Engel Tanzil | Gallerist & Founder of Dia.lo.gue Artspace

Engel Tanzil Founder Dialogue artspace
Engel Tanzil in Wae Rebo Village, Flores, an island in Nusa Tenggara Indonesia

Today we are delighted to introduce someone whose work you often admire… but you may not have been introduced until now. Please meet gallerist and founder of Dia.lo.gue art space, Engel Tanzil.

Engel’s gallery Dia.lo.gue art space expresses through its name her mission to make art accessible to ALL and to be an oasis for art lovers in Jakarta. A simple explanation … In Bahasa Indonesia, ‘Dia’ means ‘he/she,’ ‘lo’ is Jakarta slang for ‘you,’ and ‘gue’ means ‘me.’ In a nutshell Engel believes art should be available to everyone to enjoy and we couldn’t agree more!

Regular ‘a journey bespoke’ readers will know we have an affection for this special space Engel established in the heart of Kemang. Jo and I have both enjoyed the exhibitions by Indonesian artists held at the Dia.lo.gue gallery, shopped locally-made in the Dia.lo.gue shop and enjoyed coffee in the sunlight cafe looking out onto the garden. Engel’s commitment to nurturing Indonesia’s contemporary art and cultural scene, love of her family heritage and country’s rich traditions are evident throughout the Dia.lo.gue gallery building.

In addition to her impressive work as a Gallerist; Engel is also sensitive to injustice, and has a keen sense of responsibility and commitment to act upon it. As she says below, what annoys me is ‘Injustice, especially when the weak get thrown away by the strong.’ Follow Engel on Instagram to learn about her many justice based Art Education and Culture programs which are enriching the lives of children in local Jakarta neighbourhoods.

Read on for Engel’s story … at the bottom of the post you will find the address of Engel’s gallery Dia.lo.gue and her social media channels to keep up to date on her latest projects and up-coming art exhibitions.

*Kenalkan Engel 

About You

Your full name please: My full name is too Long … Raden Roro Engel Pretty Soetarmo

What do you like to be called? Engel Tanzil

Please tell us a little about your background – Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Bandung and studied law in Catolique Parahyangan University.

My father is in the military and he works with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is Javanese and from Yogyakarta and my mom is from Bandung. She comes from a mixed Dutch Indonesian family, that is why my name is Engel … it comes from her name EngelBertha Phefferkorn.

My father loves to play piano, and he is a Mechanical Engineer from ITB Bandung. He loves to travel and can speak fluent Dutch, Deutch, English and Javanese. My Mom she loves music and dancing. She speaks fluent Dutch, English, French and Sundanese.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

‘When I was a child I always wanted to be a doctor, dancer and a writer’

How did you get into your current profession?
My husband introduced me to the art scene

Can you share with us the Dialogue story and your views on the Jakarta creative scene
My husband and I founded Dialogue on the first of December 2001. The purpose of Dialogue is to spread the beauty of art to the the future innovators and artists of Indonesia. The Jakarta art scene has definitely improved over the years … back when we first started Dialogue there were barely any young artists. It’s great to see how much has changed since then!

Engel Tanzil Dialogue Founder
Dia.lo.gue signage on Jl Kemang Selatan

Who do you find inspiring and why?
Mother Theresa, she is a fighter not for herself but the people around her.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?

‘When I was a teenager I was a traditional dancer’

What annoys you?

‘Injustice, especially when the weak get thrown away by the strong’

What delights you?

‘People, design, art, performance, music, culture, antiques, history … I guess too many things’

Engel Tanzil Dialogue Founder
What delights you? People, design, art, performance, music, culture, antiques, history … I guess too many things’ Engel (Image supplied by Engel)

What’s your most treasured possession?
My family

About Jakarta & Indonesia:

3 words to describe your Jakarta?

‘Beautiful – enchanting – captivating’

What’s your favorite Indonesian Movie? / Band ? / Singer ?
Indonesian movie : Laskar Pelangi. The movie follows a group of 10 schoolchildren and their two inspirational teachers as they struggle with poverty and develop hopes for the future in Gantong Village on the farming and tin mining island of Belitung off the east coast of Sumatra.
Band : Payung Teduh
Singer : Chrisye

Who is your favourite Indonesian artist?
Eko Nugroho

Engel Tanzil
Current exhibition ‘Post Colonial Still Life’ Works by Arimbi Nimpuno and Afi Shamara

Where’s your favourite place to eat in Jakarta?
Page Sore, a Padang restaurant

Tea, Coffee or Juice? And where?
Coffee at Antipodean

Where do you go to relax in this busy city?

Engel Tanzil Dialogue Founder
The cafe space looking out into the Dia.lo.gue garden

Finish these sentences:
Every visitor to Jakarta should eat : gado-gado
Every visitor to Jakarta should visit : the traditional market
Every visitor to Jakarta should experience : what its like to be a local

What’s your favourite place to visit in Indonesia?
Central Java : Yogyakarta and Solo
East Java : Malang and Surabaya
West Java : Bandung
Flores : Labuan bajo
Bali : Ubud
Or place you would like to visit? I would love to go to Raja Ampat, Ambon, Sulawesi and Kalimantan.

Engel Tanzil
The current Dia.lo.gue exhibition ‘UNIT PRODUKSI BERITA, Nindityo Adipurnomo’s Solo Exhibition
Engel Tanzil
Michela Cavagna – ‘Sound of Light’ Nindityo Adipurnomo’s Solo Exhibition currently at Dialogue
Engel Tanzil
‘Voice which no can hear’ currently exhibited at Dialogue

What’s Jakarta’s best kept secret?

‘Ciputat … it’s great for finding hidden treasures’

What are your favourite Apps?
Instagram, it’s amazing how much you can do with such a simple concept

If you could have dinner with 2 famous people who would you invite?

‘Jokowi and Keanu Reeves’

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
Reading, cooking and going to local shops

Make sure you check out Engel’s Instagram and the Dia.lo.gue contact details which are below.

If you haven’t already visited Dia.lo.gue why not schedule a visit soon. We’ve found visits to Dia.lo.gue to be inspiring, educational and always uplifting.
Engel Tanzil

Engel Tanzil
The beautifully curated Dialogue art shop
Engel Tanzil
The Dialogue art shop showcasing work by local artisans

Dia.lo.gue artspace
Jl. Kemang Selatan 99a
Jakarta Selatan

Web: Dialogue Artspace
Engel and Dialogue arts

* Kenalkan Let me introduce

Words: Liz and Engel  Photography: a journey bespoke and Engel Tanzil

You might also like to check out these People and Local Artisan posts. They each have links to Engel’s gallery Dia.lo.gue:
A chance meeting with young artist Louise at Dialogue Artspace
Chitra Subyakto | Founder & Creative Director of Sejauh Mata Memandang
Sepiring Indonesia – Celebrating Indonesia’s Diversity Through Design
Top 5 Artisan Markets in Jakarta
The 2016 ajb Holiday Gift Guide
The 2015 ajb Oleh Oleh Guide


    • ajourneybespoke says

      Hello there Helen! Ciputat is an area in Greater Jakarta. It is known for its furniture shops as well as second hand shops where you can find lots of ‘treasures’. Next time you’re in Jakarta, let’s visit this area and explore for ourselves!

  1. says

    Such an ispirational woman. I love Engel, she is a very talented buyer and she discover a lot of future good artists. Thank you ajourneybespoke for this article….always great to read you…and so next…after buy some arts in dis.lo.gue…let’s go to Ciputat!

    • ajourneybespoke says

      Hello Michela, We agree, Engel is indeed inspirational. We are glad you enjoyed the article, and Yes! let’s go to Ciputat and explore the furniture tokos that line the streets!

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