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On Dharmala Sakti Building, Jakarta, Indonesia, 1982-1988


“I always see the site. Of course I went there. I did an interesting thing, at their suggestion, as a matter of fact. I told them that I wanted to get as clear an idea of vernacular architecture in that part of the world as possible. They took me to some villages nearby, but they also took me to a tourist park that had built about twelve structures from the Indonesian islands. They are very distinctive architectural types. New Guinea is very different, of course, from Sumatra, and very different from Bali, and so on. They're all a little bit corny and you could tell what was supposed to be there and what wasn't. It wasn't perfect. I knew these things from photographs because I'd also done a little research. I had known certainly some of them but not all of them. To see them, even in their degenerated forms in a tourist village, was a fascinating thing. You can always see certain things in reality. That was very instructive for me. You could see the intent; let me put it that way. Quite often the detail wasn't as it should be. Sometimes they would fireproof things when they shouldn't. It's a little bit like Williamsburg; things get changed. It was very instructive to do that. After all, I could have taken six months and gone to two thousand islands or something but I didn't have the time.”
Interview with Robert Bruegmann, 1986



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