“The Traditional Art and Architecture of Aceh: Local and Global Force”

Dr. Izziah Hasan is the Director of the Center for the Arts of Syiah Kuala University; and Head of Architecture Department, Engineering Faculty of Syiah Kuala University.

The Traditional Art and Architecture of Aceh: Local and Global Force

Aceh is one of Indonesian provinces located on the northern tip of Sumatra. The geographical location of Aceh on the ocean route between the China Sea and the Indian Ocean has, in the past, enabled Aceh to play a significant role in the international trade network.

Maritime history indicates that the region of northern Sumatra, what is now called Aceh, had a population of cosmopolitan merchants comprised of Arabs, Indians, Southeast Asians, and Chinese.

The interaction between local people and visitors from other countries had created a unique urban and rural environment and a rich cultural tradition.

This study aims to explore the production of the seventeenth century art and architecture of Aceh, as well as the making of its identity. It shows how the built for, including art, was created within a dialogical frame of a socio-cultural process that involved local and global forces.[]

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