2nd September- 4th September, 2003
Narrowly escaping the typhoon hitting HK, I flew into Jakarta on the morning flight. Oscar Ho Hing-kay was on the same flight making last minute changes to his presentation. We were both met at the airport by the CP Foundation and taken to the hotel. A welcome dinner held that night at one of Jakarta’s excusive restaurants brought together old and new acquaintances. Jim Supangkat, Djie Tjian An and CP staff and board members warmly welcomed all the international guests, who included T.K Sabapathy, Li Xianting, Gu Wenda, Christine Clark, Chaitanya Sambrani ,Els van der Plas, Akira Tatehata, Yasuko Furuichi and Ian Findlay Brown. The following day we got a sneek preview of the show at the National Gallery, which was in its last stages of preparation for the opening. Hundreds of people arrived at the National Gallery that night to attend the opening ceremony officiated by the Minister of Culture and Sports for Indonesia. Most of the guests realised that they would have to make a second trip to view the works, which were difficult to get close to due to the swarms of art enthusiasts making their way through the galleries.
The first Biennale organised by the CP Foundation, a privately initiated and funded organisation, brought together the works of 128 Indonesian and international artists, with an 80% concentration on Indonesian work. Under the curatorial direction of Jim Supangkat, the CP Biennale aimed at opening up the curatorial selection by inviting artists to send in creative proposals, under the theme, “Interpellation.” This was also the theme for the symposium held the following day at the National Gallery, where speakers were asked to debate ‘international contemporary art’ as an idea, and whether enough room was being given to the entire growth of international arts existing outside the dominant Western traditions. The CP Biennale can be added as a new and interesting model to the growing list of Biennales and Triennials. Interesting in the inclusion of so many Indonesian artists and the room given to mediums labelled as “traditional” or “craft” excluded in the more ‘slick’ international exhibitions. The Biennale also breaks new ground in that it is privately initiated by a group of people who have made it their goal to foster and promote contemporary Indonesian art. An initiative that may hopefully act as a role model for other private, well-to-do individuals in Asia.
The extensive catalogue, CD rom, and photos of the CP Open Biennale can be found at the Archive. A big thank you to the CP Foundation especially, Djie Tijan An, Jim Supangkat, Naning Sugeng, Ronny Tjandra and Carla Bianpoen for the invitation and incredible hospitality.
- Mon, 1 Sep 2003