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Jakarta’s emerging cultural spaces

Picasso once said that the purpose of art was to wash the dust of daily life off our souls. Those familiar with Jakarta’s maladies - traffic, floods and pure chaos at times - might conclude that the city has quite a thick layer of grit in this context.

So when your daily routine starts to get a bit flat and flavorless, a little touch of art could serve to enlighten your day. So why not give the city’s art spaces a try?

“One might well ask what's value of such a space?" says Dia.lo.gue art space owner Engel Tanzil. "For one thing, art and design are inextricably linked with the way humans express themselves. They are part of everyday life, living and breathing a profoundly human truth.”

Art spaces are wellsprings of fresh notions. Jakarta’s art industry may have yet gained the pace of those in fellow metropolitan areas such as New York or Tokyo, but the scene is developing and the demand is emerging.

Today, young Jakartans embrace creative communities, defining new spheres in the art scene while also going global through captivating artwork. Check out our list of art spaces in Jakarta and get ready to be newly inspired by them.


The thundering blaze of Hammond organ notes coupled with staccato drum strokes echoed in the main hall of the Dia.lo.gue art space as I entered the quirky building. The instrumental duo - Mission Possible - was performing as a guest in "Color of The Trap" - an art exhibition held by local artist Sir Dandy.

The atmosphere in the exhibition came hand in hand with the music; psychedelic with a nudge of the contemporary. Among many familiar faces, I found Sir Dandy and asked him to describe the importance of art spaces in the industry.

“It's essential. Basically this kind of place [dia.lo.gue] is important for the industry. Artists and art enthusiasts converge in this place,” he said.

My favorite spot in the place is definitely the gift shop, located in the front of the venue. Buying locally-crafted accessories is the easiest way of giving support to the scene.

Dia.lo.gue Artspace – Jl. Kemang Selatan Raya 99A, South Jakarta, telephone - 021.719 9671, email - [email protected], web -

Bentara Budaya

“The meaning of ‘Bentara’ is emissary. The word embodies Bentara Budaya’s spirit to expose the marginalized arts in Indonesia,” says Bentara Budaya manager Dinar Tisti.

According to Dinar, Bentara Budaya differs from other art spaces because it focuses its programs on art forms that are considered obsolete rather than those seen as sophisticated and modern.

Bentara Budaya Jakarta’s architecture adapts the shape of traditional houses in Kudus, Central Java. One can immediately sense an elegant and traditional atmosphere when arriving. Inside, hundreds of piece of artwork are stored with some on display for the visitors’ pleasure from time to time. It is also a good place to go when you feel like watching local artists perform.

The building owes its design to Romo Mangunwijaya, who is known as Indonesia’s “Father of Modern Architecture”.

Bentara Budaya Jakarta has counterparts in other regions. Make sure you pay both the Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta and Bali a visit when you are in the neighborhood.

Bentara Budaya, Jl. Palmerah Selatan 17, Jakarta, telephone - 021-5483008, web -, Twitter - @bentarabudaya.

Ruang Rupa

A feature since 2000, Ruang Rupa has succeeded in keeping its title as a den for young artists and urbanites.

Indra Ameng, who is responsible for Ruang Rupa’s programs, said that the main reason behind its establishment was that previously, there was no place for young artists to gather and express their work.

Ruang Rupa was born out of the collective initiative of various artists longing to fulfill a need to express themselves.

You might have already been familiar with the collective thanks to its international programs such as Jakarta OK VIDEO, Rrrecfest and Jakarta 32 Celcius. The place is also a welcoming haven for artists abroad who visit Indonesia on residencies or exhibitions. Many artists such as filmmaker Vincent Moon and musician Arrington de Dionyoso have also made Ruang Rupa their home during visits to Jakarta.

Ruang Rupa – Jl. Tebet Timur Dalam Raya 6, Jakarta Selatan, telephone - 021.830.4220, [email protected],, Twitter - @ruangrupa.


In over a 4,000 square-meter space, Art:1 offers workshops, seminars, spaces for hire and art classes. The venue is a privately-owned museum offering public programs.

It is certainly worth a visit to join one or several Art:1 classes of your choice.

Children can participate in brief lessons on art techniques, based on those used by famous Indonesian and international artists. Professionals from the Jakarta Art Institute (IKJ) conduct this certificated class. Other classes are for adults, with focuses on painting, collecting and conservation. Art:1’s space is also available for hire.

Or, if you prefer to be the customer, simply pay a visit to the gift shop on the first floor. Here you can find various merchandise art, custom made frames and other curios.

Art:1 – Jl. Rajawali Selatan Raya 3, Jakarta, telephone - 021 64700168, web -



The brainchild of a group of journalists, artists and literary figures, Salihara has become one of Jakarta’s noteworthy art hubs.

The establishment of the eco-friendly structure set forth a euphonic vision: “Fostering freedom with the people.” Since its coming-about in 2008, Salihara has housed various creative events, including discussions, music performances, exhibitions and many more.

Not only catering to the works of well-polished artists, it also holds weekly classes for art rookies, discussions, craft workshops and much more.

Salihara’s programs are far from dull, with some of them involving unique and – arguably - controversial topics.

Salihara – Jl. Salihara 16, Pasar Minggu, Jakarta, telephone - 021.7891202, web -, Twitter - @salihara.




Share your thoughts about our article

  • Jesslyn Lee 3 yearss ago

    those art works are so breath taking.. very nice and full of creativity! worth to visit anyway :)

  • Henrietta Dashwood 3 yearss ago

    This is worth a visit. I always keep an eye to such events in Jakarta. It's always interesting, they always present with new ideas. I like it. So far, Ruang Rupa is my favourite, full of breathtaking young creative artists.

    Andrea Hudson 3 yearss ago

    Indeed. Been to Ruang Rupa and I love it as well! Small place but full of creativity. These other places I'm sure has the same attractiveness.

  • Anna Davis 3 yearss ago

    Well noted. I love the gallery photos, they all stunning. I'd visit each one of them. Nice review!

  • Jeremiah Jhonson 3 yearss ago

    Interesting place it seems. The outside looks quite have some charm on it. I'll make sure to check it if i happened to go to Jakarta. Nice recommendation.

  • Kimmy Yanadi 3 yearss ago

    Dia.Lo.Gue, has a coffe shop at the backside of the gallery, it's the best me time i had, good coffee, good music and quiet.

  • Asteria Iskandar 3 yearss ago

    from me, another add point to Salihara is their "kedai"/cafe that serves Indonesian traditional dishes/snacks. It's good to spend your afternoon tea time in an artsy Salihara's atmosphere ;)

  • Miriam Slozberg 3 yearss ago

    This place sounds interesting. If I visit Jakarta, I would love to check it out.

  • Jessica Miller 3 yearss ago

    I know this place. I've been to Jakarta in 2010

  • Veronica morgan 3 yearss ago

    i've never been in jakarta before. but remember that jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, there must be alot of people live there. those people must be need some places to improve their creativity, so, i think these places are very good idea

  • jasmine brooke 3 yearss ago

    i think Dia.lo.gue is very inovative. i was a little bit confused to buy some gifts from indonesia to my colleague. and i hope this place can be the solution for me if i visit jakarta next time! thanks

  • Ramandha Cipta Putra Fikri 3 yearss ago

    Couldn't agree more. Jakarta need those space for art. To relieve stress, to make it more aesthetic, and to prevent vandalism. People often called the sreet artist is a vandal. But i personally think they are doing good deeds, they make the cold city more colorful. Great article, we should pass this on to all people in the world.

  • Felicia Lean 3 yearss ago

    i will stay in jakarta for a few days before i go to Bali. while i stay in jakarta, i realy want to go around and try different interesting places. when i read this article, i realy want to visit these places. what is the best transport mode to reach these places? is there any way to avoid the traffic jam?

  • Samantha Cornelia 3 yearss ago

    I like the idea of creating new space for art to relieve stress. The art also, will make the city's scenery more beautiful. I like the graffiti from the ast picture. Nice picture. really inspiring.

  • Audrey Shannon 3 yearss ago

    how much do these museum cost to enter?? or they are free? i'm interested in such of these artistic place & i'm looking for them in jakarta but i don't know where to go. you guys helped me alot, thanks anyway!

    Teguh Wicaksono 3 yearss ago

    In normal days they're free, unless there's an exhibition or a music performance. I think the best way to find out is through their websites and social medias. Events with entrance fee will be published.

  • Wyatt Henry 3 yearss ago

    I heard that indonesian people are creative. so, i hope those space for indonesian artist can improve their ability, good for them, and this is a good article !

  • Steve Alexander 3 yearss ago

    the last time i travelled to jakarta, i could'nt find any good gift shop anywhere. thx for this article, i could recomend my friend if they go to jakarta. thank you once again.

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