Since its launch in November 2017, the Museum Macan has been billed as the first Indonesian museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art. This space is filled with a growing collection of modern and contemporary works from Indonesia and around the world that spans time and artistic styles.
There are approximately 800 art collections inside the Museum Macan, and around half of them are by Indonesian artists, while the other half is by renowned international artists. But how to choose which works of art to seek out? With its vast collection, it would take some time to properly appreciate them all. But fret not because recently we delved into Museum Macan’s collection, revealing the unmissable artworks that every visitor should see. So search no further: here are pieces that you must take in on a trip to the Museum Macan.
1. Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama, a prominent Japanese artist, first created Infinity Mirror Room in 1965 using mirrors to change the intense repetition of her early paintings into a perceptual experience. Yayoi has produced more than 20 distinct Infinity Mirror Rooms that offer audiences the opportunity to step into an illusion of infinite space.
The Infinity Mirror Room also provides a chance to analyse Yayoi’s main themes, such as the celebration of life and its aftermath. By placing this iconic installation in Museum Macan, Yayoi tries to reveal the importance of the Infinity Mirror Room amid today’s growing interest in experiential practices and virtual spaces.
2. Raden Saleh
Raden Saleh Sjarif Boestaman, who was born in 1880, was a pioneer when it comes to being a Romantic painter in Indonesia. He is considered as the first modern artist from Indonesia, and he is the earliest and most significant artist who catapulted the prestige of Southeast Asian art around the world in the 19th century.
He is the also the first Indonesian artist to be trained in Europe, and he is known as an artist who gained recognition in Germany and Paris for his signature Orientalist animal chases and fights. Granted the status as King’s Painter by King Willem III of the Netherlands, you can check out Raden Saleh’s Self Portrait (1835), Lion Attacking a Rider With a Spear on a Galloping Black Horse (1849) and Indies Landscape (1853) at Museum Macan.
3. Entang Wiharso
Entang Wiharso’s paintings are based mostly on his own personal experiences, which are implanted with a strong analysis of the predominant socio-political conditions of his home country. For him, making works of art is a way of getting to know the human condition and increasing our ability to perceive, feel, and understand human conflicts like love, hate, religion, and ideology.
In addition to several artworks that he exhibits at Museum Macan, he also created the Children’s Art Space as a place to host children who visit the museum. The theme for the inaugural project is called “The Floating Garden” in which Entang tries to explore ideas of floating gardens, which is an idea of land and nature based on the artist’s unique artwork style and vision.
Art is an integral part of a human being, especially for little kids as they need art to nurture their creativity and artistic instincts. Nowadays, creativity has become so rare that planting a creative mind into children is not an easy task. The Children’s Art Space will relate to the exhibitions on view and are designed to explore wide concepts of art for children. You can check out Entang’s artwork titled Melt (2008) and the Children’s Art Space at Museum Macan.
4. Andy Warhol
Artist Andy Warhol is one of the most popular artists in history and he used both avant-garde and high commercial instincts in his art. He was a successful magazine and ad illustrator who became the leading artist of the 1960s pop-art movement. He experimented with a variety of art forms, including performance art, film-making, video installations, and writing, and controversially combined fine art and popular aesthetics.
Starting from the late 1950s, Andy Warhol began putting more attention on painting and in 1961 he came up with the concept of pop art, in which paintings are focused on commercially produced goods. Museum Macan is also proud to exhibit Two Colored Marilyn, which is in a pop-art style that Warhol didn’t usually use, so it is quite rare collection. You can check out Andy Warhol’s Portrait of Madame Smith (1974) and Two Colored Marilyn (1979) at Museum Macan.
5. Ai Wei Wei
Ai Wei Wei was born in 1957 in Beijing and is a contemporary Chinese artist and political activist who is known for being highly critical of the Chinese government. And he did it openly, making him a kind of enemy of the state. He always openly shows his dislike of Chinese politics and human rights, and he even investigated government corruption and cover-ups. “I don’t see myself as a dissident artist, I see them as a dissident government!” he said of his opinion of the Chinese government.
Ai Wei Wei is famously known for his installations that lean more towards conceptual and often start dialogue between the modern world and traditional Chinese ways of thought and production. You can check out Ai Wei Wei’s Graphic Work for Baby Formula (2013) painting collection at Museum Macan.