JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017

  • The Grant Program for Promotion of Cultural Collaboration
Grant Year
Fiscal Year 2017
Grant Amount
IDR 339,284,499
Country of Activity

Jakarta Biennale is a biannual international contemporary art exhibition. Initiated by the Jakarta Arts Council in 1974 as an Indonesian Great Painting Exhibition, Jakarta Biennale has been an international event since 2009. As the underlying theme of the Jakarta Biennale 2017, Jiwa appears in various guises. Jiwa is a force enclosing and separating entities necessary in life. Motivating imagination and creation in space and time, Jiwa can be understood as the agency embodied in art’s practice and in its appearances. Around 116,748 people visited the 2017 Jakarta Biennale. The number is comprised of the total number of visitors spread across three venues of the Jakarta Biennale, namely the Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem, Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics, and Jakarta History Museum. The majority of visitors were young people with an age range of 18-26 years, which can be understood as an indicator of the increasing awareness of art life in Indonesia. In addition, the 2017 Jakarta Biennale presented the works of 26 foreign artists – works that certainly present a different style than is commonly seen in Indonesia. Some examples of Asian artists that presented work were: Keisuke Takahashi, Arin Rungjang, Pinaree Sanpitak, Imhathai, Jason Lim, Robert Zhao, Ho Rui Ahn, Choy Ka Fai, Kiri Dalena, and Darlene Litaay. In terms of form and presentation, Jakarta Biennale 2017 contributed in introducing a fresh wave of Indonesian art, a discipline which is currently being studied increasingly. Moreover, the Jakarta Biennale also presented a series of performance art that is still new in Indonesia. Performance art entrenched in the roots of postmodernism was introduced directly to audiences at the opening of the Jakarta Biennale 2017 through the appearance of Jason Lim from Singapore. Beside a series of performance artists boards both domestic and from abroad, Lim performed a work that was specifically created for the Jakarta Biennale 2017. It must have been quite a spectacle, and ought to have inspired talks in the arts discussion rooms. This would be the most obvious form in the coherence of an exhibition or arts scene and public enthusiasm. Therefore, it would not be excessive to say that the Jakarta Biennale 2017 ended its run successfully. The success variable here is not only in terms of quantity, but also the quality offered.

Related Countries
Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand

From the Organizer

As a contemporary art exhibition, JIWA: Jakarta Biennale faced certain challenges that involved the selection of an artistic approach that put performance art as its main focus. Thanks to the capabilities of the artistic team, these challenges were undertaken through the utilization of several successful events. JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 was able to produce a new unique experience, with regards to how to present a contemporary art exhibition to the public. Cultural exchanges that had previously occurred became more widespread with the presence of four curators from different backgrounds. In addition to the success of the exhibition itself, another success that marked JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 was the publishing of three books focusing on Indonesian art history. These three books are a collection of the writings of Bambang Bujono, Siti Adiyati, and a book about Indonesian artist Semsar Siahaan, respectively. Our comment on the grant that has been provided by the Asia Center is, this grant has been able to provide crucial support especially with regards to the collaboration between Jakarta Biennale and artists from the Southeast Asian region, which we will continue to do in the future.

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