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Dossier : Dynamic Vernacular

The Other Side of Tropical Paradise: Traces of Modernism within the Vernacular Landscapes of Early Twentieth-Century Bali

Amanda Achmadi

Zusammenfassungen

Die Insel Bali ist wohl einer der rätselhaftesten Orte für die Auseinandersetzung mit dem bleibenden Erbe des Kolonialismus in der Geschichte asiatischer Landesarchitekturen. Trotz Edward Saids bahnbrechender Orientalismusthese und der aus ihr hervorgegangenen postkolonialen Lehre tradieren Architektur- und Reisediskurse über Bali den hegemonialen Begriff der Alterität ohne nennenswertem Widerstand weit über die Kolonialzeit hinaus. Die orientalistisch geprägte Vorstellung eines traditionellen, authentischen Balis ist ein machtvolles Konzept, das seine eigene Wirklichkeit entfaltet und die Einrichtung kultureller und architektonischer Merkmale auf der Insel das gesamte 20. Jahrhundert hindurch bestimmt hat. Abseits der eingetretenen Touristenpfade an der Südküste und ihrem hügeligen Hinterland hat man es jedoch mit einer vielgestaltigen, kosmopolitischen Stadtlandschaft zu tun. Diese andere Seite Balis stellt geltende Architekturkategorien, wie „traditionell balinesisch“, in Frage, welche Balis Austausch mit der Welt und deren Wahrnehmung von der gebauten Landschaft der Insel lange beherrscht haben. Es ist kaum überraschend, dass die meisten Architektur- oder Reiseberichte diese dynamischen Landschaften als nicht authentisch, kulturell belastet oder bedeutungslos abgeschrieben haben. Dabei wurden sie – im Gegensatz zu den nachgebauten Architekturen Balis, welche die touristischen Hauptziele der Insel wie Ubud, Legian und Sanur prägen und für Touristen errichtet wurden – von der heterogenen Inselbevölkerung selbst entworfen, gebaut und bewohnt.
Dieser Artikel untersucht die in Vergessenheit geratenen Aspekte der Architekturlandschaft Balis. Er beleuchtet die Überreste der hybriden modernen Architektur, von der sich zahlreiche Orte auf der Insel abwandten, als sie sich mit der Zeitenwende des späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts und dem Einzug des Touristenblicks neu ausrichteten. Mit Fokus auf die ehemaligen Hauptstädte dreier Königtümer Balis aus dem 19. Jahrhundert – Badung, Klungkung, and Karangasem – wird die Wechselwirkung der Landesarchitektur mit kosmopolitischen und modernen Einflüssen analysiert. Von der Übernahme moderner Architekturformen im lokalen Baukontext bis hin zur hybriden Zusammenstellung vielseitiger kultureller Bezüge fächern die hier vorgestellten Fallstudien eine sich verlagernde Landschaftstradition auf, die von den auf der Insel herrschenden Machtverhältnissen geprägt ist. Sie entkräften die Vorstellung eines authentischen, autonomen und wahrhaften Balis, wie sie nicht nur von Kolonial- und Reisediskursen, sondern auch von der Mehrheit der heutigen Inselbewohner vertreten wird.

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Competing Realities: The Island of Bali and “Bali” of the Modern World

  • 1 See for example Tan Hock Beng, “(Re)Presenting the Vernacular/(Re)Inventing Authenticity: Resort A (...)

1The island of Bali is arguably the most researched and recognizable cultural and geographical entity of Indonesia. Renowned figures such as Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Clifford Geertz were contributors to the large and ever-growing collection of scholarly works on Bali. Famous names from the art, literary, and entertainment worlds of different eras of the 20th century have recorded and publicized their fascination with the island’s visually captivating spiritual landscape. These include Walter Spies, Rudolph Bonnet, Vicky Baum, Charlie Chaplin, and, more recently, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Elizabeth Gilbert, whose published and filmed memoir Eat, Pray, Love cemented the place of Bali within the 21st century’s popular imagination. In the field of architecture, Bali is widely featured in topics such as Asian architecture, Asian vernacular traditions and tropical resort architecture.1 Terms such as Balinese architecture and Bali Style are frequently used interchangeably to describe the architectural aesthetics of monumental royal palaces and temples that dotted the island, the meticulously crafted multi-pavilion dwelling compounds, and the lush re-enactment of vernacular forms in resort projects on the island. Rarely are questions put forward about the problematic framing of these socially and culturally distinctive architectural forms within one architectural category. Their iconic visual forms powerfully illuminate a certain Bali as imagined by the island’s observers.

2This established field of textual and visual representations of Bali, and their innumerable reproductions in popular media and travel advertisements, prepare the world prior to its encounter with the island. However, more recent visitors to the island immediately notice the island’s urbanized and multicultural reality. Phrases such as paradise lost or polluted Bali are frequently used. Such views, however, are far from new. Through the course of the 20th century, similar concerns have surrounded the island’s unfolding historical dynamics:

  • 2 G. P. Rouffaer’s speech from c. 1924, as cited in Geoffrey Robinson, The Dark Side of Paradise: Po (...)
  • 3 Miguel Covarrubias, The Island of Bali, New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1937, p. xvii-xx.
  • 4 Michel Picard, Bali: Cultural Tourism and Touristic Culture, Singapore: Archipelago Press, 1996, p (...)

Let the Balinese live their own beautiful native life as undisturbed as possible! Their agriculture, their village life, their own forms of worship […] all bear witness to an autonomous native civilization of rare versatility and richness. No railroads on Bali; no western coffee plantations; and especially no sugar factories! But also no proselytizing, neither Mohammedan (by zealous natives from other parts of the Indies) nor Protestant nor Roman Catholic, let the colonial administration, with the strong backing of the Netherlands government, treat the island of Bali as a rare jewel that we must protect and whose virginity must remain intact.2 Buleleng came out of the mist: the eternal tin roofs and dilapidated Chinese houses. […] The car darts through narrow streets lined with dingy little shops of cheap crockery and cotton goods run by emaciated Chinese in undershirts or by Arabs with forbidding black beards. Javanese in black velvet skull-caps mingle with Dutch officials […] but the beautiful Balinese of steamship pamphlets are not to be seen anywhere. […] The car drives through Singaraja, the capital, with its neat Dutch bungalows, its gasoline stations and the house of the Resident, with its imposing driveway flanked by two monstrous cement snakes. Leaving the town, the car passes miserable villages and occasional gingerbread temples with tin roofs. […] He begins to suspect that he has been deceived.3 In 1974, in reaction to what was perceived as a loss of identity, the Governor [of the island province of Bali] declared that henceforth administrative and commercial buildings must bear the marks of their “Balinese character” (cirri have Bali).4

3In these older reflections of the island, architectural forms were persistently used as evidence of both the “real” and the undesired Bali. Pristine villages, temples, and noble houses were read as objective markers or evidences of the real Bali, while tin roofs and urban landscapes were read as signs of a degenerating Bali. Tradition and modernity are here conceived as two separate, seemingly oppositional realities regardless of the island’s long-standing historical dynamic prior to the arrival of Dutch colonialism in the mid-19th century.

  • 5 See Thomas Reuter, Custodians of the Sacred Mountains: Culture and Society in the Highlands of Bal (...)
  • 6 Henk Schulte Nordholt, Bali: Colonial Conceptions and Political Change 1700-1940. From Shifting Hi (...)
  • 7 On the formation of cosmopolitan society in colonial Bali, see Andreas Tarnutzer, “Kota Denpasar: (...)

4Bali in these reflections is also consistently addressed as a singular entity regardless of the co-existence of multiple indigenous groups on the island at the time. The pre-Hindu Bali Aga groups had settled on the highland area in the northern and central parts of the island beginning in the 8th century, while the Bali Majapahit groups had populated the southern and south-eastern region of the island and link their origins to the 14th century Hindu Javanese kingdom of Majapahit of pre-Islamic Java.5 Complex social structures and competing ambitions to rule the island existed among and within the Bali Majapahit groups.6 Pockets of settlement of Javanese and Bugisnese migrant groups and other Asian migrant groups such as the Chinese, Arabic, and Indian had settled on the island prior to its colonial annexation, a reflection of the long-established trading relations between the island and its neighboring regions.7 Most of the Indian migrants settling in Bali originated in the northeastern and Islamic region of India and today identify themselves as Pakistanis. Read against such a complex ethnic, cultural, and historical landscape, it is hard to conceive what these concerns about the island were referring to as the real Bali.

  • 8 Adrian Vickers, Bali: A Paradise Created, Singapore: Periplus Editions, 1990. See also Michel Pica (...)

5In his seminal work Bali: A Paradise Created, Adrian Vickers traces the shaping of Bali, from being one of the last additions to the Dutch East Indies to becoming Indonesia’s last sanctuary of Hindu Javanese and its most famous cultural tourism destination.8 In the mid-19th century the colonial state cast its eye on the island, propelled by the need to consolidate the colony due to the growing presence of other European interests and traders on the island. As Vickers and other scholars such as Michel Picard and Henk Schulte Northolt have pointed out, the emerging fascination with non-European pre-Islamic classical Asian civilization, and the subsequent political dynamic of early-20th century Dutch East Indies, contributed to the shaping of a powerful colonial construct: a conception of the island’s cultural identity as the authentically traditional Hindu Balinese (fig. 1).

Figure 1: The Dutch East Indies Pavilion at the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris.

Figure 1: The Dutch East Indies Pavilion at the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris.

Source: Leiden University Library, [KITLV image code 76567].

  • 9 Susie Protschky, Images of the Tropics: Environment and Visual Culture in Colonial Indonesia, Leid (...)
  • 10 For critical analysis of the architecture of the 1931 Colonial Exposition, see Patricia A. Morton, (...)
  • 11 For writings on architecture and urban forms in the Dutch East Indies and 20th-century Indonesia, (...)

6At a time when the world exhibition emerged as a strategic platform to justify the project of colonialism, in an era wherein the rise of the photographic medium enhanced the visual regime of colonialism, a traditional Bali was constructed, visualized, and showcased. Images of monumental Hindu temples and royal palaces and the architecturally iconic rural settlements were convenient visual texts to demonstrate the cultural shift within the project of Dutch colonialism in the early-20th century.9 This was encapsulated in the design of the Dutch East Indies Pavilion at the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris. Complementing the civilizing and modernizing forces of the colonial project was the preservation of the colony’s particular cultural otherness.10 Bali was featured extensively at the Exposition to showcase the role of the Dutch colonial government in “discovering” and safeguarding the last sanctuary of Hindu Javanese culture in a colony with a predominantly Muslim native population. Iconic elements of monumental Southern Balinese royal temples and royal palaces―the towering pagoda-like structures (meru), the monumental gateways and split gateways (kori and candi bentar), and the intricate art of carving and detailed cornices (seni patra and seni karang) were appropriated and reproduced in the design of the Indies pavilion. These elements were reproduced as a kind of “cultural” marker, a vernacular wallpaper covering over the pavilion’s otherwise art deco style which reflected the dominant direction of architectural experimentations taking place in the colony at the time.11 The focus on figurative forms and exterior elements of the monumental vernacular architecture of the Bali Majapahit group was subsequently embraced by generations of scholars and travelers, as well as by the broader population on the island (fig. 2).

Figure 2: Wallpaper Effect in the Reproduction of “Balinese” Architecture in Contemporary Denpasar (2009).

Figure 2: Wallpaper Effect in the Reproduction of “Balinese” Architecture in Contemporary Denpasar (2009).

Source: Amanda Achmadi.

7The representation of Bali at the Paris Exposition and the distinct colonial policy of Balinisation (Baliseering) implemented in Bali in the 1920s introduced onto the island a notion of cultural boundary, profoundly centered on the ritual traditions and existence of the Bali Majapahit groups. It is a boundary seen and drawn by those external to the island and enforced on the island regardless of its historical dynamic and multifaceted cultural and social landscape. This boundary encircled a particular aspect of otherness of the island that specifically served the colonial agenda and early travelers’ search for an authentic oriental other.

  • 12 Amanda Achmadi, The Architecture of Balinisation: Writings on Architecture, the Villages, and the (...)

8Such a boundary, imposed on the multifaceted cultural and architectural landscape of the island, makes visible certain aspects of the island’s cultural existence―those belonging to the Bali Majapahit Hindu communities―while rendering others invisible. The boundary introduces a set of criteria that makes certain notions of cultural authenticity and purity meaningful while dismissing complex historical dynamics, disjuncture, hybridity, and transformation. Architecturally, the tangible visual contrast between modern architectural forms and the vernacular led to an essentialization and objectification of the perceived Balinese authenticity.12 Vernacular forms, those that are visually iconic and emblematic of Balinese Hinduism such as the traditional house, royal palaces, and temple complexes are widely documented, labeled, and understood as features or examples of the island’s traditional Balinese architecture. Rarely are these architectural forms discussed in relation to their immediate socio-political environments as the world comes to conceive the island as a somewhat unified cultural entity.

  • 13 For an exploration of another little-known aspect of modernity in early-20th-century Bali as repre (...)

9Meanwhile, both cosmopolitan influences and differences within the built landscapes of Bali were seen as unwanted excesses.13 Rendered insignificant were any differences that existed within the many streams of built traditions on the island, the social and class politics contained within them and enforced through the extravagantly captivating architectural expressions, or any traces of cross-cultural urbanism. At the same time colonial occupation and the island’s internal cultural politics continued to shape and transform the built environments on the island, in particular the former capitals of the competing nine royal kingdoms of late-19th century Bali (fig. 3). These include urban settlements such as Denpasar in the south, the former capital of the Badung Kingdom and today the capital city of the island province of Bali; Singaraja in the north, the former capital of the Buleleng Kingdom; Klungkung, the capital of the Klungkung Kingdom of southeastern Bali; and Amlapura, the capital of the Karangasem Kingdom in northeastern Bali.

Figure 3: Early Map of Bali Indicating the Territories of the Nine Royal Kingdoms of Late Nineteenth Century Bali: Jembrana, Tabanan, Badung, Mengwi, Gianyar, Klungkung, Karangasem, Bangli and Buleleng (1897).

Figure 3: Early Map of Bali Indicating the Territories of the Nine Royal Kingdoms of Late Nineteenth Century Bali: Jembrana, Tabanan, Badung, Mengwi, Gianyar, Klungkung, Karangasem, Bangli and Buleleng (1897).

Source: Leiden University Library, [KITLV image code DF 8, 9].

  • 14 For studies on pre-colonial trading contacts in Bali, see for example Henk Schulte Nordholt, “The (...)

10The following two sections of the article consider examples of architectural sites that have been rendered invisible by the Orientalist and travel discourses of Bali. These are instances where the vernacular has interacted with a specific mode of architectural modernism that was brought onto the island through the establishment of colonial rule in the late-19th century as well as through historical trading contacts between the royal kingdoms and their Asian and other European counterparts.14 The sections will highlight examples of hybrid architectural landscapes that have emerged through such interactions. The first of the two sections revisits adoptions of architectural modernism in two royal capitals of early-20th century Bali, Denpasar in the south and Klungkung in the north, as they were gradually transformed into colonial settlements. The second section observes an articulation of a modern cosmopolitan identity through the hybrid architectural composition of the royal palace of Karangasem. The Karangasem King adopted a unique political strategy of cultural integration between the court’s Hindu Balinese tradition, European modernism, and Chinese traditions in an attempt to contextualize his vision of power and place in the changing landscape of colonial Bali. The case studies featured here illustrate a shifting vernacular landscape, an antithesis to the perceived authentic and autonomous architectural otherness championed by colonial and traveling discourses on Bali.

  • 15 Urban development and construction of buildings in the new colonial posts were undertaken accordin (...)
  • 16 For an exploration of hybridity between neoclassical style and vernacular architectural forms in m (...)

11Following the gradual colonial annexation of the island of Bali from the 1840s to 1908, most of the former capitals of the royal kingdoms of Bali became sites of emergence of new urban forms and new architectural languages. Colonial administration, new trading relations, and the arrival of European and other Asian traders on the island as well as early European travelers necessitated the construction of new urban neighborhoods and building types. These included residences and office buildings for colonial administrators and personnel, seaports and customhouses, post offices, hospitals, shops, and hotels. Monumental freestanding buildings painted white were placed in the midst of indigenous settlements of walled-in multi-pavilion dwelling compounds.15 In the early decades of colonial rule, such contrasting urban forms and architectural languages suggested a separated existence of the indigenous and foreign populations (consisting largely of European, Chinese, Arabic, and Indian migrants). Subsequent adoptions of modern building forms within the vernacular dwelling compounds and community buildings in the late colonial era, however, blurred the boundary between the local and the foreigner in these urban settlements.16

  • 17 Andreas Tarnutzer, 1995, “Kota Denpasar: The Making of a Balinese Colonial Town,” op. cit. (note 7 (...)
  • 18 For studies of the broader landscape of colonial encounters in Bali see Geoffrey Robinson, The Dar (...)

12Residences of high-ranking colonial officials were the first and most monumental colonial architectural structures built in the former royal capitals of Bali. These structures were typically placed around the main city square (alun-alun), a common feature of colonial settlements in the more established parts of the colony (fig. 4). The city square was typically created by demolishing rows of noble dwelling compounds that once encircled the royal palace.17 The existence and condition of royal palaces in these settlements reflect the nature of the colonial annexation of the area.18 The Kingdoms of Karangasem and Gianyar opted to cooperate with the colonial government and as such were able to maintain their royal presence and privileges. Buleleng Kingdom in the north, Klungkung in the East and Badung in the south contrastingly staged a military resistance that ended in the act of the puputan, a mass suicide ritual undertaken by the royal families in front of the approaching colonial army. The royal compounds of the three kingdoms were subsequently burned down and demolished by the colonial army. On these former royal sites the residences of the highest-ranked colonial administrator of the three regions of Bali were constructed.

  • 19 For a study on the transformation of Denpasar into a colonial settlement, see Andreas Tarnutzer, “ (...)
  • 20 Andreas Tarnutzer, “Kota Denpasar: The Making of a Balinese Colonial Town,” op. cit. (note 7), p.  (...)

13In the case of Denpasar, the former capital of the Badung Kingdom, the residence of the colonial leader of South Bali was built on the southern part of the demolished Badung Royal Palace (Puri Agung Badung).19 On the northern part of the site, the first large-scale tourist accommodation in South Bali, the Bali Hotel (fig. 5), was built between 1925 and 1928 based on a design by the AIA Bureau, an influential and prolific architectural practice led by the Dutch architect F.J.L. Ghijsels. Framing the main public square were office buildings of wholesale trading and shipping companies (along the western and southern edges), while a diverse range of civic amenities, ranging from tax commissioner, medical practice, police station, and post office to European social club, lined the southern and northeastern edges.20 Several tennis courts could be found on the city square directly opposite the house of the Assistant Resident.

Figure 4: Aerial View of the Main Square of Denpasar in 1947 – Row of Colonial Bungalows Surrounded by Indigenous Dwelling Compounds of Multi-Pavilion Arrangement.

Figure 4: Aerial View of the Main Square of Denpasar in 1947 – Row of Colonial Bungalows Surrounded by Indigenous Dwelling Compounds of Multi-Pavilion Arrangement.

Source: Leiden University Library, [KITLV image code 41369].

  • 21 Huib Akihary, Ir. F.J.L. Ghijsels: Architect in Indonesia (1910-1929), Utrecht: Seram Press, 1996, (...)
  • 22 For documentation on and descriptions of buildings designed by Dutch architects in these key colon (...)

14Most of the colonial structures in Denpasar exemplified an experimentation with modern architectural style in early 20th-century Dutch East Indies. The experimentation was associated with an attempt to move away from the neo-classical style that had dominated 19th-century colonial settlements throughout Java, in particular Batavia and Semarang. This experimentation was originally pioneered by the Department of Public Works of the Dutch East Indies (B.O.W.) which was responsible for the construction of colonial built infrastructure and administrative buildings in the first decades of the twentieth century.21 The work received strong support from H. P. Berlage, the most important figure of the modern architectural movement in the Netherlands at the turn of the century. Ghijsels, the chief architect of the AIA Bureau (1914-1929), who was responsible for the design of the Bali Hotel, was one of the leading architects of this movement, known for his use of strong geometric compositions and decorative elements. Prior to running his own practice, he had played a key role in the architectural division of the Department of Public Works between 1910 and 1914. The movement subsequently set the path for experimentation in the art deco style in major colonial settlements in the Dutch East Indies between the 1920s and the 1940s, such as Bandung and Malang in Java, Medan in North Sumatra, Makasar in Sulawesi, and, as this article subsequently showcases, Denpasar and Klungkung in Bali.22

Figure 5: The Colonial Villa and Art Deco Elements in the Bali Hotel of Denpasar (1925-1928).

Figure 5: The Colonial Villa and Art Deco Elements in the Bali Hotel of Denpasar (1925-1928).

Source: Leiden University Library, [left image: KITLV image code 30879, right image: KITLV image code 180845].

  • 23 On the demographic composition of colonial Denpasar, see Andreas Tarnutzer, “Kota Denpasar: The Ma (...)

15A different urban form was adopted to settle the rising number of Chinese, Arabic, and Indian migrants in Bali’s colonial settlements.23 These groups of migrants were long-standing trading partners of the royal kingdoms and then of the European wholesalers and colonial trading companies. In Denpasar and Klungkung, they were settled centrally in the area adjacent to the traditional market squares of the royal capitals, typically adjacent to the main square and opposite the royal palace complexes. Occupying a small urban block, the Asian trader clusters were built as rows of two-story shophouses, creating an urban neighborhood that was far denser than the European and native clusters. The development of the Asian migrant clusters peaked in the 1920s and 1930s, coinciding with the time when the art deco movement dominated the building construction boom in the Dutch East Indies. Remnants of art deco architecture can still be seen in the area today (fig. 6).

Figure 6: Art Deco Shophouse in Klungkung and Denpasar (built c1930s, photographed in 2009).

Figure 6: Art Deco Shophouse in Klungkung and Denpasar (built c1930s, photographed in 2009).

Source: Amanda Achmadi.

16The freestanding colonial villa, as exemplified by the Bali Hotel and other art deco structures in Bali’s colonial settlements, introduced onto the island a different form of architectural shelter and aesthetic. The vernacular architectural form on the island, whether a commoner’s dwelling compound, a royal palace, or a temple, is a complex composition of sheltered and outdoor spaces (fig. 7). Multiple semi-enclosed pavilions are arranged within a walled-in courtyard according to a complex system of spatial division, hierarchy and measurement. The bungalow-style freestanding colonial structure built in Bali in the early twentieth century introduced a new type of shelter, a contained architectural form where there is a clear distinction between the enclosed indoor space and the outdoor space or garden. These two architectural languages involve different modes of architectural visuality and ways of viewing architecture. The vernacular form situates an observer in the midst of an arrangement of a series of architectural elements whose entirety cannot be fully captured from eye level. The colonial bungalow, and its art deco geometric composition and decorative elements, is a singular architectural object that can be seen in its entirety from a particular external position. The insertion of the colonial bungalow typology into the island’s urban landscape introduced a new way of envisioning built form as an architectural object that can stand by itself.

Figure 7: Complex Weaving of Sheltered and Open Spaces in a Vernacular Dwelling Compound of Ubud (left, 1930) and the Gianyar Royal Palace (right, c. 1915).

Figure 7: Complex Weaving of Sheltered and Open Spaces in a Vernacular Dwelling Compound of Ubud (left, 1930) and the Gianyar Royal Palace (right, c. 1915).
  • 24 Left image is from Miguel COVARRUBIAS, The Island of Bali, op. cit. (note 4), p. 90-91, right imag (...)

Source: Left Image Covarrubias (1937), Right Image Moojen (1926).24

  • 25 For an architectural study of Penglipuran village, see Amanda Achmadi, “Beyond Traditional Balines (...)

17Adaptations of this new architectural form within a vernacular setting occurred in both domestic and civic realms across the island. In the domestic realm the freestanding colonial villa type, locally referred to as a bungalow, with art deco elements and material finishing (such as the use of decorative colored cement tiles), was widely adopted as a form of extended living pavilion (Bale Daja) of a vernacular dwelling compound. The living pavilion in its original form is a semi-enclosed pavilion, with one internal space used for the adults’ sleeping area, and is typically positioned on the northern part of the compound. A developed form of this pavilion typically takes the shape of a small bungalow structure, equipped with a terrace on its court-facing side. It contains a series of internal rooms accommodating different living activities. This bungalow-inspired living pavilion is exemplified in compounds in Central Denpasar as well as in more remote locations such as Penglipuran village in the mountain region of north Bali (see fig. 8).25 Once developed into a bungalow-like structure, the living pavilions assume a different name, Loji, a term the locals associated with the word “lodgement” which was used to refer to a guesthouse or hotel accommodation where European visitors stayed. As showcased in the Bali Hotel in Denpasar (fig. 5), most of the guesthouses in Bali at the time were built according to a bungalow typology, a freestanding villa in art deco style.

Figure 8: Diverse Adaptations of Architectural Markers of the “New” Era: Neo-Classical Columns and Art Deco Decorative Elements (Cement Tilings, Window and Door Frames) in Dwelling Compounds in Denpasar, constructed c1930, last known renovation in 1990s (repainting and new roof tiles) (upper row, photographed in 2009) and Penglipuran, constructed c. 1940, last known renovation in the 1970s for house on the left and in the 1980s for houses on the right (lower row, photographed in 2003).

Figure 8: Diverse Adaptations of Architectural Markers of the “New” Era: Neo-Classical Columns and Art Deco Decorative Elements (Cement Tilings, Window and Door Frames) in Dwelling Compounds in Denpasar, constructed c1930, last known renovation in 1990s (repainting and new roof tiles) (upper row, photographed in 2009) and Penglipuran, constructed c. 1940, last known renovation in the 1970s for house on the left and in the 1980s for houses on the right (lower row, photographed in 2003).

Source: Amanda Achmadi.

  • 26 Based on an interview with a local architect and Denpasar resident, I Dewa Gede Agung Diasana Putr (...)
  • 27 Graeme Macrae and Samuel Parker, “Would the Real Undagi Please Stand up? On the Social Location of (...)

18The role of the undagi―a Balinese term for an indigenous master builder―in the construction of such bungalow-inspired living pavilions or in the broader contemporary building practices on the island today is unclear.26 A study by Graeme MacRae and Samuel Parker argues that the participation of an undagi in the actual construction of everyday built environments, as well as the contemporary personification of this priest-like role, are elusive.27 This is unlike the more visible role and continuing existence of the pemangku, a village priest who is in charge of the village community’s religious activities and ritual practices, in the unfolding everyday life on the island. The almost standardized features and widespread proliferation of these buildings in most urban locations on the island of Bali―ranging from the urban center of Denpasar in the south to Penglipuran village in the north―suggest that their construction was determined by the house owners themselves according to the building practice common at the time. While a local undagi (if there is one who still actively performs such a role in the particular locality) and a village priest might still be consulted in deciding the size and placement of building structures within each house yard, their roles in the actual design of the building and adaptation of new architectural styles are unclear. Unlike the much-guarded ritual culture of the island, building traditions and built environments are much more porous and dynamic. These built cultural landscapes operate as a fluid social field actively negotiated and appropriated through the unfolding dynamic of everyday life. Thus while the role of the pemangku remains pronounced in Bali today, the same cannot be said about the undagi.

Figure 9: Adaptation of Art Deco Style in Banjar Lelangon, Central Denpasar (constructed in c. 1930s, photographed in 2009).

Figure 9: Adaptation of Art Deco Style in Banjar Lelangon, Central Denpasar (constructed in c. 1930s, photographed in 2009).

Source: Amanda Achmadi.

  • 28 Based on an interview with a local architect and Denpasar resident, I Dewa Gede Agung Diasana Putr (...)

19In the civic realm, art deco-style decorative elements were adapted to varying degrees in the construction and restoration of a village hall (locally known as Wantilan or Bale Banjar) in the early decades of the twentieth century. A standout example, due to its position along the main street of Jalan Arjuna in Central Denpasar and its pronounced adaptation of the art deco façade, can be seen in the village hall of Banjar Lelangon in Central Denpasar, built around 1930 (fig. 9).28 A frontage wall with colonnades and art deco details (a thin concrete canopy and a graduated pediment with detailed edges) was constructed to enclose the street-facing side of the village hall. It mimics the geometric detailing of the colonnade, column capital, graduated architrave, and thin-cantilevered concrete roof plate of the neighboring Bali Hotel, featured earlier in this article (fig. 5), which was constructed from 1925 to 1928. In its earlier, pre-colonial, 19th-century form, a village hall was typically an almost square-shaped raised pavilion open on all four sides and topped with a two-tiered, nearly pyramidal gabled roof.

20Adaptations of modernism in the vernacular settings of early 20th-century Bali as showcased here indicate a restrained mode of appropriation of new architectural types and forms. Elements of modernism were carefully inserted within the vernacular landscape in ways that limit its impact within the overall vernacular setting. Although the reproduction of a bungalow structure, a freestanding building, within a dwelling compound replaces the use of the earlier form of living pavilion (Bale Daja), the orientation of the new structure towards the central court, through the use of an open veranda and window openings, imitates that of the former pavilion. This suggests an attempt to integrate the new structure within the existing multi-pavilion configuration of a dwelling compound. Here, modernism is seen as a structural object that can be incorporated within the vernacular configuration.

  • 29 For a study of the transformation of dwelling architecture in urban settlements of Bali, see Natha (...)

21The impact of the new type of separation between internal living spaces and outdoor space as exhibited in the colonial bungalow is more powerful, as it introduced a sense of individual privacy that was not previously practiced. Throughout Bali today, almost all newly constructed buildings are freestanding enclosed structures. The limited availability of land and rapid population growth restricted the ability to construct a new house or public facility in the form of a multi-pavilion compound or court.29

The Cosmopolitan Vision of Bali in the Karangasem Royal Realm

  • 30 See Anak Agung Ayu Dewi Grindrawardani, Adrian Vickers and Rodney Holt, The Last Rajah of Karangas (...)

22While the southern Bali regions of Badun and Gianyar are widely featured in today’s public and travel discourses, Karangasem has been one of the lesser-known corners of the island. Its remote location on the northeastern corner of Bali, far from the modern gate to the island in the south, and the royal family’s distinctly cosmopolitan cultural strategy contributed to the region’s exclusion from the Balinisation of the early 20th century. As part of the larger 20th-century Karangasem dynasty, which ruled the northeastern part of Bali and the neighboring island of Lombok, the region was not subjected to military invasion. Following the defeat of the island of Lombok by the colonial power, the Bali branch of the Karangasem dynasty opted to collaborate with the colonial government. The leader of the royal family, I Gusti Gde Jelantik, also known as Anak Agung Gde Jelantik, was eventually crowned by the Dutch East Indies government as the new king of the Karangasem Kingdom in 1894. In 1908 he was succeeded by his son, I Gusti Bagus Jelantik, also known as Anak Agung Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem, who ruled the kingdom until 1941. During their reigns, they were given the colonial title of Stedehouder (lieutenant), which placed them as equivalent to the highest rank of the representatives of the colonial state on the island.30

  • 31 See Jean Gelman Taylor’s examination of the mutual interests of the indigenous royalties and the c (...)
  • 32 See Anak Agung Ayu Dewi Grindrawardani, Adrian Vickers and Rodney Holt, The Last Rajah of Karangas (...)

23This non-confrontational maneuver―a contrast to the resistance maintained by the neighboring Buleleng, Klungkung, and Badung Kingdoms―guaranteed the royal family’s ability to maintain its wealth and rule upon the region through most of the late colonial era.31 As the highest indigenous members of the colonial representative of the island, the Karangasem king traveled to the seat of power of the Dutch East Indies in Java and was familiar with the cosmopolitan urbanity and the architectural language used by elite European and Javanese royalty in the more established colonial settlements such as Batavia and Yogyakarta.32 Embracing the arrival of the colonial era in Bali, the king of Karangasem adopted the language of internationalism and cosmopolitanism in the shaping of his royal realm. Such a vision was expressed in the construction of three architectural monuments, which include the new royal palace Puri Amlapura, recently renamed as Puri Agung Karangasem, and two water palace complexes, Taman Ujung Soekasada and Taman Tirtagangga.

Figure 10: Views within the Old Royal Palace of Karangasem (1925).

Figure 10: Views within the Old Royal Palace of Karangasem (1925).

Source: Leiden University Library, [left image: KITLV image code 8440, right image: KITLV image code 8303].

  • 33 Sulistyawati, Intergrasi Arsitektur Tionghoa kedalam Arsitektur Puri Agung Karangasem, op. cit. (n (...)

24In these architectural projects, the royal family formed a cosmopolitan team of architects and artists, including the king himself as the local undagi, as well as European and Chinese architects. Cik A Tuang was the main Chinese artist and builder involved in the design and construction of Puri Amlapura, while Van den Hentz and Loto Ang were in charge of the construction of Taman Ujung Soekasada.33 Architecturally, the three monuments are collages of vernacular forms, European modern masonry systems and building forms, and Chinese building craftsmanship (fig. 11 and 12).

  • 34 Nawa Sanga is a system of spatial marking commonly adopted by members of the Bali Majapahit societ (...)

25Chinese craftsmanship and architectural forms were adopted to acknowledge the growing importance of the role of Chinese migrants in Bali, particularly in managing trading ports and the distribution of goods throughout the island, and their exportation to other parts of the colony. Though no specific references are made to a particular architectural tradition in China, references to Chinese architectural style can be seen in the elaborated carved door and window frames, pagoda forms, balustrades, flora and fauna patterns, coloring, and circular forms found in the three projects. Adaptation of colonial architecture forms was demonstrated through the use of the formal characteristics of modern architectural monumentalism, such as symmetry, linear procession of spatial experiences, and a clear distinction between an architectural structure as a central object and the surrounding landscape as its backdrop. These strategies departed from, firstly, the Bali Majapahit Nawa Sanga34 conception of a division of a site into nine zones, or courts, of distinguished hierarchy; and secondly, the weaving of sheltered and open spaces as showcased in other Bali Majapahit royal temples and palaces at the time (fig. 10).

Figure 11: Cosmopolitan Vision in the Early Twentieth Century Architectural Monuments of Karangasem - The Floating Pavilion of the New Royal Palace (1925) and the Taman Ujung Soekasada Water Palace (1925).

Figure 11: Cosmopolitan Vision in the Early Twentieth Century Architectural Monuments of Karangasem - The Floating Pavilion of the New Royal Palace (1925) and the Taman Ujung Soekasada Water Palace (1925).

Source: Leiden University Library, [left image: KITLV image code 78803, right image: KITLV image code 28133].

26Puri Amlapura, the first of the three monumental projects to be designed and constructed between 1900 and 1920, was an articulation of a new kind of royal palace that reflected the Karangasem king’s vision of his role and place in the new era of cosmopolitan power relations that shaped the colonial state. Architecturally it was an attempt to combine the vernacular language of interweaving sheltered and open spaces with what was perceived to be the architectural signs of the modern colonial time, the freestanding masonry building treated as a figurative object standing in an open landscape.

  • 35 For a schematic non-scale map of the new royal palace of Karangasem, see Aris Munandar, Istana Dew (...)

27The division of the new royal palace complex into three unequal courts differed from the Nawa Sanga’s arrangement as exemplified in the Gianyar Palace (Puri Gianyar) with its non-linear cluster of courts (illustrated in fig. 7).35 And unlike the intricate weaving of semi-open pavilions and open spaces found in most dwelling compounds and palaces of the Bali Majapahit settlements at the time, the three courts of Puri Amlapura demonstrate a defined separation between buildings and their landscape. The second court is an open garden without any particular pavilion or building structures placed within it. The King’s living area is located in the third most important and largest court. This court is located at the center of the site instead of in the sacred northern section where a similar function is usually placed according to the Nawa Sanga arrangement. There are four buildings inside the third court. The floating pavilion surrounded by a fish pond is called Gili (fig. 11, left image). In the past Gili was used as the place where the extended royal family gathered, welcomed their guests, and staged traditional musical performances (gamelan). The Bale Pemandesan and Bale Pawedaan are two elevated semi-open pavilions built in a local vernacular language where religious ceremonies and rituals undertaken by the royal family were held. Bale Amsterdam (locally pronounced as Bale Maskerdam) is the largest building in the court, where the king and his first wife formerly resided. It contains a number of internal rooms arranged in a symmetric composition. Since the early 1990s, the royal palace has been fully converted into the open-air Cultural Museum of Karangasem (Pusat Kebudayaan Kerajaan Karangasem).

  • 36 For studies on Dutch colonial structures and architectural legacies in Jakarta, see Adolf Heuken, (...)

28The design of Bale Amsterdam, a gift from the colonial government, resonates with the architecture of freestanding colonial mansions commonly found in Batavia in the late nineteenth century.36 The colonial mansion style is characterized by the placement of a wide veranda as the frontage of the building, the use of a neoclassical colonnade, and a cast-iron fascia-like detail lining the edge of the roof. The colonnade of Bale Amsterdam, however, is a hybrid element combining the neoclassical column style as its lower section and a more slender cast-iron post as its upper section (fig. 12). This bears some similarity to the vernacular use of slender timber posts to support the roof, as can be seen in the Bale Tegeh pavilion of the old Karangasem palace (fig. 10) and the Bale Pemandesan and Bale Pawedaan of the new palace (fig. 13). While the posts are traditionally made of timber, their reproduction in the Bale Amsterdam demonstrates experimentation with cast iron as a new building material introduced into the colony following the rise of the agricultural industry in Java in the mid-19th century.

Figure 12: Views within the New Royal Palace of Karangasem (Puri Amlapura/Puri Agung Karangasem); Upper row: The pagoda-inspired gateway and the symmetrical entry court (photographed in 2016); Lower row: Bale Amsterdam which was inspired by the European mansion typology commonly found in Batavia in the second half of the 19th century (photographed in 2016).

Figure 12: Views within the New Royal Palace of Karangasem (Puri Amlapura/Puri Agung Karangasem); Upper row: The pagoda-inspired gateway and the symmetrical entry court (photographed in 2016); Lower row: Bale Amsterdam which was inspired by the European mansion typology commonly found in Batavia in the second half of the 19th century (photographed in 2016).

Source: Agung Sentausa.

29The majority of the other architectural structures within the royal complex are freestanding art deco villas with tall gabled roofs similar in style to those used in the Bali Hotel of Denpasar. Positioned along the periphery of the palace complex, these structures are residences of the extended royal family and high-ranking functionaries of the kingdom. The naming of these additional structures and the rest of the pavilions within the new palace mostly departed from the system regulated by the Nawa Sanga spatial division. Aside from the naming of the king’s residence as Bale Amsterdam, other residences were named Gedong (London), Gedong (Batavia), Gedong (Yogya), and Gedong (Ekalanga)―each name referring to a place outside Bali that the king had visited as well as those that he perceived to be the new political centers of the world. The word Gedong was coined at the time and is still widely used in Indonesia today to refer to buildings with a masonry structure, a typology that was originally associated with the European population. The naming of buildings inside his royal palaces reflects the king’s affiliation with the colonial state and the cosmopolitan Dutch East Indies.

Figure 13: Views within the New Royal Palace of Karangasem (Puri Amlapura/Puri Agung Karangasem); Upper row: The vernacular inspired Bale Pemandesan and Bale Pawedaan seen from the verandah of Bale Amsterdam (photographed in 2016); Lower row: The floating pavilion Gili with its strong reference to Chinese architectural style surrounded by the B.O.W. (Burgerlijke Openbare Werken or Civil Public Works) inspired pavilions (photographed in 2016).

Figure 13: Views within the New Royal Palace of Karangasem (Puri Amlapura/Puri Agung Karangasem); Upper row: The vernacular inspired Bale Pemandesan and Bale Pawedaan seen from the verandah of Bale Amsterdam (photographed in 2016); Lower row: The floating pavilion Gili with its strong reference to Chinese architectural style surrounded by the B.O.W. (Burgerlijke Openbare Werken or Civil Public Works) inspired pavilions (photographed in 2016).

Source: Agung Sentausa.

Vernacularism, Cosmopolitanism, and Modernism

  • 37 Adrian Vickers, “Modernity and Being Modern: An Introduction,” in Adrian Vickers, Being Modern in (...)
  • 38 Ibid., p. 7; see also Adrian Vickers, Journeys of Desire: The Balinese Malat as Text and History, (...)

30The architectural spectacles of the Karangasem kingdom and the cosmopolitan urban landscape of early-20th century Bali are traces of the island’s dynamic history and its ability to reinvent itself in the face of a changing world. As Adrian Vickers notes, “[t]he prefiguring of a sense of the moderen [Indonesian term for modern] in Bali can be found in the continual changes—religious, cultural, artistic, social, and economic—that Bali has been undergoing over thousands of years.”37 In his analysis of the indigenous literary texts called Malat, Vickers identifies how changes―cultural, social, and political―were conceptualized in these writings. Furthermore he points out that these texts show that the notion of modern is almost meaningless if read against the island’s constantly shifting political and cultural configurations and “thus only disturbed by the coming of the ‘modern’ via Dutch imperialism.”38

  • 39 Pieter A. Jacobus Moojen, Kunst op Bali: Inleidende Studie tot de Bouwkunst, Den Haag: Adi Poestak (...)
  • 40 See Marieke Bloembergen, Colonial Spectacles: The Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies at the Wor (...)

31Interactions with modernism within the vernacular landscape of Bali as discussed in this article took place at the dawn of Dutch imperialism on the island. As the colonial era further unfolded, the royal capitals of Bali and the Karangasem Kingdom found themselves going against the current of Orientalism that accompanied the coming of the “modern” on the island and brought with it an essentializing and hegemonic mode of othering. Despite their monumentality, the new Karangasem Royal Palace and the water palaces were hardly featured in 20th-century writings about the island’s architecture. In Kunst op Bali: Inleidende Studie tot de Bouwkunst [Art in Bali: Preliminary Study of Architecture], the most authoritative photographic and colonial account of the island’s architecture featuring 205 photographic images of different vernacular settings, Karangasem was represented by a single photograph of an unspecified temple gate.39 The book was written by P.A.J. Moojen, a leading figure in the arts and architectural society of early-20th-century Dutch East Indies who was in charge of the preparation of the Dutch East Indies pavilion for the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris.40

  • 41 See Adrian Vickers, Bali: A Paradise Created, op. cit. (note 8), p. 112-113.
  • 42 Ibid., pp. 105-130; see also Michel Picard, Bali: Cultural Tourism and Touristic Culture, op. cit. (...)

32Despite Karangasem’s close relations with the colonial government of Bali, the small princely court of Ubud in the southern Balinese region of Gianyar was chosen to be the face of the island’s culture in the Colonial Exposition. The royal family of Ubud adopted a contrasting strategy in reinventing itself in the new era of colonial Bali. Instead of embracing the modern and the cosmopolitan, the Ubud court reinvented itself as a patron of traditional Balinese art and architecture by hosting the influential indigenous master-builder and artist Gusti Nyoman Lempad from the neighboring court of Pejeng (northeast of Ubud), the multi-talented German artist Walter Spies who arrived in Bali in 1927 to live permanently on the island, and other influential painters and dancers from the Gianyar region of southern Bali.41 Lempad and Spies, joined later by the Dutch painter Rudolph Bonnet who arrived in Ubud in 1929, were soon given the task by the leader of the Ubud court to reinvigorate the “traditional” and artistic culture of the settlement. They did so by establishing the Pita Maha traditional painting society in 1936 in Campuhan, Ubud, and by revitalizing the royal palace complex of the Ubud Cokorda through applications of the most extravagant architectural styles from the surrounding Gianyar region. Spies and Bonnet were also in charge of establishing the Bali Museum in Denpasar in the 1930s. Ubud subsequently emerged as the cultural capital of early-20th-century Bali. The royal family and Spies acted as the hosts for high-profile Western scholars such as Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson and travel writers such as Miguel Covarrubias, guiding them to discover the “real” Bali. These pioneering scholars and travelers in turn wrote some of the most authoritative accounts of Bali.42

  • 43 Philokalos, “De Keerzijde,” Djawa, vol. 16, 1936, p. 139.

33By the 1930s, experimentation with modernism was seen by many Western artists and expatriates living on the island as a practice that corrupted the perceived true characteristics of the island’s architecture. Bonnet expressed such a view through a photo essay titled “De Keerzijde [The Other Side]” which was published in Djawa, a leading cultural journal of the time.43 Through a number of pairings of photographs of buildings, Bonnet summarized what was “good” and “bad” architecture in Bali at the time. Rustic and exotic architectural appearances of a temple and a village were promoted as the correct expressions of the perceived authentic architecture of Bali. On the other hand, the uses of modern geometric form, art deco style, and new building materials, similar to those experimented with in the case studies explored in this article, were labeled as wrong and read as direct indicators of the decline of the conceived cultural integrity of traditional Bali (fig. 14).

34One of the captions of the photo essays states:

  • 44 “Nog is Bali schoon. Maar blijft men het rustig aanzien, dat bouwsels van banale, wansmakelijke le (...)

Bali is beautiful. However if one just waits and sees those constructions of banal, distasteful ugliness pushing aside the pure, harmonious Balinese architecture, then soon nothing will be left of the world famous unique character […] We will show some shocking cases of deterrent examples […] with counter-examples of correct expressions of Balinese architecture.44

Figure 14: Rudolph Bonnet’s Photo-Essay entitled “The Other Side”.

Figure 14: Rudolph Bonnet’s Photo-Essay entitled “The Other Side”.
  • 45 Philokalos, “De Keerzijde”, op. cit. (note 43), p. 139. The term baik is an Indonesian word for go (...)

Source: Philokalos 1936; re-typing of captions by Amanda Achmadi.45

35Accompanying the photographic images are the following explanations:

  • 46 Translated from Dutch into English by Robert Westerink. It is unclear whether Bonnet’s criticism o (...)

I.A. Balische poeri. Een harmonieus geheel in zuiveren stijl [Balinese poeri. A harmonious wholeness in pure/true style]
I.B. Balishe poeri, ontsierd door het dakijzer en cement, gebruikt aan het gebouwtje links [Balinese poeri deformed by metal roofing and cement, used on the small building on the left]
II.A. Poeriport in goed Balischen stijl [Poeri gate in good Balinese style]
II.B. Poeripoort naar B.O.W.-ontwerp [Poeri gate according to B.O.W.-design]46

36The late colonial era was a defining moment in the shaping of 20th-century Bali. During this period, an Orientalist conception of cultural otherness was imposed on the island by the colonial government, local elites, scholars, artists, and tourists. Such a conception viewed change and modern conditions as deriving from outside the cultural and built landscape of the island. As Miguel Covarrubias described his encounter with Denpasar in 1930:

  • 47 Miguel Covarrubias, The Island of Bali, op. cit. (note 3), p. xx.

In the great “alun-alun,” the playground of Den Pasar, stolid Hollanders play tennis and drink beer, young Balinese playing soccer in striped sweatshirts, shorts, and spiked shoes. All around the square are the homes of leading white residents, neat and bourgeois, small bungalows. […] After the first bewildering days, when we had recovered from the shock of such distressing impressions as these, we began to “discover” the real Bali […] we found typical mud walls of the compounds, the thatched gates protected by mysterious signs
[…] These were the proper setting for the lithe brown-skinned women returning from market with baskets of fruit on their head […]47

  • 48 See Tim Winter, Peggy Teo and T. C. Chang (eds.), Asia on Tour: Exploring the Rise of Asian Touris (...)
  • 49 See statistical data of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali from Badan Pusat Statistic Bali: URL: htt (...)
  • 50 Based on a focus group discussion with participations of local travel agencies and tourist-related (...)

37A century later a new tide of change has arrived on the island. This time, it is triggered by the rise of a new generation of tourists. The expanding and highly mobile Asian urban middle classes are rapidly outnumbering the Western tourist groups that formerly drove the direction of tourism development in 20th-century Bali.48 If, in the early 2000s, tourism on the island was dominated by Western nations such as Australia, France, Germany, and the UK, the same list today is dominated by Asian countries such as China, Singapore, and Malaysia, with Australia and the UK the only remaining Western nations within the top five.49 Meanwhile the number of tourists coming from other parts of Indonesia is almost twice that of international arrivals. The new Asian tourist market comes with a different set of expectations of “otherness” considering their diverse socio-cultural backgrounds and departures from their own “Asian” world. The tourists of this generation travel in large groups and typically spend their days visiting places of interest on the island such as iconic Hindu Temples, shopping destinations, and natural adventures.50

Figure 15: New Type of Tourist Accommodation in 21st-Century Bali.

Figure 15: New Type of Tourist Accommodation in 21st-Century Bali.

Source: Amanda Achmadi.

38While the 21st century conception of otherness may not necessarily replace, or radically differ from, the Orientalist notion of Bali, it has triggered a production of new architectural forms. New types of tourist accommodation and places of interest have been proliferating on the island to meet the different demands and characteristics of 21st-century tourists (see fig. 15). Affordable, multistory hotels with a large room capacity showcasing contemporary urban styles are favored by the Asian urbanites. They are a ubiquitous addition onto the island, occupying the urban periphery of the established tourist destinations of southern Bali. With their few and mostly perfunctory references to vernacular forms―mainly due to the high cost associated with traditional craftsmanship and “Bali style” building materials―the new urban touristic architecture on the island could not be more different from the architectural simulation of “traditional Bali” exemplified by 20th-century resorts, villas, and homesteads. These new landscapes of encountering Bali have opened a new chapter of architectural reinvention as the island’s multifaceted population now resituates itself in the so-called Asian century.

Seitenanfang

Anmerkungen

1 See for example Tan Hock Beng, “(Re)Presenting the Vernacular/(Re)Inventing Authenticity: Resort Architecture in Southeast Asia,” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Working Paper Series, vol. LXIII, 1994, p. 27-46; Tan Hock Beng, Tropical Resort, Singapore: Page One Publishing, 1995; Tan Hock Beng and Wiliam Siew Wai Lim, The New Asian Architecture: Vernacular Traditions and Contemporary Style, Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, 1998; Barbara Walker, Bali Style, London: Thames and Hudson, 1995; Made Wijaya, Architecture of Bali: A Source Book of Traditional and Modern Forms, Singapore: Archipelago Press and Wijaya Words, 2002.

2 G. P. Rouffaer’s speech from c. 1924, as cited in Geoffrey Robinson, The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali, Ithaca. London: Cornell University Press, 1995 (Thorndike large print Candlelight series), p. 41, see also p. 48-49. G. P. Rouffaer was the director of the Bali Instituut, a research center which was established by the Dutch Colonial Government in 1915 as part of the Koloniaal Instituut. The Bali Instituut was responsible for evaluating and proposing drafts of policies and development projects in dealing with Bali. One of the key policies proposed by the institute was Baliseering, or Balinisation. For further elaboration on the institute and the policy, see H. te Flierhaar, “De Aanpassing van het Inlandsch Onderwijs op Bali aan de Eigen Sfeer,” Koloniale Studiën, vol. 25, 1941, p. 135-159, and Henk Schulte Nordholt, The Spell of Power: A History of Balinese Politics, 1650-1940, Leiden: KITLV Press, 1996 (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 170), p. 247-248.

3 Miguel Covarrubias, The Island of Bali, New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1937, p. xvii-xx.

4 Michel Picard, Bali: Cultural Tourism and Touristic Culture, Singapore: Archipelago Press, 1996, p. 175.

5 See Thomas Reuter, Custodians of the Sacred Mountains: Culture and Society in the Highlands of Bali, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002, and Thomas Reuter, The House of Our Ancestors: Precedence and Dualism in Highland Balinese Society, Leiden: KITLV Press, 2002 (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 198).

6 Henk Schulte Nordholt, Bali: Colonial Conceptions and Political Change 1700-1940. From Shifting Hierarchies to “Fixed” Order, Rotterdam: Erasmus, 1986 (CASP (series), 15); Raechelle Rubinstein, Beyond the Realm of the Senses: The Balinese Ritual of Kakawin Composition, Leiden: KITLV Press, 2000 (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 181).

7 On the formation of cosmopolitan society in colonial Bali, see Andreas Tarnutzer, “Kota Denpasar: The Making of a Balinese Colonial Town,” in Benno Werlen and Samuel Wälty (eds.), Kulturen und Raum: Theoretische Ansätze und empirische Kulturforschung in Indonesien, Chur: Rüegger, 1995, p. 245-265 (Konkrete Fremde, 10).

8 Adrian Vickers, Bali: A Paradise Created, Singapore: Periplus Editions, 1990. See also Michel Picard, “The Discourse of Kebalian: Transcultural Constructions of Balinese Identity,” in Linda H. Connor and Raechelle Rubinstein (eds.), Staying Local in the Global Village: Bali in the Twentieth Century, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999, p. 15-49, and Michel Picard, Bali: Cultural Tourism and Touristic Culture, op. cit. (note 4).

9 Susie Protschky, Images of the Tropics: Environment and Visual Culture in Colonial Indonesia, Leiden: KITLV Press, 2011 (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde).

10 For critical analysis of the architecture of the 1931 Colonial Exposition, see Patricia A. Morton, Hybrid Modernities: Architecture and Representation at the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Paris and Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000. For an analysis of the Dutch East Indies’ participation at the World Exhibition Series, see Marieke Bloembergen, Colonial Spectacles: The Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies at the World Exhibitions, 1880-1931 (translated by Beverley Jackson), Singapore: Singapore University Press, 2006.

11 For writings on architecture and urban forms in the Dutch East Indies and 20th-century Indonesia, see Huib Akihary, Architectuur & Stedebouw in Indonesie, 1870-1970, Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1990; Cor Passchier, “Colonial Architecture in Indonesia,” in Peter J.M. Nas (ed.), The Past in the Present: Architecture in Indonesia, Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2007, pp. 97-112; Stephen Cairns, “Re-Surfacing: Architecture, Wayang and the ‘Javanese House,’” in Gülsüm Baydar Nalbantoglu and Wong Chong Thai (eds.), Postcolonial Space(s), New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1997 (Writing past colonialism series), p. 73-88; Abidin Kusno, Behind the Postcolonial: Architecture, Urban Space and Political Cultures in Indonesia, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2000 (Architext); C. L. Temminck Groll and W. van Alphen, The Dutch Overseas: Architectural Survey, Mutual Heritage of Four Centuries in Three Continents, Zwolle: Waanders, 2002; Pauline K. M. van Roosmalen, “Designing Colonial Cities: The Making of Modern Town Planning in the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia (1905-1950),” International Institute for Asian Studies the Newsletter, vol. 57, 2011, p. 7-9.(2011, April 17)

12 Amanda Achmadi, The Architecture of Balinisation: Writings on Architecture, the Villages, and the Construction of Balinese Cultural Identity in the 20th Century, Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 2007.

13 For an exploration of another little-known aspect of modernity in early-20th-century Bali as represented through local scholarly works, see Henk Schulte Nordholt, “Localizing Modernity in Colonial Bali During the 1930s,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, vol. 31, no. 1, 2000, p. 101-114.

14 For studies on pre-colonial trading contacts in Bali, see for example Henk Schulte Nordholt, “The Mads Lange Connection: A Danish Trader on Bali in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century,” Indonesia, vol. 32, 1981, p. 17-47.

15 Urban development and construction of buildings in the new colonial posts were undertaken according to the standard of the Dutch East Indies Department of B.O.W., which was in charge of the design and construction of colonial infrastructure in the colony. “B.O.W.” stands for Burgerlijke Openbare Werken or Civil Public Works. See Wim Ravesteijn and Jan Kop (eds.), For Profit and Prosperity: The Contribution Made by Dutch Engineers to Public Works in Indonesia 1800-2000, Leiden: KITLV Press, 2008.

16 For an exploration of hybridity between neoclassical style and vernacular architectural forms in mid- and late-19th century Dutch East Indies, see Amanda Achmadi, “A Changing Scene: The Framing of Architectural Otherness of the Dutch East Indies in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Colonial Photography,” Fabrications, vol. 24, no. 2, 2014, p. 4-25.

17 Andreas Tarnutzer, 1995, “Kota Denpasar: The Making of a Balinese Colonial Town,” op. cit. (note 7), p. 251.

18 For studies of the broader landscape of colonial encounters in Bali see Geoffrey Robinson, The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali, op. cit. (note 2).

19 For a study on the transformation of Denpasar into a colonial settlement, see Andreas Tarnutzer, “Kota Denpasar: The Making of a Balinese Colonial Town,” op. cit. (note 7).

20 Andreas Tarnutzer, “Kota Denpasar: The Making of a Balinese Colonial Town,” op. cit. (note 7), p. 252-255.

21 Huib Akihary, Ir. F.J.L. Ghijsels: Architect in Indonesia (1910-1929), Utrecht: Seram Press, 1996, p. 22-25, p. 90, and p. 122. The works of B.O.W. at the start of the 20th century marked the emergence of the art deco movement across the colony. See also Adrian Vickers, Bali: A Paradise Created, op. cit. (note 8), p. 97, for a brief history of the construction of hotels in early-20th century Bali.

22 For documentation on and descriptions of buildings designed by Dutch architects in these key colonial settlements, see Cor Passchier, Building in Indonesia 1600-1960, Volendam: LM Publishers, 2016.

23 On the demographic composition of colonial Denpasar, see Andreas Tarnutzer, “Kota Denpasar: The Making of a Balinese Colonial Town,” op. cit. (note 7), p. 255-259.

24 Left image is from Miguel COVARRUBIAS, The Island of Bali, op. cit. (note 4), p. 90-91, right image is from and Pieter A. Jacobus MOOJEN, Kunst op Bali: Inleidende Studie tot de Bouwkunst, Den Haag: Adi Poestaka, 1926, p. 73.

25 For an architectural study of Penglipuran village, see Amanda Achmadi, “Beyond Traditional Balinese Architecture: Hybrid Past and Contemporary Architectural Formation of Penglipuran Village,” in Peter J. M. Nas, The Past in the Present, op. cit. (note 11), p. 85-96.

26 Based on an interview with a local architect and Denpasar resident, I Dewa Gede Agung Diasana Putra, August 18, 2016.

27 Graeme Macrae and Samuel Parker, “Would the Real Undagi Please Stand up? On the Social Location of Balinese Architectural Knowledge,” Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, vol. 158, no. 2, 2002, p. 253-281.

28 Based on an interview with a local architect and Denpasar resident, I Dewa Gede Agung Diasana Putra, August 18, 2016.

29 For a study of the transformation of dwelling architecture in urban settlements of Bali, see Nathalie Lancret, La Maison balinaise en secteur urbain; étude ethno-architecturale, Paris: Association Archipel, 1997 (Collection Jeanne Cuisinier, Cahier d’Archipel, 29).

30 See Anak Agung Ayu Dewi Grindrawardani, Adrian Vickers and Rodney Holt, The Last Rajah of Karangasem: the life and times of Anak Agung Anglurah Karangasem, 1887-1966, Denpasar: Saritaksu Editions, 2014; Agus Aris Munandar, Istana Dewa Pulau Dewata: Makna Puri Bali Abad ke-14 – 19, Depok: Komunitas Bambi, 2005; Sulistyawati, Intergrasi Arsitektur Tionghoa kedalam Arsitektur Puri Agung Karangasem, Research Report, Denpasar: Universitas Udayana; Program Pascasarjana Kajian Budaya, January 2008.

31 See Jean Gelman Taylor’s examination of the mutual interests of the indigenous royalties and the colonial government as the two pillars of the Dutch East Indies in Jean Gelman Taylor, Indonesia: Peoples and Histories, New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2003.

32 See Anak Agung Ayu Dewi Grindrawardani, Adrian Vickers and Rodney Holt, The Last Rajah of Karangasem, op. cit. (note 29). He was among the small number of native elites who had their royal presences documented by emerging commercial photography practices in the Dutch East Indies, in particular by the photographer Thilly Weissenborn. See Jane Levy Reed (ed.), Toward Independence: A Century of Indonesia Photographed, San Francisco, CA: The Friends of Photography, 1991.

33 Sulistyawati, Intergrasi Arsitektur Tionghoa kedalam Arsitektur Puri Agung Karangasem, op. cit. (note 30), p. 1., see also I Gusti Ayu Yuika Megawangi, Puri Agung Karangasem: Perspektif Sejarah,

Struktur dan Fungsi serta Potensinya sebagai Sumber Belajar Sejarah Lokal, Research Report, Singaraja: Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha; Fakultas Ilmu Sosial, 2013.

34 Nawa Sanga is a system of spatial marking commonly adopted by members of the Bali Majapahit society. It refers to a division of one spatial realm into nine areas with nine different levels of ritual importance based on the juxtaposition of two orientations. The first orientation is the kaja-kelod or mountain-sea axis, and the second is the kangin-kauh or sunrise-sunset axis. The mountain and the sunrise directions indicate sacredness, while the sea and the sunset directions indicate a profane quality. Based on Bali’s geographical setting, kaja is often associated with the north direction towards the mountain area if seen from South Bali where the majority of the Bali Majapahit society resides.

35 For a schematic non-scale map of the new royal palace of Karangasem, see Aris Munandar, Istana Dewa Pulau Dewata: Makna Puri Bali Abad ke-14 – 19, op. cit. (note 29), p. 355.

36 For studies on Dutch colonial structures and architectural legacies in Jakarta, see Adolf Heuken, Historical Sites of Jakarta, Jakarta: Cipta Loka Caraka, 1983. For a reading of Batavia’s urban landscape based on 19th-century photographs, see Scott Merrillees, Batavia in Nineteenth Century Photographs, Richmond, VA: Curzon Press, 2000.

37 Adrian Vickers, “Modernity and Being Modern: An Introduction,” in Adrian Vickers, Being Modern in Bali: Image and Change, New Haven, CT: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, 1996 (Monograph series (Yale University. Southeast Asia Studies), 43), p. 7.

38 Ibid., p. 7; see also Adrian Vickers, Journeys of Desire: The Balinese Malat as Text and History, Leiden: KITLV Press, 2004 (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 217).

39 Pieter A. Jacobus Moojen, Kunst op Bali: Inleidende Studie tot de Bouwkunst, Den Haag: Adi Poestaka, plate CXCI.

40 See Marieke Bloembergen, Colonial Spectacles: The Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies at the World Exhibitions, 1880-1931, op. cit. (note 10).

41 See Adrian Vickers, Bali: A Paradise Created, op. cit. (note 8), p. 112-113.

42 Ibid., pp. 105-130; see also Michel Picard, Bali: Cultural Tourism and Touristic Culture, op. cit. (note 4), p. 32, and p. 84-85.

43 Philokalos, “De Keerzijde,” Djawa, vol. 16, 1936, p. 139.

44 “Nog is Bali schoon. Maar blijft men het rustig aanzien, dat bouwsels van banale, wansmakelijke leelijkheid de mooie, harmonieuze Balische architectuur verdringen, dan zal er weldra van het wereldberoemde geheel eigen karakter, van de bijzondere bekoring van dit unieke eiland, niet veel meer over zijn. We willen hier een aantal ergerlijke gevallen als afschrikwekkende voorbeelden te kijk stellen. Deels met als tegenvoorbeelden geode uitingen der Balische bouwkunst.” Ibid. Translated from Dutch into English by Robert Westerink.

45 Philokalos, “De Keerzijde”, op. cit. (note 43), p. 139. The term baik is an Indonesian word for good, correct, or right. The term salah is an Indonesian word for wrong or bad. The term slecht is a Dutch word for bad.

46 Translated from Dutch into English by Robert Westerink. It is unclear whether Bonnet’s criticism of modern innovations in architecture on the island was part of the task set by the Cokorda of Ubud. There was no mention of the Cokorda’s vision in the article. By the year 1936, almost ten years after they arrived in Bali, Bonnet and Spies had established their reputations as patrons of Balinese art. This was largely based on their leading roles in the curation of Balinese art exhibits for the 1931 Colonial Exposition and on the establishment of the Bali Museum. It was as such most likely that the writing of the article was motivated by Bonnet’s own strong view of the colonial development on the island. And while he seemed to voice similar concerns to those that the colonial government had formerly demonstrated through its Balinisation policy, Spies and Bonnet largely worked outside the realm of colonial authority. As detailed in the article, Bonnet was critical of the introduction of modern urban infrastructure in the Denpasar area, most of which was designed by the Department of Public Works (B.O.W.) of the colonial government.

47 Miguel Covarrubias, The Island of Bali, op. cit. (note 3), p. xx.

48 See Tim Winter, Peggy Teo and T. C. Chang (eds.), Asia on Tour: Exploring the Rise of Asian Tourism, New York: Routledge, 2009.

49 See statistical data of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali from Badan Pusat Statistic Bali: URL: http://bali.bps.go.id/tabel_detail.php?ed=611002&od=11&id=11 .Accessed 31 October 2016.

50 Based on a focus group discussion with participations of local travel agencies and tourist-related business owners. The focus group discussion took place in Ubud, Bali, June 15, 2015, and was chaired and recorded by the author.

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Abbildungsverzeichnis

Titel Figure 1: The Dutch East Indies Pavilion at the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris.
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Leiden University Library, [KITLV image code 76567].
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-1.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 249k
Titel Figure 2: Wallpaper Effect in the Reproduction of “Balinese” Architecture in Contemporary Denpasar (2009).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Amanda Achmadi.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-2.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 549k
Titel Figure 3: Early Map of Bali Indicating the Territories of the Nine Royal Kingdoms of Late Nineteenth Century Bali: Jembrana, Tabanan, Badung, Mengwi, Gianyar, Klungkung, Karangasem, Bangli and Buleleng (1897).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Leiden University Library, [KITLV image code DF 8, 9].
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-3.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 266k
Titel Figure 4: Aerial View of the Main Square of Denpasar in 1947 – Row of Colonial Bungalows Surrounded by Indigenous Dwelling Compounds of Multi-Pavilion Arrangement.
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Leiden University Library, [KITLV image code 41369].
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-4.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 357k
Titel Figure 5: The Colonial Villa and Art Deco Elements in the Bali Hotel of Denpasar (1925-1928).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Leiden University Library, [left image: KITLV image code 30879, right image: KITLV image code 180845].
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-5.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 293k
Titel Figure 6: Art Deco Shophouse in Klungkung and Denpasar (built c1930s, photographed in 2009).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Amanda Achmadi.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-6.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 333k
Titel Figure 7: Complex Weaving of Sheltered and Open Spaces in a Vernacular Dwelling Compound of Ubud (left, 1930) and the Gianyar Royal Palace (right, c. 1915).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Left Image Covarrubias (1937), Right Image Moojen (1926).24
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-7.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 330k
Titel Figure 8: Diverse Adaptations of Architectural Markers of the “New” Era: Neo-Classical Columns and Art Deco Decorative Elements (Cement Tilings, Window and Door Frames) in Dwelling Compounds in Denpasar, constructed c1930, last known renovation in 1990s (repainting and new roof tiles) (upper row, photographed in 2009) and Penglipuran, constructed c. 1940, last known renovation in the 1970s for house on the left and in the 1980s for houses on the right (lower row, photographed in 2003).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Amanda Achmadi.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-8.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titel Figure 9: Adaptation of Art Deco Style in Banjar Lelangon, Central Denpasar (constructed in c. 1930s, photographed in 2009).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Amanda Achmadi.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-9.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 300k
Titel Figure 10: Views within the Old Royal Palace of Karangasem (1925).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Leiden University Library, [left image: KITLV image code 8440, right image: KITLV image code 8303].
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-10.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 219k
Titel Figure 11: Cosmopolitan Vision in the Early Twentieth Century Architectural Monuments of Karangasem - The Floating Pavilion of the New Royal Palace (1925) and the Taman Ujung Soekasada Water Palace (1925).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Leiden University Library, [left image: KITLV image code 78803, right image: KITLV image code 28133].
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-11.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 448k
Titel Figure 12: Views within the New Royal Palace of Karangasem (Puri Amlapura/Puri Agung Karangasem); Upper row: The pagoda-inspired gateway and the symmetrical entry court (photographed in 2016); Lower row: Bale Amsterdam which was inspired by the European mansion typology commonly found in Batavia in the second half of the 19th century (photographed in 2016).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Agung Sentausa.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-12.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 1,3M
Titel Figure 13: Views within the New Royal Palace of Karangasem (Puri Amlapura/Puri Agung Karangasem); Upper row: The vernacular inspired Bale Pemandesan and Bale Pawedaan seen from the verandah of Bale Amsterdam (photographed in 2016); Lower row: The floating pavilion Gili with its strong reference to Chinese architectural style surrounded by the B.O.W. (Burgerlijke Openbare Werken or Civil Public Works) inspired pavilions (photographed in 2016).
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Agung Sentausa.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-13.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 1,0M
Titel Figure 14: Rudolph Bonnet’s Photo-Essay entitled “The Other Side”.
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Philokalos 1936; re-typing of captions by Amanda Achmadi.45
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-14.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 245k
Titel Figure 15: New Type of Tourist Accommodation in 21st-Century Bali.
Abbildungsnachweis Source: Amanda Achmadi.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3211/img-15.jpg
Datei image/jpeg, 508k
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Zitierempfehlung

Online-Version

Amanda Achmadi, « The Other Side of Tropical Paradise: Traces of Modernism within the Vernacular Landscapes of Early Twentieth-Century Bali », ABE Journal [Online], 9-10 | 2016, Online erschienen am: 28 Dezember 2016, abgerufen am 17 August 2017. URL : http://abe.revues.org/3211 ; DOI : 10.4000/abe.3211

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Autor

Amanda Achmadi

Lecturer in Architectural Design, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia

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Urheberrechte

Licence Creative Commons
La revue ABE Journal est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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