"Hopefully Taman Ismail Marzuki will continue to grow and become the center of the development of our national culture"

Presiden RI ke-2 H.M Soeharto


Taman Ismail Marzuki

Taman Ismail Marzuki is built on an area of approximately eight hectares. The opening was inaugurated by the Governor of Jakarta at the time, Ali Sadikin, on 10 November 1968. The land is a communal space of Taman Raden Saleh, and what was once the Jakarta zoo, which then moved to Ragunan. Furthermore, Ali Sadikin turned this area into an arts center for local artists from Jakarta to create their crafts. The park was awarded the name Ismail Marzuki in commemoration for the Jakarta artist who has contributed to the creation of more than 200 songs, paying homage to the nation's struggle. Songs include titles such as Halo-Halo Bandung, Berkibarlah Benderaku, Nyiur Melambai and Sepasang Mata Bola.

Initially, Governor Ali Sadikin was looking for a place to replace the place to express arts for regional artists of Pasar Senen and the Jakarta Cultural Center could no longer be used due to the split of political ideology. Sadikin, noticing the park in the area of Cikini Raya to be precisely placed as the center of Arts and Culture. Since the beginning of 1968, OUR's Daily Office has been the hub of many artists and culturalists discussions, in additions to Salim Said's lodge in Matraman Raya. It is known today that artists from the likes of Arifin C. Noer (formerly a journalist at New Pioneers), Goenawan Mohamad and Ed Zulverdi (both reporters in OUR daily) and Sukardjasman (journalist Sinar Harapan) enjoy congregating at the site. In addition, the design of TIM was then created by Arifin C Noer, and submitted by Christianto Wibisono to Bang Ali.

Ali Sadikin agreed upon the idea that the city government will provide facilities, funds and operational support facilities for TIM. Meanwhile, management is left to artists and humanists. Governor Ali Sadikin formed a Cultural Development Board which became the forerunner of the Jakarta Arts Council, and chaired by Trisno Soemardjo. In 1968, the following names listed were the first 25 members of the Board of Trustees: Trisno Soemardjo (painter), Arief Budiman (writer), Sardono W. Kusumo (dancer), Zaini (painter), Binsar Sitompul (musician), Teguh Karya (director), Goenawan Mohamad (poet), Taufiq Ismail (poet), Pramana Padmodarmaya (theater player), Ayip Rosidi (author), HB Jassin (literary critic), Misbach Yusa Biran (film director and filmmaker), Oesman Effendi, D. Djajakusuma (film director), Asrul Sani (playwright, film director), Moh. Amir Sutaarga, D.A. Peransi (artist) and Sjuman Djaja (film director).

As the activity of TIM continues, there is turbulence among the artist community. The leftist artists thought Governor Ali and the Cultural Development Board did not accommodate their interests so they asked for an Art Institute. Finally, in 1973, Governor Ali took the common ground and formed Jakarta Academy that serves as an advisor to the governor in the field of the arts, as well as a role in the appointment of artists and culturalists who are members of the Board of Trustees (currently Jakarta Arts Council ).

Evidently, TIM had only two theaters, an open-air theater, an exhibition area, and an earlier built Planetarium building. The buildings (two movie theaters, Garden Hall, and Podium) are relics of Taman Raden Saleh which used to be used by citizens to watch movies at night. Along with the development of the area, there are now more facilities that can be used: three theaters (Graha Bakti Budaya, Theater Besar, Teater Kecil), two art galleries (Galeri Cipta II and Galeri Cipta III), two plazas (Plaza Pancasila and Plaza Theater Small), as well as a parking area. There are also other supporting facilities include a regional library, H.B Jassin documentation center, a row of food stores archipelago, kineforum, Jose Rizal bookstore, and Masjid Amir Hamzah.

Since its establishment in 1968, TIM has witnessed the artistic experimentation of Indonesian artists who were then facilitated by the Jakarta Arts Council (DKJ). Many important works such as Samgita Pancasona (Sardono W. Kusumo, 1969), or mini theater said W.S Rendra, born in TIM. In the theater scene, TIM witnessed the premiere of Teater Koma in the late 1980s or theater theater performances of the SAE Theater in the late 1980s, the early 1990s. Such experimental works invite controversy in the public domain, through critical debates in the mass media and other public spaces.

In addition, TIM also became the stage for world renowned artists such as modern choreographers from the United States such as Martha Graham (appear 1974) or Alwin Nikolais (1979); German choreographer Pina Bausch (performed 1974) and the first butoh group show in Indonesia, Byakkosha (1981). These performances became a discussion material for artists, not infrequently manifesting into a national polemic. The work of the best local artists also performed at TIM.

The artists who worked in the early years of TIM, eventually became lecturers at the Jakarta Arts Education Institute (LPKJ), whose campus is behind the TIM theater complex. With the support of Ali Sadikin, several artists designed the establishment of this art education institution. The area that was used to be the racing arena of dog racing became part of the lecture building. The inauguration of this art education institute was attended by President Soeharto on June 25, 1976. The education system runs on a sanggar or padepokan system, with teachers mostly artists backgrounds who have been working in TIM. Five years later, the institute changed its name to the Jakarta Art Institute (IKJ) with a formal education system based on a proposal from the Ministry of Education and Culture at that time. Now, IKJ is managed by Yayasan Seni Budaya Jakarta, with Slamet Rahardjo as the head.



Governing Body

  • Government Official
  • Provision of Facility
  • Program Budgeting
  • Venues & Estate Management
Academy of Jakarta

Board of Advisor

  • Prominent Cultural figures
  • Advisor to the Governor
  • Select members of the Jakarta Arts Council
Jakarta Art Council

  • Artists from various backgrounds
  • Program Planner
  • Policy formulation
  • Curatorial
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Jakarta Institute of Arts

  • Artists and Academics
  • Implement the function of art education
  • Research
go to website


Performing Ark

Just like the ark, the presence of Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta Theater Building is another form of arts & culture preservation in Jakarta.

Speaking of which, art and culture can not be separated with merely human beings as the perpetrators. The development of a civilization can be examined through the development of art and culture towards a sense of belonging. Yet on the contrary, expression through art is part of a process of development of human culture itself. Man and art culture is one and mutual living through life.

Though it is not always that arts and culture within a region can develop well. Its development is strongly influenced by social, economic, and even security conditions. This was experienced by Jakarta. From 1965 until 1966 Jakarta experienced a lot of setbacks in politics, which also affected the development of art, little by little Jakarta began to clean up. Especially since Jakarta was then officially declared as the Capital of the Republic of Indonesia.

Art and culture was saved. One of the important events in this movement was the opening of Taman Ismail Marzuki Jakarta Arts Center located at Jl. Cikini Raya as the center of the exhibition and performance of art, as well as a place to gather the artists of Senen, known to accompany many local Jakarta artists.

Since the decision, there became a pattern of developments, both in terms of activity and economic conditions. As a reminder that the era was the early years of the start of the New Order. The development of the TIM PKJ came into being with the completion of a detailed masterplan by the architect team of Atelier 6 Architects in 1995 with the full support of Jakarta Governor at the time, Surjadi Soedirdja.

The draft was then followed up in 1996 with the first staging of the Jakarta Theater Building as a masterplan coming into realization physically. The 5-story building was completed in 2009, which meant that it took 13 years to complete, due to a halt in construction for 3 years, in 1998, 1999, and in 2005.

The building claimed to be an international building has a core room called Teater Lyric (large) with a seating capacity of 1200 spectators with stage proscenium, rear stage, side stage, fly tower and an orchestra pit. While the smaller Teater Studio, which has a seating capacity of 250 spectators, functioned as a practice room and has functions for small-scale performances. While it is relatively small, this space can perform at 4 (four) alternative staging arrangements. In addition to the two main rooms above, there are other supporting spaces that make this building dignified enough to be called a theater building, which is an exhibition hall space, practice room, dance studio, management office, locker room, property warehouse, and also the orchestra shell.

Not only is the technical quality of this building recognized as international, the design of the building and its interior becomes a separate site. The ideals of this building contains backgrounds of a diverse archipelago and formulating unified breath. This breath is what the architecture wants to symbolize in presenting the mass management which is then harmonized in placing its elements.

Atelier 6 Architects translated this unified breath by metaphorically placing it as an arkk, a gigantic marine spacecraft that reflects the character of Indonesia as a whole and Jakarta in particular, as a region that has strong maritime traditions in place. According to the architects, many traditional houses in Indonesia use this concept. This is very possible because Indonesia is a maritime nation. For example, Toraja custom houses contain principles and concepts similar to a traditional Batak house. "The archipelago architecture presents many interesting forms and practical solutions to be learned," said Tresnowati, one of the architect of Jakarta Theater Designers.

It is in sync with the ancient city of Jakarta that is the city of Bandar, which exemplifies mans destination to form socialization despite the distance in developing a plural community. In short, the mass was also formed based on a pre-made masterplan and available towards the sites conditions to augment .

It is influenced by the tread factor that the Jakarta Theater Theater PKJ TIM has a different orientation of building that is out of the ordinary. For instance, Atelier 6 Architects with the principal architect N. Siddhartha has other views and thoughts. According to Siddhartha, the building will have an extraordinary view from the back near the Ciliwung River. The plot aims to be an expected spur of development of the Ciliwung River area so as to have a positive impact on the development of Jakarta. "The expression that is expected to emerge is the impression kenusantaraan (United Indonesia) on modern buildings rather than modernize traditional buildings," he quoted.

The interior of Jakarta Theater Building is no less than out of the extraordinary as well. Not one space on the site contains details or ornaments that do not have a function or fall short from expectations of the architect. Starting from the inner outer space, the lobby - the scope of this space is dominated by the use of glass materials intended to maximize natural lighting. To get around the heat and furthermore the walls were designed like the fin as a heat barrier without reducing the quality of natural lighting.

Different characters are found in the Teater Besar room, or what was originally called the Lyric Theater. In this space, the quality fully relies on artificial lighting, artificial illumination, and acoustic elements to support the quality of a performance. "A good theater space should be able to deliver sounds from players on stage to the listener's ears in the audience bench without the help of loudspeakers," explained Tresnowati. And the statement is apparently evident in the Teater Besar. The acoustic elements of the silencer and reflector blends in nicely into the interior of the theater. The color game of seat upholstery in the warm color scheme adds to the magnificent atmosphere of every show that is shown there.

Source : Bernadetta Tya & Atelier 6

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