Biographies and Restitution of Hindu and Buddhist Objects from Java, Sumatra and Bali

Key information

10:00 AM to 6:30 PM
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
Alumni Lecture Theatre

About this event


Manjusri Arapacana, State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

This full day art history symposium, being held both in-person and on-line, has been twice deferred since it was first scheduled for May 2020.

This symposium examins the life stories of certain Hindu and Buddhist objects which originated from the islands of Java, Bali and Sumatra.

Nine international scholars are being brought together to consider certain issues surrounding such objects now to be found in various locations around the world. In particular, the discussions will focus on the biographies of such objects and the issues of their restitution.

This symposium addresses why certain objects were selected to be moved from their find-spots, how such objects passed from one location to another, and who were their major agents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Finally, it will touch on the various ethical issues surrounding such objects which occupy our deliberations today in the early 21st century.

Please see the Book of Abstracts for further details.


10.00-10.15 Opening Remarks

Shane McCausland, Head of the School of Arts, SOAS University of London
Lesley Pullen, Symposium Convenor, Independent Art Historian, SOAS

10.15-11.05 Keynote Address – Discussant: Nick Barnard, Curator, South and South-East Asia, V&A Museum

Pieter ter Keurs , Professor for Museums, Collections and Society, LUCAS, University of Leiden
Collecting Hindu-Buddhist Antiquities in the Netherlands East-Indies: On colonial practices and postcolonial tensions

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Keynote Address | Biographies and Restitution of Hindu and Buddhist Objects from Java, Sumatra and Bali

11.05-11.15 Break in the Lecture Theatre

11.15-12.45 Panel 1 – Chair: Stephen Murphy, Pratapaditya Pal Senior Lecturer in Curating and Museology of Asian Art, SOAS

Eko Bastiawan , Independent Researcher, Malang, Java (Member ERC DHARMA Project)
The story behind Prasasti Sangguran

Ayu Dipta Kirana , Archaeological Collections Manager, Museum Sonobudoyo, Yogyakarta
Preliminary Research on Circulation of the Resnik-Wilkens Collection in Sonobudoyo Museum

Ed McKinnon , Independent Archaeologist, Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Singapore
A Hoard of Buddhist Bronzes from Buluh Cina, North Sumatra

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Panel 1 | Biographies and Restitution of Hindu and Buddhist Objects from Java, Sumatra and Bali

13.00-14.00 Lunch in the Atrium

14.00-15.30 Panel 2 – Chair: Christian Luczanits, David L. Snellgrove Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art, SOAS

Lesley Pullen , Independent Art Historian, SOAS University of London
Object Biography - Mañjuśrī Arapacana - From Java to Russia

Mai Lin Tjoa-Bonatz , Assistant Director, Ethnologisches Museum, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin
The Afterlives of Gold Antiquities from Java 7th-16th century: Knowledge Engagements

Brigitta Hauser-Schaublin , Institute for Social and Cutural Anthropology, Georg-August University, Göttingen
Transformations and relocations: from edicts to gods, to antiquities. Glimpses into the biography of Balinese copperplate inscriptions

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Panel 2 | Biographies and Restitution of Hindu and Buddhist Objects from Java, Sumatra and Bali

15.30-16.00 Tea in the Atrium

16.00-17.00 Panel 3 – Chair: Heidi Tan, Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of the Arts, SOAS

William Southworth , Curator of Southeast Asian Art, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
The provenance history of the stone sculptures from Central Java in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Marieke Bloembergen , The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), Leiden
From Borobudur with love. Moveable Buddhaheads, Friends of Asian Art, and the moral geographies of Greater India

17.00-17.15 Closing Remarks

Ashley Thompson, Hiram W. Woodward Chair in Southeast Asian Art, SOAS

17.30-18.30 Reception in the Atrium

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Panel 3 | Biographies and Restitution of Hindu and Buddhist Objects from Java, Sumatra and Bali

Supported by the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme and organised with the Centre of South East Asian Studies

Organiser: Christian Luczanits, Lesley Pullen, Heidi Tan, Alan Goulbourne

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