Things to Learn at Art Stage JKT



International art fair ART STAGE was holding their extensive gallery for the second time in Jakarta, last weekend (11-13 August 2017). Dozens of local and international artists and gallery owners assembled in Sheraton Grand Jakarta, Gandaria City, to celebrate the aesthetic parade.

HighEnd spent two out of three days at the gallery wandering around the curated artworks. They were all so pleasing to see, although some are disturbing - disturbingly good. This year, Art Stage Jakarta did not only reinvite the successful artists from the previous year, but try one or two experiments that are unfamiliar but very compelling. One of them was a special project from Double Deer, a collective of Indonesian artists and musicians who mixed physical art, music, and scientific elements through their installations: Transform and Undisplay. Other than sense-pleasing experiences, we also learn some bigger things at Art Stage. These lessons, unlike those we learned during our old schooldays, were fun too.


Some of the artworks depict the nostalgic themes of childishness. Either it is a childhood toy like gundam or stuffed animal, dadaism-styled paintings, to scribbles. They are not totally innocent, though, since the artworks are often stylized as ironic expression of adulthood and society.


This is typically the issue of the younger generation today. As the awareness towards mental health rises and sense of self-authenticity is highly regarded, expressing the self freely (and often, expressionistically) becomes one of the major themes at Art Stage.


Some critiques are bold - as bold as hanging a 2-metre close-up painting of Donald Trump, and some are smooth. Issues like violence, social discrepancy, and freedom of expression highlighted the event - as they always do in most art exhibitions.


In parallel with self-discovery and social critique themes, identity and diversity issues blend in. Diversity, as we all understand, has become a prominent pop culture both in real and digital life. After all, diversity is the reason why we invented art at all, no?

PHOTO: Rudi Sulistya (@banucatra) for HIGHEND