The documentary ‘24-Hour Art Practice’ is part of Patricia Chen’s project Asian Art patronage, and even though it documented what has already been making headlines, it still managed to ruffle the feathers across the Indonesian art world. The Filmmaker comes On Screen to chat about why the documentary had such a ripple effect, and what she hopes for the future of Asian Art Patronage.
Adam, G. (2018) Dark Side of the Boom. United Kingdom: Lund Humphries, pp. 122-123
"In Indonesia, a 2014 film by Patricia Chen, The 24 Hour Art Practice, tracked the collection of the country's tobacco mogul Dr Oei Hong Djien, who has established three private museums for his vast collection of contemporary Indonesian art. But a book launched by a rival Indonesian Art Lovers Association (PPSI), entitled Jejak Lukisan Palsu Indonesia (Tracing Fake Indonesian Paintings), openly questioned the
authenticity of his collection, claiming it was full of counterfeits."
Speaking to Chen, Dr Oei did not deny he could have fakes, saying no collector has perfect judgement; however, he also said that he would only accept that the works were fakes if the forger demonstrated the execution of the exact same painting right before his eyes - which was never tested. Chen presented both sides of the problem, but says she was threatened and her film was suddenly pulled from its first showing in Singapore in 2015 for reasons that she was unable to explain fully."
The 24 Hour Art Practice is an intimate, revealing look at The Oei Hong Djien (OHD) Museum in Magelang.
Suggestive without being accusatory, Chen's film pointedly highlights the issue of how far public standards of accountability ought to be imposed on what are ostensibly “private” collections built up by wealthy individuals who may not always see eye to eye with the self-appointed guardians of a nation’s cultural heritage.
It prompts the beginnings of a wider discussion on how private museums need to engage with the question of their public profile, and perceived role as an arbiter of academic and art historical value, in a region where the state has not yet adequately filled these roles.