Van Abbe Museum: Magic Centre, an exhibition by Ade Darmawan. Till 22 January 2017.

22.09.16 | tag: Eindhoven

With the multi-media installation Magic Centre Ade Darmawan (1974, Jakarta, Indonesia) gives us his analysis and critical view on an era and subject that played an important role in the formation of the DNA of the Indonesian population.

The installation focuses on the Indonesian publishing company Magic Centre which was mainly active and successful in the 1960s when capitalism made its entrance into Indonesia. The company published self-help books which claimed to help improve people's intellectual capacities, skills, business qualities, character and success in life. Books with titles such as How to Be Rich, Your Key to a Happy Life and Dynamic Leadership Techniques helped people anticipate on this new economical, political development that was lead by the president Soeharto.


In his work Ade Darmawan gives his audience a view on the untold histories of Indonesia and its people. These often seem irrelevant, but do form important elements of the current identity of Indonesia's modern society.

Ade Darmawan is one of the founders and director of the artist group ruangrupa, who are the curators of SONSBEEK '16 in Arnhem, The Netherlands.