Business seeks opportunity, and in the art world, it is no different. When Art Basel Hong Kong hosted its first event this May with 60,000 attendees, it signaled the emergence of Asia as a powerful force of influence to the global art market. The Guardian rightly points out that this is more than a geographic addition to the art calendar, rather the shift is “reminiscent of the migration of the art markets from the European capitals to New York in the early 20th century.” Hong Kong may boast the third largest sales, but art centers in New Delhi and Singapore are equally ambitious. The growing interest in contemporary Asian art is buoyed by the abundance of regional spending power, and collectors in Asia are seeking the acquirement of their national stars, local artists of repute and international names, often skyrocketing auction valuations.
In the city of Yogyakarta (Jogja), widely known as the cultural heart of Indonesia, there is an annual art fair held in the summer, replete with fringe events, workshops, talks and studio visits. Art Fair Jogja or ArtJog celebrates its sixth year running this July (6–20th).
From the outside, this local, artist-run event appears like any other major gathering of art culture, however it’s vastly different to its institutional counterparts.