Angkor’s ‘modern history’ with France reveals the politics of art

via Euronews, 07 May 2018: An interview with Dr Stephen Murphy, a personal friend and one of the curators of the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore about the ongoing Angkor exhibition.

The Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore has decided to unveil this extraordinary story with its latest exhibit — and in an interview with Euronews.

Source: Angkor’s ‘modern history’ with France reveals the politics of art

Angkor Events at the Asian Civilisations Museum

In conjunction with the exhibition, Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City that is currently on at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore, there are a number of associated events upcoming in May and June:

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

‘They didn’t even have coffins’: The man who dug up the remains of World War II victims in Singapore

via Chanel NewsAsia, 07 April 2018:

SINGAPORE: In 1962, Goh Thiam Hoon had only been digging in the heavy, damp soil for a short while when he found what he was looking for. But achieving his goal on his first day on the job didn’t make him happy. Far from it. “I could not believe it,” he said, describing feelings of uneasiness.  Mr Goh, who was aged 25 at the time, had just uncovered a mass grave filled with piles of bones belonging to victims of the Second World War. This was near Jalan Puay Poon in Bedok, close to where Temasek Junior College now sits.

Source: ‘They didn’t even have coffins’: The man who dug up the remains of World War II victims in Singapore

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

Archaeology-related activities to feature at Singapore Heritage Festival

via Channel NewsAsia, 3 April 2018:

SINGAPORE: History fans can soon visit excavation pits at the Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) front lawn as the museum undergoes an archaeological investigation. The investigation, which is free for public viewing, is also part of the Singapore Heritage Festival, which begins on Friday (Apr 6).  The dig at the former St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) building – a gazetted National Monument – on Bras Basah Road will seek to determine the archaeological significance of SAM as a historical site, the museum said in a media release.  “The investigation is especially important, as the site is located right outside the walls of ancient Temasek,” said SAM.  It may also reveal more about the histories and usage of the site, which prior to the construction of the building in 1855, was where the earliest Roman Catholic chapel in Singapore was located, it added.  Conducted by the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Archaeology Unit and ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, an exhibition will also be held to detail the process of conducting archaeology. The archaeological digs event during the festival will be held on Apr 6-8, Apr 11-15 and Apr 18-22.  SAM added that the archaeological investigation will also ascertain if any further steps are necessary before its S$90 million revamp. SCDA Architects was appointed to manage the project after an open tender for the redevelopment of SAM buildings was called last September. This is the first time the contemporary art museum – which has a strong focus on works from Asia – will be undergoing a major revamp since its opening in 1996. The annual Singapore Heritage Festival will also include theatrical tours that explore the SAM building, meet-and-greet sessions with archaeologists and talks on Singapore’s history.  Recent archaeological excavation sites in Singapore include the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, which yielded artefacts weighing about 2,500kg.  At Pulau Ubin, attempts are also underway to discover more historical artefacts, with the first in-depth archaeological surveys on the island.

Source: Archaeology-related activities to feature at Singapore Heritage Festival

The NSC Field School – ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

Applications for the NSC 2018 Field School are now open. Deadline is April 8, details in the link below.

The Field School will include numerous site visits and lectures in East Java. It will focus on the ancient polity of Majapahit (ca 13th-15th centuries CE). Participants will conduct intensive archaeological and art historical research as well as heritage management at Mount Penanggunan, Trawas, Mojokerto, East Java.

Penanggungan is regarded as one of the most sacred mountains in Java, identified with the summit of Mt Mahāmeru during the Hindu-Buddhist period. Well over 100 archaeological sites, comprising terraced sanctuaries, cave hermitages, bathing places and the remnants of religious communities, have been discovered on its slopes. These historical remains represent the ‘classical age’ of East Javanese art, spanning the 10th to 16th century. The majority of these structures were apparently constructed during the Majapahit period (ca. 1360–1511), thereby contributing to a broader understanding of the cultural dynamics of the so-called ‘age of transition’ in Javanese history.

The Field School maintains a unique full-spectrum approach designed to introduce participants to research design, methodology, field skills, excavation, analysis, and presentation.

The 2018 Field School is a collaboration between the Nalanda–Sriwijaya Centre (NSC), ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS), Singapore; and Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional (ARKENAS; National Centre for Archaeological Research), Indonesia. It will be hosted at the Ubaya Penanggungan Center, Trawas East Java.

Hélène Njoto (ISEAS) and Bambang Budi Utomo (ARKENAS) will lead the Field School.

Source: The NSC Field School – ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

NSFs who went AWOL helped archaeology dig at Fort Canning Hill: John N. Miksic interview

via Mothership.sg, 25 Feb 2018: Interview feature of Prof. John Miksic

Singapore’s Indiana Jones? Sort of.

Source: NSFs who went AWOL helped archaeology dig at Fort Canning Hill: John N. Miksic interview

Sea nomads’ Singapore roots go back centuries

via Straits Times, 28 January 2018: Several clans of Orang Laut (‘sea peoples’) are the indigenous population of Singapore, present before the founding of Singapore by the British. Today they are no longer seafaring and absorbed into the Malay ethnic group.

Singapore News -Ask 62-year-old university lecturer Mohamed Nassir Ismail about his roots and he will proudly declare that he is a “native Singaporean”.

Source: Sea nomads’ Singapore roots go back centuries, Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times