12 – 23 OCTOBER 2016



12 – 23 October 2016, 10am – 6pm
Galeri Prima,
Balai Berita Bangsar
31, Jalan Riong, 59100 Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur


Art Xchange Gallery’s first travelling group exhibition, WhArt Now? is now in Malaysia, after its debut in Indonesia. The exhibition features over 25 established and emerging Indonesian artists, and around 50 works. Notable names include Agung Mangu Putra, Antoe Budiono, R. Sumantri MS, as well as presidential artists Melodia Idris and I Wayan Cahya.

According to Art XChange Gallery director Benny Oentoro, the idea for the project stemmed after the 2008 economic crisis, when Indonesia’s art scene bubble burst. The exhibit, according to him, was his part in the art market’s rebirth and restructuring – to showcase the best of what Indonesia has to offer, and to also affirm the roles in the art ecosystem.

“All the institutions – artists, galleries, museums, curators – each has a part to play in the growth of the art market. For the ecosystem to grow, they need to co-exist.”

Part of the art bubble burst was due to the muddling of roles, he claimed, which birthed speculation. “They don’t understand the long term ramifications.”

Post-bubble, the current art scene is now more discerning, with a focus on art that does not stop at quality in its execution, but also touches the soul. “An artwork needs to have soul. The special thing about contemporary work is that they have stories behind them… It’s now survival of the fittest – only the best works are selected! Good works will still sell!”

Benny emphasises this fact, and he hopes to use WhArt Now? as a means of education and exposure. “I’m trying to educate the collectors and artists. The collectors have to appreciate the art beyond its value – to like and connect with the artwork… That’s why I’m doing this three-country event – not just to promote the maestros and senior artists, but the up-and-coming ones too! It’s about giving them a chance.”



Polenn Sim +6016 273 3628 | polenn@hbart.com.my

Elizabeth Wong +6013 355 6578 | elizabeth@hbart.com.my