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

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

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

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)