Aeng Visual Ornament of The Surakarta Palace’s Building

Rahmanu Widayat, Anung B Studyanto

Abstract

Problems arise when building ornaments are considered to be not useful by architects and the modern world of architecture. Ornaments had been presented as important parts of the royal palace buildings from the time of Ancient Egypt until the Renaissance era. It is not so different from what happens in Indonesia; ornaments adorn temples, royal palaces, until the arrival of modern influences which make ornaments no longer appreciated and even hated. The modern concept (of the architecture world), in its development, has become less able to solve various problems, so that the presence of the local ethnic culture (like ornament) has been longed to come back. The ornament ends up paradoxically, standing between hate and longing. By using wangun point of view, an aesthetic concept taken from Javanese culture, an interesting finding shows that the ornament has its own dynamics, not merely as a heritage passed down from generation to generation. Ki Praja Sukemi, an architect of The Kasunanan Surakarta Palace, pioneered the creation of new style ornaments, combination between Javanese and Western (European) styles, and created the Aèng (peculiar) ornament, which is categorized as Kajiman (inspired from the world of Jinn) ornament. This paper will discuss the form, meaning, and aesthetics of these ornaments according to the cultural background of Surakarta Palace.

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