The much-awaited Modern and Contemporary Art Nusantara (MACAN) museum is ready to welcome visitors in Jakarta. The museum, which is the first modern and contemporary art museum in Indonesia, is soon to be inaugurated in November 2017 at Kebon Jeruk, the busy neighbourhood in West Jakarta.

As many already know, the third millennium has seen a surge in the popularity of Indonesia modern and contemporary objets d’art the world over. Names like Agus Suwage, I Nyoman Masriadi, Chusin Setiadikara and Djoko Pekik have all appeared on the global art market.

In 2010, avid art collector and President of the Art Stage Jakarta Board of Art Patrons Deddy Kusuma organised, coordinated and remarkably financed a huge exhibition of Indonesian contemporary art at the Grand Palais in Paris.

From June to November 2013 at the Indonesian pavilion during the 55th Venice Biennale, contemporary artists Sri Astari, Eko Nugroho, Albert Yonathan Setiawan, Titarubi and Entang Wiharso captivated art lovers and the contemporary-arts zeitgeist with attractive installations revolving around the theme “Sakti”: the Javanese term for magic and creative power.

Riding the wave of bullish global art markets, as well as the enhanced recognition and increasing appreciation of the modern and contemporary arts in Southeast Asia, Indonesian businessman and collector Haryanto Adikoesoemo, initiated the establishment of the MACAN museum. Adikoesoemo is a businessman whose impressive collection of more than 800 artworks spans the realms of both the international and Indonesian art.




Haryanto Adikoesoemo is President of PT AKR Corporindo, a chemical and energy logistics company, and he is also a luxury property developer. A major player in the region’s art scene, as well as Europe and the Americas, Adikoesoemo’s collection includes masterpieces by Indonesian and international artists like Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and Anis Kapoor.

Works by Indonesian artists in his collection vary from a masterpiece by the prominent 19th-century maestro Raden Saleh through to Soedjojono, Affandi, FX Harsono and Heri Dono. His strategic position as a trustee of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, is a special endorsement to MACAN.

“For more than a decade, I have dreamed of creating a museum for the people of Indonesia, and for our visitors and friends from overseas,” said Haryanto Adikoesoemo, in a statement.

The first of its kind in the archipelago, MACAN will occupy one floor of a building in a larger development project that will include commercial areas, offices, apartments, a hotel and a retail area. "The revenue," adds the soft-spoken Maecenas, "from other parts of the development will go towards the operation of the museum."

Beginning in November 2016, Mr. Aaron Seeto has been the Director of Museum MACAN, and he moved here from Brisbane, Australia to take up the post. Aaron Seeto was previously the Curatorial Manager of Asian and Pacific Art at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).

Great expectations abound that MACAN will develop and advance the understanding and appreciation among Indonesians of art—a museum to help cross-pollinate exchanges with Indonesia and the world, a platform for Indonesian arts to enthral the world, and to bring international art to Indonesia.

The name MACAN, Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, itself exudes a true Indonesia feel. Nusantara is the Javanese naming of the archipelago as stated in the 1275 manuscript Cakravala Mandala Dvipantara by Kertanegara the King of Singhasari and macan is the Javanese word for the tiger.

(Photo credit: MACAN)

Tags: Arts, Jakarta, Museum, Contemporary Art, MACAN, Museum MACAN