Sun, 26 Jan 2003

`FeMale' turns office into art gallery

Fitri Wulandari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

At first, the private-run radio station FeMale just wanted to have an office decorated with paintings or other art displays that can be changed anytime to maintain fresh look on the office's interior.

Its turned out the radio crew came up with the idea of making their office into an art gallery where their listeners and visitors can view art exhibitions also. The office interiors are always fresh with interesting art displays.

"When someone walks into an office, they normally will find paintings that have not been changed for years ... they are stuck on the wall, permanently. It's pretty boring, isn't it?," Nuky Surachmad, general manager of FeMale, chuckled.

"On the other hand, if there is an art gallery in the office, the ambiance is continually changing," she added.

The idea to merge their office with an art gallery came when the radio station moved to their new offices at Ratu Plaza on Jl. Sudirman from Bintaro area last year.

In a bid to get closer with their listeners, FeMale re- designed their offices by opening the whole area.

"Many offices, especially media companies, tend to be secretive and close themselves off from visitors and clients. But we want the radio station to be open and accessible for public, our business partners as well as the listeners," Nuky explained.

Conceived as a radio station targeting urban women, FeMale now draws some 125,000 listeners between the ages of 25 to 39 in Jakarta.

When visitors step into the office, they are immediately exposed to a unique and open office space. There are no cubicles.

The studio utilizes a glass wall so that visitors can see the radio broadcasters in action.

The walls are left empty and broad to give maximum display to the artwork.

It was not until Nuky met with young architect Yori Antar that the idea was put into action.

"Yori asked if we interested in having an exhibition of his architecture photography in the office. We thought it was a brilliant idea," Nuky recalled.

After Yori's exhibition in August last year, FeMale radio began to hold art exhibitions regularly featuring different artists and art works ranging from paintings to photography to fashion.

So far, the radio has held four art exhibitions and the latest exhibition is tie-dye artwork by young fashion designer Oscar Lawalata. The exhibition, which was recently launched runs until March.

The responses from the public and artists have been encouraging.

"We have listeners who come here with their families. Many artists have asked if they can have their artwork on display here," Nuky said.

Ricky Anton Worotikan, interior designer who designed the office said that any company can have their own art gallery in their offices.

To keep office activities undisturbed by the public who want to see the exhibition, the radio opens its door for exhibition visitors twice a day during lunch hours, from 12 a.m to 2 p.m, and in the evening from 5 p.m to 7 p.m.

Nuky added that the art gallery is not only an idealistic mission to educate its listeners on artwork but also a powerful tool in promoting the radio station itself.