The Face of the Black River

This work captures the reflections on the surface of a river in Jakarta known as Kali Angke. The name, which means 'red river' bears witness to the massacre of thousands of Chinese by the Dutch in 1740, which turned the river red with blood. Today, it has turned pitch back, contaminated by domestic and factory waste, its condition worsened by the failure of the canal system built by the government. Yet the stagnant, lifeless and toxic water is still being used by people living around it. The dynamic reflection of the black river in this work is a poetic abstraction of reality, past and present: a reminder of its dark history, and a commentary on present-day environmental issues and legislative inadequacies.Commissioned for the Singapore Biennale 2013.

Artist Name
Mahardika Yudha
Duration: 9' 45
Accession No.
Video Installation
Collection of
Singapore Art Museum
Credit Line
Singapore Biennale 2013 Commission
Modern Art Forms