Marco Boentaro

Marco is researching the fine arts and indigenous artists of the Republic of Indonesia during the New Order era (1965 – 1998) under President Suharto, specifically between 1970 – 1989. 
The research is aiming to create a new narrative involving Indonesian artists in light of official political repression and authoritarian rule, where conformity towards state ideology and attitudes in response to socio-economic realities are not uniform. This thesis seeks to show how this ‘spectrum of compliance’ within the artistic community manifests itself in works done by prominent Indonesian artists, to understand the nuances of incognito dissent or the dramatic depictions in support of official state ideology in public displays or private collections.
Marco’s research will rely on case studies of such prominent artists, necessitating a heavy lean towards oral historical research via interviews with these artists if still living, or their living associates and relatives. Research will also focus on critical evaluation of each case’s opus during the periodisation proposed, and will seek to utilise their private archives in the hopes of constructing a novel narrative approach within Indonesian art history unavailable in extant published works.


Supervisor: Dr Mark R. Frost
Working title: ‘The Spectrum of Compliance: Indonesian Indigenous Artistic Expressions during the New Order, 1970 – 1989.’
Expected completion date: 2026