Modern and contemporary art; social history; art and global modernism; history of Chinese art and visual culture; travel culture and landscape aesthetic; transnational contacts between China, East Asia and Europe.
Arab and early Persian painting and the arts of the Islamic book in general, including the production of manuscripts of the Qur'an; art and material culture of the Islamic world; Fatimid art and architecture; the arts of Islamic Spain; artistic contacts between the Islamic World and Europe; aspects of contemporary Islamic art.
Visual and material culture of the Korean peninsula; Pre-modern Korean burial practices, particularly of the Koryŏ period (AD918-1392); Arts of the Koryŏ period, especially bronze mirrors and ceramics; 20th century collecting of Korean artefacts; Heritage and museum practices; Gender and material culture.
History of African Art; Modern and contemporary art and curating in Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean, with particular focus on Haiti and Lusophone Africa; art and the Cold War in Africa; art education and cultural policy; post-colonial theory and trans-national exhibition practice.
Southeast Asian arts, aesthetics, literatures and cultural histories, with a focus on Cambodia, from the Angkorian to the post-Angkorian to the contemporary; Theravadin Buddhist arts, literatures and ritual; cultural heritage; sexual difference; deconstruction; memory and textuality.
Chinese and Buddhist art in museums; history of Yuanmingyuan (or ‘Summer Palace’) collections; museology; colonialism and material culture; post-colonial critiques of museum representations; history and theory of collecting; art and anthropology.
He is now focusing on the evidence in Indochina for the influence of tantric or esoteric Buddhism, developed in the great monasteries of the Ganges valley and diffused and developed in different ways through much of Asia.
History of Art & Architecture of the Muslim World, focusing on Mughal South Asia; Artistic, historic and cultural links between 17th Century Muslim South Asia and Iran, Anatolia and Europe; urbanism in Mughal South Asia.
Islamic art history, aesthetics and visual culture. Phenomenology of artworks, cognitive processes, and issues of conceptualisation of visual forms in Islam. Relation between theory and practice in Islamic artistic creation.
Modern and contemporary arts of Africa, including its histories of photography; visual and material cultures of West Africa, and their linkages to diasporic arts past and present; the arts of the Benin kingdom, masquerade, textiles and other art forms in southern Nigeria, as well as a particular focus on contemporary arts in Nigeria.