Mining the Museum: Contemporary Art and Decolonial Practice in Southeast Asia

Key information

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Virtual Event
Event type

About this event

Pamela N. Corey (Fulbright University Vietnam) and Vera Mey (SOAS)

This event is part of the Decolonising Curating and the Museum in Southeast Asia lecture series .

Pratchaya Phinthong, Broken Hill, 2013. Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery. Photo: Mark Blower.


In his groundbreaking 1992 exhibition/intervention Mining the Museum , artist Fred Wilson extracted materials from the Maryland Historical Society’s collection and curated them as disconcerting displays of historical violence, for example, placing slave shackles among other ornate objects of silverware in a display titled Metalworks, 1793-1880 . Wilson’s profound artistic gesture of juxtaposing seemingly incongruous objects unearthed a latent power dynamic in the task of exhibiting history, exemplifying what Walter Mignolo described as an act of aesthetic and epistemological disobedience. Taking a cue from Wilson’s intervention, Pamela N. Corey and Vera Mey will discuss specific case studies from Southeast Asia in which contemporary artists use the museum as a site and medium for decolonial critiques.

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Mining the Museum: Contemporary Art and Decolonial Practice in Southeast Asia

Speaker Biographies

Pamela N. Corey is an assistant professor in Art and Media Studies at Fulbright University Vietnam. She was previously Lecturer in Southeast Asian Art at SOAS University of London. She is the author of The City in Time: Contemporary Art and Urban Form in Vietnam and Cambodia (University of Washington Press, 2021).

Vera Mey is a PhD candidate at SOAS University of London. Before this, she spent several years working as a contemporary art curator at ST PAUL St Gallery, AUT University, New Zealand and the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, among others.

Discussant Biography

Shabbir Hussain Mustafa is Senior Curator at the National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum. At the Gallery, he leads the curatorial team overseeing Between Declarations and Dreams , a multi-year exhibition that surveys Southeast Asian perspectives from the 19th century to the present.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies and SOAS Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme

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