Late last night I arrived in Semarang. Today I spent my first day walking around the neighborhood of gallery Yaitu where I am staying for the coming five weeks as an artist in residence. Semarang is a city of 1.2 million inhabitants (that is, of course, only a guess, because the Indonesian government has more urgent things to do than counting each and every one of its citizens). Despite the fact it is a city of over a million it is considered a small city by Indonesians (as a comparison: Amsterdam has ‘only’ 800000’ inhabitants, that excludes suburbs like Haarlemmermeer (with Schiphol Airport) and Almere). But why is Semarang considered a small city? Is it because Jakarta is so much bigger (the size depends on how this city is defined, the lowest estimate is 9 million and the largest estimate is 25 million)? Or because Semarang lacks certain services (but a skyscraper isn’t enough to give a city a cosmopolitan outlook)?
The first photo is my neighbor, he is entering senior high school after the summer vacation; the second picture is the wall opposite the gallery; and the other photographs are taken around the bird market nearby the gallery.