Images of Light and Shadow: Priangan in the Eyes of F.W. Junghuhn

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Date(s) - 03/10/2012
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Japanese Studies Centre Auditorium, Building 54 (next to the bus loop), Monash University, Clayton Campus


Monash Asia Seminars – CSEAS Seminar Series

Hawe Setiawan
Faculty of Arts and Letters, Pasundan University / Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB)

The works of visual art found among Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn’s (1809-1864) works on Java are of great value for the study of the visual representation of the Priangan – the mountainous regencies of West Java – and indeed of colonial subjects more widely, in the nineteenth century. Various scholars have studied Junghuhn’s contributions in the field of natural sciences, philosophy, and literature, yet there has been little interest in studying his works in the field of visual arts, despite the wide circulation of his images in many sources. Junghuhn was a German-born Dutch naturalist working on the island of Java for about thirteen years in the 1840s. He produced maps, sketches, drawings, and lithographical prints that represented geological, volcanic, botanical, and climatic aspects of Java’s landscape, including that of Priangan. I read Junghuhn’s work in a context not yet appreciated by the wider scholarly community: his ongoing efforts to synthesise his life’s work and passions in a distinct world view combining the arts, science and religion. It is this synthesising world view that distinguishes Junghuhn from other nineteenth-century naturalists.

Hawe Setiawan is currently a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Letters at Pasundan University, Bandung, and is a PhD candidate at Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB). His PhD research concerns the visual representation of the nineteenth century Priangan in the work of Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn. He work resume includes experience working as journalist, NGO activist, translator, lecturer, critic and curator. His writings including edited works, scholarly articles and translations. Recent major works include (as editor and contributor) Sosok pemimpin Sunda dalam gagasan dan pengalaman (Paguyuban Pasundan 2012), (as researcher) Priangan di mata Junghuhn (Sundalana No. 11, 2012), (as editor and curator) Forum Sastra Indonesia Hari Ini: Jawa Barat (Komunitas Salihara, 2010). He is currently a visiting scholar in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University.

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