Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem, Jl. Pancoran Timur II, RT.9/RW.4, Cikoko, South Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia
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Amid the current system that is rife with fanaticism, the loss of politicians’ sanity, intolerance, and struggle for space, it is pertinent and crucial to rethink the forces underlying human desires, observe plural relationships, and make use of our senses, sensibilities, and knowledge. JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 has been organized as an endeavor to perpetually enrich and widen the artistic experiences and critical thinking skills of the general public in approaching contemporary phenomena in a more contemplative and sensible manner. Such is the reason behind the appointment of Melati Suryodarmo as artistic director of the Jakarta Biennale 2017. She put forward the concept “Jiwa” (literally ‘soul’) to discuss wide-ranging issues and inquiries into contemporary arts and culture. Jiwa can be taken to mean a basic human impulse, togetherness, society, nature, or anything intangible and spiritual. Armed with broad experience and sensibilities as an artist, curator, and networker, Melati Suryodarmono is expected to bring about a new, inspiring perspective and approach that differ from the previous ones. After several stages of discussion, four curators were selected to work alongside Melati Suryodarmo in planning and artistically directing JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017. These curators include Annissa Gultom, Hendro Wiyanto, Phillipe Pirotte, and Vit Havranek.

JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 is taking place at Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem, and in order to engage a broader audience, events and exhibitions are also being held at the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics and the Jakarta History Museum. JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 is featuring 51 artists hailing from within and outside of Indonesia. With three exhibition venues, the Jakarta Biennale 2017 is mainly centered in two bustling areas of Jakarta, namely Pancoran, South Jakarta, and Kota Tua, West Jakarta. In addition to showcasing contemporary fine arts, the artistic team of JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017 has also placed particular focus on the publication of fine art books, something that has been on the agenda since the Jakarta Biennale 2013. Three books will be published in parallel with the Jakarta Biennale 2017, namely a book of Bambang Bujono’s selected articles from 1968—2017; a book on the fine art accounts of Siti Adiyati from 1975—1997; and a book that contains reviews, writings, and archival material pertaining to Semsar Siahaan. At each and every event, the Jakarta Biennale is invariably committed to continually providing fine art education to the public. One manifestation of this commitment has been a multitude of workshops that train the public on how to make use of post-exhibition objects. We also invite artists to visit and teach at schools with which the Jakarta Biennale is in collaboration. All of these activities are carried out in order to bring fine arts closer to the public, especially the younger generation.