The Best Street Art for Inspiration in Jakarta

Tape art in the street of Jakarta | © Everyone Sinks Starco/Flickr
Tape art in the street of Jakarta | © Everyone Sinks Starco/Flickr
Photo of Edira Putri
23 June 2017

The dense concrete jungle of Jakarta still has room for lively street art, often conveying social commentaries and messages. Indonesian street artists are inspired by many things, from current events to their cultural heritage and in turn, those works inspire many other people. Discover the best street art for inspiration in Jakarta.

A lot of street arts in Jakarta are dedicated to various social issues, from poverty, corruption, social justice, education, and more.

KPK (as seen on the bade) is the nation’s commission against corruption, and corruptors are often depicted like filthy rats (who, unfortunately, are often untouchable and still get away with their crimes).

A heart-warming mural depicting an Indonesian child, most likely in his elementary uniform (white shirt and red pants), with the Indonesian flag flying from his back like a cape.

This mural depicts a national incident in 1998, involving authorities and the shooting of local students. Activists consider this as an unsolved crime and still insist on keeping this event alive until everyone involved receives the justice they deserve.

Street art in Jakarta | © Map of the Urban Linguistic Landscape/Flickr

Some important messages that are more explicit …

This one says: “Treat the park (taman) as your friend (teman).”

Indonesians are proud of their cultural heritage. The street arts in Jalan Cikini Raya remind locals and inform tourists of fun traditional games in Indonesia.

This one is about congklak, a traditional game where players move beads or shells through a special board with holes to keep the beads. In some ethnic groups, this board is traditionally used to tell the future. In other cultures in Indonesia, this game is only to be played during a period of mourning.

The snake and ladder game is also popular in Indonesia. Locals call it ular (snake)-tangga (ladder).

Another social commentary on the dynamics of urban relationships and communication in Indonesia’s most urban area.

"one people under…" . . .

A post shared by avokado 🍐 (@_thepopop) on

This one is created by a renowned Indonesian street artist, Andi Rharharha. Often using tape as a material, he wrote “A New Hope” across the presidential palace in Jakarta after a new president was elected in 2014.

This one is found in Kalijodo, a place formerly known as an illegal center of prostitution and nightlife, revived through new art space and buildings.

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