The Arts

Jais Darga

Jais Darga

Jais Darga is a prominent figure in the artistic sphere, whose self-titled gallery in Bali acts as an incubator for creative progress

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Jais Darga is a renowned figure in the Indonesian art world. Born in Garut, West Java, Darga—known to many as Madam Darga—has been an international fine-arts dealer since the 1980s. As the first Indonesian woman to become an international art dealer, she was well known in Paris and New York, where she used to live.

She founded Darga’s Gallery in 1997 in Sanur, Bali. This gallery functions not only as a shop but also as a mode to participate in encouraging the creation of a creative climate. Fully committed to her work, Darga would stay up for almost 24 hours contacting galleries and clients in Jakarta and Bali, New York and Paris. At the opening of the gallery, Darga held an exhibition entitled Modern Masters of Indonesia and Europe.

Darga became an art dealer by accident. A rebel at heart, Darga credits her circle of friends for expanding her interest in art; during her tertiary education, she befriended a group of free-spirited artists. In the beginning, she just used to buy art from her friends for her enjoyment, until one day, a Parisian friend admired a painting in her house and offered to buy it—thus kickstarting a career which has spanned many years.

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The movie Before, Now & Then by director Kamila Andini, the first Indonesian movie spoken in the Sundanese language, is based on a chapter from Darga's autobiography Jais Darga Namaku by Ahda Imran. She was one of the producers, and the movie recently won the CJ Entertainment Award in the Asian Project Market at the Busan International Film Festival 2021.

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