Colonial exhibitions, hybrid architecture, and the interpretation of modernity in the Dutch East Indies

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Abstract

To gain more economic profit and strengthen its colonial power, the Dutch brought Western technologies and products to their colonies and organized colonial exhibitions, modeled on the successful international exhibitions in Europe. This article analyzes colonial exhibitions in the Dutch East Indies and the ways that Dutch architects used various local architectural forms for those ephemeral events to attract visitors and to modernize the colony. The empirical case study discusses hybrid architecture in the Dutch East Indies at three events: Pasar Gambir of Batavia, Jaarmarkt of Surabaya, and the 1914 Semarang Colonial Exhibition. Through analysis of archival and historical documents, I argue that the use of local architectural forms in colonial exhibitions helped the colonies to adapt to modernity and created places where local people could practice a Dutch lifestyle and create their own idea of modernity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cultural Geography
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Colonial exhibition
  • hybrid architecture
  • Jaarmarkt Surabaya
  • modernity
  • Pasar Gambir
  • the Dutch East Indies

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