The race to save up to 50 shipwrecks from looters in Southeast Asia

Recent research presented at a maritime archaeology conference has revealed at least 48 shipwrecks - including WWII ships and some post-war vessels - have been illicitly salvaged in Southeast Asia. This figure is an astonishing escalation from the handful of wrecks already known to have been damaged or destroyed. Japan has lost the most wrecks. Other nations affected include Australia, … Continue reading The race to save up to 50 shipwrecks from looters in Southeast Asia

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Kali Nyamat: Java’s Muslim Warrior Queen

PoP's textual historian Wayan Jarrah Sastrawan looks into the life and career of one of Java's great leaders: the 16th-century queen of Jepara.  The history of Java has no shortage of powerful women rulers, from the 14th-century queen Dyah Gitarja, whose imperial conquests can be role-played in the strategy game Civilization VI, to Megawati Soekarnoputri, former president and … Continue reading Kali Nyamat: Java’s Muslim Warrior Queen

The padewakang: Puzzling together the past

Putting together a 400-piece, 3D puzzle is hard enough without the pieces warping and shrinking. But that was exactly the problem faced by maritime historian Horst Liebner and his team of expert Makassan boat-builders in Belgium last month when (re-)assembling a life-sized, traditional Indonesian sailing ship known as a padewakang. The timbers had fitted perfectly when … Continue reading The padewakang: Puzzling together the past

Salt

PoP's ocean-obsessed Natali Pearson writes about the third in a dance trilogy by acclaimed Indonesian choreographer, Eko Supriyanto, now on show in Belgium. Since its establishment in Brussels in 1969, the Europalia Art Biennial (10 October 2017-21 January 2018) has always featured a guest country, and this time it’s Indonesia’s turn. Europalia pitches itself as an … Continue reading Salt

Mount Agung’s 18th-Century Eruption

PoP's textual historian Wayan Jarrah Sastrawan examines Balinese accounts of an eruption of Mount Agung that occurred 300 years ago, in order to contextualise its current activity. Where technical geological terms appear in the article, they are underlined and you can hover over them to get a quick definition from G.J. Hudak's Glossary of Volcanic Terms (2001). Bali’s largest … Continue reading Mount Agung’s 18th-Century Eruption

‘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

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