Hélène Njoto

Helene Njoto is the representative of EFEO Jakarta since 2021. She is collaborating on a new research project with the Indonesian National Archaeology Research Center on Early Islamic Art of Java (15th-18th c.).   

Hélène received her PhD from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris) in January 2014, after graduating from a master’s degree at the Sorbonne Paris-I University. She specialises in Indonesian early modern art and architecture history. More specifically, she studies the making and the circulation of artistic motifs and architectural types in Java in the early Islamic and early colonial period (c. 15th c.-16th c. to the first half of the 19th c.), two overlapping eras of Southeast Asian art history proving to be unexpectedly dynamic. For the publication of her dissertation, she received a grant from the Institut des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Prix Flora Blanchon, and another from the Musée du quai Branly.

In this exploration of early local artistic responses to foreign knowledge, Hélène Njoto authored an article on the history of the Javanese mosque (BEFEO, 2015) and others on Javanese early Islamic Art (Archipel, 2014, NSC Highlights 4 and 7, 2017, Arts Asiatiques 2018). Further publications include historical studies of Indonesian institutions, including one on cultural heritage, "The Invention of Indonesian Heritage" (IRASEC, 2016), and one on the Indonesian art market "Master Dealers of Indonesian Painting " (Archipel, 2006). 

Hélène Njoto is a member of French journal Archipel and Indonesian journal Berkala Arkeologi editorial comity. She is also the editor of the Nalanda Sriwijaya Center Working Paper Series, now THRC Working Paper Series. Since 2019, she coordinates with Prof Fabrizio Speziale and Aditia Gunawan, a monthly EHESS seminar: “Interactions between Islamicate and Indic Societies in South and South-East Asia: Comparative Perspectives”. 

She designed and co-organised a Summer School on Indonesian Art History, held in Trawas East-Java (ISEAS-SOAS-UBAYA, July 2016) and she directed an Art History and Archaeology Field School two years later (ISEAS-NSC-ARKENAS, July 2018). She is active in several research centres, as an Associate Fellow at the Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CASE, Paris), the UMR AUSser (Architecture Urbanisme Société, Paris) and the Temasek History Research Center (THRC, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore).

She received a PhD scholarship from the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris (2009-2010) and in 2014 from the European Union IIAS-UKNA programme (Urban Knowledge Network Asia). She was a Visiting Fellow at the Nalanda Sriwijaya Center, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute from 2015 to 2018.

Hélène Njoto


EFEO Representative in Jakarta since January 2021

École française d'Extrême-Orient
Jl. Ampera III no.26
Jakarta Selatan 12550
Tel/fax +62 21 781 14 76
+62 21 781 47 85