Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness - Inside Indonesia’s Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2014

Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness - Inside Indonesia’s Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2014

At its debut at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, Indonesia offers a peek into the country’s past 100 years of architectural history in its pavilion: “Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness.” Moving images projected onto glass panels tell Indonesia’s story through the development of six materials, traced over time: wood, stone, brick, steel, concrete and bamboo. See images of the pavilion and enjoy a statement from the curators after the break.

From the curators: Indonesia is the outcome of a long history of craftsmanship. Craftsmanship is not merely a matter of practicality and technicality; it is also a value, an ethos, and a commitment. It has been practiced and internalized in our diverse traditions as a driving factor to achieve excellence.

© Nico Saieh

As a craftsman, an architect is not an autonomous subject. To produce and deliver their works, they have to collaborate with practitioners of other disciplines. They also have to deal with and respond to the abundance as well as the deficiency of the existing natural resources. In other words, they dwell in material consciousness, without which they would lose what is fundamental in their profession: the intimacy of the work processes.

© Nico Saieh

The Indonesia Pavilion, Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness is a glimpse of 100 years history of discourse and practices of architecture in Indonesia, a journey that cuts across social, political, and cultural boundaries through the lens focused on craftsmanship.

David Gianotten, Partner in charge of OMA / AMO Asia Pacific, commented, “The Indonesian Pavilion’s focus on the tactility of architecture is timely in an era where stories of architecture are too often told only by visual representations. Through showcasing the materiality and craftsmanship of Indonesian architecture, the pavilion has spurred reflection on the role of architects as builders and the role of tradition in architecture.”

Stephan Petermann, OMA / AMO Associate who oversaw the Absorbing Modernity: 1914 - 2014 in the National Pavilion project, said, “It was great to be able to support the first Indonesian participation to the biennale. The make-up of the archipelago and its inherent cultural diversity, so clearly visible in the exhibition is eye-opening to the architectural community and I look forward to their increased engagement in the years to come.”

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Cite: Nico Saieh. "Craftsmanship: Material Consciousness - Inside Indonesia’s Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2014" 15 Jul 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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