Jakarta Biennale 2015 is curated by Charles Esche together with 6 Indonesian young emerging curators.

16th Jakarta Biennale 2015

Maju Kena, Mundur Kena (Neither forward nor back): Learning in The Present

November 15, 2015 – January  17, 2016

Opening : Saturday, 14 November 2015, 8pm

Curator: Charles Esche
Curatorial team: Anwar ‘Jimpe’ RachmanAsep TopanBenny Wicaksono, Irma Chantily , Putra Hidayatullah, Riksa Afiaty.

The main event will take place in the Sarinah Warehouse, Jalan Pancoran Timur II/4, South Jakarta. In addition, the Jakarta Biennale will also fill various public spaces in the city through collaborative works with various communities.

Curatorial Concept

The title Maju Kena Mundur Kena refers to the idea of concentrating on the present while refusing to indulge in nostalgia or escape into dreams of a future utopia. In that spirit, the works we have selected focus on economic, social and emotional conditions in the here and now. They seek to portray how people in different cities and environments live with and take responsibility for the present through their actions. Some strong theme will run through the exhibition and connect different artworks. The first is the use and abuse of water, as a basic need of life and also as something threatening through flooding and pollution.

Another significant aspect of the exhibition will be its interest in how history has an impact on today, though memories and traditions affecting how people behave now. A third strand will be the influence of imposed gender roles and how individuals struggle to find their own voice. The related issue of violence will also be addressed. Throughout the exhibition, we have selected works that search for the small victories that people experience in daily life despite the difficulties.

The exhibition will feature about 40 Indonesian and 30 international artists. The various themes in the exhibition will be woven together in the exhibition, which will take the form of small ‘villages’ of artworks inside the huge Sarinah warehouse. We have also mixed more established and young artists together. There will be a public symposium during the opening days and a 2-week temporary academy open to all by application and with visiting international students from European art schools. The offsite projects will follow work with communities on or near the Ciliwung River that are regularly affected by flooding, as well as beyond Jakarta in Surabaya, Aceh and Makassar.

Participating Artists


  • Agung Kurniawan (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
  • Aprilia Apsari (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Arahmaiani (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Ariani Darmawan (Bandung, Indonesia)
  • Cut Putri (Aceh, Indonesia)
  • Evelyn Pritt (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Firman Djamil (Makassar, Indonesia)
  • Hestu Setu Legi (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
  • Idrus bin Harun (Aceh, Indonesia)
  • Iswadi Basri (Aceh, Indonesia)
  • Jakarta Wasted Artists (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Lab Laba-Laba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Leonardiansyah Allenda (Banyuwangi, Indonesia)
  • Lifepatch (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
  • Marishka Soekarna (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Ng Swan Ti (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Nobodycorp. Internationale Unlimited (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
  • Nurhasnah (Padang, Indonesia)
  • Octora (Bandung)
  • PM Toh (Aceh, Indonesia)
  • Reza Afisina (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Sanchia T. Hamidjaja (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Surya Wirawan (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
  • Tisna Sanjaya (Bandung, Indonesia)
  • Tita Salina (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • TROTOARt (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Wonderyash (Jakarta, Indonesia)


  • Bamboo Curtain Studio (Taiwan)
  • Bik Van der Pol (Belanda)
  • Clara Ianni (Brazil)
  • Cráter Invertido (Meksiko)
  • Dan Perjovschi (Romania)
  • Dieneke Jansen (New Zealand)
  • Etcetera (Argentina)
  • Jeremy Millar (Inggris)
  • Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa (Prancis/Spanyol)
  • Ko Latt (Myanmar)
  • Köken Ergun (Turki)
  • Maddie Leach (New Zealand)
  • Mark Salvatus (Filipina)
  • Oscar Muñoz (Kolombia)
  • Peter Robinson (New Zealand)
  • Renzo Martens (Belanda)
  • Richard Bell (Australia)
  • Tom Nicholson (Australia)
  • Zeyno Pekünlü (Turki)

Indonesian Young Artist

  • Annisa Rizkiana Rahmasari (Semarang, Indonesia)
  • Bron Zelani (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Fuady Keulayu (Aceh, Indonesia)
  • Log Out Corporation (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Mario Julius (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Melawan Kebisingan Kota (Surabaya, Indonesia)
  • Miebi Sikoki (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Muh. Cora (Makassar, Indonesia)
  • QuiQui (Makassar, Indonesia)
  • Reza Enem (Makassar, Indonesia)
  • Yoppy Pieter (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Zulhiczar Arie (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

For the first time, the Jakarta Biennale event is organized by Jakarta Biennale Foundation, after previously being held by the Jakarta Arts Council (JAC). Jakarta Biennale Foundation was established on October 2014.

Image: Press Conference Jakarta Biennale. Courtesy Jakarta Biennale.

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