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Centre of South East Asian Studies

New Research on Southeast Asia

Date: 31 May 2016Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 31 May 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei GalleryRoom: B111

Type of Event: Seminar

Series: CSEAS Seminar Programme

  • 5:15 PM

Saivite and Buddhist sculpture in 13th century East Java

Lesley Pullen (SOAS University of London)

  •  6:00 PM

Making audio-visual media halal

Treepon Kirdnark (SOAS University of London)

Saivite and Buddhist sculpture in 13th century East Java


This presentation forms an extract from a PhD thesis titled ‘The Representation of Textiles on Javanese Sculpture; 9th to 14th century’ to be submitted at SOAS in September 2016. It examines certain patterns on the textiles carved in bas relief which adorn a selected corpus of Śaivite and Buddhist stone sculptures from the late 13th century originating in Singhasāri, Malang district, East Java. Whilst the sculptures discussed have previously been published, there has been scant if any reference to their textile patterns, and the influences in evidence in the patterns are generally assumed to derive from South Asia following the Indianisation concepts of George Cœdès. The textiles adorning these sculptures display patterns of animals within roundels, skulls and Kāla-head motifs, including depictions of a ‘one-eyed’ Kāla, which provide supporting evidence of the Tantric beliefs followed by the reigning King Kṛtanāgara (1268-1292). This presentation will explore medieval Central Asian, Chinese and Tibetan sources that display parallels in their textile patterns which enable us to construct a chronology of the migration of possible cultural traditions and patterns dating from the 8th century. Through Buddhist pilgrims, Moslem traders, and state emissaries this empirical knowledge reached the island of Java where the patterns evolved to become essentially ‘East Javanese’ and frequently Tantric in form.

Speaker Biography

Lesley Pullen is a PhD research student in the History of Art and Archaeology Department, SOAS University of London under the supervision of Dr Christian Luczanits. She completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at SOAS in 1998, and her Masters at SOAS in 2008 with a dissertation on ‘Kain Bebali of East Bali’ researching sacred and ceremonial textiles. Lesley has been tutor and lecturer on the biennial Southeast Asian Art module of the SOAS Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art programme since 2009, and an occasional tutor and lecturer on SOAS Southeast Asian Art History BA and MA courses. She is also tutor and lecturer on The Arts of Southeast Asia course at the V&A Museum. She has presented papers at the biennial EurASEAA conferences since 2010, chairing a panel on Indonesian art history in 2015. Lesley has published occasional articles in various journals and proceedings.

Making audio-visual media halal: negotiating Muslim-ness from the edge of Thainess via YouTube


In recent years there have been a growing number of YouTube videos about Malay Muslims minorities from the deep south of Thailand, amongst an ongoing conflict, which has cost more than 5,000 lives. With almost ten thousands videos on Malay Muslims uploaded, YouTube offers the richness of audio-visual data to be examined. However, empirical study into YouTube and the Muslim minorities has been largely absent.There is, thus, a pressing need to revisit the question of the representation of Malay Muslims, who live in-between Thai and Malay cultural realms and among conflicts. This project is an intersection of Thai studies, postcolonial studies, new media studies and visual culture. What marks the distinction of YouTube from text-based media such as literature and “traditional” media such as films is that they are ephemeral, visually-dominated and it is also in a self-produced and participatory media environment.

This presentation is an extract from a PhD thesis titled ‘The Representation of Malay Muslims on YouTube’ It will explore an halalization process of audio-visual media, which have been practiced among Muslim media producers. YouTube channels and videos with references to Islam made by Muslims and Malay Muslims and data collected from interviews conducted during fieldwork in Thailand are examined in order to shed light on postcolonial internet discourses and visual culture on race and nation enabled by YouTube and self-produced media practices.

Speaker Biography

Treepon Kirdnark is a PhD research student in the Centre of Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies, SOAS University of London under the supervision of Dr Rachel Harrison. He completed his Masters from California State University - Northridge with a dissertation titles “the Representation of Malay Muslims in the south of Thailand in Thai language newspapers in 2004”

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email: centres@soas.ac.uk

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893