In an Ancient Indonesian City, Art Is Abundant—and Inclusive

How a Community Built a Thriving Cultural Scene on Cooperation, Cheap Tickets, and Affordable Merchandise

The city of Yogyakarta, which sits between the Indian Ocean and the volcanic mountain Merapi at the heart of Java island, has long been known as one of the arts and culture capitals of Indonesia. It is the capital of the ancient Javanese kingdom of Yogyakarta, a descendant of the Islamic Mataram Kingdom.

Since the 1990s, especially after the fall of President Suharto in 1998, Yogyakarta has also become known as a center of Indonesian contemporary arts, along with Bandung. There are now more than 50 active art spaces and institutions, …