A new way of seeing through artwork – at Edwin’s Gallery, Kemang

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Artworks that are displayed in Edwin’s Gallery are not only paintings but also some sculptures and also Kinetic sculpture art you can see in the art space of Edwin’s Gallery. (photo: IO/Aldo)

IO, Jakarta – Established in 1984, Edwin’s Gallery remains consistent to its mission of holding permanent and temporary exhibitions, displaying both national and foreign artwork, curated by both Indonesian and foreign experts.  Edwin’s Gallery’s existence as a venue for art exhibition is undoubtable. Its participation in the art world is not simply national, but also international.

Edwin Rahardjo, the eponymous owner of ‘Edwin’s Gallery’ in Kemang, South Jakarta, has been well-known as a photographer and collector since the 1980s. Edwin showcases not just photographic works and paintings in his gallery, but also traditional (or static) sculpture and kinetic sculpture.

It is Edwin Rahardjo who is the foremost pioneer to introduce this art form to Indonesia. He is not a mere practicing artist: the man born 1 July 1953 doubled as a participating artist and promotor of kinetic sculpture in the Kinetica Art Fair 2013 titled Motion Sensation held in Grand Indonesia, Jakarta.  Other than being a professional artist, Edwin is also the Chairman of the Indonesian Art Gallery Association.

Kinetic sculpture is an art form with a more delicate and lovely gentleness.  That is precisely how Edwin views the essence of art, because art does not have either ‘function’ or ‘reality’, other than providing a unique sense to its owner.

For Edwin Rahardjo, art is ‘soul’. Without art, life feels empty. It is his very love of art that encouraged him to establish his own gallery, Edwin’s Gallery. Even though his artistic experience was minimal because his educational background was that of an architect and interior designer, Edwin was quite confident when he started his adventure by opening his gallery back in 1984.

For 30 years, Edwin’s Gallery rode the ups and downs of the artistic waves in Indonesia. An advanced age, admired by many who applaud its ability to adapt to the waves of modernization without losing its unique identity. Among artists, Edwin’s Gallery is like a cool oasis in the middle of the dry world of art galleries that have run out of ideas or lost their souls due in the tides of modernization.

Since its inception, Edwin’s Gallery has embraced the clear purpose of helping to develop the art world of Indonesia. It is this commitment that makes it beloved of art lovers. Edwin has the vision and mission of finding budding new artists and introducing them to the public. It is no wonder that he frequently nurtures talented young Indonesia artists. ‘We do all in this effort merely to enrich the experience of our artists. By seeing the work of artists from other countries, they can compare art there with our own,’ Edwin said when contacted by the Independent Observer.

Edwin’s Gallery has hosted untold numbers of significant national and international events, both in Edwin’s Gallery proper, or in malls, or even in the Indonesian National Gallery. Edwin does not hesitate to cooperate with significant contemporary Indonesian artists, such as Rudi Mantofani, Ay Tjoe Christine, Ugo Untoro, Masriadi, etc. Overseas, Edwin’s Gallery has hosted exhibitions in Vienna, NUS Museum in Singapore, Asia Art Center and New Age Gallery in Beijing, Godo Gallery in Seoul, 1918 Artspace in Shanghai, and Sichuan Museum in China.

From an architectural perspective, Edwin’s Gallery is an eclectic building that combines various styles into its own charming style. It has a contemporary interior and ethnic Javanese exterior. ‘I don’t want to design a building that has the same design in the front and the back. That’s boring,’ Edwin said. ‘Let people sense a different atmosphere in each room,’ he added.

Edwin’s Gallery has several areas and spaces: the parking area, the terrace, the administrator office, the entry and service lobby, the upper floor and lower floor galleries, the inside terrace, the workshop, and a lounge for artists. If you’re interested, come by for a visit – you’ll never regret it. Edwin’s Gallery is located at Jl. Kemang Raya No.21, Kemang, South Jakarta.

(Muhammad Akbar)