Perspectives on the Philippines

We reveal the authors of our special series on the Philippines!

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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

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

‘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 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

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