Urip Iku Urup – Life Is a Flame To Enlighten

“Urip Iku Urup” refers to the Javanese philosophy taught by Sunan Kalijaga or Sunan Kalijogo, a figure of Wali Songo (respected Islamic saints in Indonesia) who are closely related to Muslims in Java) because of its ability to incorporate Islamic influence into in the Javanese tradition. His belief was that life is like light or fire that should benefit others around us, the greater the benefits we can give, the better for all.

Bangkit/Arise has very much embraced this javanese wisdom and aspires to continue passing on the flame and bringing light to share with others. The final weeks of this first phase of the project in Yogyakarta provided many opportunities for life’s light to be passed on and lead the way for the chapters to come.

Again, the SF/Bay Area participants would like to express our grattitude for the generosity, creativity, and dedication of our Yogyakarta hosts, including:

Bangkit/Arise organizer and artist Nano Warsono and his family – Deny, Avis, and Vino

Bangkit/Arise artists: Vina Puspita, Hari Ndaruwati, Ucup, Codit, Wedhar Riyadi, and Bambang Toko

Bangkit/Arise assistant artists: Bang Toyib, Dabi Arnas, Adhitya Prasetya, Siam Candra, and Boby

Bangkit/Arise photographers/videographers: D’Mumu and Cha Cha Baninu

Pak Wahyudi Anggoro Hadi and Desa Panggungharjo

Dr. Suastiwi Triatmodjo, Pak Lutse Lambert Daniel Morrin and the Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta/Panggungharjo artists, writers, and musicians: Rolly, Kotrek, Rhomad, Mas Butong, Not Biru, Mas Bimo, Edi & friends, Alfian, and Iqbal

Kampung Dolanan and Diff Com

Matur Nuwun / Terima Kasih!

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 to be addressed include: 1) Environmentalism and the critical need for a call to action; 2) Current geopolitical divisions, xenophobia and how we envision a world rooted in social justice, equity, and collaboration; and 3) 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.

Bangkit/Arise is one of the first international public arts exchanges and residencies from the San Francisco Bay Area developed to include and support families.

Bangkit/Arise builds on the relationships that have developed over the past 15 years since CAMP’s first exchange with Yogyakarta Indonesia, Sama-Sama/Together that launched the mural/street art movement in Jogjakarta, a significant contribution to one of the most thriving arts communities in Indonesia.

Participating Artists San Francisco: Shaghayegh Cyrous, Keyvan Shovir, Kelly Ording, Jet Martinez, Jose Guerra Awe, Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson.

Allison Wyckoff, Associate Director of Public and Community Programs at the Asian Art Museum also traveled to Yogyakarta with her family as part of the residency to assist with the project, meet and connect with members of the arts community in Yogya, and represent the Asian Art Museum.

Participating Artists Yogyakarta: Nano Warsono, Bambang Toko, Hari Ndarvati, Muhammad Yusuf (Ucup), Wedhar Riyadi, Eko Didyk Sukowati (Codit), and Vina Puspita

Highlights of Bangkit/Arise over these past final weeks include:


Bangkit/Arise Yogyakarta Organizer Nano Warsono giving the top of the tumpeng to Megan Wilson, Bangkit/Arise Organizer SF/Bay Area

Bangkit / Arise celebrated the first phase of the Yogyakarta residency/exchange and the upcoming first phase of the SF/Bay Area residency/exchange on Saturday, August, 4 2018 with the Tumpeng Nasi Putih Ceremony at Waroeng Pohon.

As noted in a previous post:

Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish with side dishes of vegetables and meat. Traditionally featured in the slamatan ceremony, the rice is made by using a cone-shaped woven bamboo container. The rice itself may be plain steamed rice, uduk rice (cooked with coconut milk), or yellow rice (uduk rice colored with kunyit (tumeric). 

People in Java, Bali and Madura usually make tumpeng to celebrate important events. However, all Indonesians are familiar with tumpeng. The philosophy of tumpeng is related to the geographical condition of Indonesia, especially Java as fertile island with numerous mountains and volcanos. Tumpeng dates back to ancient Indonesian tradition that revered mountains as the abode of hyangs, the spirit of ancestors and gods. The cone-shaped rice meant to mimics the holy mountain. The feast served as a thanksgiving for the abundance of harvest or any other blessings.

Tumpeng is a symbol of gratitude, in gratitude ceremony (syukuran or slametan), after the people pray, the top of tumpeng is cut and delivered to the most important person. He or she may be the group leader, the oldest person, or the beloved one. Then, all people in the ceremony enjoy the tumpeng together. With tumpeng, people express the gratitude to God and appreciate togetherness and harmony. In modern times, the top of the tumpeng is given to an honoured guest in social events, ceremonies or awards.

Bangkit/Arise organizers Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson, and Nano Warsono

Tumpeng Putih — White tumpeng, uses white rice since white symbolizes holiness in Javanese culture. This kind of tumpeng is employed in sacred ceremonies.

There is a philosophical meaning on every part of traditional tumpeng. According to folklore in Java and Bali, the cone-shaped tumpeng is a mystic symbol of life and ecosystems. It also symbolizes the glory of God as the Creator of nature, and the side dishes and vegetables represent the life and harmony of nature. The authentic and complete tumpeng dishes should contain at least one meat to represent a land animal, fish to represent sea creatures, an egg to represent winged beasts, and vegetables that represent a food stock provided by the plant kingdom. Usually tumpeng is served with spinach as spinach is a traditional symbol of prosperity in Javanese agricultural society.

Philosophical meanings behind some of the ingredients in tumpeng:

  • Egg: The egg is served with the shell still on. Peeling the egg before eating it symbolizes everything a person has to plan and do before becoming a good person.
  • Vegetables: A wrap of vegetables represents a good relationship with friends and neighbors. Spinach represents a safe and peaceful life; water spinach represents a person who could live through hardships; string beans represent a long life; and mungbean sprouts represent having ancestors to carry on a legacy.
  • Catfish: Catfish represents the importance of preparing for troubles in the future. It also represents being humble, since catfish live on the bottom of ponds.
  • Milkfish: The many bones of the milkfish represent good fortune and prosperity in the future.
  • Anchovies: Because they live together, the anchovies represent having a good relationship with family and neighbors.


On August 6th Christopher and Jose left Yogyakarta to return to San Francisco. Christopher needed to return to begin preparing for the Indonesian artists arrival on September 3rd. Megan stayed in Yogyakarta for 2 additional weeks to finish out the project with Desa Panggungharjo and help the Indonesian artists prepare for San Francisco. Kelly, Jet, Violet and Lazlo planned to leave for Bali on August 6th; however needed to postpone their travels for a day due to the 6.9 earthquake that hit Lombok on August 5th. They returned to Yogyakarta on August 19th and left for San Francisco with Megan on August 21st.

You can check out all of the murals painted by the SF/Bay Artists and their collaborations with the Yogyakarta artists here:


Aat, Tian, Nano, Megan, and Chacha

Following the announcement/introduction of Bangkit/Arise at the community gathering to watch the World Cup on a big screen in a field in Panggungharjo in late July, the band Not Biru, who played the event contacted Nano to ask about working with the project.

Not Biru is an acoustic folk band formed by members of DIFF COM (Differently-Abled and Friends Community). The band was founded in 2012 initially to provide music for theater performances called “Rasa Ungu” that are also part of the cultural activities presented by DIFF COM. However, over the past six years as some members have left and others have joined, Not Biru has expanded and developed its work and is now established in the acoustic folk genre.

Bangkit/Arise was honored to be invited to collaborate with Diff Com and the project worked with Rolly, Kotrek, Not Biru, Mas Butong, Edi & Friends, Mas Bimo, Alfian, and Lqbal with support from Nano, Christopher, Siam, Adhitya, Mumu, Cha Cha, Dabi, Hari, Sino, and Vina to create a beautiful collaborative interactive mural based on the Wayang puppet theater of Indonesia.

In addition, Bangkit/Arise collaborated with Not Biru to help support the band’s first CD release –Ekplorasi. The release was in conjunction with the Wayang performance – Wayang Polah in front of the mural at Kampoeng Dolanan on Saturday, August 18th. The event was also a fundraiser to benefit Lombok after the earthquake that raised Rp 1,200,000.00 towards relief.

Not Biru’s new CD will be available in San Francisco in conjunction with our events at the Asian Art Museum.

Not Biru band members Aat, Riz, and Tian with Nano Warsono, Mumu, Chacha, and Megan at the recording studio for the release of Not Biru’s new CD Ekplorasi


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:


The second track on Not Biru’s new album is Kampung Dolanan about the community space that supports Diff Com. The video are stills from the planning and production of the mural and the planning and rehearsal of the community Wayang performance Wayang Polah that was presented on August 18th.



Mayor Pak Hadi and Mas Nano honoring the community and ancestors

The Wayang Polah performance mixed both traditional storytelling and mythology with contemporary themes and performance.


Bangkit/Arise organizers Megan Wilson and Nano Warsono led a video tour on August 15th for Bangkit/Arise SF/Bay Area artists Shaghayegh Cyrous and Keyvan Shovir who were each selected over two years ago to be part of the project. However, at that point none of us predicted that we would be facing the current xenophobic, anti-family climate that we find ourselves in with the Trump presidency and the ripples it has spread throughout the world. As a result, Shaghayegh and Keyvan are currently unable to travel due to this geo-political impact. Therefore they are continuing to work with the project via live video from Yogyakarta with the artists in Indonesia and will be active during the Yogyakarta artists’ residency in San Francisco. We look forward to returning to Yogyakarta next year with Shaghayegh and Keyvan to complete the Indonesia residency with them.

This brief introduction provides a window to the technical difficulties and realities of dealing with borders and barriers, yet the perseverance and resourcefulness to overcome these. We will share the full tour in an upcoming post.


Top Row National Leaders L-R: Dr. Sardjito, Gusdur, R.A. Kartini, Yap Thiam Hiem, Jendral Sudirman, Soekarno, Muhammad Hatta, K.H. Ahmad Dahlan, K.H. Hasyim Asyari, R.M.P. Sosrokartono, Dewi Sartika, H. Agus Salim; Bottom Row L-R: Previous Mayors of Panggungharjo – Sutrisno, Pawiro Sudarmo, Broto Asmoro, Siti Srimah Sri Zazuli, and H. Jaelani.

As part of Bangkit/Arise’s collaboration with Desa Panggungharjo the Yogyakarta Bangkit/Arise artists Nano Warsono, Hari Ndvarwati, Ucup, Bambang Toko, Codit, Wedhar Riyadi, and Vina Puspita created a mural at Panggungharjo’s sports center to honor important figures who have had a significant impact on Indonesia’s history. Batik artist Nurohmad created the batik background throughout the mural and San Francisco artist Megan Wilson painted several of her signature flowers on the dedication wall. Sama-sama!

The figures on top include: 

Dr. Sardjito:  Prof. Dr. M. Sardjito (born in Magetan , East Java , August 13, 1889  – died May 5, 1970 at the age of 80) was a doctor who was Professor of the Faculty of Medicine , Gadjah Mada University . He graduated from Purwodadi Elementary School in Purwodadi Village , West District , Magetan Regency in 1922. During the war of independence, he participated in the process of transferring the Pasteur Institute in Bandung to Klaten. Next he became President of the Universiteit (now called Chancellor) of the first Gadjah Mada University from the beginning of UGM’s establishment in 1949 to 1961.The name is enshrined as the name of the regional hospital in Yogjakarta, the Central General Hospital Dr. Sardjito.

Gusdur: Abdurrahman Wahid born Abdurrahman ad-Dakhil September 1940 – 30 December 2009), colloquially known as Gus Dur, was an Indonesian Muslim religious and political leader who served as the President of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001. The long-time president of the Nahdlatul Ulama and the founder of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Wahid was the first elected president of Indonesia after the resignation of Suharto in 1998.

R.A. Kartini: Raden Adjeng Kartini (21 April 1879 – 17 September 1904), sometimes known as Raden Ayu Kartini, was a prominent Indonesian national heroine from Java. She was also a pioneer in the area of education for girls and women’s rights for Indonesians. Her birthday is now celebrated as Kartini Day in Indonesia. She took an interest in mysticism and opposed polygamy. Her advocacy for the education of girls was continued by her sisters. Kartini Schools were named for her and a fund established in her name to fund the education of girls.

Yap Thiam Hiem: Born in Kutaraja, Aceh, Dutch East Indies, his father was Yap Sin Eng and his mother was Hwan Tjing Nio. Yap was of Chinese heritage and was an advocate for human rights. He believed achieving minority rights needed to be part of the larger struggle for the rights of all people.Together with Adnan Buyung Nasution, Mochtar Lubis, P.K. Ojong, Victor D. Sibarani, Albert Hasibuan, Bambang Widjojanto, Johannes Cornelis Princen and other notable human rights activists and lawyers, Yap was one of the founders of Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI), formerly known as Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH), which was a legal aid society to help the poor.

Jendral Sudirman: General of the Army Raden Soedirman (Perfected Spelling: Sudirman; 24 January 1916 – 29 January 1950) was a high-ranking Indonesian military officer during the Indonesian National Revolution. The first commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, he continues to be widely respected in the country. He is buried at Semaki Heroes’ Cemetery in Yogyakarta.

Jendral Sudirman, Soekarno, Muhammad Hatta, K.H. Ahmad Dahlan, and K.H. Hasyim Asyari

: Sukarno (born Kusno Sosrodihardjo; 6 June 1901 – 21 June 1970) was the first President of Indonesia, serving from 1945 to 1967. Sukarno was the leader of his country’s struggle for Independence from the Netherlands. He was a prominent leader of Indonesia’s nationalist movement during the Dutch colonial period, and spent over a decade under Dutch detention until released by the invading Japanese forces. Sukarno and his fellow nationalists collaborated to garner support for the Japanese war effort from the population, in exchange for Japanese aid in spreading nationalist ideas. Upon Japanese surrender, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945, and Sukarno was appointed as first president. He led Indonesians in resisting Dutch re-colonization efforts via diplomatic and military means until the Dutch acknowledgement of Indonesian independence in 1949. Author Pramoedya Ananta Toer once wrote “Sukarno was the only Asian leader of the modern era able to unify people of such differing ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds without shedding a drop of blood.”

Muhammad Hatta: Mohammad Hatta (12 August 1902 – 14 March 1980) was Indonesia’s first vice president, later also serving as the country’s prime minister. Known as “The Proclamator”, he and a number of Indonesians, including the first president of Indonesia, Sukarno, fought for the independence of Indonesia from the Dutch. Hatta was born in Fort De Kock, West Sumatra, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). After his early education, he studied in Dutch schools in the Dutch East Indies and studied in the Netherlands from 1921 until 1932. Mohammad Hatta is often remembered as Bung Hatta (according to author Pramoedya Ananta Toer, “bung” is an affectionate title meaning “friend,” used to be a way of addressing a person in a familiar way, as an alternative to the old-form “tuan”, “mas” or “bang”).

 K.H. Ahmad Dahlan: Kyai Haji Ahmad Dahlan (Arabic: أحمد دحلان;‎ 1 August 1868 – 23 February 1923), born Muhammad Darwis, was an Indonesian Islamic revivalist who established Muhammadiyah in 1912. He was the 12th generation descendant of Maulana Malik Ibrahim with lineage traces back to Muhammad. As one of the growing group who regarded themselves as modernists, he was concerned at the many Javanese practices not justified by Islamic scripture and argued for the creation of a renewed purer Islam more in step with the modern world. He created Muhammadiyah in 1912 as an educational organization as a means of realizing his reformist ideals. It was quickly joined by traders and craftsmen. In 1917 added a women’s section named Aisyiyah, which played a significant role in modernizing the life of Indonesian women.

K.H. Hasyim Asyari: Hadratusy Syaikh KH.Hasyim Asy’ari (April 10, 1875 – July 25, 1947) was an Indonesian ulama and founder of Nahdatul Ulama. Hasyim Asy’ari’s ancestry can be traced to Sultan Hadiwijaya of Pajang, and further, to Brawijaya VI (Girindrawardhana), the last king of Majapahit. At the age of twenty, he married Khadijah, daughter of Pesantren Siwalan Panji leader. One year later, they went to Mecca. After seven months, his wife was dead and also his son, Abdullah two months later. In 1899, he founded Pesantren Tebuireng, which later became the largest pesantren in Java in the early 20th century. The pesantren also became the center for the reform of traditional Islamic teaching. On January 31, 1926 he and several traditional Islamic leaders founded Nahdatul Ulama (Awakening of Ulamas).

R.M.P. Sosrokartono: R.M.P. Sosrokartono or Raden Mas Panji Sosrokartono (born in Pelemkerep, Mayong, Jepara, April 10, 1877 – died in Bandung, Indonesia, February 8, 1952 at the age of 74). As a son of R.M. Ario Sosrodiningrat, R.M.P Sosrokartono is an older brother of R.A. Kartini, who inspired R.A. Kartini to become a female emancipation figure. Since he was young, he showed his intelligence, after graduating from the Europesche Lagere School in Jepara, Sosrokartono continued his education to H.B.S. in Semarang. Then in 1898, Sosrokartono continued his studies in the Netherlands by entering the Leiden High School of Engineering. However, because he felt unsuitable, he moved to the Department of Eastern Language and Literature so he graduated with a Doctorandus in de Oostersche Talen degree from Leiden College. He was the first Indonesian student to continue his education in the Netherlands, followed by other Indonesian sons.

Dewi Sartika: Dewi Sartika (4 December 1884 – 11 September 1947) was a campaigner for and pioneer of education for women in Indonesia. She founded the first school for women in the Dutch East Indies. She was honoured as a National Hero of Indonesia in 1966. On 16 January 1904, she founded a school named Sekolah Isteri at Bandung Regency’s Pendopo which later was relocated to Jalan Ciguriang and the school name changed to Sekolah Kaoetamaan Isteri (Wife Eminency School) in 1910. In 1912, there were nine Sekolah Kaoetamaan Isteri in cities or regencies in West Java (half of the cities and regencies), and in 1920 all of cities and regencies had one school. In September 1929, this school changed its name to Sekolah Raden Dewi.

Agus Salim: Haji Agus Salim([ˈaɡʊs ˈsalɪm]; born Mashudul Haq; October 8, 1884 – November 4, 1954) was one of Indonesia’s founding fathers and prominent diplomats. He played a leading role in the creation of the Indonesian constitution in 1945 and served as Indonesia’s Foreign Minister between 1947 and 1949. In the months preceding the proclamation of Indonesian independence, Salim was a member of the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Indonesia Independence (BPUPKI) and the Committee of Nine that wrote the Jakarta Charter, which became the preamble to Indonesia’s constitution, including the Pancasila philosopy. Salim has been described as the “Grand Old Man of the Indonesian Independence movement and veteran leader of Indonesian Islam”. Sukarno described him as a “intellectual ulama” (Indonesian: ulama intelek), a leader combining Islamic science and Western teachings. Mohammad Hatta, called the Arabic de jurerecognition of Indonesian independence Salim’s greatest contribution to Indonesia[

The figures on the bottom are previous mayors of Panggungharjo – Sutrisno, Pawiro Sudarmo, Broto Asmoro, Siti Srimah Sri Zazuli, and H. Jaelani.C

Our next blog will include the final collaborative mural between the “runners” – or assistant artists, the mural tour with Nano, Megan, Chacha, Toyib, Harind, Shaghaygh, and Keyvan, some of our fun side activities and our final goodbyes before leaving this time. We are all looking forward to returning – and Keyvan and Shaghayegh are looking forward to arriving. It’s hard to believe what can be accomplished in two weeks!