Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Tak Kunjung Padam
Tak Kunjung Padam

A founding member of the Indonesian artist-activist collective, Taring Padi (Fangs of the Rice Plant), the artist and the collective have always focused on issues of social justice, with a particular emphasis on marginalised communities. In Tak Kunjung Padam, the artist captures the struggles facing the victims of the Porong mudslide disaster in East Java, with slogans demanding justice and basic rights for its victims.

Woodcut print on fabric
120 x 240 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Muhammad “Ucup” Yusuf
About Muhammad “Ucup” Yusuf

Muhammad, often referred to as “Ucup,” was born in 1975 in East Java, and graduated from the Indonesian Institute of Art (ISI) in 1995. His practice is based on woodblock prints and paintings, and aims to shed light on injustice and inequality in Indonesia, often focusing on themes of political corruption, land and environmental destruction, consumerism, indigenous rights, and people’s solidarity. In 1998, during the later years of the Suharto administration, Ucup became a founding member of the Taring Padi artist-activist group. From its outset, Taring Padi sought to revive “People’s Culture”, advocating and strategising for democratic and popular change in Indonesia, resistance against elite discourse, as well as organising social and cultural events with a progressive and middle-class orientation. In 2009, Ucup was awarded the Mural Hikayat Indonesia at the Museum Palace Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In 2012 he was a finalist for the Graphic Triennale V, Indonesia, as well as the Bandung Contemporary Art Award. He has exhibited widely in Indonesia, Australia, Europe, and North America and throughout Asia.

Learning Section


  • The artwork is filled with potent imagery depicting the plight of the Sidoarjo mud flow victims in Porong, East Java. Observe closely and describe what you see. Examine the textual composition and different narratives at play. 

  • At the bottom, contrasted against a bright red banner are the words “Keadilan Terbitlah Terang” which translates to “With Justice, Comes Light”. Why is this slogan significant in the artwork?


The artwork highlights the environmental degradation caused by human activities to reap Earth’s natural resources. Despite being created in 2009, the artwork still reflects the environmental issues that continue to pervade in today’s age.

  • Imagine yourself within the artwork itself as if you are witnessing the mudslide disaster unfold. What is happening around you? Can you feel the emotions of those around you? How does this make you feel? Draw or paint your sensorial experience.

  • Create an artwork that represents today’s environmental issues. Include different perspectives--how does it impact your society?