17 December 2019 I SOLO – Built on their commitments to integrate culture as part of city development, local artists from Jeju and Surakarta teamed up to work on a joint project facilitated by UCLG ASPAC. The end result is a fun, creative and artistic space for children as well as parents to enjoy at Jayawijaya Park in Solo.

Their work was first revealed at the launching ceremony attended by Mayor of Surakarta F.X. Hadi Rudyatmo, Jeju’s Director General of Culture, Sport and International Relations Mr. Cho Sang Bum of and UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi. Citizens of Surakarta including young children also joined the event to appreciate the new feature of their public park and celebrate the close ties between the two cities. Both cities decided to call it “Halla-San,” which means the mountain of Halla.

During the signing ceremony of the Joint Art Project for Public Space Launching Inscription, UCLG ASPAC Secretary Dr. Bernadia stated that “The distance of almost 5,000 kilometers across the seas does not deter UCLG ASPAC members from Indonesia and South Korea from fostering city-to-city ties through their common treasure and appreciation of local culture. They made art installations in public space so that the city would look more beautiful and UCLG ASPAC is proud to facilitate this collaboration.” She hoped that the newly built artistic public space would be used by children and well maintained by the people in Solo. She also thanked Jeju, Solo, the artists and ISI Surakarta for good cooperation that made the project completed as scheduled.

Jeju is a city founded on an entire volcanic island in South Korea. Rapid modernisation and growing immigrant population have prompted Jeju government to revive its culture, capitalising on its local heritage and diversity. The city’s success in creating a vibrant cultural scene that blends in with its beautiful nature and urban setting has been internationally recognised and certified as a World Natural Heritage.

Surakarta, known colloquially as Solo, is a city in Central Java, with long history and cultural heritage. The city has prided itself as a cultural hub with elegant artistic traditions, from Solonese dance to hand-made batik and wayang puppetry. With a population of over 550,000 people, Solo is densely populated. Nevertheless, the city government has made an effort to reserve historical buildings and sites, while ensuring that local people can enjoy community atmosphere and public space that has become increasing scarce in modern cities.

During the launching ceremony, Solo Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo explained that “We chose Taman Jayawijaya to create this Installation Art because it is a smart park with adequate space. The artistic game created demonstrates the geographical similarity between Solo and Jeju as both have mountains. In the future Solo and Jeju would like to develop various other programmes in the field of cultural arts so that we can contribute to each other in preserving cultural heritage.”

The  Global Youth Forum initiated by Jeju and supported by UCLG ASPAC has paved the way for Jeju-Solo cultural exchanges since 2017. After the exchange of youth artists in these Forums, both city governments decided to embark upon a joint project to foster concrete cultural exchange that would also leave a long-lasting legacy for their people. Prominent local artists, a sculpture from Jeju Mr. Kim Kidai and two architects from Solo, Mr. Dian Arrifianto Budi Susilo and Mr. Galih Aji Priyambodo, worked together in the design and installation of the art piece, inspired by Halla mountain and Merapi mountain in Central Java.

Jeju and Solo have been active in Culture Committee of UCLG ASPAC which was set up by Governor Won Hee-ryong of Jeju during his term as the President of UCLG ASPAC. The Committee has also been actively engaged with the Global Culture Committee of UCLG.