The Past in the Present: Architecture in Indonesia
Published by nai010 publishers.
Edited by Peter J.M. Nas, Martien de Vletter. Text by Amanda Acmadi, Maaike Boersma, Kees van Dijk.
The concepts of "Indonesian architecture" and "architecture in Indonesia" are both quite difficult to pin down. For the architecture of this small country incorporates influences from many important cultures--from India, China and the Middle East to countries in the West--and is therefore extremely multifaceted. In fact, one might reasonably ask whether a "real" Indonesian architecture actually exists, even with reference to the country's vernacular work, which is highly diverse from an ethnic perspective in and of itself. The quest for an authentic Indonesian architecture has in fact been the subject of debate among architects there for many years, especially in regards to the work has been exported to other countries--in particular, its former colonizer, the Netherlands. (In fact, there is even a name for the hybrid style that originated during that era: Indische).This very nicely designed collection of illustrated essays, which features a special section of pictures and drawings of colonial architecture, provides a real sense of the diversity of building in modern-day Indonesia--while at the same time recognizing that such a perspective cannot be productive without taking history into account. With chapters on Modern Indonesian architecture, vernacular traditions, mosques, the effect of the Chinese diaspora, hybrid historic/contemporary Balinese architecture, the colonial period, Indische architecture and Art Deco and more, this publication provides an amazing overview and a long-overdue investigation of Indische work. Preface by Aaron Betsky.