Private art museum
Published/Last edited or updated: 3rd July, 2018
Art:1 is a private museum and art space showcasing a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions comprising works from Indonesian old masters and extending to Indonesian and international modern and contemporary art.
Art:1 began life as one of Jakarta’s first commercial galleries and is the private collection of Martha Gunawan, an avid art collector of more than 30 years. The museum is located in Kemayoran in North Jakarta and spans two connecting buildings. Art:1 New Museum houses the permanent collection while Artspace:1 spotlights emerging Indonesian and international artists.
The museum was designed by Sardjono Sani of Bias Tekno Art and is entered via a central courtyard that looks to be under construction, but on closer inspection you realise scaffolding the and silver-clad construction workers are part of a large sculptural work covering the administrative section of the building. You are then led into the curved lobby and public space to your right with a cafe, bookshop, ticketing and information counter in a spacious open area.
This wing of the triple-storey building houses the temporary exhibition space Artspace:1 on the upper levels. Here the contemporary architecture with curved walls and exposed pipes and beams complements the experimental and exploratory nature of many of the works. A glass enclosed walkway leads to the adjoining more conventional rectangular-shaped wing housing the permanent collection. The three floors of exhibition space are connected via a round atrium allowing natural light into each level. This wing of the museum, called Art:1 New Museum, is not a stagnant exhibition space but draws from the large private collection with changing exhibitions. Make sure to see all the different gallery spaces in this museum as it can be a little confusing—we almost missed one level.
The collection includes works by Indonesian artists Ichwan Noor whose piece “Beetle Sphere”, a ball of fibreglass and metal looks like a crushed VW Beetle and paintings by M. Reggie Aquara that appear to be giant Rorschach tests that fold into portraits with thick three-dimensional paint applied to the surface. Korean Artist Kim Kira’s works “Please Kill Me” and “Advertising for Capitalist” are powerful comments on today’s society. Classical works in the collection include paintings by Europeans who worked in Bali during the early 20th century Rudolf Bonnet, Arie Smit and Le Mayeur.
Additional to the curated mixed exhibitions from the collection, collective works by solo artists are occasionally exhibited. We viewed one such show of Indonesian artist, Yudi Sulistyo’s industrial war machine-like sculptures and graphic war themed paintings. Throughout the museum individual works are labelled with the artist’s name, title and media, but no further information is offered and it is sometimes unclear as to why certain works are displayed in the same space, with the exception of the temporary exhibition in Artspace:1 that provided an overview of the current exhibition and more informative labelling on the works, but this may have been the particular artist or curator’s initiative rather than the museum.
As well as exhibitions, the museum runs regular workshops and art fairs and offers commercial services including art restoration and framing. Art:1’s entry fee is comparatively high and discriminatory pricing for foreigners makes it even more of a stretch, considering similar works by many of the same artists can be seen at the free exhibition at Galeri Nasional Indonesia and the lower priced world-class private Museum MACAN, however the temporary exhibitions of emerging artists’ work at Artspace:1 are likely to be a draw for art lovers, and are defiantly worth a look and coughing up to support the arts can’t be a bad thing.
Bilingual guided tours are available on weekends at 11:00 or 14:00 for 150,000 rupiah per group of up to eight.
Art:1 is a 700 metre walk from Rajawali Railway Station, alternatively Jembatan Merah is the closest TransJakarta busway stop, about the same walking distance. A Go-Jek from Kota Tua will cost around 10,000 rupiah and a metered taxi will cost about 20,000 rupiah and should take no more than half an hour.
Address: 3 Jalan Rajawali Selatan Raya, Jakarta
T: (0216) 470 0168;
Coordinates (for GPS): 106º50'25.48" E, 6º8'49.63" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: 150,000 rupiah for foreigners, 100,000 rupiah for Indonesians and KITAS holders and 75,000 rupiah for students. Children under 12 are free. Your ticket includes a free drink.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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