“As a visual communication design student from The Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta, I spent my university days in an environment highly concentrated with artist studios and art galleries. A favourite haunt for artists to hang out at, I began frequenting KKF (Kedai Kebun Forum) and much of my time spent there led me to meet notable figures in the Indonesian art scene, such as Farah Wardhani, Agung Kurniawan and his wife, Yustina Neni, who later became my mentors. These people whom I greatly respect, imparted their vast knowledge and management skills of Indonesia's art scene to me.
I landed my first gallery job as an assistant manager at an art gallery in Yogyakarta and after finishing my studies, I set out to work for an established artist duo, the indieguerillas. I was their project manager and merchandiser and we put together TV EYE, a touring exhibition involving artists of all forms, from art, design, music, street art, to fashion. Through the network of people from the Indonesian art scene I came to know Hermanto Soerjanto, gallery owner of Garis Art Space. After being introduced to Hermanto, I went on to manage the operations and programming for his gallery in Jakarta. I worked on several art projects during this time, including some side projects, the most notable one being when I assisted street artist Darbotz with a seven-storey high painting on the facade of Artotel in Jakarta. It was indeed an unforgettable moment as it was a first for Darbotz to create such a large-scale work and also the first time in Indonesia, for the art of a graffiti artist to be recognised on an official level.
In 2013 I met Mizuma-san for the first time at the various art fairs in both Hong Kong and Yogyakarta. Journeying through the art industry in my younger days, I had always known of Mizuma Art Gallery Tokyo and the respectable man behind all my well-loved Japanese artists. So when the chance came, I introduced Mizuma-san to the Indonesian artists I was working with, and I was eventually invited to organise an all-Indonesian exhibition in Mizuma Gallery Singapore, alongside Hermanto, who curated the show. The following year, I was offered a job here at Mizuma Gallery in Singapore and I moved.
Now as project manager for the gallery, I oversee exhibitions from the start such as liaising with the artists and gathering their proposed artworks, working alongside the curator to conceptualise the show, ensuring smooth packing and shipment of artworks, appropriate installation of artworks, till the very end when the show opens. Having the opportunity to work with artists I have idolised since I was younger, I continuously strive to promote them as our represented artists. Now my third year running with Mizuma Gallery in Singapore, I look back and am ever so grateful for the people who brought me much guidance and opportunities that brought me where I am today.”
Portrait shot by Natsuko Teruya
Makeup by Kelvin Khoo