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First International Modern Art Museum to open in Indonesia in 2017

First International Modern Art Museum to open in Indonesia in 2017
January 27, 2016

The first museum in Indonesia dedicated to international modern and contemporary art is scheduled to open in Jakarta early next year.

The privately developed Museum MACAN (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara) is being built and financed by the Indonesian businessman and collector Haryanto Adikoesoemo.

Speaking to the New York Times, Adikoesoemo explained his vision for the museum, commenting “I want the Museum MACAN to develop and advance the understanding of Indonesians about art and the appreciation of art.

“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 4,000 metre² museum, currently under construction, will be located in the Kebon Jeruk district of West Jakarta and will occupy one floor of a building in a larger development project that will include offices, apartments, a hotel and a retail area.

Adikoesoemo said revenue from other parts of the development would go toward the operation of the museum.

Thomas J. Berghuis, previously the curator of Chinese art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, has been appointed Museum MACAN’s Director, which will join a growing 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.

In creating exhibitions and programming for the museum, Berghuis and his team will have access to Adikoesoemo’s collection of about 800 works of modern and contemporary art.

The collection, built over 25 years, is about 40% art from Indonesia, 35% art from the United States and Western Europe, and 25% 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.

Museum MACAN also aims to undertake exchanges between Indonesia and the international art world, according to Berghuis, whose team also plans to commission new works.

Speaking to the New York Times, Berghuis added “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.

“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, Berghuis continued, along with an emphasis on art history and research.

Image of Museum MACAN courtesy of MET Studio Design.

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