Posts Tagged ‘visual culture’


11 Jul 2009

Beauty or Banality: Jakarta at Night

Lights in the city: Is it “still” beautiful or getting banal? Talks about the banality of the city’s visual culture  is not new. There are rules and regulation. But it is not clear what the visual cultural basis is. Buildings are often blocked by billboards. Do we want to see architecture or the lighted boxes?

IMG_0358

More picture at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rujak/sets/72157621271200296/

In the past, mangrove trees were cut down just to make visual corridor for a billboard along the toll road to the airport. When protested, it was eventually taken down. Do we want to see billboards or mangrove trees along the toll road? The “wetland” system (of which mangrove trees are but parts of it) on the northern coast of Jakarta is actually unique, with some rare species of birds as well as the long-tail monkeys, considering there is little left of its kind along the northern coast of the whole Java.  

Look, every time we pass the major streets in Jakarta, more billboards are springing up. More buildings are becoming hidden behind it. Are we going to defend architecture or commercial graphics?

High-level pollution now covers the city not only in the air, but also visually, and there are concerns also about noise…Indeed, in the bigness of this metropolis: our senses are becoming dull!

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