Indonesian Arts and Architecture

During my vacations in Bali i came in contact with a complex, exciting and completely different culture than ours… Here  some information:

Indonesia is the largest island nation in the world with 17.500 islands, of which 6.000 are inhabited. The largest islands are Sumatra, Borneo, Java and New Guinea. The capital Jakarta is located on the island of Java. The name comes from the Indonesian words “indus” for India and “nesos” for industrial island.

The Indonesian art has many influences by the culture which has many ethnic groups and cultures. Sculpters and parts of the architecture in Indonesia were mainly influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism.

The Arab influence is also visible in many areas of culture. About 88 per Cent of Indonesians are Muslims. But for the majority of the population is ancestor worship a central theme in the everyday life and in the expression of art.

The complex of Borobudur temple in Java is the foundation for many contemporary arts which are produced today in the Indonesian region. The temple was built around 800 B.C. and is located in the north of Yogyakarta. The building is the largest Buddhist monument in the world.

Also important are the cities of Sukhothai and Sri Satchanalai in Thailand. All of them have the status of the world´s heritage monuments.

The Borobudur temple was buried by a volcanic eruption for a thousand years. In year 1814 was it re- excavated again. Today the Borobudur temple and also the temples of Sukhothai and Sri Satchanalai are under the protection of UNESCO.

The temples are full of Buddhist and Hindu stone sculptures. These are still used as a template for the many rock art. Mostly were the sculptures build from black lava rock. Many characters from Indian mythology, like Buddha (links), Shiva, Ganesha (rechts), Durga, Vishnu and Rama were immortalized in many beautiful varieties.

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