SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art

Curating Myanmar and Northern Thailand

Key information

23 May – 11 July 2024
Attendance mode

Course overview

This course will introduce you to the curation and display of the art and culture of Myanmar and Northern Thailand. 

Through eight different lectures, the course will explore two ground-breaking exhibitions, museum displays in Myanmar and Thailand, and innovative approaches to community engagement, all taught by the curators and scholars who pioneered them. These lectures will provide an opportunity to explore the rich arts and cultures of Myanmar and northern Thailand. We will draw out connections and cultural overlaps between these two regions through a variety of media including Buddhist imagery, ceramics, lacquerware, decorative arts, and architecture.  

The first lecture introduces the cultures of Myanmar and Northern Thailand. Lectures two and three will delve into the curatorial approaches for the recent Burma to Myanmar exhibition at the British Museum (2 Nov 2023 – 11 Feb 2024), led by its lead curator, Dr Alexandra Green and project curator, Dr. Mizuho Ikeda. In lecture four, Kachin curator and scholar Gumring Hkangda will guide us through some of the challenges in displaying the ethnic minorities of Myanmar. 

Lecture five introduces you to the Kingdom of Lan Na in northern Thailand while lecture six explores the exhibition, Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma 1775-1950 which took place at the Asian Art Museum San Francisco in 2009. Led by Prof. M.L. Pattaratorn Chirapravati, one of the curators of the exhibition, this lecture will reflect on the close cultural, artistic, and historical connections that exist between these two cultures. Lecture seven investigates ways in which local communities shape the representation of themselves in displays of Lan Na culture. The course finishes with a look at the curation of Lan Na ceramics by Atthasit Sukkham, who for many years worked as a curator at the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum, Bangkok.

Q&A sessions will provide a unique opportunity to discuss approaches to the curation and display of Myanmar and Northern Thailand with leading curators and scholars in the field.

The course is convened by Dr Mizuho Ikeda, who was a Project Curator at the British Museum for their Burma to Myanmar exhibition, and Dr Stephen Murphy (Pratapaditya Pal Senior Lecturer in Curating and Museology of Asian Art, SOAS). 


The course features eight online lectures delivered via Zoom. Each lecture will be followed by an extended Q&A session. All lectures will also be recorded and made available for registrants to view in their own time for a limited period.

Full schedule of lectures

Curating Myanmar and Northern Thailand - Course Schedule

PDF document, 178.04KB

Please email for further information.

Fees and funding

Fee: £375

Please refer to our registration terms and conditions before registering.