25 YEARS Y O OF ART
Founded on January 31, 1988, by DutchJavanese couple Mella Jaarsma and Nindityo Adipurnomo, Cemeti Art House was intended to become the first gallery in Indonesia to support young artists. As artists themselves, Jaarsma and Nindityo knew that nurturing young creative minds would mean helping them organize exhibitions and get their names known abroad.
In 1995, the couple launched Cemeti Art Foundation ( Yayasan Seni Cemeti), set to archive the Indonesian art scene. A few years ago, the documents collected by the foundation were passed on to the independent Indonesian Visual Art Archive ( IVAA).
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Cemeti Art House is launching “Turning Targets”, a series of events that includes exhibitions of the gallery’s own collection and discussion forums for young curators and art managers. Nindityo Adipurnomo ( NA): 25 years ago, people still believed that arts should only show the beautiful aspects of life and entertain above all. We wanted to raise awareness that arts can be an important medium in dealing with social conflicts. But nowadays commercial aspects dominate: The importance of arts is most frequently measured in its economic success. The conceptual background and social idea are increasingly falling behind. MJ: The young artists today are far too complacent. If the income is enough, they do not strive to continue searching for a deeper meaning – they just play with the aesthetics of objects. Ironically, the Indonesian art scene today is given much more attention than ever before.