Art Stage Jakarta Cancels Its 2018 Fair, Citing Conflict With the Asian Games

But organizers vow to return in 2019.

The 2018 edition of Art Stage Jakarta was set to include a street art exhibition, "Off The Wall Jakarta: Europe - ASEAN." Photo courtesy of Art Stage Jakarta.

The third edition of Art Stage Jakarta, which was set to take place September 7–9 at the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel, has been cancelled, fair organizers announced today.

They blamed the cancellation on the upcoming 2018 Asian Games—the largest multi-sport event after the Olympics—taking place in Indonesia August 18–September 2, as well as the current campaigns for next year’s Indonesian presidential election. “The magnitude of the Games may affect the national customs system, causing possible additional constraints,” the announcement said. In addition, “due to the significance of the election for the future direction and development of the country, uncertainties in the market may be observed during this period.”

Organizers say they plan to return next year. “In 2019, Indonesia will be stronger and more stable than ever. We will then be able to guarantee the next successful step for Art Stage Jakarta—an internationally important art event that is more exciting, more vibrant and more unique than ever before,” said Lorenzo Rudolf, the fair’s president and founder, and Susan Santoso, its artistic director, in a joint statement.

Art Stage Singapore and Jakarta founder Lorenzo Rudolf with his wife, Art Stage vice president Maria Elena Rudolf. Photo: Art Stage Singapore.

The Art Stage fair, originally launched in Singapore, where it has held eight editions, expanded to Jakarta in 2016. It was envisioned as a smaller, more regional fair focused on a local audience. It hosted 51 exhibitors in 2017.

The flagship Singapore fair has struggled in recent years, however, shrinking from 170 galleries in 2016 to just 84 this year. Speaking to the Strait Times, Rudolf, who was previously director of Art Basel from 1991 to 2000, denied that the fair was in danger of folding, saying “no one has said anything that there would not be a continuation and, by now, we are used to these rumors.”

Double Deer, <em>Transform</em> (2017). Photo courtesy of ART STAGE Jakarta.

Double Deer, Transform (2017). Photo courtesy of Art Stage Jakarta.

The Art Stage Jakarta website says that the fair has hoped to serve as the anchor event for an Indonesian counterpart to Singapore Art Week, which takes place each January. “Art Stage Jakarta Week will position and promote Jakarta as a stunning and internationally competitive art capital,” the site says, listing partnering organizations such as the Galeri Nasional Indonesia, the Museum MACAN, the Museum Seni Rupa & Keramik, and the Art:1 New Museum.

The fair plans to return August 2–4, 2019, at the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel. Despite the postponement, Art Jakarta, formerly known as Bazaar Art Jakarta, will return for its tenth edition from August 2–5 at the Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place.


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