Tom Tandio is New Art Jakarta Director

Big changes mark the Indonesian fair’s ambitions in its second decade
By A&M

Tom Tandio with works by Eko Nugroho in the background.

Tom Tandio with works by Eko Nugroho in the background.

Changes abound for Art Jakarta. Originally Bazaar Art Jakarta, the fair was renamed Art Jakarta in 2017 and has steadily grown its standing in the Indonesian art scene. 

A new management team has been appointed to prepare for the 11th edition of the fair, which will take place from 30 August to 1 September 2019. This time, it will not be at The Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place, which has housed the fair for all its previous iterations, but at the Jakarta Convention Centre (Balai Sidang Jakarta), speaking to its ambitions of becoming an art fair of international calibre.

A&M speaks with new Fair Director Tom Tandio to find out more about his role, the direction of the fair moving forward, and his thoughts on the Indonesian and wider Southeast Asian art scene.

What is it about Art Jakarta that motivated you to you to join the fair?
It's a matter of history, of course. It was the first art fair to be held in Indonesia, made by Indonesians, and after a decade we can see how it grows each year into what it is today. I'm proud of what the fair has achieved in these past ten years and I'm happy to join and direct the new Art Jakarta into its next chapter. 

The new Art Jakarta logo, heralding changes for the fair as it enters its second decade.

The new Art Jakarta logo, heralding changes for the fair as it enters its second decade.

What are your plans for Art Jakarta as its new Director? 
The first is a change of venue. Art Jakarta 2019 will be held at the Jakarta Convention Centre, a historical and very well-known venue in the heart of the city. We move to this much bigger venue of approximately 6000 square metres to fit Art Jakarta’s new mission as an international art fair. We have also changed the logo, to start a fresh new face for Art Jakarta’s new decade, and most importantly we will have a new team which is made up of a number of experienced people in the field. 

From your observations wearing your various hats, including as a collector and as founder of IndoArtNow, what have been interesting trends in the Indonesian art scene?
Probably how we as Indonesians keep moving and improving in many areas. For example, in the past three years, two private museums have opened: Museum MACAN in Jakarta, and Tumurun Museum in Solo. I’m very proud of these spaces and their immense impact on the Indonesian art scene. Second, the young generation today is becoming increasingly interested in art, whether as viewers, practitioners, or as collectors, and the numbers continue to grow. Third, I’m happy too that our government, through the National Art Council (Badan Ekonomi Kreatif or BEKRAF), has evolved a lot since 2015. They have reached out to us, and have supported the art community through many events. 

You are an avid collector of works by Southeast Asian artists, especially from Indonesia and Singapore. What more do you think can be done to promote Southeast Asian art and by whom? 
Especially in Indonesia, the number of private museums, artists, art spaces, and even collectors are growing. Our neighbouring countries like Thailand and Malaysia also have vibrant art scenes that should be seen as a part of the global art scene. I think sometime in the near future, the ASEAN countries can collaborate and make an exhibition together in the Western world — for example at the Guggenheim Museum — showcasing what Southeast Asian has and more.