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Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

Arts of contemporary and modern Southeast Asia

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2014/2015
Unit value:
Taught in:
Term 2

This course begins with the 19th century to examine the modern and contemporary arts of Southeast Asia. It includes galleries, museums and installations of the 21st century as well as colonial and nationalist painters and associations. Issues of identity and migration, tradition and the vernacular also frame a second world, one of powerful ancestral sculptures, clan houses, rituals and textiles. With these two aspects balanced according to class interests, the course explores their shared issues through case studies from eastern Indonesia to Bali, and Java to Thailand and Burma-Myanmar.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

  • To identify, illustrate and discuss critically approaches, issues, concepts, materials and themes in the course and to select suitable case studies to illustrate these themes.
  • To select and use the range of skills required in understanding the past and present Southeast Asian context of ‘traditions’ in the arts and develop transferable independent study and research skills

Method of assessment

2 essays of 2,000-2,500 words each - worth 45% each. A slide test worth 10%

Suggested reading

  • Apinan Poshyananda. 1992. Modern Art in Thailand. Singapore, Oxford University Press.
  • Clark, J., ed. Modernity in Asian Art. University of Sydney East Asian Studies no.7. Wild Peony, Canberra. 1993.
  • Gittinger, M. 1985. Splendid symbols : textiles and tradition in Indonesia Singapore, Oxford University Press
  • Kerlogue, Fiona. 2004. Arts of Southeast Asia. London; New York: Thames & Hudson.
  • Waterson, R. 1990. The Living House. Singapore, Oxford, New York : Oxford University Press.