An Ubud Gallery with an Enterprising Vision

By Rich Horstman
For The Bali Times

UBUD ~ The Tangkas Gallery here in Ubud is venturing into a bold endeavor to invigorate the Indonesian art scene. Internationally known as an island rich in cultural and creative expression, the Balinese people are an incredible asset to the development of this prospering nation.

Though highly regarded as artisans and performers, traditional and commercial artists receive most recognition, more so than the contemporary, cutting-edge youth that are blossoming in this country, particularly in the field of fine art.

Nicolaus F.K, general manager of Tangkas Gallery, is the creative force behind the vision: to support and promote modern and contemporary Indonesian art onto the international market. Aiming to readjust the focus of the national art scene from Jakarta to Bali is an obvious platform to gain more global attention.

And with such popularity from the tourist spotlight on Bali, why not capitalize on this? Evident in recent trends towards Asian fine arts by international collectors and investors, Nicolaus dreams of a world-class gallery in Bali that can assist in opening up this market.

It is generally considered by the elder statesmen of the Balinese and Indonesian art world that there has been a lack of a marketing drive to successfully promote contemporary works abroad. There is an increasing need to identify quality galleries from the multitudes of commercial sales venues, these galleries being committed specifically to servicing the local and foreign buyers wishing to purchase world-class Indonesian art.

From humble beginnings in 1975 as Karta Art Collection, a small family owned gallery on Jl. Raya, Ubud, artist Made Karta saw the opportunity to capitalize on his talents, opening the gallery and selling traditional paintings. He expanded the premises, adding a studio/workshop to teach and support young local painters, renaming it the Tangkas Gallery in 1988. This was a commitment to artistic endeavor that evolved successfully for himself, traveling twice to the global art capital, New York, and having his work displayed permanently at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Nicolaus’ vision is currently giving birth to the latest phase of the gallery’s development, with the construction of a new gallery upstairs and below an art café.

The next exhibition, due to open on October 17, is titled Cutting and will feature the work of abstract artist from Jakarta Ikay Khairudin. Residing in Ubud, Ikay’s recent works have been capturing the attention of many in the country’s art scene. His unique abstract objects and images on neutral-colored canvasses, accompanied by symbols and text, are thought-provoking observations of contemporary urban culture.

For more on the gallery and its events, go to www.tangkasgallery.com.

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