Dream Houses

Site specific Installation on Basement Prison of Jakarta Historical Museum

Sand clay, concrete, other media


To accommodate Jakarta’s urban growth, developers have created new towns that often lead to social segregation through the use of exclusive gated communities. The developers take advantage of urban paranoia and promote tall walls and heightened security as desirable qualities. This art installation uses a sand-clay composite and concrete-gypsum composite to invert the isolation of prisons and gated communities. The installation reflects a prison as a space of imaginary freedom through a mirror that obscures the prison walls. The miniature buildings in the installation, which replicate mass housing typical of new town developments, gradually deteriorate due to the water purifier in the basement. This destruction represents the condition of North Jakarta buildings, which are deteriorating as Jakarta sinks. The work highlights the negative aspects of architecture and the need to reimagine it through the decay of buildings, as suggested by Stephen Cairns in ‘Buildings Must Die.’ The installation also raises the question of whether Jakarta should pursue a floating city or underwater city to address its sinking problem.