• News
  • Dec 21, 2023

Museum MACAN Director Aaron Seeto Departs

Portrait of AARON SEETO. Photo by Muhammad Fadli. Courtesy Museum MACAN Foundation.  

On December 20, the privately owned Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), Jakarta, announced the departure of their inaugural director, Aaron Seeto. According to the institution’s press release, Seeto will leave Musem MACAN by the end of January 2024 to embark on the next step in his career “beyond Asia.”

Before his establishment in Jakarta, Seeto led a curatorial team under the Queensland Art Gallery’s Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) to organize the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) in 2015, which showcased more than 80 artists and collectives across the region. Before that, he also served as director of Sydney’s 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, which he spearheaded from 2007 to 2015. 

Seeto arrived at Museum MACAN in November 2016, exactly a year before its inauguration in 2017. The launching exhibition “Art Turns. World Turns.” curated by Charles Esche and Agung Hujatnika, brought Seeto to the center of Jakarta’s art scene by showcasing 90 artworks from the Museum MACAN's collection. Since then, the institution has showcased 20 exhibitions under his leadership. During his seven-year tenure, Seeto has likewise overseen numerous major international solo exhibitions by artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Xu Bing, and Lee Mingwei, as well as the first institutional surveys of Indonesian artists.

Meanwhile, Fenessa Adikoesoemo, Chairwoman of the Museum MACAN Foundation, will act as chief spokesperson for Museum MACAN while the board searches for a new director. In praise of Seeto’s contribution, Adikoesoemo described his leadership as “brilliant” and “instrumental” to the institution’s “success.”

In a heartfelt reflection, Seeto stated that he is “proud of what we have collectively achieved in this time with such a talented and dedicated team.” He went on to express “a big thank you to Haryanto and Fenessa for their trust and confidence to make the MACAN dream a reality, and the MACAN name synonymous with art education and literacy.”

While the museum will continue its operations and events under its senior team members’ leadership, it has yet to announce its projects and exhibitions for 2024.

Alex Yiu is associate editor at ArtAsiaPacific. 

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