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Stepping Up for Art Into a Promising Business

Text: Tara Marchelin; Photos: Photo by Suhadi

Meet Jessica Senjaya, the lovely and humble lady who is the Director of Sunrise Art Gallery & Arcade at Fairmont Jakarta. It all started after Jessica got her dual Bachelor Degrees in International Business and Finance from the University of San Francisco in 2006. When Jessica returned to Jakarta, her father, who is an ardent art lover and collector, influenced her to fall in love with art.

My father took me to art events and that was the beginning of my ever growing passion for art,” Jessica says. She even decided to take a Master Degree in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art Singapore in 2010 and started the gallery in 2014.

Jessica finds the prospect of the art industry in Indonesia is promising, as more people get exposed and educated through great private museums and art fairs. Nevertheless, she has to deal with some challenges while running the gallery, especially when it comes to managing the clients. “I have to say building a consistent client list has been the most challenging, yet the most rewarding. For me, finding what a client wants and needs is quite exciting because I can discover new art and the new way of how the client sees art,” she explains.

Aside from Sunrise Art Gallery & Arcade, Jessica is running a live music restaurant called Motion Blue Jakarta. When Fairmont Jakarta first opened, they want to have a similar venue to Blue Note, the number one jazz venue in Japan. So, Jessica partnered with Blue Note to build the venue and, eventually, Motion Blue Jakarta become a venue which not only for jazz but also pop and rock.

We thought that being a full jazz venue is kind of hard in Jakarta. So, we took another concept like Motion Blue Yokohama, one of Blue Note Japan sister companies, which more open to the various genre,” Jessica adds.

Jessica's journey in managing both of her businesses is not always smooth and easy, but she's not giving up. In fact, she is eager to step up her game for Sunrise Art Gallery & Arcade and Motion Blue Jakarta. “It is very difficult but you got to keep going, you don't give up just because you have low profit in one month. I have to always step up my game, see what my competitors are doing and just try my best to improve both of my business,” she says.

In the future, Jessica plans to open Motion Blue Cafe to gather the daytime market because Motion Blue Jakarta is only open during night time. For Sunrise Art Gallery & Arcade, she plans to hold more exhibitions featuring local artists and participate in international art fairs.

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