Celebrating 10 Years of JakArt - Some Highlights


Sophocles’ “Antigone”

Photo:  Venue: Graha Bhakti Budaya (TIM), 18/6/01 / Ancient Greek Tragedy by the leading theater group from Greece, Knossos, in collaboration with the Indonesian theatre group, Lembaga IKJ and costume design by internationally-acclaimed designer Harry Darsono are the artistic ingredients to this extraordinary collaboration.  The chorus comprises of two separate teams of actors–Greek and Indonesian–each choreographed and inspired by their respective cultural traditions. The result is a highly unified presentation celebrating artistic interpretation of rhythm and music, and proving the global appeal of the classical myth which is a tribute to democracy and power of individual will. The Antigone of Sophocles was first performed in the spring of 441 B.C., on the occasion of the Great Dionysia

Homage to the Eternal Creativity of the Human Race

Homage to the Eternal Creativity of the Human Race, A comprehensive chronological Educational Exposition of the most important examples of art produced throughout human history around the world, from the cave dweller to the present, in the form of museum replicas in an “atmospheric” context. The exposition draws upon and uses material from both the Tangible Heritage and Intangible Heritage from around the world. As an Educational project this travelling exposition provides not only the opportunity for those who do not have the privilege to view and be aware of the wealth and diversity of global art throughout the ages, but also to illustrate the importance of Creativity in cultural, social and economic development and as a vehicle supporting and promoting World Peace. It is hoped that this will inspire and persuade societies (and their governments) to appreciate the importance of preserving their Cultural Heritage, of presenting and promoting it at present, and of considering the importance of Creativity in future development.  This is one of the long term goals that the JakArt festival is working on. The Exhibition was opened by Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director General UNESCO and Mr. I Gede Ardika,  Minister of Culture and Tourism in Indonesia

Art School

Photo: Student from Thio House of Art, performing at Taman Budaya Riau, Pekanbaru 24/04/10

The Establishment of Extra – Curricular Arts School


The Vision:


A cross-subsidy extra-curricular school providing:

          supplementary & complementary courses in the various fields of the arts “under one roof”,

          an alternative to the prevalent “materialistic” and commercial trends,

          nurturing students understanding about themselves as cultural beings,

          enabling them to make an impact in shaping and changing themselves and their own society.

Working as a “travelling” school, collaborating & exchanging resources and knowledge with the various regions in Indonesia and eventually with various countries. Acting as a form of Cultural/Arts Centre (eventually as a series of Cultural/Arts Centres throughout the archipelago) and as an organization promoting the Arts and Culture in general.

Seminars, special courses, and appreciation courses will also be available for adults……


·         To enable young children and adults to discover, express and develop their creative potential

·         To provide a wide range of art experiences beyond the scope offered by established institutions.

·         Expose students to other cultures

·         Deepen students understanding of their own culture

·         Utilise traditional and modern technology creatively

·         Initialise a process of self discovery in respect to the arts and creativity



ASAH Indonesian Tours 1 to 4 . classical music combined with happening arts as a travelling concert visiting 100 cities in Indonesia. The music is performed by Ary Sutedja, pianist and Asep Hidayat, cellist. As a visual artist Mikhail David documented the atmosphere of the concerts from behind the canvas. This collaboration drawing critical reaction and dialogue from the audience had an overall positive response. 
In a spirit of collaboration Asah also involves guest artists with a variety of combinations and inter-actions between the different  arts disciplines. These creative events have an educational purpose. The tour as such is designed to develop a network aimed at setting up a new art school program.



The Imaginary Festival  (If), 2008 is a mix of Reality and fantasy. “If” is a statement, a conceptual festival where imaginary events take place in collaboration with the media. Advertising and promotion of major performances by well renowned orchestras, dance, music and theatre companies, etc; exhibitions of famous contemporary artists as well as major historical exhibitions from museums around the world accompanied by discussions,  interviews, commentaries, write-ups, critiques etc of these events on the radio, television and in the printed and electronic media. A statement that Jakarta, a large city with a population of over 18 million people is presently without an opera house, concert halls, international museums, etc and that the dream of turning Jakarta into a cultural city is far from reality because not only do we lack the appropriate infrastructure but also the funding and political will required to achieve this goal any time in the near future.

Some of the events included were:


A) The reading out loud of the declaration of the Global Academy of Arts and Sciences,
On Aug 21st , 2008,  11 actors, wearing costumes, went on tour to embassies , ministries, Indonesian government offices, and other locations throughout Jakarta to read out loud the declaration of the Global Academy of Arts and Sciences, signed by over 600 of world renowned scientists, intellectuals and statesman including Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, Marilyn Monroe, Socrates, Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi;


 B) the shoestring orchestra


conducted by George Ellis, an orchestra set up only with shoes and strings, 1 pianist, 1 violin and 1 cellist and 2 members of the choir performing part of the 9th of Beethoven. (45 min);


C)  “First in his mind then in his hands!”


Leonardo da Vinci, Florentine artist, one of the great masters of the High Renaissance expressing his thoughts about the new Renaissance’ keynote speaker at The JakArt@2008 General Conference, which was inaugurated by president Soekarno.


JakArt@2001, 2002, 2003

The Varindra Tarzie Vittachi International Youth Conference

The Varindra Tarzi Vittachi International Youth Conference, “Educating for a Human Future” is conceived of as a five-day international conference for approximately 125 youth and young adults, ages 15-30, and 25 younger educators, up to age 40, from at least 30 countries and most of the world’s major religious and secular traditions.  The work of the gathering will be the sharing of ideas by participants on the nature of an optimal future for humankind and the sorts of educational experiences most likely, in their collective opinion, to lead to such a future. 

Varindra Tarzie Vittachi, after whom the conference is named was a Sri Lankan journalist who served as the deputy executive director of UNICEF.  Dr Vittachi’s commitment to the world’s children and youth as well as to education has inspired this conference.


The Varindra Tarzie Vittachi International Youth Conference

International Architecture Design Competition for the Category “Conceptually Adventurous” with American Architect, Antoine Predock, as a single jury, open for members of the Indonesian architect association and the Jakarta Art center in which the participants had to design an Art Center with several sub functions like museum, performing arts building and an opera house


Inter-religious Dialogue on the Role of Art and Religion

As important as any other event in JakArt was the “Inter-religious Dialogue on the Role of Art and Religion as a Vehicle for Creating World Peace”. supported by the World Council on Religion and Peace. participants included top leaders of the world’s major religious organizations, religious scholars and academicians, artist, art critics, political scientists and peace workers. The Dialogue generated thoughtful encounters between persons and groups with different religious views but eager to learn from others


Homeless world

Homeless world–  global Photo Exhibition, an initiative designed by the Homeless World Foundation (the Netherlands) and launched by the JakArt Festival in 2002, to enable displaced young people from all over the world to photograph the struggle of their daily lives from their own perspective. As part of the project, 121 young homeless people between the ages of 6 and 20 from 11 cities worldwide helped produce a traveling exhibition of photographs, a book, and a website. The purpose of the project is to focus attention on the position of the homeless and to generate funding for projects, while also providing a forum for young homeless people to share their lives with others. 


Habitaspublik 2001

Public space in urban environment (Habitaspublik 2001) a program organized in cooperation with Ruang Rupa Jakarta, a group of artists exploring the artist’s interaction with Jakarta urban life.The project was divided in four subjects: site specific, video art, mural and poster and involved 50 artists performing, creating situations and music and painting murals under the fly-overs & Bridges, and in Public places like prisons, graffiti towers, malls etc  The project was problematic for the city authorities. The issue of how artists should negotiate their performance in public spaces in Jakarta where space is still “owned” by the authorities who are still concerned about the inner dynamics of society. A project resulting in  good responses from the people and the media through many critical publications towards the city government.


‘City bus ride’ , opening ceremony 2002

City bus ride , opening ceremony 2002, a cross section of the population were invited to ride non air conditioned busses and witness the multitude of cultural events and happenings as they drove around town including Islamic music, marawis, performed at the cathedral ( inter religious / interfaith program) and more


Kampung bewarna

A project laden with a variety of social problems and sensitive issues entitled: Colored Village (Kampung bewarna) where villagers on the banks of the Bay Gong river, (Banjir Kanal – Kapuk Muara, Pluit) painted their homes with the guidance of young student architects using paints donated by national paint manufacturers. The  program was completed within two weeks, covering nearly 600 housing units. A run-down area with substandard housing was turned into a village of vibrant colors. This project initiated a mutual learning experience and social interaction in which the village people from all walks and ages became local artists and learned from the architect students and where the architect students met the poor people and learned about their needs. Engaging with a social class that they don’t normally associate with gave them the opportunity to understand real needs and how to design and create housing that meets those needs.


Maximiliano Guerra & Maria Gimenez & friends

The Colored Village, in turn became a venue and several events were held there.  Notable in this respect was a Community based workshop, mask-making, for the village children entitled Identity given by  a Colombian artist, and the introduction of the villagers to a classical ballet featuring Maximiliano Guerra & Maria Gimenez & friends. Due to the technical requirements of this international classical ballet the performance was held at one of Jakarta’s most modern dance theatres and therefore the village people were taken by bus to mingle with the high society Jakarta audience. For the first time in their career the dancers were thrilled by a spontaneous screaming and cheering audience.


Festival Kali Besar

Festival Kali Besar. The main focus of this project is to show the people and the government of Jakarta that the downtown Kali Besar Area, which has been abandoned and forgotten by many, still has a cultural potential and historical value; a further aim is to raise the awareness of the community about some architectural issues in a way that is understandable to the ordinary person without any specialist knowledge. The project consists of 6 different programs and campaigns through which people will ´go back in time´ and re-live the golden years of the 18th century and to finally see the future of the Kali Besar;  the painting of historical buildings;  gathering the local community for 1 day to work together and clean the area;  Info Boxes to create awareness of the importance of preservation and the progress of Historical Jakarta and Jakarta Kota, Tempo Doeloe : Art Performances, social events and a Traditional market.


Pesanggrahan River Forrest folk festival


Pianist Aisha A.S. Pletsher and vocalist Aning Katamsi performing works of Ravel during the openings ceremony JakArt at Hutan Wisata Kali Pesanggrahan

the Pesanggrahan River Forrest folk festival.  In the middle of a densely populated South Jakarta, there is still space for a forest and fauna. The most significant part is called the forest of Kali Pesanggrahan. Actually this area almost vanished, but it is saved by ” Sangga Buana “* ,  a group of farmers protecting the environment and rebuilding the community. They aim to improve the relation between nature and the people and to secure the territory of the Kali Pesanggrahan Karang Tengah. Sangga Buana has organized a 3 day festival celebrating with traditional art, performances, sport and games. * (Sangga: a post to support an object above;  Buana: Earth consisting of air, plants, water, animals, etc , which need to be nourished to become everlasting).


Photo: The Reda Folkloric Troup  – June 4, 23.00 hrs, Openings ceremony JakArt at Hutan Wisata Kali Pesanggrahan. Supported by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and  the Ministry of Culture, Cairo, Egypt.
The Reda Folkloric Troup has toured several times around the globe, performing on the world’s most prestigious stages revealing the cultural and social aspects of Egyptian daily life.


American Virtuosi

Seminars and master classes by the American Virtuosi, The Borowsky family, a family with young children and their parents, about the function of music in our society held at regional art centers, the ministry of culture, hospital and their collaborations with local artists including a performance with the Jakarta Philharmonic Orchestra


Dewa Ruci, 10 minutes broadcast through sound systems of Jakarta mosques

Dewa Ruci  The 10 minutes contemporary classical performance on a ‘1 String instrument’ by Indonesian composer Slamet A. Sjukur , broadcasted through the sound systems of Jakarta mosques, embracing  the ocean of sound hidden behind the vibration of this only string, and


Ruji Dewa Workshop for handicapped children on wheelchairs. A workshop by the same composer, for 20 disabled children using the forks of their wheelchairs to make healthy music.


Kubur Theatre group

Kubur Theatre group, a theatre group critical to its environment, entertaining its society was commissioned by JakArt to create an interactive theatre for the blind. Workshops followed by the performance of the participating blind were held at 20 rehabilitation centers in and around Jakarta.
The audiences participated by sharing the disability through being blindfolded.


Idols, children from the dump site 

Photo:  Dewi Sandra, famous Indonesian pop singer and actress, meeting with the young  photographers

In 2003 a similar project was launched entitled: “Idols, children from the dump site”, a photo exhibition and book presentation. Children of waste pickers from Bantar Gebang, Jakarta garbage dump site, photographed their idols, soap opera stars, TV-presenters and other very important celebrities. Their immense photographs (1,2 meter times 2,4 meter) were exhibited at Senayan Square in South Jakarta resulting in a unique combination of glitter and garbage.  Their adventure began when each of them got a camera, and training in photography, consisting of very simple directions: Hold the camera like this. Don’t cover the lens with your finger. Aim carefully. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the young scavengers, among other things, to their own radio station: Radio Anak Kampung Bantar Gebang.


Presentation of  the rice culture

 “Presentation of  the rice culture”, dinner at night with Dewi Sri, Goddess of the rice crops. This exhibition and art performance was the result of a long process of anthropological research on rice culture in Indonesia. The myth of Dewi Sri inspired Hendrawan Riyanto, Indonesian artist,  to express the tradition of rice culture practiced by the villagers in West Java.


Project 365, a one year visual diary

Project 365, a one year visual diary by Canadian artist Deborah J. Nolan. What if we pushed ourselves to create, to put pen to paper every single day? What if we were able to capture the honesty of ongoing process as an artist? Project 365 began as a way to explore some of these questions. For every single day of 2002 she created a piece of artwork. The exposition was held at the lobby of Ministry of Education.


Russian ‘Carrousel Dance Group’

The Russian ‘Carrousel Dance Group’ directed by choreographer Antonina Kaldaeva, performing at many different locations the Jakarta including the Military Base for the Infantry Brigade. Brigif.


Naisda Dance College

Naisda Dance College. Workshops and performances developed for young people, keen to learn, given by the Australian ‘National Aboriginal & Islander skills Development Association’. Dances that sprang from the collaborations of Indigenous Aboriginal dance creators & western trained choreographers


Janis Brenner & Saraswati dance company

Janis Brenner & Saraswati dance company performing 2 contemporary dances: Last Ones and Common Ground. A cultural exchange and collaboration between  the Saraswati Dance Company from the Art Institute (ISI) of Yogyakarta and the American award-winning dancer/choreographer/singer/teacher Janis Brenner, Artistic Director of Janis Brenner & Dancers in N.Y.


Festival à la Carte 2004

Festival à la Carte, 2004, a traveling festival throughout 14 cities in Java and Bali in collaboration with local partners in every city, contributing an essential social and educational service to the people. Introducing social issues like women rights etc.  A multi-national, multi-discipline gathering of the Arts with a pure intention at its core. Bringing stages, several grand piano’s and other instruments, 150 local and international artists, volunteers and crew to the people, in the middle of rice fields and on top of the volcano to encourage and facilitate local and international inter-cultural exchange and collaborations.


Sakis Otambasidis in the Sawah (Rice field) , Greek photographer
Traveling back to the roots of our ancestors

Working and creating with members of Kumunitas Seni Hitam Putih (Art Community Black and White), a Theatre group from West Sumatra featuring: Joe Mirshall, Koko Sudarmaji, Ijot Goblin, Aidil Farhan, director: Yusril


Festival à la Carte 2004,  The Stage Bus from Indonesia

Moussa Diallo – Music from West Africa (Ghana, Mali and Gambia)

The Stage Bus from Indonesia, Festival à la Carte 2004. Touring the Peloponese, Greece in the framework of the Cultural Olympiad to promote and foster better understanding between nations and cultures of the world in the spirit and friendship of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Athens 2004. More than 40 artists from Indonesia, West Africa, Denmark, Holland, America and Greece toured 13 cities in seven districts of the region of Peloponese, in southern mainland Greece. The artists performed on the festival’s mobile theater: the Stage Bus.


Bornfree USA

Photo: setting up at Duke University Duke, Durham, North Carolina, USA. Organized in corporation with Leon L. Dunkley, Ph.D., Director, Mary Lou Williams Center For Black Culture.

Bornfree USA, an Indonesian American Dutch Cross Cultural Promotion Tour of 70 Non profit jazz Performances at 45 Universities and Colleges in 24 States of America
A music project reviving a tradition from the earliest days of American jazz. Band buses, carrying their music to ‘out of town’ dancehalls. For this tour the festival specially designed a Coach into a moving Stage, the Stage Bus, and shipped it to New York


Tulips 2005

photo left: Maurice Leclerc  – World War II Veteran, Chaudière Regiment of Quebec, Canada, Liberator of the Netherlands. Her Royal Highness  Princess Margriet of the Netherlands sees to it that 60 doves are released from the roof of the Stage Bus while she herself releases a white dove.

Tulips 2005,  100 performances in 76 communities, 14 provinces,  throughout Canada, 50.000 km, 57.000 tulips offered in the spirit of peace and international friendship as a tribute to Canadian veterans on the sixtieth anniversary of the Netherlands’ liberation.
Tulips 2005 was executed with the festival’s stage bus  to distribute the gift of the tulips from Holland all over Canada and to reach out to the younger Canadian Generation with music as an educational platform to remind them about the II world war, the Canadian veterans and our freedom of today.  Prior to – and during the tour hundreds of veterans were interviewed and photographed and their stories, accounts of WWII , were collected and published in a book online: “Friendship”. (The Story, their stories 4 jazz musicians playing tribute to Canadian WWII Veterans) The book was presented to Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands during the 65th anniversary of the liberation in May 2010


Classical Nuances

Photo: Korean oboist, Soun-Youn Yoon and American violist, Sharon Eng, in front of the Indonesian shadow puppetry of Nanang Hape.


Classical Nuances a chamber ensemble of rare distinction performing at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, United Nations Headquarters,  New York on April 21st, 2006 as part of the Nuances American Tour  2006. Classical and contemporary works for a multinational trio enhanced by Indonesian shadow puppetry accompanied by a lighting and visual presentation.


Young in 60 Cities

Photo: 8-11-09 photo shoot workshop / 100 photographers from the Darwis Triadi School of Photography 


“Young in 60 Cities” the embodiment of 2 disciplines: Photography and fashion.  A 10 day exhibition including youth fashion and photographic related activities including fashion shows, fashion shoots and fashion workshops, musical events.  The exhibition was the result of the International Teen Fashion Photo Competition.  A choice of up to 240 photographs were presented. The jury consisted of a panel of great and well-known photographers, fashion Designers, Artists, including Hollywood producer Paul Verhoeven, Simon Xavier Guerrand-Hermès and others. A special project that offers an opportunity to maybe find the answers to the questions that surround teenagers and youth in general and therefore the climax of the event was  a forum and discussion organized in collaboration with UNESCO Jakarta, highlighting the role of youth in establishing peace.