Press Release

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara Director Thomas J. Berghuis Steps Down

Jakarta, Indonesia

Museum MACAN Leadership appoints two new curators to build on Berghuis’s accomplishments

Mr. Haryanto Adikoesoemo, the president of Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara’s foundation (Yayasan Museum MACAN) announced today that Dr. Thomas J. Berghuis has stepped down from his position as director of Museum MACAN to return to his work as a curator and scholar, and to consult for institutions. Dr. Berghuis had been the director of Museum MACAN since May 2015 and, during his tenure, established the curatorial vision and collaborated with Ms. Fenessa Adikoesoemo, chairwoman of the museum’s foundation, on the organizational structure for Indonesia’s first museum dedicated to international modern and contemporary art. He will continue to provide counsel to the museum until the new director has been appointed. Museum MACAN is scheduled to open in early 2017.

The museum’s foundation has launched an international search for a new director and anticipates making the announcement within the month. The foundation also announced the appointment of two new curators, Charles Esche and Agung Hujatnika, who will build upon the curatorial program set in place by Dr. Berghuis. Chairwoman Fenessa Adikoesoemo will continue in her role as chief operating officer and work closely with the new curators, and the new director, once the appointment has been finalized.   

“We are grateful to Dr. Berghuis for helping us lay the groundwork for Museum MACAN,” said museum founder and foundation president Haryanto Adikoesoemo. “His contributions have been invaluable to our institution’s early development, and will undoubtedly help ensure its success. I understand his desire to focus on his passions of curatorial work and scholarship, and appreciate his willingness to work with us in finding the right moment to make this transition.”

“It’s been an incredible experience to work with the MACAN team to help realize Haryanto’s dream of providing Indonesia with its first world-class contemporary art museum,” said Dr. Thomas J. Berghuis. “I will look forward to continuing to work with museum leadership over the next several months, and to seeing all of our hard work culminate in next year’s opening. I anticipate that we will be collaborating on important projects in the future.”

The two newly appointed curators, Charles Esche and Agung Hujatnika, will build upon Berghuis’s accomplishments and work together to carry the inaugural exhibition forward to the museum’s grand opening, which is planned for early 2017. The appointments are effective immediately. 

“I am delighted to welcome Charles Esche and Agung Hujatnika to our team,” said Haryanto Adikoesoemo. “Both curators have an impressive track record of organizing well-researched and thought-provoking exhibitions of Indonesian and international contemporary art. Their expertise will be a significant asset as we work towards Museum MACAN’s grand opening."

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