‘Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History’ at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art: A Review/Memory

The following is a personal account of CHENG Nien Yuan’s visit to this exhibition, which foregrounded to her not only the construction of state narratives but, inadvertently, of the curatorial staging of narratives in the gallery. In the spirit of the exhibit, she writes in the present tense as she remembers a past. It is … Continue reading ‘Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History’ at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art: A Review/Memory

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Phaptawan Suwannakudt’s ‘Retold-Untold Stories’

With the Power Institute's Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories symposium fast approaching (11-13 October, University of Sydney), PoP has decided to dig up one from the archives: Natali Pearson’s exhibition review of Phaptawan Suwannakudt’s ‘Retold-Untold Stories’. This exhibition was co-curated by Clare Veal and Yvonne Low – both of whom will speaking at the Symposium … Continue reading Phaptawan Suwannakudt’s ‘Retold-Untold Stories’

The ending of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye… and what it says about history-telling

PoP's performance studies/oral history person Cheng Nien Yuan talks about the critically-acclaimed, award-winning graphic novel that-shall-not-be-named. Specifically, she looks closely at the last few impactful pages of the book.  Friends of mine know I think about food. A lot. When I look at the edges of my closed, worn copy of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, … Continue reading The ending of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye… and what it says about history-telling

The power of cloth: Melinda Piesse’s Batavia Tapestry

Earlier this year, PoP’s Museum and Heritage Studies scholar Natali Pearson wrote about her visit to the remote Houtman Abrolhos Islands – site of the Batavia’s wrecking on its maiden voyage to the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) in 1629. The story of the Batavia – characterised by a midnight shipwrecking, months of murder and mayhem … Continue reading The power of cloth: Melinda Piesse’s Batavia Tapestry

Performing Heritage (or, Making Temples Great Again)

Natali Pearson, our Museum and Heritage Studies researcher, takes a look at the Obama family's recent visit to the 9th century temples of Borobudur and Prambanan in Indonesia, and muses on the mythologising of these monuments both past and present. Last week, former US President Barack Obama and his family visited Indonesia, where they followed … Continue reading Performing Heritage (or, Making Temples Great Again)

Setting the Record Crooked: Conspiracy History in Indonesia

PoP’s textual historian Wayan Jarrah Sastrawan studies the pseudo-history of the Majapahit kingdom, and what it can tell us about history-making in Indonesia today. Indonesians love a good conspiracy. Just check out the sales table on any mainstream bookstore like Gramedia, or the display racks of used-book street stalls, and you'll find hidden truths and uncovered secrets … Continue reading Setting the Record Crooked: Conspiracy History in Indonesia

An American in Singapore: Devin Smith on the story of Lim Bo Seng

Devin Smith is an American musician/videographer who wrote to us asking if we would be interested in publishing his Medium piece on Lim Bo Seng, Singaporean resistance fighter and regarded war hero. While his piece was too long for this blog, PoP was interested in asking Devin about how he came across this topic, why … Continue reading An American in Singapore: Devin Smith on the story of Lim Bo Seng

When it comes to disappearing ocean history, HMAS Perth is the tip of the iceberg

This Thursday, 8 June, is World Oceans Day and so critical are the issues facing our oceans - including climate change and plastic pollution - that the United Nations has convened a high-level conference on their future. While its focus is ocean conservation, another aspect of our seas has been conspicuously neglected: the vast array … Continue reading When it comes to disappearing ocean history, HMAS Perth is the tip of the iceberg