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The Encoded Cirebon Mask

Materiality, Flow, and Meaning along Java's Islamic Northwest Coast

Series:

Laurie Margot Ross

In The Encoded Cirebon Mask: Materiality, Flow, and Meaning along Java’s Islamic
Northwest Coast
, Laurie Margot Ross situates masks and masked dancing in the Cirebon region of Java (Indonesia) as an original expression of Islam. This is a different view from that of many scholars, who argue that canonical prohibitions on fashioning idols and imagery prove that masks are mere relics of indigenous beliefs that Muslim travelers could not eradicate. Making use of archives, oral histories, and the performing objects themselves, Ross traces the mask’s trajectory from a popular entertainment in Cirebon—once a portal of global exchange—to a stimulus for establishing a deeper connection to God in late colonial Java, and eventual links to nationalism in post-independence Indonesia.

To My Dear Pieternelletje

Grandfather and Granddaughter in VOC Time, 1710-1720

Bea Brommer

To my dear Pieternelletje describes a ten-year period in the lives of Pieternella van Hoorn and her grandfather Willem van Outhoorn, former governor-general of the Dutch East Indies. Eleven years old, Pieternella left for Amsterdam and the only contact possible was by mail.

Numerous letters have survived and combined with contemporaneous documents, most of them never published before, they offer a vivid and clear picture of their private life and feelings, forming a most welcome addition to official VOC-history.

Van Outhoorn not only acted as Pieternella’s mentor while she tried to adjust to her new but unknown fatherland, but also sent her numerous exquisite presents, the greater part of which has been traced and described in full, thus offering new insight in the cultural history of Asia.

Performing Contemporary Indonesia

Celebrating Identity, Constructing Community

Series:

Edited by Barbara Hatley

Performance events have long had a central place in Indonesian societies in displaying power, affirming social relations, celebrating shared values, and at times conveying potent political critique. How have they responded to the momentous social and political changes of recent years - the dismantling of the centralised, authoritarian Suharto regime and its replacement with a more open, regionally-focused political system, the rapid expansion of global cultural influence?
Investigations of diverse performance genres from different regions illustrate the way general socio-political processes play out locally, and how particular groups are responding. Exploring performed understandings of identity and community, such studies expand knowledge of a complex, contested period of change in Indonesia and the workings of contemporary performance in giving it expression.
With contributions by Chua Beng Huat, Alexandra Crosby, Barbara Hatley, Ariel Heryanto, Brett Hough, Rachmah Ida, Reza Idria, Edwin Jurriens, Yoshi Fajar Kresno Murti, Neneng Yanti K Lahpan, Ugoran Prasad, Wawan Sofwan, Aline Scott-Maxwell, Fridus Steijlen, Alia Swastika, Denise Varney.

Cars, Conduits, and Kampongs

The Modernization of the Indonesian City, 1920-1960

Series:

Edited by Freek Colombijn and Joost Coté

Cars, Conduits and Kampongs offers a wide panorama of the modernization of the cities in Indonesia between 1920 and 1960. The contributions present a case for asserting that Indonesian cities were not merely the backdrop to processes of modernization and rising nationalism, but formed a causal factor. Modernization, urbanization, and decolonization were intrinsically linked. The various chapters deal with such innovations as the provision of medical treatments, fresh water and sanitation, the implementation of town planning and housing designs, and policies for coping with increased motorized traffic and industrialization. The contributors share a broad critique of the economic and political dimensions of colonialism, but remain alert to the agency of colonial subjects who respond, often critically, to a European modernity.
Contributors include: Freek Colombijn, Joost Coté, Saki Murakami, Michelle Kooy, Karen Bakker, Pauline K.M. van Roosmalen, Hans Versnel, Farabi Fakih, Radjimo Sastro Wijono, Gustaaf Reerink, Arjan Veering, Johny A. Khusyairi, Purnawan Basundoro, Ida Liana Tanjung, and Sarkawi B. Husain
A full text Open Access version is also available.

Pointy Shoes and Pith Helmets

Dress and Identity Construction in Ambon from 1850 to 1942

Marianne Hulsbosch

Drawing on extensive research, Hulsbosch explores dress and adornment of the Ambonese people of the Central Maluku Islands, in Indonesia, during the last century of Dutch colonial rule. She demonstrates how visual identity formation is a lived experience and an active, constant innovation that is not only a response to society, but simultaneously drives and shapes society. This long overdue text documents sartorial expression of the colonizer (the Dutch) and the colonized (the Ambonese) and investigates previously ignored history of indigenous and Western
women living in a colonial context. This book is a visual feast designed and written to appeal to scholars and the general public alike.

Recollecting Resonances

Indonesian-Dutch Musical Encounters

Series:

Edited by Bart Barendregt and E. Bogaerts

Over time Dutch and Indonesian composers, performers and music scholars have inspired each other and they continue to do so. The presence of the Dutch in the Netherlands East-Indies and Indonesia, but also the existence of large diasporic communities in the Netherlands have contributed to a mutual exchange in musical terms: from military brass bands, classical and liturgical music to jazz, Indo rock and more recently world music. Yet, such musical interactions have often been shaped by unequal power balances, and very divergent motifs to start with. Recollecting Resonances offers musicological, historical and anthropological explorations into those musical encounters that have been shaped in both the past and present. The resulting mutual heritage can still be listened to today.
Contributors include: Bart Barendregt, Els Bogaerts, Liesbeth Ouwehand, Gerard A. Persoon, Sumarsam, Miriam Brenner, R. Franki S. Notosudirdjo, Henk Mak van Dijk, Madelon Djajadiningrat, Clara Brinkgreve, Wim van Zanten, Matthew Cohen, Lutgard Mutsaers, Rein Spoorman, Annika Ockhorst, and Fridus Steijlen.
Full text (Open Access)

Reworlding Art History

Encounters with Contemporary Southeast Asian Art after 1990

Series:

Michelle Antoinette

Reworlding Art History highlights the significance of contemporary Southeast Asian art and artists, and their place in the globalized art world and the internationalizing field of ‘contemporary art’. In the light of the region’s modern art history, the book surveys this relatively under-examined area of contemporary art which first found broad international recognition in the 1990s.
Traced here are significant exhibitions that featured contemporary Southeast Asian art and brought it to regional and international attention. Examined are seminal foundational art histories, and dominant methods and thematic frameworks for engaging with Southeast Asian art. Key artists, exhibitions, collections, scholarship, ideologies, and discourses shaping its developing history are discussed, as are major works by artists associated with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
Far from being peripheral, Southeast Asian art has helped create the very conditions of international contemporary art, compelling us to examine the Euro-American biases of art history. The book stresses local creative contexts and cultural histories of the rich modern and contemporary art of the region and its diaspora, revealing its plurality and diversity. The concept ‘Southeast Asia’ is treated as a crucial entry-point for examining art and artists associated with this unique region and for extending debate on the local/global constitution of contemporary art.
Of central importance is the aesthetic agency of contemporary Southeast Asian art – its invitation to sensory and affective response – and its capacity for dialogue and diverse significations across borders. Also considered is the effect of shifting art-historical frameworks on engagement with this stimulating art.
Richly illustrated and incorporating cross-cultural and interdisciplinary methods, Reworlding Art History is a foundational reference work for those interested in Southeast Asia’s contemporary art, including scholars of art history, Asian studies, curatorship, museology, visual culture, and anthropology, as well as professionals working in art and museum contexts.

Entering the Dharmadhātu

A Study of the Gandavyūha Reliefs of Borobudur

Series:

Jan Fontein

The Gandavyūha, a sacred text of Mahāyāna Buddhism, is an allegorical tale of the pilgrimage of a youth named Sudhana, who visits fifty-three spiritual mentors to receive their instruction in the Conduct of the Bodhisattva. His miraculous journey on the path towards Enlightenment inspired the sculptors of Borobudur (9th century C.E.) to illustrate the tale in 460 bas-reliefs on the higher galleries of this great Javanese monument. During the 1920s N.J. Krom and F.D.K. Bosch identified many of the panels, but most of their findings, written in Dutch, remained unnoticed. Entering the Dharmadhātu compares the complete set of panels with three early Chinese translations of Central Asian and Indian Sanskrit manuscripts of the Gandavyūha. This first identification of the entire series in English concludes with a discussion of the new perspectives on the meaning, symbolism, and architecture of Borobudur that a reading of the Gandavyūha suggests.

ABIA Online

Index of South and Southeast Asian Art and Archaeology

The ABIA ( Index on South and Southeast Asian Art and Archaeology) online bibliography helps scholars and students trace publications on the art and architecture, archaeology, inscriptions, coins and crafts of South and Southeast Asia. Its coverage includes the shared cultural heritage of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. It also brings out the bonds between South and Southeast Asia in societal traditions and ceremonies, as evident in inscriptions, trade and craft specializations, right from the prehistoric past up to the present. ABIA’s geographic and topical reach is wide. Its coverage ranges from excavations at the early cities of the Indus Valley in Pakistan to the sculptural richness of Angkor’s temples in Cambodia; from Buddhist manuscript art in Nepal and Tibet to contemporary painting in Bali; from textiles woven for early kings of Thailand to present day fashion in the booming cities of India. Timewise, ABIA’s coverage spans from the time when human activity becomes archaeologically manifest, to modern times. Specialist bibliographers have compiled some 55,000 records since 1928. Many of these carry annotations that concisely explain their contents. All records come with field-specific keywords. Recent records often offer direct links through DOI or http addresses to the articles. The ABIA Online is updated on a quarterly basis to keep up with new academic publications. The database is a long-term recipient of support by the Jan Gonda Fonds of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.