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Earlier in the year, Santy Saptari Art Consulting had the opportunity to work with Asialink Arts in organising a series of talks under the theme of Dekat-Dekat Jauh (So Close Yet So Far). We have invited artists, curators, gallerists, as well as people involved in public and private art institutions, writers, journalists, and art advocates to talk in four moderated panel conversations about Indonesia-Australia relations in visual arts. The series was presented virtually via Zoom from 27 February - 20 March 2021, successfully gathering almost 200 audiences altogether.

Caitlin Hughes elucidates upon each of the four conversations in the series. Insights into the visual arts ecologies of each place, and their intersections, included contentious notions of access, peripheries and centres, organic versus structured systems and infrastructures and the role of private sector in advocacy, mentoring and connecting. Reflecting on the gaps and opportunities, new ideas were shared to enable greater understanding, collaboration and cooperation – asking 'How can we find new ways to engage with our closest neighbours?'


We are happy to share the recordings and reflections of the series compiled by Caitlin Hughes here.



Artists Insights: Exhibit, Exchange, Co-Create

Saturday, 27 February 2021

1 pm WIB | 5 pm AEDT

The first conversation brings together prominent Indonesian and Australian artists to share their respective experiences in Indonesia and Australia exploring the professional, social and cultural contexts. The session will touch on the value of artistic exchange and residency programs as well as the experience as a member of a diaspora community exploring notions of identity and using various cultural references as a form of expression.


Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Febie Babyrose (Tromarama), Jumaadi, Tintin Wulia

Download Speakers' and Moderator's bio here



Scaffolding The Indonesian and Australian Visual Arts Sectors:
The Role of Institutions and The Structure of Advocacy

Saturday, 6 March 2021

1 pm WIB | 5 pm AEDT

The second conversation invites speakers who are involved in advocacy, governance and delivery of institutional programs that support cross-cultural understanding. They will discuss how, in their respective positions, they are advocating for increased support including policy change, development of strategic partnerships, the role of education and the importance of engaging the public.


Kate Ryan, Marcus Schutenko, Sally Smart, Farah Wardani

Download Speakers' bio here



Private Platforms and The Art Market:

Collecting, Connecting, Commissioning

Saturday, 13 March 2021

1 pm WIB | 5 pm AEDT

The third conversation explores the critical role of private collectors and organisations in promoting exchange and collaboration between Indonesia and Australia. The discussion will unpack motivations, incentives and experiences of operating in commercial contexts including the value of relationships with artists and differences between keeping collections private and making them public.


Konfir Kabo, Margaret Moore, Erastus Radjimin, Tom Tandio

Download Speakers' bio here



Relationship Building:

New Ways Forward in The Visual Arts Sectors of

Indonesia and Australia

Saturday, 20 March 2021

1 pm WIB | 5 pm AEDT

The last of the Dekat-Dekat Jauh conversations will focus on opportunities for strengthening the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Australia in the arts context. Future opportunities and strategies will be explored assessing what a successful relationship might look like and how we can learn from other sectors to enhance mutual understanding.

Topics arising in this session include key components of successful relationship building and what works in the Australian Indonesian context. Speakers will unpack the opportunities and challenges in public diplomacy, information dissemination, the role of the media and reaching markets and audiences as well as the lasting shifts and impacts as a result of COVID-19.


Penny Burtt, Hikmat Darmawan, M. Taufiqurrahman, Elena Williams, Chloé Wolifson

Download Speakers' bio here

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