Museum Macan: A New Art Paradise in Jakarta

Art Turns, World Turns. Please welcome: Museum Macan

It started from Elok’s wish to spend our weekend out from the mall. She read about this newly opened museum on internet, and suggested us to have a look.  And apparently, we had a great time, especially the artist Rafif!

The museum is named “Museum Macan”, stands  from Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara. It is just opened for public yesterday, so perhaps not many people know about this place.
It is located at Menara AKR building, near Kebon Jeruk area, West Jakarta. When I heard the location,  I immediately knew who owns this museum. “This must belong to Pak Haryanto Adikoesoemo”

The entrance hall of Museum Macan

Pak Haryanto was my long time client. He is one of successful business man in Indonesia, owner of AKR Group. When I was working on consulting project with his group of companies, Pak Haryanto once invited us to his house in Senayan. I remember we left the house really impressed, looking at his beautiful collection of paintings and art crafts. It seems logical for him to set up an art museum to house and display his collections.

And I’m nearly correct. The museum indeed belongs to Haryanto Adikoesoemo’s family, but it’s her daughter who was said to became the initiator, and then, the Chairman of this museum.

And I think we all should thank her and her father for this museum. As this is really a paradise for art lovers, especially in Jakarta, which is not known for home of artistic landscape. And you only have to pay IDR 50,000 for adult admission (kids are much less). There is also annual membership available with very generous price – adult for IDR 320,000 per year, and student discount for IDR 180,000 per year. It opens every day, except Monday and public holiday from 10am to 7pm. 

Museum’s bright, modern interior design.
The museum is not big. It is ‘only’ 4000 square meters, which is relatively small compared to, say, National Museum in Fatahillah. But it is well designed and built to sooth our artistic senses. The interior design is modern and contemporary, with white walls, big glasses and wooden floor. All paintings and crafts are displayed in good space, leaving ample room for visitors to stop, lost in the moment, admiring beautiful arts without being annoyed or cramped by surroundings. 

The museum collections display is structured through historical timeline. When you first entered the museum, you’ll find Indonesian’ legendary painters works, such as from Raden Saleh, Soedjodjono or Dullah.

One of Raden Saleh’s magical painting in display, and its exhibit
Then moving through museum, you’ll be taken to the more recent and contemporary  piece of arts, both from Indonesian or foreign artists. The exhibit displayed next to the paintings and crafts come in bilingual (Bahasa and English), and really do great job in helping the visitors understand more about the artwork and the artists.

Trubus Soedarsono self-portrait, with an exhibit explaining the tragic story about the artist
One particular painting I found really moving was self portrait of Trubus Soedarsono. The exhibit told the story about this highly talented artist from Jogjakarta. Just because he was active in Lekra (Lembaga Kesenian Rakyat), which was known as Indonesian Communist Party ‘s sponsored, Trubus was declared “lost” in the aftermath of 1965 September “coup”. Tragic.

No prize for guessing what pictures these are 🙂
Other controversial painting was one called which shows an obvious drawing of man dan woman genitalia. And it was painted with arabic and sanskrit letters over it. We know how sensitive religion could become in this nation, so no wonder, as told in exhibit, an exhibition displaying this painting in Indonesia was forced to be prematurely closed, because of strong protests. This kind of story brought alive (and value?) of this kind of painting. Such an interesting collection!

Another brilliant work of art on display is a “live painting” by ants. Yes, ants!

“Asian Flags Ant Farm” – The live paintings of flags by ants!

Created by a Japanese artist, Yukinori Yariagi,  the art displays 13 Asian countries connected flags, which actually a house of ants, with 5000 ants living inside the flags. The artist said it’s a “live painting” because the final result of the painting will only be done in three months time, when the ants finally made their patterns inside these house of flags. Clever! And wise too, as it conveys message that we are, Asian nations, are inter-connected with each other. 

There you go, some of the fascinating work of arts in this newly opened museum. It surely will become one of Jakarta’s highlights of attraction. Especially from the information I had from museum officials, they will display different kind of painting and arts every 3 months. For those who are interested in arts, you’d be pleased to visit this museum. 

Rafif, my son who has great deal of interest in arts, really find his paradise here. He really dig in to the paintings, taking pictures with his phone, taking notes of the details and reaping ideas from the great artists or their stories. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind to spend another hour in the museum, when I had to call him to go home.

Rafif taking notes of an artist story

So, I would recommend you to go here quick, before it’s getting too popular and crowded! 

Rafif taking snap shot of Raden Saleh’s painting
Great art: a US flag colored mother of pigs, feeding her babies, which represent many US affiliates 🙂
There’s also Andy Warhol’s in this collection!
Aya sitting in one of the exhibition space
Rafif admiring one of the contemporary art painting
A visitor observing interesting statue
The way the display the paintings in this museum is a piece of art itself
A museum volunteer in between pop art paintings. They are art students or professionals who are willing to spend time on weekends to help guiding museum’s visitors
“The Art Engine” – a clever parody of Tamiya engine and product case. Rafif bought this for memento.
Elok was also enjoying her time here
After completing the tour inside the museum, a delightful 1/15 coffee awaits outside. Classy
You could also buy some amusing work of arts in museum’s store
Alright, final picture: it’s me with Elok inside the museum


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