The Power Institute is thrilled to announce a new collaborative research initiative, Site and Space in Southeast Asia.
The project explores the intersections of urban space, art and culture in three cities—Yangon, Myanmar, Penang, Malaysia, and Huế, Vietnam—through collaborative, site-based research. With major funding from the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories Initiative and partners from within and beyond the region, including National Gallery Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Site and Space in Southeast Asia, continues our efforts to support innovative research in the art and architectural histories of the region, foster professional networks among early career scholars, and expand our engagement with an ever more global field.
Site and Space in Southeast Asia builds on the success of our first Connecting Art Histories project, Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art. While Ambitious Alignments was centred around individual research projects exploring histories of modern art between 1950 and 1990, Site and Space expands its chronological reach, from the colonial into the postcolonial and contemporary, while shifting focus to site-based work by small teams of researchers. Engaging with cities as sites that generate cultural narratives, researchers will explore spaces of memory, interaction, and production across national and regional boundaries.
While Field Directors will lead research teams in each city, the overall program is directed by Stephen Whiteman, Lecturer in Asian Art at the University of Sydney, with professors Adrian Vickers, Director of Asian Studies, and Mark Ledbury, Director of the Power Institute. Dr Yin Ker of Nanyang Technological University will be joining the project as Field Director for Yangon, while Dr Simon Soon, a University of Sydney graduate and Senior Lecturer at the University of Malaya, will lead the Penang team. A search for the Field Director for Huế is underway; interested candidates are invited to contact Dr Whiteman at email@example.com with any enquiries.
Site and Space in Southeast Asia will launch with a mini-field school in Singapore in late autumn 2018. A call for participation will be announced in November—please spread the word!
Image: Penang street. Photo: Stephen Whiteman, 2016.