Our Work

Splash & Burn



Through a huge mural and film,
we urge the Indonesian president
to save a newly discovered Orangutan from extinction.

Legendary Street Artist Vhils created an image of the endangered Tapanuli Orangutan carved on the side of a building in the city center of Medan. A film accompanying the mural calls for an urgent petition to the Indonesian president to cancel a new dam construction project and save the species from inevitable extinction.


Ernest Zacharevic & Nicholas Chin


Sean Lin



Support Orangutans

This project is done in partnership with the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) who work at the cutting edge of orangutan conservation, using innovative approaches and collaborating with incredible partners to build resilience for orangutans, forests and people.

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In early November 2017, scientists announced the discovery of a new species of Great Ape in Sumatra: the Tapanuli Orangutan. With only 800 left, this is the most endangered Great Ape species in the world.

The Tapanuli Orangutan resides in the Batang Toru Forest in Northern Sumatra. 85% of this forest complex is protected under Indonesian Law, but due to the lack of enforcement, there have been incursions in the land such as unregulated practices of palm oil farming. This had a widespread negative impact, leading to forest fires, deforestation, human displacement and a decrease in wildlife populations.

This rain forest is now the site planned for a 510MW hydro-power dam, financed with overseas investment, that could result in the extinction of this species of Great Ape.

“Unfortunately, orangutan’s Tapanuli is very critically endangered because the number of the species is only around 800 and there are currently many threats such as hydro dam that is currently being built that has destroyed their habitat and this is really worrying”

Panut Hadisiswoyo, the founding director of Orangutan Information Centre

The Campaign

Vhils is the 9th artist to participate in the environmental campaign ‘Splash & Burn’, which calls attention to the production of palm oil in Southeast Asia. Accompanied by the mural were protests and further art interventions by street artist Ernest Zacharevic. Along with the efforts of different NGOs, the campaign aims to bring this issue to a global audience and bridge the gap between the corruption surrounding this industry and the wider consciousness of global consumers.