Back to Previous Page

Spa culture, Java, Indonesia (21st Century)

Artist/Designer: Asian

Project Location: Indonesia

Figure 1: Tirta Empul, Bali ( Source | Accessed : February 25, 2020 | Photographer: Unknown )
Figure 2: Cover of The tropical spa by Sophie Benge; This is proven by the recent attention spa culture has for example received in Indonesian
newspapers and locally oriented and Indonesian language magazines such as Seri HomeSpa.
( Source | Accessed : February 25, 2020 | Photographer: Unknown )
Figure 3: A spa advertisment ( Source | Accessed : February 25, 2020 | Photographer: Unknown )
Figure 4: Inside a Javanese spa ( Source | Accessed : February 25, 2020 | Photographer: Unknown )
Figure 5: Spa at a resort in Bali ( Source | Accessed : April 14, 2020 | Photographer: Unknown )
Figure 6: Spa at a resort in Bali ( Source | Accessed : April 14, 2020 | Photographer: Unknown )
Figure 7: Spa at a resort in Bali ( Source | Accessed : April 14, 2020 | Photographer: Unknown )

Style/Period(s):
No Style/Period Assigned.

Primary Material(s):
Wood, Plants, Brick

Function(s):
No Function Assigned.

Related Website(s):

Significant Date(s):
21st Century

Additional Information:
Western travelers, tourists, and scholars have long perceived the ‘Orient’ as authentic, sensual and mysterious, and for many even today, Asia represents all that is lost to modern (Western) man.
Such musings say more about the Western audience’s longing for a sensual other expressed through a depiction of the East as a place of splendor, purity and its inhabitants’ closeness to nature. However, more recently the Southeast Asian middle and upper classes themselves seem to have tapped into such stereotypes in order to retrieve an authentic life experience that, according to many, has been threatened by ongoing modernization, globalization and, most feared of all, Westernization. As an answer to these threats over the last few years, a regional culture has emerged that ironically uses the vocabulary, ideas, and images of a lifestyle of health, beauty, and spirituality that currently is so fashionable in the same West. One of the most eye-catching manifestations of this ‘New Asian’ lifestyle is the tropical spa.

Publications/Books in Print:
Barendregt, Bart. “Tropical Spa Cultures, Eco-Chic, and the Complexities of New Asianism.” Cleanliness and Culture: Indonesian Histories, edited by KEES VAN DIJK and JEAN GELMAN TAYLOR, vol. 272, Brill, 2011, pp. 159–192. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.1163/j.ctvbnm4n9.10. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Building Address: Multiple locations in Java, Indonesia.


TAGS: Indonesia, Health Facility, Public Baths, Bathing, Spa, Javanese Spa facility

Viewers should treat all images as copyrighted and refer to each image's links for copyright information.