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?

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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!

3 thoughts on “Beauty or Banality: Jakarta at Night

  1. atite wow says:

    selain letaknya tdk terencana, yg bikin muak jg content dari image dlm billboard2 itu! kota2 dg serampangan membiarkan titik2 strategisnya diisi image2 dangkal pd saat dia justru berpotensi menyumbangkan ‘sesuatu’ yg besar buat kota? kenapa sebuah iklan bank harus memasang gambar ‘mobil'(again?) sementara warga di bawahnya sdh letih berjam2 bermacet ria?! terbosan2 menunggu lampu merah masih harus ‘dipaksa’ melihat gambar tea set dlm skala raksasa? di kota yg warganya menghabiskan byk waktu di jalan, betapa membosankan & miskin makna pemandangan berangkat & pulang ke rumah itu? bgmn kl kita bikin list bilboard2 terburuk d jakarta biar perusahaan2 yg sudah kadung mengeluarkan uang banyak itu malu membayar sesuatu yg tidak layak & merusak pemandangan pula! & biar agency2 itu jg terbangkit gairahnya utk menyumbangankan yg terbaik buat kota, syukur2 bs menyempilkan pesan2 ekologis & kemanusiaan yg mencerahkan warga…
    (btw, maaf sudah pake bahasa Indonesia tidak baik& tdk benar lagi, he3x…)

  2. Dian says:

    Setuju dengan Atite.
    Bikin : 10 Best Ad dan 10 Bad Ad. Mudah2an jadi pada tau diri.

    Memang lokasi2 banner raksasa itu mahal2.. tapi tidak ada salahnya minta sponsor untuk mengeluarkan banner kampanye kepentingan masyarakat demi masyarakatkan.

    Life in jakarta lately is all about money and not quality of life… it’s so hard and harsh. A campaign about quality of life .. i think will be a breath of fresh air….

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