Bangkit Arise – Urip Iku Urup – Desa Panggungharjo

Bangkit/Arise, Megan Wilson, Yogyakarta Indonesia, 2018

“Bangkit/Arise” organizer and artist Nano Warsono painting the traditional Javanese script for “Urip Iku Urup” on Megan’s mural in Panggungharjo as part of the international exchange/residency “Bangkit/Arise”


Bangkit/Arise is an international arts exchange and residency between artists from the San Francisco/Bay Area, USA and Yogyakarta Indonesia. The lead sponsoring organization for Bangkit/Arise is Clarion Alley Mural Project, based in San Francisco in collaboration with the Asian Art Museum Chong Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture. The projects partners in Yogyakarta Indonesia are Desa Panggungharjo and the Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta.

In July/August 2018 five of the artists from the SF/Bay Area – Kelly Ording, Jet Martinez, Jose Guerra, Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson arrived in Yogyakarta to spend 5 – 7 weeks as part of the residency exchange. Unfortunately because of greater geopolitical circumstances, two of the Bay Area artists – Shaghayegh Cyrous and Keyvan Shovir were unable travel and to be a part of the first phase of the exchange; however, they are still very much a part of the exchange and will be traveling to Yogyakarta as soon as it is possible.

On September 3rd six of the Yogyakarta artists – Nano Warsono, Bambang Toko, Ucup, Wedhar Riyadi, Vina Puspita and Harind Ndarvati arrived in San Francisco to spend 8 weeks in the Bay Area getting to work with our communities here. Sadly, one of the Indonesian artists – Codit – was unable to be a part of the current residency in San Francisco due to greater geopolitics; however, he too is still part of the exchange and will travel to San Francisco when possible.

Bangkit/Arise is designed to foster discussions, understanding, and action on critical social/political issues facing our global and local communities today using art as a point of departure. Subjects being addressed include:

  1. Community development and the role of art in supporting Civic Design through:
  • Creating a culture of creativity;
  • Placemaking;
  • Community building and networking;
  • The engagement of residents and visitors/tourists; and
  • Economic growth and livelihood – the creative economy;
  1. The role of the public commons;
  2. Environmentalism and the critical need for a call to action;
  3. Current geopolitical divisions, xenophobia and how we envision a world rooted in social justice, equity, and collaboration;
  4. The need for radical inclusion and understanding differences and similarities as a means of strength and the goal of collectively dismantling local and global inequities/oppression.

Berkat Cermaiks – 440 Jalan Bantul, Panggungharjo

Megan with the owner of CV Berjaya

Megan and crew painted Urip Iku Urup on the side of a ceramic tile and fixtures store.


Detail, “Urip Iku Urup”

Megan painted one mural on the ceramiks shop – Berkat Ceramiks. The overall design, including the flowers, butterflies, cats (cats are revered in Yogyakarta, and by Megan), rays, and color selection, was created by Megan.

The text – ‘Urip Iku Urup’ refers to the Javanese philosophy that was taught by Sunan Kalijaga or Sunan Kalijogo, a figure of Wali Songo (revered saints of Islam in Indonesia) who is closely related to Muslims in Java, because of his ability to incorporate Islamic influences into Javanese tradition. The belief is that Life is like a light or flame that should benefit others around us, the greater the benefits that we can provide, the better for all. This phrase/philosophy was chosen at an evening get-together with Megan, Vina Puspita, Hari Ndarvati, and Sino based on Megan’s impressions of Desa Panggungharjo after the meeting with Mayor Pak Wahyudi Anggoro Hadi.

Bang Toyib designed and painted the fonts for the Javanese and Bahasa and did the ornamentation in the Urip ray. Toyib was also Megan’s assistant artist and assisted her with painting the overall mural.

Nano Warsono painted the Javanese script and Toyib and Megan collaborated on the ornamentation in the Javanese script and Bahasa Indonesian rays.

Master batik artist
Nurohmad designed and painted the batik ornamentation in silver in the burgundy and blue rays.


Not Biru used Megan’s mural as the backdrop for their album Not Biru Ekplorasi. Above is the final cover image – the cover was designed by Bangkit/Arise artist Vina Puspita. Below are images from the photo shoot in front of Megan’s Mural:


Megan painted the motorbike and sidecar of friend Mas Butong in conjunction withl Urip Iku Urup. The mortor bike and sidecar were also used as part of the re-election campaign for Pak Wahyudi Anggoro Hadi, mayor of Bangkit/Arise‘s community partner the village of Panggungharjo (villages are like districts in San Francisco).

Pak Hadi and Mas Butong driving around Panggungharjo campaigning!