Using his background and experience as a banker, collector and gallery owner to manage various prestigious art fairs, Leo Silitonga has become a familiar, and notable, name in the art world. He is also the founder of Art Moments, an inaugural art fair held in Jakarta last weekend, from 3rd to 5th of May. We managed to talk with the visionary a few weeks before.
DAMAN: Can you share with us about Art Moments?
Leo Silitonga: In May 2018, when I was having lunch with some young collectors, the idea of a new Art Fair popped up in our conversation. I didn’t immediately say yes as there were already both Art Stage Jakarta and Art Jakarta existing in Jakarta. When they said there were rumours that Art Stage Jakarta might no longer be happening, I agreed Art Moments to organize Art Moments Jakarta. Art Moments’ first show ‘Art Moments Jogja’, was actually back in 2015, held at Jogja National Museum (showed solo show of Christine Ay Tjoe, Agung Kurniawan, Jason Montinola, Ronald Manullang, Davy Linggar, etc). Art Moments plans to be a regional player with events held in 2-3 countries, starting in Jakarta. We think that the market in South East Asian countries is not big enough to absorb big Art Fairs yet whereas Boutique Fairs that holds a maximum of 50 galleries is very suitable.
DAMAN: How are the preparations for Art Moments coming along?
Leo Silitonga: Quite challenging as the fair date is close to both the Indonesian election date and the Venice Biennale opening. We chose month of May in order to create balance. Art Fair creates selling transactions. In 2016 and 2017, there were two Art fairs in Jakarta occurring almost at the same time period which caused unproductive competition. Thus, we selected May instead of the end of the year in which a lot of other fairs in the region are held.
DAMAN: What, exactly, do you wish to achieve with Art Moments?
Leo Silitonga: We would like to provide a familiar platform for local and international galleries to promote their artist. With a right number of exhibitors, we will be able to give a bigger pie to each one of them. We also would like to show new experiences for the Indonesian art scene.
DAMAN: What is going to be the main event for Art Moments this year?
Leo Silitonga: We are going to have solo shows for key Indonesian artist – Heri Dono, Japanese artist – MR, Taiwanese sculptures artist – Li Chen, Malaysian Artist – Awang Damit, as well as Kongo – a French Artist that has collaborated with Hermes, Richard Mille and Chanel e.t.c. We are also very proud to showcase fresh international artists to the Indonesian market, namely MR and Kaws.
DAMAN: How many galleries will be participating in Art Moments this year?
Leo Silitonga: We are still expecting 40 to 50 galleries. However, most of the exhibitors are occupying big sized booths.
DAMAN: Are any of your favourite pieces showing this year? And why were you drawn to those pieces?
Leo Silitonga: I am looking forward to see KAWS artworks that are going to be shown by Philip Private Sale. As we all know KAWS has done a lot of collaboration with a lot of brands. Their recent collaborations was with DIOR and Uniqlo x Sesame Street.
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