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Surabaya’s Home of Contemporary Art

Surabaya is known as the hometown of several of the nation's most notable artists, some of whom participated in an exhibition at the Visma Art Gallery in the city's east.

Visma Art Gallery

Story by Barbara Hahijary
Photo by Bagus Tri Laksono and Visma Art Gallery Doc.

Teja Putra Lesmana says he regretted that the city where he was raised had only a few art galleries, even though Surabaya is home to numerous art collectors. The avid art enthusiast took action, founding in his family’s home in October 2015 an art gallery he named Visma, which means home in Sanskrit. “With this name, I hope that the Visma Art Gallery can house and witness art movements in Surabaya,” Teja says.

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Since its inaugural exhibition, which also celebrated the gallery’s opening; Visma has been invited well-known talents, such as Joko “Jopram” Pramono, Made Wianta, and Agung “Tato” Suryanto, to show their works. Recently, the gallery welcomed six paintings by Entang Wiharso.

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Asri Nugroho, one of the artists whose artworks have been exhibited in the gallery, says that Teja has been giving serious attention to art movements in Surabaya. “He personally studies and talks with the artists to clearly understand the ideas of each piece of artwork and asks us about our direction toward art,” Entang said.
The gallery features large walls to exhibit big artworks. There is also a void where artists can showcase their sculptures or installations, whether standing or hanging. The spacious rooms give visitors a broad view of each piece of art. There is also a function room in the rear that can be used for art discussions and other events.

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This gallery has wide selection of artwork on display, making it easier for collectors to find pieces to suit them. It’s also a space where residents and tourists in Surabaya can enjoy the contemporary visual arts that are currently thriving in the city. As the richness of a city can be defined by its arts, Visma is generating cultural capital for the city. It is a “home” where artists and art enthusiasts can gather for share a passion of art.

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