via The Straits Times, 01 January 2019: Modern Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, is the focus of a new exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum starting next month.
To many, Sir Stamford Raffles is held in esteem as the founder of modern Singapore who initiated the setting up of a trading port here for the British East India company, following his arrival in 1819.
But a new exhibition opening next month at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) will seek to peel back the layers of who the Briton was, down to his callous side.
Mr Kennie Ting, the museum’s director, said the majority of Singaporeans “know” Raffles as a mythical, one-dimensional “founder figure”.
via Straits Times, 27 November 2018: New galleries in the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore.
The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) will open three new permanent galleries for Christian Art, Islamic Art, and Ancestors and Rituals on Saturday (Dec 1).
These galleries, found on the second level of the museum, will show how systems of faith and belief spread across Asia, and how traditions of religious art adapted as a result.
Among the highlights are a 17th century sculpture of the Virgin Mary with possible Chinese, Filipino and Mexican influences; an ornate 19th century Quran made in Terengganu; and a hornbill carving by Sarawak’s Iban community.
New web resource – the new Freer|Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian has a section devoted to Southeast Asian art.
Encompassing thousands of islands and mainland topographies between India, Australia, and China, Southeast Asia has been at the center of long-distance trade networks for centuries. Accordingly, Southeast Asian artworks feature innovative forms that blend local and imported traditions. The region’s art is also deeply connected with the tropical environment. Nature informs everything from the materials used to the imagery portrayed.
Thousands of sacred sites can be found across the region. Their structures range from caves and simple shrines to vast temple complexes. Like the artworks they hold, the sites are positioned in relation to natural features, such as rivers and volcanos.
Comprising close to nine hundred objects, the Freer|Sackler’s Southeast Asia collections range from Buddhist and Hindu sculpture in stone and bronze to gold jewelry and ceramics from Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma). Below, you can browse our objects, explore Southeast Asia’s sacred sites, and delve into the region’s vibrant material cultures.
Thailand has stepped up its efforts to reclaim bronze and stone sculptures that have been in US museum collections for decades. The Kingdom of Thailand’s culture minister announced last week that the country is seeking the return of 23 antiquities, some of which have been housed in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art since the late 1960s.
Unnamed Institutions in the UK and Australia are also in the Thai government’s sights as it intensifies its efforts to recover sculptures and other artifacts it claims were illegally removed from temples and archaeological sites. Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat is leading a task force to recover more than 700 artifacts in collections abroad that Thailand claims were stolen, the Bangkok Post reports.
via The Nation, 02 November 2018: Exhibition at the Queen Sirikit Textile Museum showcases royal textiles from the Javanese court.
The batik collection of King Chulalongkorn from the central Javanese principalities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta allures with distinctive shades of blue and brown and even some “forbidden motifs” reserved for the nobility.
The House committee on ways and means, chaired by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, has approved the tax provision of a bill seeking to rename the National Museum as the “National Museum of the Philippines (NMP)”.
Under the amended tax provision of the bill, the NMP shall be exempt from the payment of taxes, fees and charges imposed by the national government and its political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities.
via The Straits Times, 22 October 2018: A new exhibition focusing on Singapore’s pre-colonial history from the 17th century (try to wrap your head around that!) will open next year at the National Museum of Singapore. Unfortunately, the linked article is behind a paywall.
“The National Museum of Singapore will roll out a key exhibition showcasing the country’s rich historical heritage to commemorate the bicentennial next year.
The exhibition – tentatively titled “An Old New World: From the East Indies to the Founding of Singapore, 1600-1819″ – will be staged at the museum’s Stamford Road location in the second half of next year.
Among other things, it aims to shed light on how Singapore was already well connected to the region and world prior to the arrival of the British East India Company.
The National Museum said the exhibition seeks to expand on Singapore’s history by looking at a longer narrative starting from the 1600s, as well as a broader geographical region – the East Indies, of which Singapore was a part.
The East Indies comprises the Malay Peninsula and Indonesian Archipelago, the centre of the spice trade that was highly sought after in Europe. This resulted in the establishment of the East India Company in 1600 and the Dutch Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie in 1602.”
Postdoc opportunity from the Asian Civilisations Museum! Deadline is 15 December 2018.
Organizing institution(s): Asian Civilisations Museum Singapore
Deadline: 15 December 2018
Description: The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) in Singapore invites post-doctoral scholars to apply for fellowships in Material studies, Material culture studies, Museological studies, Trade, Singapore community heritage, Peranakan / Mixed heritage research, Cities/Urban studies, Intangible cultural heritage.
For more details and to download the application form, please visit https://www.acm.org.sg/research. To know more about the ACM’s collections, please go to http://roots.sg/learn/collections
For enquiries not answered in the information sheet, please contact: Secretariat, ACM Research Fellowship, firstname.lastname@example.org