Asia’s Art Cities According to Collectors: Tom Tandio on Jakarta

ART Power HK

Editor’s Note: There are many sides to modern Asian metropolis, and just as many ways to visit them. For collectors and art lovers, the best way to explore new urban scenarios and learn about a country’s cultural, social and political situation is certainly through contemporary art. However, the question for those who set foot in a new city for the first time is always the same: where do I start my artistic adventure from?

Here at CoBo we have a few, very exciting cues; for our Asia’s Art Cities Guide we have asked the most authoritative local collectors to share their best kept secrets about their own city’s art scene. Whether it is Kim Camacho’s Manila, the Jakarta art scene through the eyes of Tom Tandio, Adrian Cheng’s recommendations about the new cultural districts in Hong Kong, Disaphol Chansiri’s anticipation of the two new biennales in Thailand, Ivan Pun’s exploration in Myanmar, Ichrio Fukano’s highlights on art and lifestyle in Tokyo, the exclusive insights of Tarana Sawhney on Delhi, Higgin Kim’s insider’s take on Seoul, or Zheng Hao’s all-time favourite Shanghai, we want to give you a foray into what these Asian fast-developing cities have to offer.

In conjunction with our collectors art tours, we want to bring you straight to the galleries, art spaces, or informal hangouts that will influence trends for the Asian art scene to come, to see by yourself in which direction the artistic stream is going. If it’s true that exploring the Asian art scene means getting off the beaten path and taking an unconventional look at these vibrant hubs, then wearing the lens of these bunch of top-notch insiders is the best way to do it.


Tom Tandio – Jakarta


Indonesian businessman Tom Tandio is closely involved in the art scene of his country, and when it comes to Jakarta in particular, he knows all the best galleries in town. He served on the board of the Biennale Jogja, Yogyakarta, and was President of the Board of Young Collectors for the Art Stage Jakarta art fair. He started collecting Chinese contemporary art in 2007, and over the years he shifted his scope to Southeast Asian art, especially supporting Indonesian emerging artists. He also founded IndoArtNow Foundation which archive Indonesian contemporary arts. In 2016 part of his collection was shown at SongEun Art Space in Korea.



How would you describe the art scene in Jakarta?


The Jakarta art scene is very vibrant. We have a lot of collectors and galleries in town. Recently, a new museum named Macan Museum just opened and it adds a lot of energy to the scene. The Jakarta Biennial last year was a great success too! I must say Jakarta has more and more energy.


You have close relationships with many young Indonesian collectors. Where do you and the other young collectors usually hang out? 

The young collectors gather once every 2 months in a restaurant or in one of our houses. If we gather in a restaurant, we love to go to Kosenda Hotel and Artotel. They are both owned by fellow collectors. Both hotels have good food, artsy decor, commissioned artist-works, and have a central location.  We also invite artists to join us so that we can share ideas with them. The young collectors of Indonesia are all so interesting. They all contribute differently to our art scene.


Imagine that all your artsy friends are celebrating your birthday with you. What would be the location of the party and what dishes would you order?

Ha ha, I don’t really celebrate my birthday. If my artsy friends really wanted to throw me a party, it would be in Yogyakarta, where we’d be partying with all the artists! My favourite national dishes are gado gado (a kind of salad with peanut sauce) and oxtail soup. The best dessert is chendol.



What is your favourite gallery in town, and why?

I love all of the Indonesian galleries. They all have different characters and styles. If you come to town, you must visit all of them and you should not miss the Macan Museum and Akili Museum. Please check out the Instagram of for updated listings of upcoming exhibitions.



Where is the best place to meet artists?

It is Yogyakarta and Bandung, where you can have a drink with them in a quiet place where they will start sharing their life experiences and their art practices.



What is the best art event that you shouldnt miss in town.

Art Jog! It is an artist fair in May. There will be more than 100 artists exhibiting their work at the fair. You can take a direct flight from Jakarta to Jogyakarta, and you are in the fairground of Indonesian artists in only one hour. Many artists live and work there, such as Heri Dono, Yunizar, Eko Nugroho, etc.




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