Adapting from the local culture, Arisan Karya also adapts the social gathering to invites art communities to collects funds from its members. Photo courtesy of Museum MACAN/NOWJAKARTA

Amidst the pandemic, the creative industry including the arts community has been affected due to the social restrictions and plunging economy that restrains the arts industry to grow. As an initiative to tackle the situation, Indonesian commercial art institution, Museum MACAN came up with the idea of introducing the programme Arisan Karya (translate to “artwork raffle’) to stimulate and energise many networks and communities that surround the museum at this moment of crisis.

Inspired by Indonesia’s unique culture, arisan is known as a monthly gathering among neighbours where every participant contributes an agreed amount of money which is collected and raffled at each event. The participant whose name is drawn at the raffle take home the money. In a full cycle, arisan encourages combined saving to help all participants purchase extra household needs. Essentially, arisan is a social local tradition that values trust and support among participants.

Adapting from the local culture, Arisan Karya also adapts the social gathering to invites art communities to collects funds from its members. Arisan Karya is designed to be an act of support that will drive other acts of support, giving much-needed funds to artists at this very precarious time. Museum MACAN has reached out across its networks to launch an open call to artists across Indonesia, encouraging them to create artworks for Arisan Karya where the artist will present a diverse range of artworks from painting, sculpture, print or photograph.

For a flat rate of IDR 1 million (equivalent to USD65), the public can show support by purchasing a ticket, which will later be raffled via Instagram Live at @museummacan and @shopatmacan_id. Each ticket sold receives an artwork. This is the opportunity for the public, art enthusiasts, or even emerging collectors who could help to support the art community since exhibitions and art fair has been suspended.

Arisan Karya will be debut their first round on 20 – 28 May on and will be organised for other two rounds in June and July. All artworks will remain ‘anonymous’ until it will be revealed through the raffle. This is a chance for supporters to have a rare chance to acquire artworks by a leading Indonesian artist, or an up-and-coming, yet-to-be-discovered star. Some of the artists who have pledged support include Melati Suryodarmo, Tisna Sanjaya, Saleh Husein, Agus Suwage, and Ika Vantiani.

Aaron Seto, the Director of Museum MACAN said that Covid-19 has made a real impact on artists and local cultural activities. According to him, artists are wondering when their next pay check will come. The art system, at the best of times, is hard to manoeuvre and understand – it is not all art fairs and parties – but real, often under-recognised work, from which society benefits and which need to be supported.

“This is a fun initiative that has serious outcomes. Arisan Karya is a starting point that will drive action amongst others. We really hope that this initiative will not only motivate the local art community but also be a source of joy for art enthusiasts who are working and studying from home,” Seto said. 

Artists (or charities of their choice) will receive 70 per cent of the collected funds. The balance is allocated to facilitate artists in sharing knowledge with the public through online resources, such as practical art tips, workshop tutorials at home, or talks, that will be delivered through Museum MACAN’s digital platforms. To complete this ‘cycle of support’, the Museum will be providing practical training for art managers in a few cities across Indonesia. Involving Regional Coordinators, selected art managers will receive training from MACAN team in business development, art handling and professional communications among others.

“In a time like this, we have to postpone the physical experience of encountering art. But it is also in a time like this that should inspire action.” Seto closed his statement. 

Rintang Azhar

Rintang Azhar

Rintang is a previous staff writer for NOW! with experience in hard news and lifestyle journalism. He specialises in art, design, culture, fashion, environmental, and urban issues.