Splendour of Khmer art

via Straits Times, 09 April 2018: Article is behind a paywall

Arts News -In 1931, the French government built a life-sized replica of Angkor Wat in Paris to show off its interest in Khmer art and the-then colony of Indochina.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Source: Splendour of Khmer art, Arts News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Archaeologists digging up the past at Singapore Art Museum

via The New Paper, 05 April 2018:

Now, five archaeologists are looking to shed more light on the area’s history through a three-week archaeology investigation at SAM .

The team has started digging six 2m by 1m excavation pits – three in the front lawn and three more in SAM’s courtyards. Actual excavation work will start on Saturday.

The excavations, a partnership between the National Heritage Board (NHB) and SAM, are being carried out by the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC), Archaeology Unit at the Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Source: Archaeologists digging up the past at Singapore Art Museum

Art from Angkor Wat at Asian Civilisations Museum

via Straits Times, 04 April 2018:

Arts News -SINGAPORE – On Sunday (April 8), the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) opens a showcase of ancient Khmer art from the Guimet Museum in Paris. Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City runs until July 22.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Source: Art from Angkor Wat at Asian Civilisations Museum, Arts News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Museum in Preah Vihear ready to open after 10 years preparing

via Phnom Penh Post, 20 March 2018:

A new museum near Preah Vihear temple will be inaugurated on Tuesday, 10 years after the project began. The Samdech Techo Hun Sen Eco-Global Museum consists of 11 buildings on a 177-hectare plot of land in Choam Ksan district. It will present artefacts from the nearby temple and related heritage sites, as well as exhibitions on local culture, flora and fauna.

Source: Museum in Preah Vihear ready to open after 10 years preparing

Inspired by India

via Bangkok Post, 1 March 2018: An exhibition celebrating diplomatic relations between India and Thailand at the National Museum in Bangkok.

A visit to a temporary exhibition at the National Museum Bangkok at the former Front Palace near Sanam Luang is a good way for tourists to explore India, Thailand and some other Southeast Asian countries through Buddhist art. The ongoing exhibit entitled “Buddhist Imagery From Bharata To Suvarnabhumi” celebrates the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Thailand and India and the 25th anniversary of the Asean-India relationship.

Source: Inspired by India

Reconstructing Krishna at the Cleveland Museum of Art

via Ideastream.org, 01 March 2018: There is a video attached to the article – click on the link to see.

A 1,400-year-old statue of the Hindu god Krishna is getting a 21st century facelift at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  He was assembled from broken pieces four decades ago, but, it turns out they didn’t quite get it right.

Source: Reconstructing Krishna at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther

via The Hopkins Exhibitionist, 22 Feb 2018: Not directly related to Southeast Asia, and contains spoilers to the movie Blank Panther; but the scene in discussion takes place in a museum and is quite relevant in the Southeast Asian context where many exhibits were simple taken from their host countries and put on display:

It is worth considering the aspects of the scene that are realities in the modern museum. African artifacts such as those shown in the film’s museum are likely taken from a home country under suspicious circumstances, such as notable artifacts in real-life Britain like the Benin bronzes which now reside at the British Museum. It is often the case that individuals will know their own culture as well as or better than a curator, but are not considered valuable contributors because they lack a degree. People of color are less represented in museum spaces, and often experience undue discrimination while entering gallery spaces. Finally, museums are experiencing an influx of white women filling staff roles, leading to homogenized viewpoints, and lack senior staff with diverse backgrounds. With these truths represented in such a short but poignant scene, the tension between audiences and institutions is played out to the extreme.

It is uncomfortable for many institutions to even broach the subject of the museum’s complicated relationship with audiences of color, but Black Panther has created an impeccable opportunity for institutions to begin a dialogue with their community. So many people will see this film; the scene may only reinforce their conception of museums, or it may open their eyes to the realities of the complicated relationship between the universal museum and colonialism, and museums need to be prepared to actively engage with this topic rather than avoiding the uncomfortable truths that are now out in the open on cinema screens.

Source: Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther


via the Western Australian Museum: This report has been collated for the purpose of completing the record of artefacts recovered during excavations undertaken by joint Thai-Australian expeditions in the 1980s. This group represented the Thai Fine Arts Department Underwater Archaeology Division, Silapakorn University, the Thai Ceramic Archaeological Project, the Western Australian Museum, the Australian (now Australasian) Institute for Archaeology, the University of Adelaide, the Art Gallery of South Australia and on occasion, participants of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMO), Special Project in Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA). Participants represented Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Canada, Poland and the United States of America. Included is information recorded by the author whilst participating in excavations of kiln sites at Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai Province and the Bang Rachan or Mae Nam Noi Kiln site, Singburi Province, Thailand during the 1980s. A brief visit was also made to the Ban Bang Pun Kiln site, Suphanburi. The author was also privileged to have been given access to the ceramic sherd collection of the National Museum of the Philippines, Manila and those of the regional museums of Butuan and Cebu cities.

Nan Museum ‘renovation’ comes under fire

via Bangkok Post, 17 Feb 2018:

After being closed for three years for renovations that cost 34.8 million baht, the Nan National Museum has recently reopened — only to be greeted with trenchant criticism over the outcome of the refurbishment.

Source: Museum ‘renovation’ comes under fire

Cambodia’s Genocide Museum Conserves Clothing of Khmer Rouge Victims

via VOA News, 09 February 2018:

Many of the more obvious artifacts of mass crimes, torture implements, shackles, documents, were immediately preserved in the genocide museum set up inside S-21 by the Vietnamese administrators who occupied Cambodia, but the clothes were largely ignored.

All were virtually untouched for 40 years. Many of the garments began to deteriorate due to the effects of climate and haphazard handling.

Now this is changing, as the garments’ value as evidence and cultural artifacts is being recognized. Beginning late last month, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which is administered by Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture, began a multi-year project to conserve 3,000 to 5,000 cloth artifacts, funded with a $55,000 grant from the U.S. government. For the first time, the clothes will be sorted, preserved, and, in some cases, displayed as part of the memorial to the 1.7 million Cambodians who died, about 25 percent of the population, during Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime between 1975-1979.

Source: Cambodia’s Genocide Museum Conserves Clothing of Khmer Rouge Victims | VOA News