A visit to Art:1, a con­tem­po­rary mu­seum

Bali & Beyond - - CONTENTS - By Edna Tari­gan

Find­ing mod­ern art­works in Jakarta is pretty easy, yet to find the high-qual­ity ones you need to re­ally search. One of the places to see high-qual­ity art is Art:1 Mu­seum, an artsy des­ti­na­tion in Gu­nung Sa­hari in Cen­tral Jakarta that ac­tively ex­hibits qual­ity con­tem­po­rary art pieces that ev­ery­one can en­joy – the name of “Art:1” refers to their com­mit­ment to present art for ev­ery­one.

The mu­seum is ac­tu­ally the new con­cept of Mon Dé­cor Gallery that has been run­ning for al­most 30 years. Mon Dé­cor is the first fine art gallery and one of the pi­o­neers of the gallery busi­ness in Jakarta. In Oc­to­ber 2011, the gallery founded Art:1 Mu­seum, not only as the sym­bol of their suc­cess story, but also to ed­u­cate the com­mu­nity about In­done­sian art his­tory.


Dur­ing my re­cent visit to the mu­seum one fine day, I could see this artsy venue em­braces the con­cept of pre­sent­ing qual­ity art­works to the com­mu­nity re­ally well. Here, visi­tors may not find artis­tic architecture in Vic­to­rian or colo­nial style, but a mod­ern min­i­mal­ist build­ing that makes the place feel more like a house rather than a mu­seum or a gallery.

Even be­fore the en­trance, a unique art­work is on dis­play, de­pict­ing work­ers on a con­struc­tion site out­side the build­ing. Ti­tled “Ti­tik Jeda” (The Cross­ing Point), this art­work cre­ated by In­done­sian artist Su­naryo sym­bol­izes that art never stops grow­ing; it al­ways fol­lows hu­man life. Once in­side the gallery, right af­ter pass­ing the

ticket box, I could see that this mu­seum is dif­fer­ent from oth­ers as the art­works dis­played are not only about beau­ti­ful women in paint­ings or sculp­tures. It also ex­hibits a com­pressed VW Bee­tle, cour­tesy of Jakarta-born artist Ich­wan Noor that makes an at­trac­tive and eye-catch­ing wel­come.

Aside from dis­play­ing a num­ber of art­works made in In­done­sia from var­i­ous eras, Art:1 also of­ten hosts art-re­lated events. For in­stance, dur­ing my visit, the “An­i­mamix Bi­en­nale 2017” ex­hi­bi­tion took place on the first and sec­ond floor of the mu­seum. The ex­hi­bi­tion pre­sented unique con­tem­po­rary cre­ations by in­ter­na­tional artists –

some of the art­works dis­played were painted sport shoes, ki­monos, and even some ar­ranged light bulbs that form an ex­pres­sive word.

The mu­seum’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tions are on the third floor where a room named “New Mu­seum” is nes­tled, show­cas­ing clas­sic col­lec­tions. As soon as I walked into this room, my eyes were at­tracted by a bronze sculp­ture of Borobudur Tem­ple. Made by Ba­li­nese artist Ny­oman Nuarta, this minia­ture of Borobudur Tem­ple sits right at the cen­ter of “New Mu­seum” room, mak­ing it the cen­ter of at­ten­tion for ev­ery visi­tor. An­other room on the third floor is home to the works of Jakarta-born artist Heri Dono, such as The Fly­ing of Sul­tan Ha­mengkubu­wono IX and Fe­male Fly­ing An­gels, both are the mu­seum’s pri­vate col­lec­tions.


Not many visi­tors come to see Art:1 Mu­seum on the week­days, so I could cher­ish my visit and take my time to re­ally en­joy each art piece with­out be­ing crowded by other peo­ple – and bet­ter yet, I didn’t have to wait for any­one to take a selfie in front of the in­stal­la­tion.

The mu­seum ad­mis­sion fee is more ex­pen­sive than other mu­se­ums in Jakarta, rang­ing from Rp. 75,000 to Rp. 150,000. How­ever, I per­son­ally think that the price is worth the ex­pe­ri­ence of ex­plor­ing high qual­ity mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art­works in In­done­sia. And at the end of my visit, I be­lieve I have a new un­der­stand­ing about art. In­deed, Art:1 Mu­seum does not only give me a new point of view to see art but also pro­vides me with more in­sights and ideas to ap­pre­ci­ate and learn more about artis­tic works by In­done­sian artists who are also pop­u­lar glob­ally.

Art:1 New Mu­seum Jalan Ra­jawali Se­la­tan Raya No. 3, Jakarta, (021) 6470-0168 www.mon­

Art:1 Mu­seum boasts amaz­ing con­tem­po­rary art­works.

“Ti­tik Jeda” (The Cross­ing Point) is dis­played near the en­trance.

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