Edwin's Gallery was founded and established in 1984 by Edwin Rahardjo. On 2009 the gallery celebrates its 25th anniversary. Up to October 2009, there have been 150 exhibitions hosted by the gallery, covering the media of paintings, prints, sculptures, objects, new media arts, as well as tapestries of more than 200 artists of various generations. Among the significant modernists exhibited were S. Sudjojono, Mochtar Apin, Affandi, Srihadi Soedarsono, Djoko Pekik,Sunaryo, Donald Friend, Rudolf Bonet, and Le Mayeur, just to mention a few.
However, since the early 1990s, the gallery's focus has been to promote young, contemporary and emerging artists. Hence, artists like Heri Dono, Nyoman Masriadi, Sigit Santoso, Entang Wiharso, and even the younger ones such as Ayu Arista Murti,Ay Tjoe Christine, Bunga J, have shared their histories with the gallery.
As early as 1989, the gallery had pioneered the production of exhibitions that are seriously curated, involving distinguished independent curators and art critics, namely Sanento Yuliman,Jim Supangkat, and Suwarno Wisetrotomo even though that was not yet a common practise in Indonesian art scene then. Younger curators and art critics such as Farah Wardhani, Agung Hujatnikajennong, Enin Supriyanto, Aminudin TH Siregar and Rifky Effendy have also regularly worked on the various gallery projects. Strong curatorial tradition is important for the production of quality exhibitions. By doing so, Edwin wishes that he would be able to continually give essential contribution to the Indonesian contemporary art discourse.
Edwin established Edwin’s Gallery in 1984 because of his passion for collecting art works. Initially it was in his four by eight meter garage on Jl. Sisingamangaraja 5, South Jakarta, in his parents’ house. Today Edwin’s Gallery stands on a 2,000 square meter plot with a 500 square meter exhibition area in Kemang, South Jakarta.
Success for Edwin’s Gallery has indeed not been easy because he also has experienced ups and downs in the business. In the first 11 years he suffered losses. But for Edwin it was a hobby and because of his love for art Edwin maintained the gallery. Before becoming a collector and opening the gallery Edwin was more known as a professional photographer. When he started to become interested in antiques, paintings and statues he was still a photographer. However, due to lack of available information on works of art he started to think about opening a gallery in order to keep in close touch with artists. Then he started to collect works of art.
Edwin’s interest in art started in his early childhood and was also attracted to many related things, such as lasers, holograms, electronics, design and so forth.
While studying architecture he also took up design and photography. He also liked to travel from one city to another in the United States and all this experience convinced him to pursue his interest in art.
To build the gallery’s reputation Edwin personally selects each of the works of art for his gallery as not all can pass his tight selection.
He also does not include works of art that cater to cheap market taste. Selecting quality pieces, he says, builds the gallery’s positive image.
For exhibitions Edwin is assisted by a team that gives suggestions in selecting artists with a good reputation. To him a gallery owner is like a designer because he or she will not create popular designs according to the market taste but will create original designs that the market will follow.