Art Stage Jakarta 2016, Indonesia's first premium art fair with an international format, wrapped up its successful and wonderful inaugural edition last weekend, bringing outstanding Indonesian and foreign art collections together under one roof.

The fair drew more than 15,000 visitors over three days from August 5-7. The venue, the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel, utilised some 2,400 square metres of exhibition space on its third floor and was jam-packed with collectors, artists, art professionals and the general public.

With its flamboyant combination of exhibitions, talk shows and an art party surrounding the main fair, Indonesia Tatler brings you a round-up of the highlights of this multi-faceted event.

The artists & galleries

Almost 50 galleries showcased their collections at Art Stage Jakarta, with international galleries from across Southeast Asia and further afield participating. These included Paris's Gallery Perrotin, Tokyo's Mizuma Gallery and Hong Kong's Pearl Lam Galleries. Many well-known names, such as Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama, and Zhang Xiaogang, were also in attendance.

But other than the international artists, the majority of the items came from local galleries, and some of Indonesia's most exciting contemporary art pieces were on full display.

Many Indonesian galleries presented selected artists; for example, Galeri Canna presented Entang Wiharso and I Nyoman Masriadi; Nadi Gallery presented Handiwirman, Agus Suwage, Eddie Hara, and Heri Dono; ROH Projects presented Syaiful Aulia Garibaldi, Syagini Ratna Wulan, Bagus Pandega, and Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo; Edwin's Gallery presented Kemalezedine; and Lawangwangi presented Edi Susanto.

In line with its official theme of "Indonesia at its Best", Art Stage Jakarta was not merely a local replica of its 'older brother' Art Stage Singapore, but was aimed at being a real platform from which to showcase talented Indonesian artists, some established and some new, to a broad crowd.

The special exhibitions

Art Stage Jakarta presented two special exhibitions as well as artworks from galleries. Firstly, "Expose" consisted of 14 masterpieces from the private collection of six leading Indonesian collectors. Secondly, "The Human Face" comprised 17 Affandi paintings especially curated by Lorenzo Rudolf.

For the "Expose" exhibition, curator Enin Supriyanto presented a powerful and evocative display of artworks from established collectors Alex Tedja, Deddy Kusuma, Melani Setiawan, and Rudy Akili, as well as from the next generation of Indonesian collectors, namely Tom Tandio and Wiyu Wahono.

These people represent two generations of art collectors in Indonesia, displaying their different personal collecting preferences through various artworks. While conventional art, such as paintings and sculptures, were seen as the main preference among established collectors, photos, digital prints and drawings on paper could be found in the collections of the younger collectors.

The biggest highlight was the rare chance for the public to see a solo exhibition of the works of the late Indonesian expressionist maestro Affandi. Many of his masterpieces had never been seen before, giving visitors a unique experience.

Affandi's trademarks included squeezing paint directly onto the canvas and using his fingers and hands to smear the paint around. "The Human Face" was supported by auction house Sotheby's and the works were on display thanks to several prominent collectors.

The party and visitors

Many celebrities, socialites, and other VIP guests were seen at Art Stage Jakarta. Some simply admired the special exhibitions and collections, while others were spotted shopping and at the poolside party.

This opening party, hosted by Indonesia Tatler, saw stylish guests indulging in good food, great wine and champagne, and enjoying a warm evening at the poolside under moonlit skies. Entertainment was courtesy of a live band as well as a pumping DJ set.

The public artworks

The fair also extended beyond the ballroom of the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City and into the hotel itself, as well as the adjacent shopping mall. Wherever visitors walked within the hotel, they could enjoy art in the lobby or the corridors.

These works were from the private collection of Gandaria City chairman and art collector Alex Tedja. The LOVE sculpture, for instance, was located in the ballroom lobby, while paintings were also hung at the hotel.

Meanwhile, when visitors strolled through the Gandaria City shopping mall, many sculptures were on display to greet them, encouraging visitors to snap photos of the works. This was the perfect way to introduce artists and their range of works to a broad audience, and to provide an opportunity for people to discover more about contemporary art in Indonesia and abroad.

The VIP programme

Are Stage Jakarta also included a VIP programme comprising seven exclusive visits to the homes of top Indonesian collectors, many of whom own outstanding art pieces. And while these visits were mostly limited to a VVIP audience, the programme gave these lucky guests unprecedented insights into the rarefied world of art collecting in Indonesia.

The talks

Of course, the fair didn't just show off artworks, but was also the perfect opportunity to talk and discuss art, which is why Art Stage Jakarta featured a series of talk shows, and over two days many different topics were discussed.

The shows featured inspiring speakers that included Indonesian film producer Mira Lesmana, founder of Papermoon Puppet Theater, Maria Tri Sulityani, and representatives from the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf). These sessions reflected an all-round interest in art beyond commercial sales.

The art hub

Art Stage Jakarta was intended as a boutique and exclusive event, smaller in size than Art Stage Singapore and with a focus on quality over quantity.

"I am overwhelmed by the warm welcome and support that we have received from the entire art community in Indonesia," said Lorenzo Rudolf, Founder and President of Art Stage Jakarta. "All the collectors came out to support us by not only by buying artworks, but by opening up their homes and sharing their amazing collections with our guests from Indonesia and abroad."

Wiyu Wahono, member of Board of Young Collectors of Art Stage Jakartaadded: "I have visited many international fairs this year and can proudly say that Indonesia has become a competitive player in the global art market today. I was at the fair for three days and all the galleries told me that they had sold well."

Deddy Kusuma, President of the Board of Patrons of Art Stage Jakarta, also said he was happy to see Indonesia make its mark on the international art map. "I am proud that together we realised the dream: Indonesian art goes international," he said.

The organisers now hope that Art Stage Jakarta will help establish the city as a regional art hub and boost international interest in local artists. It is proof positive that now is the right time for Jakarta to move to centre stage, and with its distinctive style and deep heritage, Indonesia definitely has much to contribute to the international art scene.

Photo credit: Art Stage Jakarta

Tags: Art Stage, Art Stage Jakarta, Art Stage Singapore, Deddy Kusuma, Art Collector, Art Stage Jakarta 2016, Sheraton Grand Jakarta