Students Dwi Setyawati and Aldi were busy petting the cute Nemo fish, eventually bursting into laughter. The Brawijaya University students were joined by their friend, Okta Andira, who put her head into the mouth of a large snake, which appeared to be springing out of the wall of a local home.
It was just another day in Kampung Tridi, now known as "three-dimensional village", in Ksatrian subdistrict, Blimbing regency, Malang, East Java. Since September, the Kampong that was once considered a slum has become a lively attraction with all its homes decorated with three-dimensional images.
It joins so-called Kampung Warna Warni ["colorful village"], its adjacent neighborhood across the Brantas River in Jodipan subdistrict.
The idea to paint homes in the two communities came from eight students of communications of Malang Muhammadiyah University. Nabila Firdausiyah, Dinni Anggraeni and their peers submitted a proposal to paint manufacturer PT Inti Daya Guna Aneka Warna, and it as accepted. The houses and walls of residences, along with railway bridge columns, have colored.
They are new sights in the mountainous resort town. Motorists slow down or stop to catch a glimpse of them, and local tourists snap selfies. While Kampung Warna-Warni is renowned for the vivid colors of its roofs and walls, Kampung Tridi is famed for its images that include King Kong, a shark and the Great Wall of China.
"It's busy every afternoon, especially on holidays," said Kampung Tridi resident Dian Aprillia.
The coordinator of the three dimensional paintings is Eddy "Gimbal" Supriyanto assisted by Gembur Suryanto and Tholib, along with young painters who are "graduates" from painting along JL Merdeka Timur in the town.
Eddy said they wanted residents to be able to enjoy three-dimensional paintings for free.
"There are various themes of the paintings, including culture, young, people, children, nature and sports. So it's complete and people of all ages can enjoy them," Gembur said.