sun 9am-10pm.
Dating back to 1962, when it first opened as Presta Pandavas Gallery, Galeri Hadiprana is one of the longest running exhibition spaces in Jakarta. Back in the day when art was definitely not a priority in Indonesia, the gallery provided artists with a space to meet and display their work. Over the past 50 years, Galeri Hadiprana has grown from strength to strength and today still showcases quality work in a variety of media, including photography, sculpture, and video.
Interesting fact: Those ready to unleash their inner artist should check out the Mitra Hadiprana Art Classes.
Galeri Hadiprana, Mitra Hadiprana Boutique Mall, Ground Floor, Jl. Kemang Raya No. 30, Kemang, South Kemang, p. 62-21/719-4715. Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm.
BIASA ArtSpace Jakarta
Building on the success of its Bali branch, BIASA ArtSpace (now BIASA+) extended its reach to the capital in 2013. BIASA, which translates to ordinary in Indonesian, is anything but what its name would imply. Specializing in showcasing contemporary art, BIASA ArtSpace Jakarta mentors and offers space to local and international up-and-coming artists. The work displayed at the gallery often pushes the boundaries of what is usually considered art so don’t be surprised if what you find here inspires a debate or two.
Interesting fact: The founder of BIASA+ and BIASA ArtSpace Jakarta is an Italian fashion designer who is also the mastermind behind the BIASA clothing line.
BIASA ArtSpace Jakarta, Jl. Kemang Raya 20, Kemang, South Jakarta, p. 62-21/7179-6264. Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-6pm, Sun by appointment only.