Indonesian Street Art -The City As A Canvas

Street art is a world wide phenomenon. Love it or hate it, it’s everywhere.

Most of the time we go about our business and don’t see what’s under our noses: little gems of colour, statements on society or politics, flashes of ego and plenty of humour – a lot of it’s overlooked by the average passerby. A real shame.

On my recent trip to Indonesia (which I could talk about for hours, but I’ll spare you), I spent a couple of days in Yogyakarta (Yogya for short), one of the more progressive and artistic cities in Java. In addition to the traditional batik art that the city is famous for, it’s large student population unsurprisingly contributes to the city’s vibrant creative culture.

On a stroll through the busy main streets and the quieter side streets you can find a wealth of street art if you keep your eyes open.

It’s interesting to compare the street art in Yogyakarta with that in Europe (Bristol and Amsterdam, for example). You can see some similarities in style, but naturally there are also different cultural influences.

Check out my new Street Art pages to see my favourites in Yogyakarta, Bristol and Rotterdam. I’ll be adding more pages soon: one on The London Policemen (the internationally acclaimed, Amsterdam-based duo) and one on the Crimes of Passion exhibition in Bristol.

Dieuwke Swain
Fine Artist & Photographer