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Asian Ceramics in Production and Trade in Southeast Asia’s ‘Age of Empires’


Asian Ceramics in Production and Trade in Southeast Asia’s ‘Age of Empires’
Speaker: John Guy, Senior Curator, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Presented by the Southeast Asia Ceramics Society
Date/Time: Thu 15 Mar 07, 7.30 – 9.00pm
Venue: Level 1, Visitor Briefing Room

The study of ceramics as evidence of material culture is a long established field of enquiry within archaeology, but is relatively new within the associated disciplines of history and art history, where these artefacts are increasingly studied as indicators of cultural dynamics and exchange contacts. This lecture will provide an overview of the way in which the study of historical ceramics in maritime trade both draws on the work of archaeologists and seeks to contextualise these findings and add further layers of meaning by situating them within a broader historical framework.

As excavations increase at mainland Southeast Asian sites, especially Angkor, we must increasingly be alert to the need for secure identification of lesser known imported ceramics that are being discovered. The recent shipwreck evidence will assist us in this process of understanding, interpreting and dating the ceramics which the archaeological landscape of the Southeast Asia is revealing. These ceramics also open up new lines of enquiry into the origins of forms and decorative styles in regional ceramics, most notably in Angkorian-period Khmer ceramic wares, as most dramatically indicated by the Intan and Cirebon cargoes.

Admission is FREE but registration is required. Please register before 13 Mar 2007, by emailing and including “SEA Ceramics” in the subject field. Places are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first serve basis.

About the speaker:
John Guy is Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He is well known to members as a widely published specialist on Southeast Asian ceramics and trade ceramic history. He has participated in a number of ceramic site excavations in Southeast Asia, both land and maritime, and most recently spent three days at the Anlong Thom kiln site2, on Phnom Kulen, in Cambodia, the excavation of which was sponsored by the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society.

Related Books:
Lost at Sea: The Strange Route of the Lena Shoal Junk
The Ceramics of Southeast Asia : Their Dating and Identification by R. M. Brown
Oriental trade ceramics in Southeast Asia, 10th to 16th century: Selected from Australian collections, including the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Bodor Collection by J. Guy