We’ve got this not so long, yet highly controversial stretch of road affectionately called the ‘Short Cut’ (It has its own Instagram account with nearly 30,000 followers). It was, prior to the Pandemic, a traffic accident often happening. This haphazard lane through what was once rice fields connects the beach end of Berawa on the one side with downtown Canggu. It lured all and sundry with a promise to wipe half an hour off the mainstream meandering trip via the main roads but more often than not left you sitting for longer amongst the air of exhaust fumes as only two-way traffic along a one-lane wide road can.
Wasn’t long after the road opened that some of the fields along her sides were left to fall fallow and dry out and then the building sites began to pop up as local owners took advantage of the real estate boon. Billboards bust forth like magic bean plants and bristled high along its length advertising beach clubs, the next best party, and the elite places to eat. We weren’t immune either and yielded to taking a spot in the middle of the stretch to advertise our weekly events and other café offerings in the hope we’d apprehend a hungry audience amongst the plentitude of culinary offerings that make up the modern-day Canggu.
And then like everywhere around the globe it all just stopped. No new visas were issued and most of those that were here, flew home. Though a reasonable sprinkling stayed. Traffic reduced to a trickle and we were given back that promise of a real short cut from one side of the river to the other. And those banners that once promoted prospects became book marks of events past and premises closed.
George Gorrow founder of The Slow saw an opportunity. First we heard something was afoot was when one of his staff contacted us to see if we could ‘lend’ them our billboard. The prospectus that was then sent over convinced us to jump, with both feet, onboard.
‘Flow Through Space’
An exhibition by Amir Zaki.
“We’ve decided to take a guerilla-style approach to the exhibition” explains George Gorrow,” We’ll be virtually bombing 18 billboards across one short strip of road. Each piece from ‘Flow Through Space’ will be available for the community to view from the front seat of their motorbike or car.”
There’s the unmistakable nod to our current global situation, the series of photographs depict empty skate parks across Southern California, a known hub of surfing and skating culture. The parallels between that area and the direction Canggu was headed in also resonate.
“This is a visual project envisioned by the community, for the community. All the billboards are owned by local businesses so we approached them with the idea,” says George.
The exhibition wouldn’t have been possible without the involvement of fellow local Bali businesses including The Lawn, Tropicola, Mexicola, Da Maria, Luigi’s, Cafe Del Mar, Spring Spa, Tatu Tatu Ink Club, Ulu Cliffhouse, Lost City, La Brisa and our own little piece of vertical real estate.
Read the shows Press Release here.