Seminar: Indonesian Art in 1976: A Hundred Years of Indonesian Art
REGIONAL SOCIAL AND CULTURAL STUDIES PROGRAMME
Arts in Southeast Asia Seminar Series
About the Seminar
In 1976, Indonesia’s President Suharto opened the exhibition A Hundred Years of Indonesian Art in what is now the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics, on the town square of the old city of Jakarta. At the time, Indonesia had no public national collection, and the exhibition brought together public and private collections for the first time since the colonial period. The exhibition is remarkable not just because of the masterpieces it displayed, but also because of its range. With some notable omissions, it covered the political spectrum of Indonesian artists. The exhibition was produced at a time when the Suharto’s New Order regime was still consolidating power. It came after the birth of the New Art Movement, Southeast Asia’s first Contemporary Art movement. Despite the air of optimism around the exhibition, it did not lead to public attention to modern art, and the National Gallery was only created twenty years afterwards. Why did the state not continue as a major patron of the arts in the intervening period, and what were the implications of this hiatus for the Indonesian art world?
About the Speaker
Dr Adrian Vickers holds a personal chair at the University of Sydney, and researches and publishes on the cultural history of Southeast Asia. His books include the highly popular Bali: A Paradise Created (new edition 2012),
A History of Modern Indonesia (new edition 2013) Balinese Art: Paintings and Drawings of Bali, 1800-2010 (2012), and co-authored with Julia Martínez The Pearl Frontier: Labor Mobility across the Australian-Indonesian maritime zone, 1870-1970 (2015), which won two book awards. Professor Vickers has taught subjects on Southeast Asian history and culture from first year to Honours and Masters levels. During the second half of 2017, he is a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.