Jakarta Reveals Its Newest International Art Museum
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), recently opened in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 4. Haryanto Adikoesoemo, president of the chemicals and logistics company AKR Corporindo, was the creator and collector behind this new venture. As an art collector, he wants to share with the people of Indonesia the effects art has on the way he sees the world.
There are other Indonesian art collectors who curate private museums, but what sets Adikoesoemo apart is that about half of his collection comes from the United States, Western Europe, or other countries in Asia, while the other half is Indonesian art.
He is on the Board of Trustees for the Hirshborn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, whose directors attended the museum opening in Jakarta. He says this position has taught him a lot about collecting and how a museum impacts its community. Museums stemming from personal collections are often criticized for not representing diverse forms of art, so Adikoeoemo tries to work against that by taking inspiration from other galleries and collecting from a variety of places.
Much of the prized art in Asia is held by private collectors, and many of them are beginning to turn their collections into private museums, as many public museums are underfunded. Several such galleries have sprung up in Shanghai recently. However, private museums have been a feature in Indonesia since 1997, with several being built since then.
Museum MACAN features some historical art, but also modern art and performance art. The museum director Aaron Seeto also wants to make commissioned art a part of the museum’s legacy, building stronger connections between artists and museums. Several performance pieces and new exhibitions were premiered at the opening and at pop-up shows during the summer preceding the opening.
The museum’s opening exhibition titled “Art Turns, World Turns” features dozens of artists’ pieces arranged to give a history of Indonesian art.