Susan Santoso Steps Down as Art Stage Jakarta’s Artistic Director
By Reena Devi
In July, Susan Santoso stepped down from her position as Art Stage Jakarta’s artistic director after a less-than-four-month stint. This follows the announcement of the third Art Stage Jakarta being postponed to August 2019, as well as renowned Indonesian art collector Tom Tandio leaving his post as president of the fair’s Board of Young Collectors.
Born into a family of art patrons and known as “one of Indonesia’s most treasured young art collectors” herself, Santoso confirmed that she left the fair on good terms. However, both Santoso and Art Stage declined to make an official statement. There is also no announcement about who will be leading the fair’s next edition.
Billed as Indonesia’s premium, international art fair, the three-day event aims to leverage Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the nation’s strong collecting culture led by a host of dedicated patrons. However, Art Stage Jakarta’s postponement and shake-ups in its management team indicate that the expansion of Indonesia’s international art market is currently dubious. On the other hand, the country’s more regionally-focused events maintain their stronghold. Art Jakarta, rebranded from Bazaar Art Jakarta, just held its tenth edition from August 2 to 5 at Jakarta’s Ritz-Carlton, Pacific Place, while ArtJog, an artist-run art fair presented in Indonesia’s art capital Jogjakarta since 2008, took place from May 4 to June 4.
Art Stage Jakarta’s sister fair Art Stage Singapore has also been facing uncertainty following the drop from 170 participating galleries in 2016 to 84 in its 2018 edition. Industry insiders even questioned if the Singapore fair would return in January 2019 at all, especially with the launch of commercial showcase SEA Focus and Art SG, the new high-end art fair by the power players behind Art Basel. However, according to its official website, Art Stage Singapore will be sticking to its schedule in spite of the upsets in Jakarta.
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