Art Stage Jakarta makes its mark

The Jakarta spin-off of Art Stage Singapore ended its inaugural outing last weekend on a buoyant note with visitors and galleries welcoming the intimate scale of the fair.

The three-day Art Stage Jakarta, with free admission to the public, was held from Aug 5 to 7 at the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel in south Jakarta. Positioned by the organisers as a boutique art fair, it is smaller in size than the one in Singapore.

Forty-nine galleries took part in the inaugural edition, which drew 15,180 visitors. The inaugural Art Stage Singapore, on the other hand, featured more than 120 galleries and attracted 32,000 visitors during its four-day run at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in 2011.

Galleries that participated in the Jakarta fair included Singapore's Fost Gallery and Galerie Sogan & Art, as well as international names such as Pearl Lam Galleries, which is in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, and Galerie Perrotin, which is in Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul.

Sixteen Indonesian galleries also took part, including well-known galleries such as Galeri Canna and Nadi Gallery, both based in Jakarta.

Visitors and gallerists The Straits Times interviewed said the small size of the fair was an advantage.

Indonesian art collector and businessman Wiyu Wahono, 58, who is on the Jakarta fair's Board of Young Collectors that aims to groom new Indonesian art collectors, said: "Usually, when we go to a huge art fair, we get the feeling that we have to rush to see all the booths. The number of exhibitors at Art Stage Jakarta makes it relaxing."

His sentiment was echoed by gallerists such as Ms Stephanie Fong of Fost Gallery, who said the intimate scale allowed her to meet many new collectors, mostly Indonesians. "Some already knew of Fost Gallery and our artists, but we never had the opportunity to connect personally," she said.

Singapore art collector and lawyer Valerie Cheah, 49, who visited the Jakarta fair, said: "I've been to bigger fairs and sometimes, you see the same old works. I was happy to see some new works this time."

Galerie Sogan & Art, which presented a solo show of works by Singapore artist Chen KeZhan - his first in Jakarta - saw strong demand from buyers.

Gallery director Vera Wijaya said it sold "almost all" the nine works it took to the fair. They were priced from $4,600 to $68,000.

Gallerist Pearl Lam, who has been participating in Art Stage Singapore since its start, said the two editions complement each other.

"While Singapore has a more international offering, Art Stage Jakarta retains a localised feeling, but still one of a high standard."

On the future of Art Stage Jakarta, its founder and president, Mr Lorenzo Rudolf, said: "With its first edition, Art Stage Jakarta has made its mark not only in Jakarta, but also internationally. It is now the ideal situation for us to develop it and position the Art Stage brand even more."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2016, with the headline 'Art Stage Jakarta makes its mark'. Print Edition | Subscribe