Guide to Spending Ramadan Weekend in Jakarta: June 11–12


JUNE 10, 2016

Jakarta. For many Jakartans who observe the fasting ritual of Ramadan, the holy month leaves open a block of afternoon time normally spent checking out new places to eat or sip coffee later in the evening. (The non-Muslims among us might even do the same thing, what with some restaurants putting up their shutters during lunchtime.)

If you're bored with checking out new restaurants and shops, check out these five exciting—and at times thought-provoking—cultural events instead, as you wait for the iftar time with your friends and family this weekend.

1. See RB Ali's political portraits 

Portraitist RB Ali captures some of the most prominent figures in Indonesian politics in his paintings—currently on display in his solo exhibition, "Tembang Sunyi" ("A Silent Song"), at Galeri Nasional Indonesia. Seven portraits, including those of controversial Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini—and featuring the artist's trademark exuberant colors and geometric lines—will give you food for the soul, if not the belly.

Exhibition opens until June 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Gedung B, Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur Raya No. 14, Central Jakarta.

2. Listen to artist Bagus Pandega's talk

Bagus Pandega recently opened a solo exhibition titled "Random Black," where the displayed works employ attention-grabbing elements of light and sound to convey his idea about the dynamic between "the absolute and the random." In an afternoon talk at the ROH Projects gallery on Saturday, the acclaimed contemporary artist will discuss his works and creative influences alongside exhibition curator Mella Jaarsma.

Saturday, June 11, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

ROH Projects, Equity Tower, Level 40E, Sudirman Central Business District, South Jakarta. @rohprojects on Instagram.

3. Watch 'Indonesian Shorts at Cannes' screening

The relatively new RUANG Artspace, situated in North Jakarta's Pantai Indah Kapuk neighborhood, will screen a selection of Indonesian short films that have made it to the celebrated Cannes Film Festival. These include Lucky Kuswandi's "The Fox Exploits the Tiger's Might" as well as Edwin's earlier "Kara Anak Sebatang Pohon." Not to be missed, of course, is the much talked-about short by rising filmmaker Wregas Bhanuteja, "Prenjak," which just won the Leica Cine Discovery Prize at the festival in May.

Saturday, June 11, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

RUANG Artspace, Gold Coast A/5, Pantai Indah Kapuk, North Jakarta. @ruang_artspace on Instagram.

4. Discuss Muslim fashion trends in the digital era

Indonesia is rapidly growing into a Muslim fashion mecca, thanks to its passionate hijabers communities and dedicated modest-wear designer labels in recent years. A panel discussion at @america cultural center will dissect the latest Muslim fashion trends in the country and how digital media can bring emerging voices in the field to the forefront of the industry. Fashion bloggers Sarah Sofyan and Suci Utami will lead the conversation along with Putri Dwiandari from Hijabers Community Jakarta.

Saturday, June 11, 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

@america, Pacific Place, Level 3, Sudirman Central Business District, South Jakarta.

5. Watch 'Now You See Me 2'

The talented Four Horsemen illusionists return to the big screen in this sequel to 2013's "Now You See Me." Now directed by Jon M. Chu, the adventure flick will bring the Las Vegas magicians-slash-bank robbers—played by Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Lizzy Caplan—face-to-face with a villainous tech prodigy (Daniel Radcliffe) who challenges them to pull off the most complex heist of their lives.

Out in cinemas now.