28 January 2016
New York Times : Indonesia’s First International Modern Art Museum to Open in 2017 at Gallery West
News | Jan 28, 2016
BEIJING — The first museum in Indonesia dedicated to international modern and contemporary art is scheduled to open in early 2017 in the capital, Jakarta.
The private institution will be called the Museum MACAN, for Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, an Indonesian term for archipelago. It is being built and financed by the Indonesian businessman and collector Haryanto Adikoesoemo.
Thomas J. Berghuis, previously the curator of Chinese art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, has been hired as director of the museum, which will join a flourishing art scene in Indonesia that includes a growing network of galleries, independent art spaces, artists’ communities and events like the Jakarta Biennale and the annual ArtJog festival.
“I want the Museum MACAN to develop and advance the understanding of Indonesians about art and the appreciation of art,” Mr. Adikoesoemo said on Saturday by telephone from Singapore, where he was attending Art Stage Singapore, an annual international art fair. “I also want this museum to help cross-pollinate exchanges with Indonesia and the world, to provide a platform for Indonesian art internationally and to bring international art to Indonesia.”
The 43,000-square-foot museum, currently under construction, will be located outside the city center in the Kebon Jeruk district of West Jakarta. It will occupy one floor of a building in a larger development project that will include offices, apartments, a hotel and a retail area. Mr. Adikoesoemo said revenue from other parts of the development would go toward the operation of the museum.
In creating exhibitions and programming for the museum, Mr. Berghuis and his team will have access to Mr. Adikoesoemo’s collection of about 800 works of modern and contemporary art. The collection, built over 25 years, is about 40 percent art from Indonesia, 35 percent art from the United States and Western Europe, and 25 percent art from the greater Asian region.
The artists in the collection include prominent Indonesians like Raden Saleh and Affandi as well as international artists like Gerhard Richter, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons and Frank Stella. The museum will focus on exchanges between Indonesia and the international art world, according to Mr. Berghuis, whose team also plans to commission new works.
“I knew about Haryanto from the curatorial and art world in Indonesia, and when we first started talking, I could tell this was going to be a serious initiative, not a vanity project,” Mr. Berghuis said on Saturday, also by telephone from Singapore. “There are key artists tied to key movements in the collection, and what is important to me there is you can educate with that.”
Education will be a key component of the museum, Mr. Berghuis said, with an emphasis on art history and research.
Mr. Adikoesoemo is president of PT AKR Corporindo, an Indonesian-based chemical and energy logistics company, and president of AKR Land Development, a luxury property developer. Since 2015, he has served on the board of trustees at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
“The private collecting milieu in Jakarta is very well developed, but more often than not the focus is on Indonesian contemporary art,” said Melissa Chiu, director of the Hirshhorn. “Haryanto is unusual in that he has been collecting international art alongside Indonesian art for years, so this is really the next step for him. It’s a bold move.”