Museum MACAN Unveils Three Major Solo Presentations Conceptual Artists

(Business Lounge Journal – Event)

On view at Museum MACAN from 17 November 2018 – 10 March 2019:
Arahmaiani – The Past Has Not Passed (Masa Lalu Belumlah Berlalu),

Lee Mingwei – Seven Stories, and

On Kawara – One Million Years (Reading)

Celebrating a milestone first year anniversary since opening to the public in Jakarta, Museum MACAN continues to present major exhibitions by revolutionary conceptual artists from Southeast Asia and the wider region. This fall, the Museum will unveil three solo presentations by Indonesian Arahmaiani, Taiwanese-American Lee Mingwei and Japanese artist On Kawara from 17 November 2018 – 10 March 2019.

These three individual presentations feature a unique series of conceptual and performance art from artists of the wider Asian region that illustrate MACAN’s ongoing effort in showcasing curated and thought-provoking programs, and which enhance the attitudes and awareness towards this contemporary genre.  Building upon the success of the two initial programs at the Museum in the fall of 2017 entitled First Sight, the public were invited to experience and engage with a series of live performance art events by Indonesian artists such as FX Harsono, Reza Afisina, Agung Kurniawan, Tisna Sanjaya and Melati Suryodarmo, together with artists from around the region including Yin Xiuzhen, Mella Jaarsma, Xu Zhen and Heman Chong, among others.

Starting from November 17, Museum MACAN will simultaneously host three shows: a survey of Arahmaiani featuring works from the last thirty years of her career, seven major performances and participatory installations by Lee Mingwei, and the reading of One Million Years by On Kawara, marking the artist’s first presentation in Indonesia.

“We look forward with great anticipation to present these seminal works by such important artists as Arahmaiani, Lee Mingwei and On Kawara to the audiences here in Jakarta,” says Aaron Seeto, Director of Museum MACAN. “With this curated presentation of the three exhibitions and live performances, we continue to push the boundaries of standard museum shows through our programming and aim to offer insights into works by the key names of the contemporary and conceptual art scene, all the while enforcing our vision of art education at Museum MACAN”.


The Past Has Not Passed (Masa Lalu Belumlah Berlalu) will be a major survey by Arahmaiani, recognized as a significant player on the Indonesian and global art scene. Featuring works from the 1980s until today, this exhibition of an extensive archive from the artist and over 70 pieces includes paintings, installations and re-enactments of iconic performances presented alongside some of her most recent projects and earlier works such as the painting Lingga-Yoni (1994), which depicts the artist’s fascination and long-term experimentation with symbolism and the syncretism of culture of her native Java. As part of MACAN’s collection, the work also was part of the Museum’s inaugural exhibition in November 2018. Arahmaiani’s practice often combines art and social activism with a focus on issues such as cultural diversity, consumerism, and womanhood that have become pivotal to her art-making. With international recognition and regular participation in international events as the Asia-Pacific Triennial (1996), Gwangju Biennale (2002) and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), Museum MACAN aims to create further opportunity for the Indonesian public to learn about and appreciate the artist’s works.

Lee Mingweis Seven Stories will feature seven different projects by this internationally acclaimed Paris/New York-based Taiwanese-American artist. Lee’s oeuvre revolves around concepts of community and exchange, with his works often relying on the audience’s active participation. Exploring ideas such as trust, intimacy, and self-awareness, his installations and performances can invoke profound experiences through quotidian activities such as eating or sleeping. Guernica in Sand (2006 – ongoing), a large-scale installation based on Picasso’s painting Guernica (1937) and made of locally sourced colored sands, will be one of the highlights of this exhibition. Constructed with a team of volunteers over the course of three weeks, the work will be ceremoniously transformed mid-point in the exhibition as audience members are invited to walk on the sand while the artist completes the unfinished section of the sand painting. At sunset during the day of the performance, after the last audience member has walked on the sand, Lee and three performers will sweep the sand, and the project will be left in this condition until the end of the exhibition.

On Kawara’s installation, the reading of One Million Years will be presented for the first time in Indonesia, corresponding with the artist’s debut exhibition at MACAN. For this presentation, male and female volunteers will alternately read out dates from Kawara’s multi-volume collection which comprises One Million Years [Past], noting each year over an entire millennium from 998031 BC and One Million Years [Future], noting each year over an entire millennium through 1001997 AD. The first audio presentation of One Million Years took place at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York in 1993, and has been presented at numerous venues since, including Documenta 11 (Kassel, Germany) and Trafalgar Square (London, UK). Each time the work is presented, the speakers pick up where the last person left off, embodying the passage of chronological time, a central theme in the artist’s oeuvre. The live reading at Museum MACAN will take place three days a week.

The opening program will feature a number of performances by Lee Mingwei, a reading of One Million Years as well as a series of artist talks As the shows come to a close in March 2019, Museum MACAN will launch two publications on Arahmaiani and Lee Mingwei, each including newly commissioned essays on the artist. Details on the program will be released on the website soon.

Museum MACAN/Vibiz Media/BLJ