Jakarta. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, or Museum MACAN, in Jakarta has received more than 900 works from 430 artists across Indonesia for its charity art raffle Arisan Karya. However, only 100 artists and artworks can be included in the first raffle.
"The program aims to create a connection and a community spirit within the Indonesian art community and help provide an income for the artists [during the pandemic]," MACAN Director Aaron Seeto said in an online press conference on Friday.
Though the local art community has been struggling during the pandemic, with exhibitions and performances canceled or postponed indefinitely, he believes artists will continue being creative and producing brilliant works.
"Artists create and reveal new truths under good and bad conditions. The pandemic will not be the end of artists. They will struggle, but they will continue creating," Aaron said.
Under large-scale social restrictions, many artists have moved their activities online, producing podcasts, offering virtual studio visits and organizing online workshops.
"For the past two months, most of us have been listening to more podcasts and music, reading and watching content on social media, than at any time in our lives. Most of that work is produced by artists," he said.
Nevertheless, the arts community is a fragile ecosystem that needs a lot of attention, Aaron said.
"Exhibitions being canceled and freelance artists struggling to earn an income are the major concerns right now," he said.
According to data from the Indonesian Art Coalition (KSI), a total of 234 art events had been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic by April.
They included 113 music concerts, tours and festivals; 46 performance art events including plays, pantomime shows, wayang and storytelling; 33 art exhibitions; 30 film events including productions, premieres and festivals; 10 dance performances and two literary events.
Aaron said Arisan Karya will be conducted in three batches in May, June and July. Each batch will include 100 works from 100 artists.
For the first batch, the selected artworks will be displayed on Museum MACAN's website from May 20 to May 28.
"People can buy a coupon for the raffle for Rp 1 million ($67), which will buy them one artwork. The fun part is they won't know which artwork they'll get until May 29. We will organize an Instagram live event to raffle the works," Aaron said.
The selected artists will also create content, such as art tutorials and workshops, that will be delivered through Museum MACAN's digital platforms.
Museum MACAN is recruiting five art workers from different cities to work at the museum as art managers to help organize the charity raffle.
"Their job will be to help us to communicate with the artists, to gather information, to help us pack and send the artworks. They will get paid and will also get a chance to join a three-day workshop at MACAN," Aaron said.
The museum will give 70 percent of the money collected from the raffle to the artists or their chosen charity foundations.
The rest will be used to fund the artists' online education programs and logistical costs for the art managers.
Selecting the Artworks
Museum MACAN's curator, Asep Topan, said the museum had launched an open call for artists all over the country to submit their artworks for the raffle.
Another 50 local artists have also been invited to join the program.
Artists who will take part in Arisan Karya include Melati Suryodarmo, Tisna Sanjaya, Saleh Husein, Agus Suwage and Ika Vantiani.
"We've received all types of art – 2D, 3D and non-object art including videos. We're open to every kind of contemporary art expression," he said.
But the raffle's curators will also have to consider the size of the works because all of them will have to be delivered to the raffle winners.
Asep said the maximum size for a 3D artwork is 40x30x50 centimeters and for 2D artwork it's 100x100 centimeters.
"How the artists describe their work will also be important because we won't be able to see it in person. We'll also consider the technical aspect of the work, the variety of the medium we get and also the location of the artists," he said.