Tag Archive for The Jakarta Post

Jenkins Reviews Book on Famed Artist Lempad in Jakarta Post

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins ’64, professor of theater, published a review of Lempad of Bali: The Illuminating Line in the Jan. 19 edition of the Jakarta Post. Jenkins had high praise for the book, which contains pictures of the works of Balinese architect and artist I Gusti Nyoman Lempad.

Jenkins wrote, “the aptly titled volume illuminates not only the exquisite lines of Lempad’s artwork, but also the intangible elements of Balinese identity that those lines represent.”

In addition to describing some of the noted works, Jenkins also commended the depth and insightfulness of the essays that accompanied each work. The essays were written by a team of scholars lead by the acclaimed Indonesian cultural researcher and author Bruce Carpenter.

Read the full review here.


New Work Explores Time In Balinese Culture

In his review of a new book exploring the notion of time as a link between the Balinese and their gods, Professor of Theater Ron Jenkins points out the “timelessness” of certain cultural concepts in Bali even as modernity threatens the island’s survival.

The book, Time, Rites and Festivals in Bali, focuses on the seminal story of Sinta and Watugunung. Each week of the calendar at the heart of Bali’s complex ritual life is named after a character from their saga.  The book’s bountiful illustrations make it special, Jenkins writes in The Jakarta Post.

“One could also spend hours puzzling over abundant charts and illustrations that visualize the logic behind Bali’s multiple overlapping calendars,” he writes.

Jenkins, whose interests include international traditions in comic performance, particularly in Balinese theater,  is on sabbatical in Indonesia.


The Road to Eldorado

Professor of Theater Ronald Jenkins recently wrote an article, accompanied by his photographs, for the Jakarta Post about Run, a small Indonesian island. Run was “involved in a war between maritime empires” due to the presence of nutmeg on the island. While “the historic memory of Run’s inhabitants is vague, their pride… in the importance of their island’s past is vivid.” The residents of the small island no longer make a living with the spice trade and must have other jobs to provide for their families, but nutmeg is still a large part of the culture. “The small pale yellow nutmeg fruit still hangs from the boughs of the trees that surround the rumah besi” and “the sweet smell of the spice still permeates the island’s air.” Several locals wish for a way to preserve the history of their island so that the story is not lost for the younger generations.

Jenkins on Ancient Balinese Lontar Manuscripts

Professor of Theater Ron Jenkins spoke to The Jakarta Post about the ancient Balinese lontar (palm leaf manuscripts), which are being proposed for recognition by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage. The lontar are a true treasure of world culture, said Jenkins, and must be not only recognized, but transcribed and translated.

“The complexity, sophistication and literary beauty are not fully appreciated inside or outside of Indonesia. If more of the lontar were translated, the world would recognize the importance of Indonesia’s contributions to global culture,” explained Jenkins, who led the joint team of American and Balinese scholars to digitize and translate thousands of ancient Balinese lontar manuscripts and upload them to the Internet Archive Foundation’s website to enable people around the world to access the lontar and learn more about the value of their content.

Documenting Delusion in Indonesia

In an op-ed published in The Jakarta Post, Ronald Jenkins, professor of theater, writes about a disturbing new documentary in which “gangsters” responsible for mass murders in 1965-66 reenact their crimes as they remember them. This film, Jenkins writes, “reveals the links between the human capacity for self-delusion and cinema’s ability to reedit the past into comforting fantasy.”