Bekraf and IAI at Venice Architecture Biennale 2018


Bekraf supervises several disciplines including architecture. In this field, Bekraf collaborates with the Indonesian Institute of Architects (IAI), specifically to participate at international scale events to promote architecture from Indonesia. One of the events chosen by Bekraf was the Venice Architecture Biennale, which is one of the largest and oldest architectural events in the world. This would be the second time that we participate at this event, the first was in 2014.

With the collaboration between Bekraf and IAI, both parties agreed to make a better selection by holding a design competition, where the winners then exhibited and represented Indonesia at the event.

Indonesia Design had the opportunity to cover this event from the preliminary stage to the main event in Arsenale Venice, Italy. Here we bring you the reportage, along with praises for the Indonesian Pavilion from the respectable architects who paid a visit to the exhibition.

12 August 2017


Bekraf and IAI announced that they would be participating in Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. During the event, Ahmad Djuhara, chairman of IAI who was also a commissionaire for this event, shared that the VAB curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara have announced the main theme for this year’s event, “Freespace”. This topic was chosen to emphasise the generosity of space and how to bring people to the architecture context in general, hence highlighting humanity. Ricky Pesik, vice chairman of Bekraf, announced that Indonesia will have its pavilion in Arsenale, Venice. The open call was announced on 15 September 2017, opened on 19 September-7 October 2017.

8-15 October 2017

The Judging Session

There were two steps of judging sessions. First, the submission was chosen in a closed meeting, in which each of the jury had to pick five submissions. Five most voted submissions were invited to present their works in the second screening on 15 October 2017 in front of the jury and general public. The juries were Ricky Pesik, Ahmad Djuhara, Gunawan Tjahjono, Budi Lim, Achmad D. Tardiyana, Goenawan Mohamad and Jay Subyakto.

See our exclusive interviews with the juries on our website and social media channel

15 December 2017

Press Conference

Bekraf and IAI held a press conference to announce the winning curator team from VAB 2018. They are Ardy Hartono, David Hutama, Dimas Satria, Johanes Adika, Jonathan Aditya and Ary Indra, acting as lead curator. Their winning concept was called “Sunyata”, a Sanskrit word that means “emptiness”. The judges praised this concept as it provided a new way to appreciate Indonesian architecture.

26 May-25 November 2018

Main Event

The exhibition was opened on 26 May. Here, the curators gave a space experience themed “Sunyata”, in which people could feel the voidness that can be felt in Indonesian architecture, both vernacular and contemporary. The curators presented it with a large piece of paper that hung from the ceiling of the former arsenal. The design of this curatorial aimed to demonstrate these meditative yet provocative qualities by initiating a tactile experience between man’s senses and space.

It was opened by Bekraf chairman Triawan Munaf along with Ricky Pesik as vice chairman of Bekraf, Joshua Simandjuntak as deputy chairman of marketing, and the curator team. Until its last day, the pavilion still welcomed guests from all over the world and gained praises from notable architects.

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