When art voices the climate crisis threatening the north coast

A mural painting by Uwit Art Space that is plastered on the wall of a resident’s house. The painting is part of the Penta K Labs festival, Semarang. Source: LiniKampus

Semarang – Dozens of artists whSemarang – Dozens of artists who participated in celebrating Penta K Labs IV voiced the climate crisis through two- and three-dimensional works of art with the theme “Malih Dadi Segara”, meaning turning into the sea in Javanese. The artists collaborated with residents, choosing a location for performing arts at the fisherman’s house in Tambakrejo Village, Tanjungmas District, Semarang, Central Java. The ‘site-specific art project biennale’ was held by the Hysteria Collective on 17-21 December 2022.

The climate crisis has had a real impact, such as disastrous tidal floods, in the northern coastal area of Central Java. Salahuddin Mbuh, one of the founders of Hysteria explained the reason for choosing this theme is a form of concern to the issue of climate change. “The climate change phenomenon has turned residential land to become part of the ocean, so that (coastal) inhabitants slowly move away and lose their homes,” he said.

Mbuh said, through the works of art presented by 37 specific site art projects from within and outside the country, it is hoped that the public can face the impacts of climate change. The works also raised the life strategy of the residents and cultural values in the fishing village of Tambakrejo.

He said, Penta K Labs is routinely held with various issues such as village resilience, land use change and water ecosystems, landscape change, climate, and global ecosystem. The latest Penta K Labs IV: Malih Dadi Segara is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture through the Indonesiana Fund and LPDP.

The dozens of artists participating in Penta K Labs are free to respond, choose a location, or what type of work to create. One of the most extreme works in choosing a location is a mural painting created by the Brebes ArtDictive community. They chose an empty house submerged in water in the middle of the ocean to work on. A member of Brebes ArtDictive, Arif Mujahidin explained, the two-handed mural includes a mural indicating the actual situation and situation on the north coast.

“The title of this work is ‘Sapa dari Utara (Greet From the North)’. This mural looks like a picture of a person waving their hands, one is still visible and the other is drowning. So it’s our choice, to want to help or let them drown. Let our choices respond to the situation,” said Mujahidin. (Hartatik)

Banner photo: Installation art on display at Penta K Labs IV about the memory of residents who left their homes because their homes almost drowned due to tidal floods in Tambakrejo Village, Tanjungmas District, Semarang City, late December. (Hartatik)


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