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Haryanto Adikoesoemo is president of AKR, a firm started by his father and one of the largest chemical and energy distribution companies in Indonesia, which also develops luxury properties; he joined the company in 1983, after finishing college. Active and influential in the Indonesian art community and abroad, he began collecting art around 20 years ago and now owns some 800 works, including those by blue-chip artists like Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Gerhard Richter; pieces by lesser-known but regionally beloved Indonesian artists Affandi, Srihadi Soedarsono, FX Harsono, and Entang Wiharso comprise perhaps half of his collection. Adikoesoemo also demonstrates a knack for spotting value in art before the market catches up.
The year 2002 was formative for his collection: when a gallery-owner friend mounted a two-person show in Bali of Chu Teh-chun and Zao Wou-ki (whose current auction record of $65 million was set last fall), the works failed to sell. “Nobody bought the artworks, so out of friendship I decided to buy most of them,” said Adikoesoemo. “I’m glad I did, as I get to share them with our [Museum MACAN] visitors.”
Another 2002 acquisition is noteworthy—a work by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose current auction record is $110.5 million, set in 2017 at Sotheby’s New York. “At the time, not many Asian collectors knew who he was and my family thought I was crazy to buy such ‘ugly’ artworks,” he told ARTnews.
A trustee of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., Adikoesoemo has set his sights on arts education and community engagement in Indonesia in financing the Museum MACAN, which opened in November 2017 in West Jakarta.