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Murals become urban gallery on Surakarta's Jl. Gatot Subroto

Stefanus Ajie

The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java  /  Sun, November 4, 2018  /  12:06 pm
  • Urban Public Art Festival - 'Solo is Solo' Volume#2 presents social and cultural issues of Surakarta.

    Urban Public Art Festival - 'Solo is Solo' Volume#2 presents social and cultural issues of Surakarta. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    Urban Public Art Festival - 'Solo is Solo' Volume#2 presents social and cultural issues of Surakarta.

  • An artist paints a mural with the help of the fire brigade's equipment.

    An artist paints a mural with the help of the fire brigade's equipment. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    An artist paints a mural with the help of the fire brigade's equipment.

  • A mural artist mixes paints.

    A mural artist mixes paints. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    A mural artist mixes paints.

  • A band performs for spectators.

    A band performs for spectators. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    A band performs for spectators.

  • A corner of Jl. Gatot Subroto in Surakarta.

    A corner of Jl. Gatot Subroto in Surakarta. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    A corner of Jl. Gatot Subroto in Surakarta.

  • Residents take a selfie in front of a mural.

    Residents take a selfie in front of a mural. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    Residents take a selfie in front of a mural.

OF

Dozens of young people flocked to the roadside of Surakarta’s Jl. Gatot Subroto after midnight on Oct. 27. Mural artists from art communities in the city and neighboring towns, including from the School of Arts at Sebelas Maret University (UNS) and the Indonesian Arts Institute, were set to paint murals at the Urban Public Art Festival themed “Solo is Solo” Volume#2.

Founded in 2017, the festival aimed at injecting artistic touches to the murals found along the street of Jl. Gatot Subroto and Jl. Slamet Riyadi, as well as in the alleys of Kemlayan and Nonongan.

In the daytime, Jl. Gatot Subroto is a center of business activity. But come evening time, the street becomes a public space for Surakarta’s youth.

Read also: Mural artists showcase multidimensional Indonesia

Fransiska, a mural painter from UNS, said she was excited to take part in the Urban Public Art Festival. “We are provided an opportunity and space to express ourselves through murals. We’re also ecstatic to find that the street that’s used to being deserted at night is a new place to hang out,” she added.  

In one corner, mural artist Agung Nugroho of the Sebumi community painted a man riding a bicycle, carrying his goods for sale. “I’d like to tell the story of perseverance and hard work,” he said. Along with social and cultural themes, the mural artists at the event depicted topics of peace and conservation.

When dawn came on Jl. Gatot Subroto, groups of people were still found along the road. A number of artists painted the shops’ walls, while others enjoyed live music and performance art shows. As morning arrived, some murals received finishing touches, amid the town walls that showcased youth expression. (wng)

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