Art is a way of live and the sweet escape that we’ve been doing for years, by internet. We’re talking about YouTube, Vimeo, all webs that provide video and pictures. You can find a web about short stories or a blog with a bunch of photoshopped photos. But again, what kind of art do you love the most? What pleases you the most? We know that art is already there before we even realized it, billion years ago. But the point is, with the existence of internet it became so rad and chaotic, every meaning has changed alongside the refined culture from all over the globe and of course the popular culture. Time has modernized art, and only some of it could be called timeless. Characteristic is keep popping and follow the bar that has risen up and up and up to nowhere.
Artists are produced within periods and world or domestic situations, but don’t forget the art gallery, a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art. Paintings are the most commonly displayed art objects; however, we also may see sculpture, costume, drawings, prints, artists’ books, photographs, and installation art. Although the space has possibilities to host other artistic activities, such as performance art, music concerts, or poetry readings. An art exhibition is also possible taken place online, though through online art gallery which refers to a website that display artworks. Usually, the online gallery is run as a business, with the purpose of displaying the artwork being to promote it to potential buyers. But the best way to be exposed to art is by seeing it in art gallery. Why? Because natural lighting can’t be approximated, online meaning two dimensional whether the artwork itself is a two-dimension or three-dimension, which a viewer need to see the art from various angles.
There are a lot of galleries spread all in Jakarta, some you may know well, and some are like hidden gems. Because a gallery shouldn’t be like a huge space in the middle of big city, like a hot spot. But yes, the big one is the hot spot, obviously. The hidden gems though, are really hidden in a place you wouldn’t expected provides an art space. ROH Projects is the example; it’s in the central of Jakarta, very strategic location for everyone, specifically because it’s in the area of Bundaran Hotel Indonesia, inside the ANZ Square. It was known as Gallery Rachel actually, but then the directors, Laksamana Tirtadji Jr. (Jun) and Rachel Ibrahim changed it the concept and now it’s called ROH Projects. The gallery was founded to observe, to facilitate, and to give public access to the development of contemporary art with an emphasis on works by Indonesian artists who are established and have a reputable following, as well as those who have not yet been exhibited. Here are some local artists represented: Erwin Windu Pranata, Gede Mahendra Yasa, Triyadi Guntur Wiratmo, Syaiful Garibaldi, Reggie Aquara, and Yuli Prayitno. The gallery also works with international artists whose works have rarely been seen in Indonesia. ROH Projects acts as a platform to widen the scope of comprehension and appreciation of contemporary art, both in Indonesia and to an international audience.
What makes it different and fresh than any other galleries in Jakarta? Obviously it’s a contemporary one, so it’s neat and elegant, because it’s inside a building with several pretty pricy joints and restaurants, and expats who stay at hotels (Grand-Hyatt Jakarta, Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta, Pullman Jakarta Indonesia) around ANZ Square can come by. It’s very accessible from Cikini, Sabang, Kebon Sirih, Sudirman, and Tanah Abang. But you gotta mind the traffic if you’re heading to the gallery, it’s most likely heavy. But hey, anything to freshen up and mingle, why not? You can chat with the gallery manager and get new insight from each artwork shown in it. When we stepped inside, we like the contrast between space design, the white wall with dark un-tiled floor, it makes the gallery less stiff and boxy. We also saw some people who work in the building came in and enthusiast to see the artworks within lunch time.
ROH Projects is maybe young but it has represented Indonesia in several big art fairs, such as Bazaar Art Jakarta 2013, Art Basel Hong Kong 2014,START Art Fair London 2014 at Saatchi Gallery, Art Fair Tokyo 2014, Art Stage Singapore 2014. ROH Projects will be participate in the next Bazaar Art Jakarta this year, so don’t you missed their exhibitions because they’ve presented promising artists so they might be larger than life, watch it.
Thamrin Nine Complex/ANZ Square (Mezzanine floor)
Jl. MH Thamrin No. 10
T: +6221 2938 8510
Words by Febrina Anindita
Photos courtesy of ROH Projects